Political Economy

Three videos had been uploaded, presenting in German language the foundations of political economy.- Thank you to MrMarxismo.


Grundlagen der Politischen Ökonomie – Prof. Dr. Peter Herrmann – (attac Sommerakademie 2015 in Marburg). http://www.attac.de/bildungsangebot/s… – Sowohl in der Krisenanalyse der vergangenen Jahre als auch in der allgemeinen Diskussion und Darstellung von wirtschaftspolitischen Fragen finden sich oft zwei grundlegende Fehlannahmen:
o Vorgeschlagen wird ein Wirtschaftsverständnis, bei dem weitgehend ausgeblendet wird, dass es sich um inhärent soziale Verhältnisse handelt.
o Vorgeschlagen wird, dass es sich um nichtpolitische Verhältnisse handelt, bei denen es sich um reine Sachkonstellationen handelt – im Extrem können diese in Algorithmen gefasst werden.
Oft wendet sich gerade die linke Diskussion gegen solche Positionen, ohne die tatsächlichen Konzeptionen in Rechnung zu stellen.
Das Seminar will mit der Darstellung Klassischer, Marxistischer und Keynesianischer Konzepte zumindest die Grundbegriffe aufbereiten und damit auch Alternativen der Wirtschaftspolitik systematischer verstehbar zu machen.
o Klassische Politische Ökonomie – Die Rechtfertigung des Nationalismus
o Keynes – Modernisierung der Nationalökonomie vor dem Hintergrund der Neuordnung der Welt
o Marx – Proletarier aller Länder – (wie) könnt ihr euch einigen?
Im Zusammenhang mit diesen Grundverständnissen werden auch weitere Konzepte (etwas Finanzialisierung, Lange Wellen etc.) aufgearbeitet.

It is not too late yet …

It was in the dreary month of November,

The gloomy days grew shorter,

The wind tore the foliage off the trees,


No, not the time I visited Germany, as Heinrich Heine did, writing A Winter’s Tale about Germany


We ended a European conference: social services, the meaning of care with its various facets, not least the pressure from marketisation and the neglect of a system of which it had been said in 2013 that this capitalism kills.


I said good bye to a colleague from Hungary – I did not know her, mentioned en passent my position at the Corvinus University and ….

… Could I only recite that then

She sang of love and its woes,

Of sacrifice and meeting again,

High above, in a better world,

Void of suffering, void of pain.

I heard another story instead

Orban finally took him away

– so on the occasion of my next visit I will not see the Marx statue that stood in the central hall of the university. Of course, it had been only a monument, a symbol – but yes: it had been a symbol: a manifestation of a writer, scientist and activist. And it had been a symbol for a writer who had been recognised as important contributor to the development of world culture – part of the heritage of Western culture which means in the understanding of the UNESCO a recognition not only of the importance but also in terms of the positive contribution.

With the news about Orban’s recent coupe I leave the venue – a stale feeling, weakness and disgust …

Indeed, Orban and his myrmidons learned what their recent victim said:

The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.

Of course, it is important, necessary to accuse this infringement of respect of Western culture, this arrogance of a snooty-nosed little upstart who is known for his pathological outages, his populist megalomania. Still, there is a wider perspective.

Some may recall the sentences by Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.[1]

And indeed, it is cum grano salis also relevant here:

  • First they came for the social commitment of property and established the radical freedom of the market – but we enjoyed it: choice and being able to decide
  • Then they came for the regulation, and dismantled the systems of regulating at least some standards – but we always objected bureaucratic rule and did not bother, assuming that reason will win anyway
  • Then they took the last public services away, establishing the market rule across the board – didn’t we complain for a long time of the lack of quality of public services …
  • Finally, there had indeed not been such thing as society, only individualists, pretending sociality by the commodities they buy, the brands by which they exhibit themselves … and even the memory of alternatives had been wiped out – then it will be too late …

Not yet – if we are serious now in interpreting the development correctly and, indeed, change it fundamentally.

[1]            There are different versions and there is along discussion on the statement – see here… And here.

The Beauty and the Beast – or: Variations on the Seemingly Eternal

I admit, I did not expect that the question of the Beauty and the Beast would have so many different manifest facets, but I would always have assumed many hidden facets and we rarely think about them, and perhaps even barely recognise them. Some of these meanings may come across in a modern-dusted gown, others in old fancy dresses – of course I am aware of such formulation standing against the general expectation which usually sees dust on the old and fanciness with the new.

