Germany is against dolarization

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at
Fri Jun 30 20:46:31 MDT 2000

>>So bald assertion and waffle substitute for fact. Well the most
point to make is that first-world proletarians produce more surplus
(because of their higher productivity) so while their lives are better
absolute terms, they are relatively more exploited.<<

You cannot take a category like "surplus value" from Marxist political
economy and apply it to concrete, specific workers in this way. You
need to take into account the difference between "simple" and
"complex" labor, as well as the amount of value that labor power
transfers from the tools it uses to the commodities it produces.
Otherwise you wind up with a perfectly absurd statement like,
"first-world proletarians ... are relatively more exploited."

That one can be "relatively more exploited" with a house, two cars,
and tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in a 401K plan than the
worker and peasant masses of Asia, Africa and Latin America simply
robs the phrase of all meaning.

In addition, your analysis fails to take into account things like
unequal exchange and the usurious role of finance capital vis-a-vis
the third world. To give just one small example: go to the supermarket
and check out the price of sugar. Best you're going to do in the
States is about 40-50 cents/pound. That implies a bulk commodity price
somewhere around 40-60% of that level, and if you check the markets,
that's what you'll find. The same exercise in Europe will reveal an
even higher price for sugar.

Then look at the so-called "world market" price for sugar, and you'll
find its something like 10 cents a pound or less. Go back 50 years and
you'll see the "world market" price hasn't changed much, in nominal
terms, and has been absolutely devastated, in real terms. (The same is
true for coffee and many other commodities produced primarily by
colonial and semi-colonial countries).

What accounts for this? Well, in the case of sugar, the imperialists
have literally built humongous tariff and non-tariff walls around
their domestic markets, and those forced into selling on the "world
market" are forced to accept punitive prices.

What's worse, for a while about a decade or more ago, the EC (now EU)
was selling CAP-subsidized 60-cent-a-pound-to-produce sugar on the
world market for 6 cents a pound, more or less. This, of course,
doesn't count as "dumping," merely "disposing of surplus commodities"
at a loss.

Who pays, of course, are the efficient sugar producers of the third
world. If you want to look at it statistically, you can figure out the
average world price, and the difference between that average world
price and the price that third-world producers are forced to accept
gives you an idea of the transfer of value from third world countries
to the imperialist countries implicit in the way the markets are

It is not true that the 20-30 cent/lb. U.S.-produced sugar, or its
even more expensive EU counterpart, contain a particle more value than
the 10 cent a pound sugar Cuba produces. What's going on is that the
"invisible hand" of a thoroughly manipulated market is systematically
looting the third world producers and handing that value over to the


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Welch" <welch at>
To: <marxism at>
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2000 9:38 AM
Subject: Re: Germany is against dolarization

On Fri, Jun 30, 2000 at 08:48:16AM -0300, Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky
> Look, David, I know the statement above may sound abusive and
> insulting. And I do not have the statistics handy.
So bald assertion and waffle substitute for fact. Well the most
point to make is that first-world proletarians produce more surplus
(because of their higher productivity) so while their lives are better
absolute terms, they are relatively more exploited.

I'm not sure what you mean by overconsumption (relative to some
Maslov-esque hierarchy of needs?), it's usually the bourgeoisie who
complain about greedy workers.

> But all that
> imperialism is about is avoiding civil war in the core by
> overexploitation in the periphery. Not news, in fact
It is to me. Imperialism (as a distinct stage of capitalism) arose
the declining rate of profit forces capitalism to change its own laws
motion to survive. I would have thought that was an ABC. You make it
as though the motivation for capitalism was to satisfy the needs of
working class.

> But the French proletarians COULD have gone ahead ("with the leaders
> heading them, or with the leaders beheaded" is a topical Peronist,
> that is, national revolutionary, saying in Argentina, which many
> appointed socialists should take note of) and, dammit, DO their
> revolutions after 1945. They did not. One can have a long, long,
> conversation on the role played by Stalinism, and so on. But that is
> to put one's shit at the neighbour's door. The question is "why
> didn't the workers steer the French CP to the Left"? If someone
> me a better reason than imperialist expoliation of Algeria, Western
> Africa and Indochina, then I would not say that they did it because
> they knew that imperialism, though put them in a subordinate and
> unpleasant place, had worse places reserved for the rest of the
> working class on this Planet Earth.
Well having unleashed the Nazis to smash workers' organisations in
Germany, imperialism waited for them to do the same in most of the
rest of
Europe (and almost the USSR). All of the imperialist countries (except
Britain and the US) have experienced the 'openly terroristic
of finance capital' this century, not a nice place to be.

It's also misleading to talk about the 'rest of the working class',
from a few industrializing countries like Korea, most of the
outside the periphery are either subsistence farmers or soldiers.

More information about the Marxism mailing list