Confronting 9-11, Ideologies of Race, and Eminent Economists: Volume 20


Table of contents

(10 chapters)

This paper offers a deep political analysis of September 11 drawing upon Peter Dale Scott's concept of deep politics and the Hegelian-Marxist political economy of evil. Concrete evil concerns outbreaks of malevolence in history and their connection with ruling social groups; deep politics extends this by investigating hidden forces lying beneath the surface of conventional political processes. The deep politics of September 11 and intervention in Afghanistan points to covert U.S. reliance on warlords, holy warriors and drug traffickers to secure American interests, including Caspian oil resources and the limitation of Russian influence over its former republics and satellites.

The United States since World War Two, inheriting the patterns of European colonial systems before it, has collaborated with local drug lords (“drug proxies”) to maintain its influence in the Third World, particularly in areas of geostrategic importance because of their proximity to petroleum resources. These alliances have cumulatively strengthened the U.S. presence in the Third World. But they have also progressively strengthened and consolidated the global drug traffic throughout the world. Most recently, in 2001, U.S. armed force has helped restore the drug traffic to Afghanistan, where opium production had been radically curtailed by the Taliban.

Racism is an ideology in the Marxian sense, which is why it is so pervasive. One needs to find the common thread in all forms of racism and their theories by placing them against capitalist society's goals and hegemonic strategies. Debates over racism are truly ideological mystifications. Questions of race effectively come down to questions of ideology. Racism is an ideology that is inseparable from the national or international socio-economic and political situation. A brief study of the Republics of Haiti and South Africa under apartheid illustrates how racial and racist ideologies are manipulated to cover up the exploitation of the masses.

This paper examines the relationship among Marxian determinants of surplus value and gross output. Two versions of a Marxian-based computer model that permit simulation and sensitivity analysis are discussed and an example provided by Marx in Chapter 17 is replicated. Estimates of aggregate surplus value and value are made and implications demonstrated for the distribution of value, use value and social labor. Total value produced or transferred is then compared to U.S. GDP. Interestingly, although not identical in concept, there is only a 15% difference. The model is then used to assess the difference. Implications for research and teaching are explored.

Some advocates of laissez-faire, including Smith and Hayek, have proposed various ‘invisible hand’ mechanisms to ensure that self-seeking behaviour at the micro-level leads spontaneously to desirable social outcomes at the macro-level. Keynes shares their holistic approach, but rejects their invisible hand mechanisms. He analyses the pathology of capitalism as rooted in a multi-player prisoners' dilemma. Keynes assigns a critical role to his own class, the ‘educated bourgeoisie’ in the reform process required to resolve that dilemma. The paper highlights the distinction and intimate connection between micro-level individualism, and the macro-level planning required to preserve it, in Keynes' policy standpoint.

Keynes' allegedly revolutionary theory of money was in truth inspired, if not borrowed, from the early intuitions of a German social reformer by the name of Silvio Gesell, a forgotten figure traditionally classed amongst the anarchist dissenters of the early XXth century. This paper explores this connection and thereby attempts to re-establish some balance in the book of intellectual paternity, by laying emphasis on the original monetary themes of Gesell, and on the Keynesian recasting of those self-same themes into the 1936 classic, The General Theory. It is here argued that Keynes appropriated Gesell's insights into the nature of money and interest, and stripped them of their radical implications, so as to fashion an explanation of the crisis that would pose no threat to the foundations of the capitalist order.

Comparative advantage theory remains one of the most controversial theories in economics. Given its increasing importance, it is rather peculiar that Marxist writers have not paid much attention to international trade theory. This paper assesses the work of two classical Marxist political economists - Shaikh and Hudson - on international trade theory and contributes to this very limited literature by providing an alternative approach. The findings of this paper are consistent with the classical Marxist perspectives, in that, exploitation takes place in the production process but not in exchange. This, however, does not mean that countries do not lose from free trade and specialization based on comparative advantage.

This paper compares Hayek's market order (supposedly maximising individual freedom) and the social order arising out of Bentham's panopticon (an institution of confinement, surveillance and extraction of labor). Although at first the two institutions appear to belong to two quite different categories, the author identifies at least eight similarities between the two orders and argues that both are disciplinary mechanisms faced by individuals whose “freedom” is confined to a range of choices set by an agency outside them (the “planner”). This opens the way to understand the contemporary market order as a modality of power that rests on the panoptical principle of “seeing without being seen”.

Publication date
Book series
Research in Political Economy
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
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