Be it so, I suggest starting with some patchwork snippets.

* The Beauty and the Beast – Crusades: the world of lords, knights, foot-soldiers, peasants: suggesting the fancy world of a suggested good: the One Lord reigning eternity, a holy empire for secularity, being an empire of holiness with gods, angels, gnomes and fairies …, presenting itself as mystical for some, but as simple and massive power block for others.

* The Beauty and the Beast – it is[1] about palaces and hovels: the world of glory, of glamour, first derived from gods; then derived from people’s votes; and frequently based on pure violence, all being seen as matter of power: the possession of ultimate control, all this standing against the corners, hidden, though they do not have anything to hide, suppressed though people are already living very much on the bottom, first supposed by gods as “his will” is that we are deprived from material goods which would distract from god; then seen as consequence of people’s decisions: the lack of work-ethics, the failure to show eagerness …, the refusal to serve the goods in form of commodities, and the adherence to the gods, seen as values of humane existence, worshipping justice and hoping for solidarity; and very often based on pure violence: open or structural, the force of competition of the pure market-society, people deprived from rights as much as labour is deprived from its social character – a disembedded economy.

– We may halt for a second as there seems to be another side to it: the lonely emperor, suffering from his old clothes, and the rich peasant, not controlling much, but at least controlling the little according to the own will. Much had been said about the happiness and the paradoxes, not only starting with the work presented by Richard Easterlin and the critique of the same – but too little had been said that the rat race is, or becomes at some stage purely capitalism as perversion, and nothing else: the production of waste, the perversion of its own rules and the perversion of people’s life – further topped by celebrating such perversion by a kind of exhibitionism.

* The Beauty and the Beast – new identities: in the society of No Logo the logo counts, and though there is still value to things in terms of their use, this use is shifting increasingly to a symbolic instance, the so called positional goods – the use of defining and allocating oneself, thus generating the social on a secondary, derived level: not the direct interaction as production and reproduction of everyday’s life as metabolism with nature, but the possession of goods: commodities, power and control over nature is “what counts”.

The old economy is “factory based” and “capabilities driven” and hence “production-focused” an manufacturing actual products

– and we should not forget: also on enjoying these products, nor should we forget that all this is also about hard work and suspension of gratification and satisfaction and maintaining, even reinforcing the Victorian distinction between the deserving and the non-deserving poor

while the new economy is “consumer based” and “consumer-focused” and hence concerned not with manufacturing products but “creating brands”.[2]

There is surely much to be discussed in the connection with all this and some had been pointed out earlier: the supposed facts, the analysis and the interpretation. Not least we have to consider

[t]hat defence [of traditional livelihoods] is easily supported by an anticapitalist Left in opposition, and has been adopted by the current World Forum Movement: ‘We do not want development. We just want to live’, declared a front-stage banner at the World Social Forum in Mumbai in 2004.

(Therborn, Gøran, 2008: From Marxism to Post-Marxism?; London/New York; Verso: 35)

As already stated elsewhere,

Of course, we should not overlook the inherent danger – and in particular looking back to Ireland as one of the pronounced EUropean countries or also looking at countries like Brazil one should not overlook what is easily forgotten: Pleading for more equal societies cannot mean ‘equality on unbearable levels of subsistence. The ‘old Irish poverty’, people likely saying ‘we are all poor’ may have had something tempting in its simplicity of suggested equality,[3] but it surely did not have anything tempting with respect to living standards, living conditions and simply in terms of bare existence.[4]


It seems that all this found a point of culmination recently – at stake is a place of adoration: La Cappella Sistina, a place of stunning beauty and a place of spiritual elevation which is second only to the Vatican catacombs and there Confessio[5] and the private chapel where the popes supposedly begin their days with a private celebration of a mass[6]. The latter has this meaning at least in terms of the spiritual elevation (in modern language it translates to something like it the meeting room where the boss [= god] provides everyday the guidelines to one of the top CEOs, the branch manager of the Catholic section of human kind – it is widely unknown if and where he meets the CEOs of other branches, let alone that we any idea if and where he meets the CEOs of other planets).

