By Marta Harnecker
Over the past few many years Marta Harnecker has emerged as one among Latin America's such a lot incisive socialist thinkers. In A international to Build, she grapples with the query that has bedeviled each circulate for radical social switch: how do you build a brand new global in the framework of the previous? Harnecker attracts on classes from socialist events in Latin the USA, in particular Venezuela, the place she served as an consultant to the Chávez management and used to be a director of the Centro Internacional Miranda.
A global to construct begins with the fight for socialism this day. Harnecker bargains an invaluable evaluation of the altering political map in Latin the US, analyzing the trajectories of a number of revolutionary Latin American governments as they paintings to advance replacement types to capitalism. She combines research of concrete occasions with a cultured theoretical realizing of grassroots democracy, the kingdom, and the obstacles imposed via capital. For Harnecker, twenty-first century socialism is a ancient technique in addition to a theoretical undertaking, one who calls for mind's eye not less than braveness. She is a lucid advisor to the events which are combating, at once, to construct a greater global, and a tremendous voice if you happen to desire to stick with that direction.
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Additional resources for A World to Build: New Paths toward Twenty-First Century Socialism
People without capital could abstain, wait and make intertemporal choices until they were blue in the face without creating profits for themselves. It is not abstinence that creates capital, but capital that requires abstinence. Waiting has existed in all societies; it is even to be found among squirrels. Similar conclusions apply to viewing risk as a source of profit. It must always be borne in mind that it is not things, abstract or otherwise, that create economic categories, for example profits or wages, but definite social relations between people.
By contrast, however well it is understood, it is not possible to wish away the price system by an act of will, except in marginal instances and fragile attempts at self-sustainability. As a result, and here again there is a parallel with religious fetishism, underlying capitalist realities are grasped from time to time through the consequences of daily practices and reflection upon them, and thereby become the subject of both material and ideological struggle. The existence of profits, interest and rent indicates that capitalism is exploitative; and unemployment, economic crises, vast inequalities, environmental degradation, and so on, are no less transparent than the inability of the meek to inherit the world and to eat pie in the sky when they die.
Marx calls v variable capital because the amount of value that will be added by the workers, l, is not fixed in advance, when they are hired, but depends upon the amount of work that can be extracted on the production line, farm or office. It is variable in contrast to constant capital, c. g. a factory, that lasts several production cycles) but, rather, the raw materials and the wear and tear on fixed capital, in so far as it is consumed during the period of production. For example, a machine that costs £100,000 and lasts ten years contributes £10,000 per annum to constant capital.