Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Hi everybody,

You know, it is a fact that intense suffering and being in a situation where right and wrong are clearly defined seem to be an incentive for self expression and creative thought. For example Russian literature reached its pinnacle during the 19th century under the regime of the Tsars, when tyranny was coupled with certain freedoms for thinkers and writers. Although the Tsars were despotic they did not try to sponsor the kind of cheap propagandist culture that characterized the situation under the Soviet regime. In a kind of a way, something of this nature happened after the fall of Saddam.

Now that my situation has changed dramatically, I find the urge to write much weakened. The urgency and desperation of yesterday, living under mortal danger and terrible insecurity, have given way to the cares and problems of western existence, and the insecurity has become of quite different nature. One is not afraid anymore of being bombed, kidnapped, tortured etc., however there is instead another kind of insecurity, connected with the financial situation and the requirements for leading a decent life. Ironically, this was not really a major concern in my previous existence. Indeed my previous savings and resources in the M.E. continue to support my present existence and that of the family, though this is just starting to change slightly and hopefully our ability to earn our keep in Canada will improve with time. Of course my principle of trying to avoid any kind of assistance from the state makes it a little difficult, but it is something that is very profound in my way of thinking. So the most I have allowed the members of the family is to seek and accept student loans. It is an emotional notion of mine to repay the Canadian state for the honor that they have bestowed on me by accepting my candidacy for citizenship, which is really a high honor that a state can bestow on a stranger. If I cannot contribute much, at least I hope my children will do. Well, they are each talented each one in his own way, and it is my dream to see one or more of them rending really distinguished service. Even the wife is now studying and working everyday of the week trying to finally settle into a decent kind of productive life. Although I loath touching personal subjects, I just wanted to explain to my faithful friends, who have been following this blog the reason for drying up all this time.

I prepared some posts about the financial crisis, but then I myself did not find them very convincing, so they were not posted. I must admit that I did have one of these premonitions that something awful was going to happen and have alluded to that in my last post months ago. Unfortunately my fears may have been too alarmist and I actually refrained from publishing them eventually. There are some nagging doubts about the very fundamental nature of the capitalist system that really bother me. The old Marxists did predict the inherent instability of the system and cyclic nature of crises of increasing severity that seem to be a structural characteristic of this system. But you know, it is always easier to criticize and analyze something real and existing, but it is quite another matter to find solutions. And of-course the experiments of socialism and communism that plagued the previous century were all dismal failures and ended with monumental failure and collapse. Socialism through state control and the weapon of prohibitions and restrictions was thoroughly defeated by human nature itself; stifled all individual initiative and ended by spreading misery, deprivation, and all kind of nefarious influences in societies. Central planning proved to be disastrous and deprived society of the most basic necessities, besides producing commodities of low quality, due to lack of competition and incentive.

Despite that, unfortunately, all the “socialist” experiments purporting to be application of Marxism have not been really and strictly Marxist according the precepts of Marx himself, that old Jewish German academician and bookworm who spent the best part of his life poring over volumes in the British Museum. Now, this guy whether you hate him or otherwise, cannot be dismissed easily. One aspect of his theory and analysis of the capitalist system especially in regard to recurrent crises has been proven very vividly from the 19th century to the present time. Many terms were invented to avoid the brutal Marxist terminology regarding these cyclic crises; depression, recession, then the delicate business cycle etc.

When communism and the soviet block collapsed, some put forth the notion of the “end of history”, and the final triumph of the capitalist western system. Indeed everybody began eagerly embracing Market Economy (another of these genteel expressions to replace the brutal term: Capitalism). Now almost all important countries have gone that way and Russia and China, the two most important erstwhile communist powers have become more or less embroiled in the Globalized international market system; and this was considered the end of history and the final triumph of capitalism. Surely things should run smoothly now, it was thought, and the ideological struggle has come to a triumphant conclusion for one side. But in fact, this was the beginning of real trouble for the system rather than otherwise. And you know, Marx actually always considered socialism as a phase that would come when capitalism has reached its fullest development. And in fact, many Marxists knew that the revolutions in the underdeveloped countries contradicted real Marxist theory, and hence such terminology as “continuous revolution”, “permanent revolution” and the Leninist Dictatorship of the Proletariat were all attempts to circumvent the obvious contradiction and departure from true Marxist thinking.

Now I am not an economist and would not presume to understand the complexities of capitalism nor the Marxist critique of the system. However, in my ordinary man’s thinking I believe I understand the process in very simple terms. I could state it in simple ways. The essence of the analysis is that capital accumulation which tends to increase independently of the productive forces that actually produce the wealth produces a situation that capital seeks to grow through investment that would in turn increase the capital. For this to work, there must always be growth. But growth, by its very nature cannot go on indefinitely. That is almost a physical universal law. A man can grow to manhood and then declines, a tree will not grow indefinitely, the resources of the earth themselves are finite and cannot be exploited without limit. So there comes a time when the ability of the people to consume products reaches a limit. The consumers are given credit in order to be able to consume, but this credit is with interest and things work fine as long there is again growth that could repay the credit with profit. Although, as I said I am no economist, but it seems to me amply clear that this process has to come to a crisis when the general consumer is no longer able to repay his loans and the whole complex financial structure comes to this moment of truth. It is logical, overproduction, through the impulse to invest with diminishing purchasing power of the consumer. In short an economic system based on constant growth rather than equilibrium, is inherently unstable.

What is the solution though? Certainly, not through the kind of state control and restrictions imposed on individual initiative, freedom and enterprise that we have seen in the horrors of “socialist” experiments in the 20th century. I do not have the answer, but perhaps some creative new “synthesis” might emerge ironically in accordance to the classical Marxist-Hegelian dialectical logic.
Wa Al-Salam Alaykum, or should I say now Have a nice day.
P.S. It is election night and it seems that Obama is going to win. I think poor McCain has been really unlucky, with the financial crisis coming at this particular time. I personally believe that this crisis has nothing to do with the policies of any american administration but as I tried to explain above is inherent in the system and will happen cyclically regadless of what goverments do. Goverment action may delay, cushion or inluence in some limited way these events but they will never be able to prevent them.

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