Now there is a “new access”: The Vatican opened the Chapel for “the public”, another public, namely that public that is able to pay: in this case a Porsche club, accessing the chapel supposedly as part of a charity event. The Vatican rejects that it is a business issue and claims the charitable character standing at the very centre.


Still, one may ask if this is the right point for surely needed disenchantment – or perhaps the question should be put forward in a different way: if this is the right way for such disenchantment. Asking this is not about religious issues: the justification of the claims of mystery that is usually connected with religion. But it may admittedly be a matter of the valuation of arts and the excitement of really experiencing the immediate and “private” confrontation with such masterpiece – I have am lucky and privileged in having some personal experience standing behind this statement, though linked to van Rijn’s Nightwatch and Picasso’s Guernica. Such experience – standing in front of such piece just by way of a “private encounter”[7] is truly unique and actually the opposite of private: it is about delving into the public, social world of another era: an era of unbelievable grandess and construction in the one case; an era of unbelievable dehumanisation and destruction in the other case.

Thinking about the “nuova porta santa”, I am torn between different interpretations: disenchantment of religion and arts by commodification of another realm; the need of money to appreciate something special or the availability of money as making something special – visiting the chapel because it is expensive, because others cannot do it (this way); and finally the interpretation that all this actually the return of (though not religion so at least) the institutionalised “modern” church to its very existence, while wearing a new dress. History gives surely some clues, the two most important: first, the sale of indulgences can be seen as taking a new form: “doing good”, paying for charity and being allowed to experience the extraordinary even during this life; second, the role in particular of the Medici, somewhat alternating between the two roles of being banker of the Vatican and being pope. Indeed and cum grano salis we may refer to the famous passage

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

This is surely a question about religion, the self-understanding of the Vatican, institutionalised religion and so on. But it concerns also a much wider issue. One commentator brings it to the point

Ma si! Affittiamo pure il Colosseo per fare di nuovo i giochi gladiatori. Renzi contro Berlusconi non sarebbe male! Sai i soldi che farebbe la RAI trasmettendo il duello in mondovisione!

It would also fit well into my considerations about World’s New Princedoms. Critical Remarks on Claimed Alternatives by New Life.

And even the recent posting on the Finnish Babybox plays a role.

Finally, is it true then… ? Can progress only be obtained for the price of exclusion ….? How do we define the backyards and the yards of the courts – and how do the rulers of the courts define us who are living in the backyards, occasionally being allowed to have a glimpse over the fence?

Disenchantement. Enlightenment suggested it in different versions as “pure reason”: The French rational citoyen; the German rational bourgeois, the Scottish rational market citizen – all moving rationally forward by the “pursuit of Happiness”.

This had been well summarised a long time ago:

This sphere that we are deserting, within whose boundaries the sale and purchase of labour-power goes on, is in fact a very Eden of the innate rights of man. There alone rule Freedom, Equality, Property and Bentham. Freedom, because both buyer and seller of a commodity, say of labour-power, are constrained only by their own free will. They contract as free agents, and the agreement they come to, is but the form in which they give legal expression to their common will. Equality, because each enters into relation with the other, as with a simple owner of commodities, and they exchange equivalent for equivalent. Property, because each disposes only of what is his own. And Bentham, because each looks only to himself. The only force that brings them together and puts them in relation with each other, is the selfishness, the gain and the private interests of each. Each looks to himself only, and no one troubles himself about the rest, and just because they do so, do they all, in accordance with the pre-established harmony of things, or under the auspices of an all-shrewd providence, work together to their mutual advantage, for the common weal and in the interest of all.

Now, disenchantment has also some other dimension, bringing dialectically two issues together: It had been said that

[m]en make their own history.[8]

And it had been said that

[t]he philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.

In this light, thinking about progress has to mean to change the conditions under which we make our history, i.e. to control these conditions under which we make history.

Finally, isn’t it true?

There are no supreme saviours

Neither God, nor Caesar, nor tribune.


[1]            Keep also Buechner’s Hessian Courier in mind.

[2]            Barber, Benjamin R.: Consumed. How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole; Bew York/London: W.W. Norton&Company: 169 f., with reference to Marc Gobé, 2001: Emotional Branding. The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People; New York: Allworth Press: XIV

[3] Leaving aside the fact that such equality surely had been at no stage absolute.

