Who is Winning? It All Depends When

Commentary No. 494, April 1, 2019

For a worldwide struggle to capture the surplus-value there is always a choice.

One can give priority to short-term gains. Or one can give priority to middle-turn gains. One cannot do both.

Whoever seeks short-term gains will always win out in the short run. It is the road of apparent selfishness. Pursue one’s own gains, no matter what happens to the others.

However, after a few years, the short-turn gains are exhausted. Preferences shift. Suddenly, it is middle-term gains as a result of class struggle that matters.

Now, the selfish are the losers, the sacrifices rewarded.

Because we are in the structural crisis of the capitalist world-economy, there are constant fluctuations. We go back and forth between the short-term and the middle-run as the only thing that matters.

At the moment, a major actor, President Trump, has opted for a short-run priority. It looks good for him.

But he and others will soon have to shift for a middle-run emphasis.

It will soon look bad for him.

Since what he cares about is re-election in 2020, the timing of the shifts is crucial, but also unpredictable.

Those interested in winning the class struggle should concentrate on that struggle as the only sensible option.