Re Monopoly

wdrb at wdrb at
Wed Sep 6 13:26:33 MDT 1995

In reply to me writing:

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. [snip]

Jerry wrote:
>I disagree with the idea stated above that TNC's "appeared in the first
>place" because "nationalized companies seldom compete on the market with
>TNCs." While TNCs have advantages over nationalized companies, the growth
>of TNCs pre-dates the growth of nationalized companies. Also, the growth
>of TNCs could be seen as a logical consequence of the international
>concentration and centralization of capital rather than a response to

Will Brown:
Sorry for my lack of clarity. TNCs did not appear
specifically to compete with nationalised companies.
They appeared because companies found that
producing, selling and raising capital transnationally
made them more competitive (economies of scale).

This drive to globalisation has put tremendous pressure on
nationalised companies right across the world, as it has
on ordinary capitalist companies that have been unable
or unwilling to globalise.

The history of this process is, of course, complex.
Steve K said that books could (and of course have)
been written about it. Any account would include
the transnational nature of oil companies searching
for reserves, the penetration of European and US
car markets by Japanese producers and the
need to fnd low cost labour sources by electronics
companies. Although the story is complex, the
trend is clear, more production in the hands of
very big companies that are becoming ever more

Jim Jaszewski said:

<        Didn't the South Korean government have absolutely draconian laws
<as regards this (ie controlling capital accumulation - wb), as well as capital flight?

Will Brown:

I can believe they did...industrialising nations have used such devices...
but the past tense in interesting. Havent these controls been relaxed
to attract foreign capital and facilitate joint ventures with other
multinationals? Global standards for accounting, company law
and the like are being pressed by international capital...arent

A final point:
having read Kindlebergers account of the world economy
between the wars (an academic economic history)
I am persuaded that the ruling class are desperate to avoid
a return to economic nationalism that, after the great
stockmarket crash`29, led to tarriff wars and a collapse
of world trade by 60% after 1930. Given the way that
economic production and exchange are globalised
today to a far greater extent than they were in 1925,
such tarriff war would generate even greater economic,
political and financial meltdown.

In other words, the ruling class cannot turn back the
creation of the world economy, the process has
already gone to far. And forces fundamental
to capitalism are driving it. I do not know what
would constitute a world government, it would
probably not simply look like a national government but only
bigger. Would it be democratic? From where would it
draw its political legitimacy?

 I believe that the economic basis
of production and the social relations of class that
they create have transcended national boundaries in a
way never before seen. It is this prospect that
has spawned the reaction of the American militas
perhaps. It is this context that has to be understood if we
are to make much sense of former Yugoslavia.

I certainly dont have fantasies about a  benign world
government leading us to freedom. Capitalism will
mean exploitation and struggle for the working class
until it is abolished. But we must have the working class
uniting around the world and the globalisation
of the world economy is the only thing thats
going to do that. Unless one dreams of a socialist
economy in one country isolated in a sea of TNCs.

Will Brown   Bristol  England

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