Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Explaining Materialism : Thermodynamics of Money and Capital by Paul Cockshott



Political Economy Research says when you apply militant materialism to political economy you get the exposure of Market Socialism - the Modern Economic Revisionism.

Democracy and Class Struggle published our Study of Marxism Against Market Socialism in 2010 and finds our main theoretical arguments validated by this study of Paul Cockshott.

The reconstruction of revolutionary communism in our view Marxism Leninism Maoism will be based on militant materialism and materialist political economy in the 21st Century.



Saturday, July 7, 2018

Erik Olin Wright on understanding class—a Marxian perspective



Class the key concept in Marxist Political Economy

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Future of Global Capitalism with David Harvey



Political Economy Research always found David Harvey OK for an introduction to Marxist Economic Thought - but now in view of his recent views on the Labour Theory of Value which are nothing more than a backdoor to the market and the Question of Imperialism - he seems to have abandoned Imperialism as a concept we think he has reached his Kautsky point where either you go beyond David Harvey or you go backwards.

For a refutation on David Harvey's recent garbage on the Labour Theory of Value read Paul Cockshott here:

https://paulcockshott.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/did-marx-have-a-labour-theory-of-value/

Also an important refutation of Harvey by Michael Roberts here :

https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2018/04/02/marxs-law-of-value-a-debate-between-david-harvey-and-michael-roberts/




Thursday, May 31, 2018

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Economist Breaks Down Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency w/Richard Wolff

Artificial Intelligence and the Planned Economy - The Future for Socialism ?



Artificial Intelligence and Socialism can be a dead end if it takes us back to Oskar Lange and economic cybernetics - his bringing the market back into socialism proved a technocratic disaster in 20th century.

Building a socialism that goes beyond the market - the type of socialism that Paul Cockshott writes about is the 21st century road to a non market socialism - that is where the future lies.

It also is a realization of the last two hundred years of struggle between a market socialism and a true collective socialism.





Rana Foroohar believes in a reformist capitalism but her work provides much ammunition for a revolutionary transformation of capitalism into socialism.

Understanding Contemporary Capitalism even within its recent cycles is important - preparing for the next crash is a political imperative.

 


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Monday, March 26, 2018

The North Korean Economy : Truth and Lies

The central bank of South Korea, which publishes an annual estimate of the size of the North Korean economy based on scraps of public data as well as national intelligence, said that the North Korean economy grew 4 percent in 2016 - more than either the U.S. or South Korea economies. 

Through 2016, it had grown four of the last five years. 

Its estimate for 2017 is expected in July.

“While estimates vary widely, the South Korean central bank says the North Korean economy has grown... I too think the direction is likely positive,” said Ahn, who is currently a professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Some satellite photography leads to similar conclusions.


SOURCE:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/03/26/trump-says-sanctions-are-hurting-the-north-korean-economy-but-in-some-ways-it-appears-stable/






The Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) set it as the main task for socialist economic construction this year to strengthen the independence and Juche character of the national economy and improve the people's standard of living.

  This represents the noble intention of our Party to make the 70th birthday of the DPRK the greatest event of significance by bringing about a decisive turn in the improvement of people's standard of living.

  We have solid material and technical foundations for consumer goods production, laid in Pyongyang and localities under the wise leadership of the Party, and excellent models and plenty of experience for the rapid development of the light industry.

  When the potentials of light industry are given full reign to effect a great upsurge in production, can cheers for the WPK and socialism resound far and wide in the sky of September.

  The U.S. imperialists and their vassal forces are now making desperate efforts to hold in check our vigorous advance and stamp out our idea and system.

  The great spirit of self-reliance displayed in the light industrial field and all the consumer goods produced with our resources and efforts will be a merciless telling blow to the hostile forces.

  All the officials and workers in the field of light industry should redouble their efforts to bring about a great turn in the improvement of people's standard of living through the on-going revolutionary general offensive in hearty response to the Party's militant call.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

Science and Technology in North Korea Part 1 : By Kim Soobok (Translation and edits by Hyun Lee)



Political Economy Research will be publishing series of articles shining the light on North Korean achievements in the last 20 years following the devastation suffered in the 1990's and how they have applied science to solve their problems.



By Kim Soobok (Translation and edits by Hyun Lee)



After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc in the 1990’s, North Korea lost eighty percent of its trade and saw a drastic decline in its ability to import oil. Imagine trying to maintain a living after a sudden drop in your own income by eighty percent. It’s an imperfect analogy, but it might give us an idea of the direness of the country’s situation back then.

In July, 1994, in the midst of this crisis, Kim Il-sung, the supreme leader of the North Korean people since the days of the anti-Japanese armed struggle, suddenly passed away. On top of it all, a series of major floods devastated the country on an unprecedented scale in the summers of 1995 and 1997.

Eighty percent of North Korea is mountains, and the extraction of underground coal and minerals is North Korea’s industrial artery. It needed to quickly pump out water to restore its thousands of underground mines devastated by the floods, but the country’s energy crisis was already at its worst and there was no electricity to operate the pumps.

The coal-based synthetic fiber vinalon was the base material for most of North Korea’s clothing, but without coal, the country could no longer produce textile. With iron ore also underwater, steel production came to a standstill. But the most difficult was the inability to farm to feed the people. 

Without fuel, the country couldn’t pump water to irrigate the rice fields. And the decline in oil imports meant North Korea could no longer produce fertilizer based on naphta, a byproduct of oil refinery. This devastated North Korean agriculture and froze its grain production, and marked the beginning of the period known as the “Arduous March.” It took North Korea many years to restore its coal mines and normalize production.

