Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Rosetta and Ebola

The technical achievements of the Rosetta space programme fill the news headlines, at least in Europe. The near-$2 billion price of the expedition is considered trifling. Here is a celebration of human ingenuity! But here on earth, somewhat less than the distance of the comet that is 500 million kilometres away from the centres of power, many thousands of people are dying from ebola, a disease that has devastated the economies and societies of several west African countries, largely due to the collapse (or non-existence) of local health services. More food for thought in considering the human cost of the imperialist world economy.

Tony Norfield, 12 November 2014


  1. Greetings from an old south Londoner. I would have liked to have been able to attend HM conference recently not least to touch base with you and Francois Chesnais whom I also chose in the eighties as my academic assessor and helped publish his ‘Marx’s Crisis Theory Today’ paper. What is your assesment of Kliman and his TSSI defence. What is your assesment of the extent to which China could or should be considered as an imperialist power in the global context. I have an old copy of your ms on the importance of C v2 - someone asked me to loan it to them - was it ever published? With very best wishes - Tim Martin

  2. Hello Tim, some big questions, with a brief response next, but first on the essay I did on Capital Vol 2: I did not attempt to get it published, but did put it on the blog here -'The Circuit of Capital', 2 April 2012.

    On the other things:

    (1) I do not think that the TSSI approach is the correct way to understand value theory and the formation of prices of production. Apart from anything else, the TSSI approach uses the reproduction schemes, which for Marx were only a tool with which to understand the circuit of capital in value/use-value terms. As Yaffe points out, the different portions of total capital, with different organic compositions, that Marx uses in Vol 3 for the formation of prices of production are not necessarily related in terms of one providing another with necessary means of production, etc.

    (2) On China, I think that it is developing into being an imperialist power. It still has a subordinate position in the world economy, although that is changing. The most important thing is to assess the relative positions of the major powers in the world today, and who does what and how, rather than to stick on a label.

    Tony Norfield