Wars of Terror, New Political Science by Chomsky, Noam

By Chomsky, Noam

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The mere purchase and sale of paper or electronic tokens of value seems to generate value augmentation, M-M′ without the mediations of commodities, labour-power, or elements of the natural world. Capital seems to have achieved a purely virtual form; and this produces the speculative manias that accompany all credit-driven booms. 34 Financial speculation in fictitious capitals produces a capitalist dream-world in which capital infinitely produces itself out of itself. This is the substructure of the ‘irrational exuberance’ that characterizes speculative manias.

How exactly does money, an inert thing, beget money? Marx begins his answer by noting explicitly what had previously been merely implicit: in a society of generalized commodity exchange, labour power is itself a commodity. Marx assumes that wages are sufficient to purchase the commodities required for the reproduction of wage labourers. Once labour-power has been purchased, however, wage labourers are forced to produce an amount of economic value exceeding what they receive back in the form of wages.

The mere purchase and sale of paper or electronic tokens of value seems to generate value augmentation, M-M′ without the mediations of commodities, labour-power, or elements of the natural world. Capital seems to have achieved a purely virtual form; and this produces the speculative manias that accompany all credit-driven booms. 34 Financial speculation in fictitious capitals produces a capitalist dream-world in which capital infinitely produces itself out of itself. This is the substructure of the ‘irrational exuberance’ that characterizes speculative manias.

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