Readers in the United States may remember Hurricane Sandy, which swept through parts of New Jersey and New York in October 2012. It fell tree branches that had already been weighed down by an early snowfall. One branch cut through a power line as it fell and caused an explosion at a substation, which led to a region-wide blackout that lasted for days. My house had no electricity for eleven days. We couldn’t cook and had no heat, so everyone in my family became sick. We lit candles and spent our evenings shivering under the covers. 

Gas stations had no electricity to operate their pumps. The few that had generators to remain open had endless lines of people.

This happened in the United States, which considers itself the most advanced nation, due to a felled tree branch after a few days of heavy winds. Imagine the damage suffered by the North Koreans when the entire country was submerged under water. With no food nor heat in a country where the winters are long and bitter, what did the North Korean people experience?

Meanwhile, South Korea flaunted its status as among the world’s top ten wealthiest countries, and its people frivoled away disposable income on overseas vacations. South Korea’s nouveau-riche reveled in idle leisure at golf courses and bars in the Korean autonomous region of Yanbian in China. The then-Kim Young-sam administration in the south put all means of pressure on Japan to abandon its pledge to send 50,000 tons of rice as humanitarian aid to the north. The United States and South Korea prepared for North Korea’s collapse through its numerous joint military exercises, and South Korean intelligence encouraged the media to circulate the prediction that North Korea would collapse within three weeks or three months, at most three years.

North Koreans don’t talk much about their hardship during the Arduous March. What they went through is unimaginable to the rest of the world, but they have great pride in the fact that they survived the brink of collapse and achieved what they consider a phoenix-like resurrection through sheer grit and adherence to their national philosophy of self-reliance. They have great faith in their leadership and look to the victory of their previous generation’s armed struggle against colonial Japan as inspiration for their current struggle.

After sixteen long years of hardship, North Korea finally began to normalize production in all national industries in 2008-2009. It declared 2012, which marked the centennial of Kim Il-sung’s birth, the year of “opening the door toward becoming a strong and prosperous nation.”

North Korea’s seemingly miraculous recovery from the brink of collapse was the result of key policy decisions made by then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, who, amidst his own battle with cancer, steered the country to focus on developing science and technology to rebuild its industries based on the philosophy of self-reliance. Even at the height of its economic crisis, North Korea, thinking ahead, decided to tighten its belt and allocate its limited resources to developing technology rather than short-term food purchases. At an onsite inspection of an underground automatic lathe factory in 1995, Kim envisioned not just restoring the country’s ailing factories but redesigning and equipping them with cutting-edge technology.

Self-reliance and the Importance of Science and Technology
The principle of self-reliance–that one can and should solve one’s problems utilizing one’s own resources and skills and not become dependent on foreign powers–was the guiding philosophy of North Korea’s  founding leader Kim Il-sung since the Korean people’s anti-colonial struggle against the Japanese. And it has been the country’s guiding philosophy ever since. North Korea’s experience during the Korean War–when countries that had pledged support didn’t come through with supplies of armaments in its moment of desperate need–reaffirmed its belief that to guarantee its survival, it cannot rely on others and needs to develop its own resources.

Kim Jong-un, following the steps of his father and grandfather, places the highest priority on the development of science and technology as the engine behind the construction of a “strong socialist nation” and regards the scientist’s blueprint as the key to improving the economic livelihood of the people. In 2013, the central committee of North Korea’s Workers Party announced an outline of its plans for “science and technology development in the Kim Jong-un era” and its “Byungjin line,” i.e. the simultaneous development of its nuclear deterrent and economy. It outlined the following top priorities the country should solve through science and technology:

1. Increasing grain production;
2. Meeting the country’s energy needs;
3. Utilizing domestic resources and know-how to create a “self-reliant people’s economy”;
4. Modernizing the people’s economy and achieving automation and integration of production using computer numerical control (CNC) technology; and
5. Making science the basis for all aspects of society, such as economic management, education, healthcare, athletics, land management, etc.

North Korea’s stated aim is to become a society where people no longer sweat and toil to eek out the bare minimum but live comfortably through the fruits of scientific and technological advances. Kim Jong-un, in keeping with his father’s motto, “Plant your feet on your land and keep your eyes on the world,” instructed party members to upgrade the nation’s science and technology to a “globally-competitive level” and acquire cutting-edge know-how in high-tech industries, such as information, nanotechnology and bio-engineering.

Scientists in North Korea are highly valued for their service to the country and receive preferential treatment. Under Kim Jong-un’s leadership, North Korea has built brand new residential complexes for the teaching staff of Kim Il-sung University and the Kim Chaek Institute of Technology and has dedicated whole streets with apartment complexes for scientists involved in the Unha Rocket and satellite launch programs. The country has also built a resort area solely reserved for scientists at Lake Yeonpung near the city of Gaechon.

“Turn all people into scientific and technical talents” is a national slogan in North Korea. The party encourages all people, including workers and farmers, to become scientific thinkers and innovators in their respective fields. The National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Agricultural Science, and the National Academy of Medical Science work in close collaboration with producers in basic and essential industries to enhance their technological capacities and enable workers and farmers to innovate new technology.

In the next three parts, I will discuss the role of science in increasing grain production in North Korea. Key requisites for grain production are fertilizer, water, seed and land. Actually, the person who tills the land is the most important, but that’s for another discussion. Part two focuses on North Korea’s two-decade struggle to get water to the fields, and part three on advances in fertilizer production. Seed and land are subjects for further research should I have the opportunity to travel to North Korea again in the future.

SOURCE:

http://www.zoominkorea.org/n-korea-science-and-technology-part-2-watering-the-fields-a-two-decade-struggle/


SEE ALSO:

http://democracyandclassstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/north-korean-agriculture-taegyedo.html

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Monday, January 1, 2018