|Compared to what? It's hard to argue with its capacity to grow,
innovate, and produce cheaper commodities over the centuries - at a
high social and ecological cost, for sure, but I don't think you can
win the "efficiency" argument from the left. It has to be on other
Sympathetic we may be to Joanna's critique, but Henwood has hit on something important. But I think he's swung a little late.
It's not so much that capital is efficient, more efficient, or most efficient, or less efficient-- it is simply that efficiency and non-efficiency, i.e. waste, are products and by-products, of profit. So the drive to reduce costs of production drives capital to the apparent bottom line of efficiency, but the need to realize the expropriated surplus value drives it to highest levels of waste and inefficiency.
So the critique isn't contained in some imagined measure of higher efficiency but in the terms of capitalist production itself-- in terms of profit and the realization thereof, in terms of the organization of labor to develop productive forces, and the ability of the property relations to sustain that development.
Carroll Cox may not agree, but those are indeed the categories of Marx's critique