[4]            Social Policy – Production rather than Distribution. A Rights-Based Approach; Bremen/Oxford: EHV Academicpress; 2014: 89

[5]            Rarely open to the public

[6]            Of course, more or less never open to the public – here religion finds the only location it should be allowed to claim: the private realm.

[7]            Yes, there had been security …

[8]            Yes, women too – just one example for Marx thinking in this way comes from a letter to Kugelmann, written in 1868:

“I think that German women should begin by driving their husbands to self-emancipation.” Actually there are many other references, taking up the immediate role of women and also the reference to assessing progress by looking at the emancipation of women.

Mysteries of Progress …

There we dare to ask and wonder ….

… about sustainability, simple life styles and overconsumption, greed and modesty and what we really need – Skidelski/Skidelki publishing under the title

 How much is Enough?

 promising to look at

Money and the Good Life[1]

and Thomas Piketty writing about extensive inequality[2] – surely important, and shocking in its way. And in this way surely talking importantly about the Capital of the 21st century. But this way is denying that capital, in which century ever, is established on inequality – which is paradoxically emerging from contractual equality of the one who sells and the other who buys the labour power. This equality and even freedom, presumed by the contract is defined in very simple terms: Two parties engaging freely, i.e. without being forced by the other, with each other and defining ex ante the exact conditions – cost and benefits – of the interaction, defining this way exactly what they can and have to expect from each other – and both parties having the same rights.[3]

And although we may say that everybody talks about it, and is even reasonably honest, the question of the we is a bit tricky.

We the commoners? We, the decision makers, defining what is common – [in former times these people had been called members of the noble classes]? We, the people with common sense [which the German language translates into something that is linked to health: a healthy way of thinking …..]? We, the people whose life, attitude, belief, need is defined by a common standard?

Well, in one way or another there is a paradox, a trap, which is well described in an article I read the other day. It had been in a book looking at poverty and shaming.[4]

The respective sentences that caught my attention much beyond the actual topic of the book and the issue of employment are concerned with the “work-oriented culture”. In these societies

having a job is not just a matter of economic security. In a social sense, it is a primary arena for attaining the dignity associated with social normalisation.[5]

And in another article of the same book we find a quote, from somebody who lives in poverty – a person in Pakistan:

it is the rich who should be ashamed, not the poor.[6]

Isn’t it also that we as academics should be ashamed for not sufficiently highlighting this dimension of shame; for not sufficiently questioning the standards of normalisation


There is a real problem – not only characterising recent developments

Pronta sempre a disporsi per tutte ugualmente, come quella, che non si satia né si contenta d’una forma sola; ma havendo appetito a tutte, non ha prima l’una sopra di se, che quasi pentita&infastidita, comincia ad aspirare all’altra; non essendole più propria questa che quella: di maniera che molti l’assomigliano ad una publichissima meretrice: percioche, si come una donna tale, della conversazione di qualsivoglia huomo non si satia mai, & non più di questo che di quello essendo amica; non prima sta sotto l’uno che desiderando l’altro, cerca dal primo scostarsi: cosi questa prima materia commune atta, & pronta per natura sua à desiderar tutte le materiali forme,& a poter conseguirle, non essendo possibil che più d’una in un’istesso tempo sostenga mai; è necessario che mentre che sta sotto l’una, per l’appetito c’ha delle altre, so spogli di quella al fine;&quindi della nuova vestita poi, tosto per altre, il medesimo faccia di mano in mano; mentre seccedon le forme l’una dopo l’atera perpetuamente.[7]

The Faustian tragedy, later reflected by Marx in his work Capital (mind, not of the 21st Century or any other century – just the Capital), where we read in chapter 24 of the first volume:

