world monopoly

wdrb at siva.bris.ac.uk wdrb at siva.bris.ac.uk
Mon Sep 4 13:37:58 MDT 1995


Jerry says:

<However, the capitalist state could do something about "capital
 < flight" if they wanted to (like nationalizing the holdings of the firm
 < in their own nation). This, also, would be a policy which would have
  <its limitations and TNC's and other nation-states could be able to
<  retaliate in one way or another.

Will Brown:
Nationalised companies seldom compete effectivly on the market with TNCs
that can garner economies of scale by producing and selling globally.
This was why TNCs appeared in the first place. So nationalised companies
have to be subsidised from taxes (surplus value). They are also under political
pressure in bourgoies democracies not to attack their workforces.

Jerry also says:

  <Regarding unemployment, the state is limited in what it can do in the
 < following way: it can influence unemployment and create jobs (through
  <fiscal and monetary policy, for instance), but it can not *control* the
 < capitalist accumulation process. Ensuring full employment isn't merely
 < a question of passing laws but is a goal (if it is selected) which the
 < state can not guarantee because they can not guarantee what will happen
  <in the course of the international accumulation of capital.

Will Brown:
I profoundly agree with this. But, since the capitalist accumulation process
is now transnational doesnt this point emphasise the importance
of Transnational capital and the way it undermines the nation state.


Paul Cockshott says:

<Why should the ruling class have any opposition to monopoly in
<these fields?

Will Brown:
Why should the ruling class have opposition to monopoly
in any field? Why were the US anti-trust laws enacted?
I think the reason is that the monopoly allows a section
of the ruling class to charge monopoly prices and
dominate the interests of other sections of capital with
their monopoly position. Monopoly perhaps also
threatens the interest of capital in general by:
1) Empowering the workers employed by the monopolist.
2) Tempting the workers to consider social ownership
once they can see production is entirely planned and
controlled in a significant section of the economy.

Paul continues by looking at individual industries:



<CPUs for Pcs

<Intel and Power PC combine (motorola, apple, IBM)

<There are tremendous advantages to having a single instruction set for
<computers. But note that AMD, Chips and Technologies, IBM,
<TI etc all make Intel compatible machines.

WB
Point taken...near monopoly on CPUs, cut throat competition
on Pcs....monopoly floating on competition.

<RAM
<(Texas,Siemmens, NEC, Hitachi)

<There is not much that can be done about the high organic composition
<of capital in this industry. Circa $1billion per plant.

WB
Absolutely...but this is why world monopoly is there...
economies of scale and division of labour
leading to global production. But my only point
is that if a ruling class has had to control monopolies
at a national level through the state (the cttee of the common
interrest of the ruling class)....how are those interests
going to be controlled at a global level?


<Big aero engines
<Pratt and Whitney (United Tech), GEC (US)
<Rolls Royce

<Similarly very high development costs, though a Russian competitor
<may arise.

WB
Theres been much talk of Rolls Royce (the smallest) merging with
either of the others. The Russians will need significant capital injection...
they wont go it alone.

<Big power generators
<ABB

<Degree of monopoly overstated, Thompson, Seimens, GEC ( US and UK)
<Westinghouse + large Japanese companies all involved here.

WB
I accept your correction. Nevertheless, ABB and others are
impressively transnational. And we havent talked about software yet...
whos going to control Gates and Microsoft???

Will Brown   Bristol   England



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