exploitation

Xxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Mon Jun 18 01:22:59 MDT 2001



Greg:

> Which brings me to imperialism, which as Lenin rightly termed the
"highest
> stage of capitalism", but which ended somewhere in the mid 1970s, so
rather
> than refer to books try and explain to me how imperialism works once the
> monopolies no longer have homelands and the finance capital is free of
any
> borders (which is more or less the situation of today)?

This is certainly not true. In the entire history of capitalism, monopolies
had always needed homeland. The simple fact is that big multinational
corporations need the capitalist _state_ to promote their interests abroad.
Consider the very nature of capitalist states like US. Its multionationals
are all wrapped  up in the same imperialist blanket. How do you think would
the US banks survive globally without a strong national currency into which
their earnings can easily be converted-- that is without the power of
dollar seignorage? or how do you think financiers like Soros would promote
so called democracy in Eastern Europe without the back up of  the US
government? Think about the issue dialectically. That US _corporations_
have become global does not mean that their interests are antagonistic to
the US _state_. We are talking about an imperial power here, not  a free
floating nation state system where states compete equally.

Also, there is a danger with the idea that capitalism has truly become
_global_ and _stateless_. It renders working class organizing at the nation
state level meaningless, including the limited gains of the working
classes. If capitalism has become global, which is true to a certain
extend, it means that we have to oppose further downsizing of the state,
not see globalization as a progressive or an irreversible development.

The nature of imperialism has surely changed, but imperialism itself has
not disappeared. Lenin's theory of imperialism, as I read it, was not only
making a case that capital was organized nationally.  Lenin saw a tendency
towards state monopoly capitalism at the time. But, from a dialectical
point of view, this was also global trend that Lenin observed  in the
nature of capitalism as a world system-- intense _competition_ among major
capitalist powers to PARCEL that or this part of the world economy.
Regarding what you say about the 1970s, we can see a similar kind of
inter-capitalist competition--rise of Japan, Germany-- among Atlantic
economies that Lenin observed long ago. Thus, Lenin's theory is empirically
consistent with the realities of the 1970s. Regarding today, this
competition still exists in so far as the material interests of capitalist
states are concerned, although there is a broad ideological consensus
around the political gains of US hegemony (such as Yugoslavia). On the
issue of what drives competition and cooperation among imperial powers (or
whether Lenin's theory is relevant), Pijl's book _The Making of an Atlantic
Ruling Class_ is  a very useful source to look at.

---
Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
Ph.D Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222










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