At the historical dawn of capitalist production, — and every capitalist upstart has personally to go through this historical stage — avarice, and desire to get rich, are the ruling passions. But the progress of capitalist production not only creates a world of delights; it lays open, in speculation and the credit system, a thousand sources of sudden enrichment. When a certain stage of development has been reached, a conventional degree of prodigality, which is also an exhibition of wealth, and consequently a source of credit, becomes a business necessity to the “unfortunate” capitalist. Luxury enters into capital’s expenses of representation. Moreover, the capitalist gets rich, not like the miser, in proportion to his personal labour and restricted consumption, but at the same rate as he squeezes out the labour-power of others, and enforces on the labourer abstinence from all life’s enjoyments. Although, therefore, the prodigality of the capitalist never possesses the bona-fide character of the open-handed feudal lord’s prodigality, but, on the contrary, has always lurking behind it the most sordid avarice and the most anxious calculation, yet his expenditure grows with his accumulation, without the one necessarily restricting the other. But along with this growth, there is at the same time developed in his breast, a Faustian conflict between the passion for accumulation, and the desire for enjoyment.

Indeed, as we learn right before,

 original sin is at work everywhere. As capitalist production, accumulation, and wealth, become developed, the capitalist ceases to be the mere incarnation of capital. He has a fellow-feeling for his own Adam, and his education gradually enables him to smile at the rage for asceticism, as a mere prejudice of the old-fashioned miser. While the capitalist of the classical type brands individual consumption as a sin.


So, coming back to the questions about sustainability, simple life styles and overconsumption, greed and modesty, there are the “other people”.

The other day I went to my phone service provider, saying that I would have some problems with my phone.

I know that the battery of this model is extremely weak.

– Oh, yes, indeed ….

She thought admitting the weakness would be enough to get rid of me but …

– … but since some time …, actually I can literally see how the battery is drained.

Exchange of few words …, and 2 percent less power.

 – Please, can you check of there is something running in the background ….; I already made sure that Bluetooth is switched off and localisation  service ….

Indeed, she checked …

– No, I cannot find anything …. – but perhaps you should switch off the 4G service. This really kills the battery.

And I could only confirm that this problem occurred since this service had been introduced.

– And can I switch it off?

She nodded, did so and I left, not necessarily  happily, the shop, heading to the gate at FCO to go just for a two hour meeting to capital of the old Hapsburg empire.

Well, as I have had a little bit of time left, I stopped …: whoever had been at an airport knows the name of the shop, selling electronics and accessories and …

… and I resisted to by one of these “mobile battery chargers”, being still somewhat proud of my phone: slim, small, “handy” as the Germans say (though they actually don’t really mean what they say – but that is another story) and in “allowing me in a small shell doing nearly everything.”

Sure, many reasons to decide this way: lack of greed (I think some would call it avarice); the fear that with another new gadget, or gadget accessory I am again closer to the threshold for hand luggage; the aversion to buy a new suitcase; the fear that I would forget it frequently at home, loose or forget it somewhere, or at least would not find it in my rucksack, bag, pocket or suitcase; the annoyance by having another adapter and another cable ….

Sure, in this context technology plays a role. But looking at battery power of computers today, and comparing the development of computer and phone batteries ….

… in fact, though the exact figures  may be contested, there is surely great truth in the supposition that more than half of today’s production is the production of waste, directly or in form of “services” that occur in consequence of mechanisms that make things more complicated by their supposed simplification   ….

At the end so: it is not primarily the trap of overconsumption which puts me off, but the subordination under the rule of overproduction, the permanent and ever-present iron grip into our pockets.

Sure, as Swantje Karich writes on the  18.07.2014 in the F.A.Z. there is an alternative, namely the bench in the park being equipped with a power socket (Die Steckdose in der Parkbank)

In Boston müssen sich die Nomophopie-Geplagten nicht mehr fürchten vor einem längeren Spaziergang abseits von Steckdose und Stromversorgung. Die Parkbänke der Stadt sind jetzt solarbetrieben, haben Anschlüsse zum Aufladen von Akkus, kosten 3000 Dollar, heißen „Soofas“ und sind so konzipiert, dass sich auf ihnen nicht einmal ein sehr müder Bänker querlegen kann. Aufrecht sitzend behält man hier Anschluss an die Welt. Vier Bänke sind auf dem Campus einer Bostoner Universität aufgestellt – damit die Pause auch Arbeitszeit bleibt, man sich bloß nicht mit seinem Nachbarn unterhalten muss.


Yes, sure, there is an alternative. As I saved time, not buying the additional battery, I could sit down at the gate on a bench without power socket, the phone switched on “slow motion”, G3 (which had been high speed a short while back) …

A short while, I just wanted to open the book, somebody asked me if I could take the bag from the seat, next to me.

– Certo. …. Per favore, siediti …

I did not open the book …

 – And did you have a nice time here?

– I simply loved it. You know it had been the first time that I had been in Rome. People are so friendly, so relaxed …

I could see, feel the excitement

Sitting there and chatting with the person next to me had been so pleasant, relaxing … – and we exchanged addresses. Written on a piece of paper, the old-fashioned fountain pen requiring a bit of time, allowing the ink that had been used to write down where we live, how we can reach each other by email and of course the mobile phone numbers.

So relaxed .. – yes, that is what we think nearly everyday, walking round, having learned not to fall on the same streets which had been used by Jesus, Cesar, Augustus, Nero …,  Pliny, Plotinus … that is what we think nearly everyday, walking round, having learned that there are cars parked in the second and third line – of course, who would dare to park in the proper parking slot and not paying the parking fee?

Sure, the term hoax is actually mostly known from the IT-world, but originates in the world of information without technology, the real world as we frequently name it. May well be then that we actually didn’t really mean what we said – sad enough then. But may be we actually meant exactly what we said. Formulas are not primarily a matter of algorithms but sometimes just a matter of the sound of a voice and what the eyes tell.

[1]            I am not entirely convinced that they kept their promise though it is surely an inspiring reading: Skidelski, Robert/Skidelski, Edwards, 2012: How much is Enough? Money and the Good Life; Allen Lane

[2]            Piketty, Thomas, 2013: Le Capital au XXI Siècle; Paris: Éditions du Seuil

[3]            Ah, sure, considering freedom and equality we remember of course Marx, writing in a footnote:

Proudhon begins by taking his ideal of Justice, of ―justice éternelle, from the juridical relations that correspond to the production of commodities: thereby, it may be noted, he proves, to the consolation of all good citizens, that the production of commodities is a form of production as everlasting as justice. Then he turns round and seeks to reform the actual production of commodities, and the actual legal system corresponding thereto, in accordance with this ideal. What opinion should we have of a chemist, who, instead of studying the actual laws of the molecular changes in the composition and decomposition of matter, and on that foundation solving definite problems, claimed to regulate the composition and decomposition of matter by means of the ―eternal ideas, of ―naturalité and ―affinité? Do we really know any more about ―usury, when we say it contradicts ―justice éternelle, équité éternelle ―mutualité éternelle, and other vérités éternelles than the fathers of the church did when they said it was incompatible with ―grâce éternelle, ―foi éternelle, and ―la volonté éternelle de Dieu?

[4]            Gubrium, Erika K./Pellissery, Sony/Lødemel, Ivar (eds.), 2014: The Shame of It. Global Perspectives on Anti-Poverty Policies; Bristol/Chicago: Policy Press

[5]            Gubrium, Erika K./Lødemel, Ivar, 2014: ’Not Good Enough’: Social Assistance and Shaming in Norway; in: Gubrium, Erika K./Pellissery, Sony/Lødemel, Ivar (eds.): The Shame of It. Global Perspectives on Anti-Poverty Policies; Bristol/Chicago: Policy Press: 111-132; here:102

[6]            Choudhry, Sohail, 2014: Pakistan: A Journey of Poverty-Induced Shame; in: Gubrium, Erika K./Pellissery, Sony/Lødemel, Ivar (eds.): The Shame of It. Global Perspectives on Anti-Poverty Policies; Bristol/Chicago: Policy Press: 111-132; here: 126

[7]            Piccolomoni: Della filosofia naturale, lib 1, chap. 6, fol 14v

No fool like an old fool – or old age brings wisdom

Just reading again one of these trashy books – The Poverty of Philosophy, the answer Marx gave in 1847 to the Philosophy of Poverty by M. Proudhon. – Unfortunately some still didn’t understand it, though the old sentences are well worth to be remembered, e.g.

Those who, like Sismondi, wish to return to the true proportion of production, while preserving the present basis of society, are reactionary, since, to be consistent, they must also wish to bring back all the other conditions of industry of former times.

I had been made aware another time of the deep truth by having a look here – “Manchester today” (sorry, it is in German language, showing extrem exloitation in India)