finance capitalism: Re: Marx's use of "stock exchange", "speculative", "gamble"

Xxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx at
Fri Mar 23 15:28:54 MST 2001

At 10:28 AM 3/23/01 -0500, you wrote:
>We just had a thread on Wallstreet, in which there was a question about
>the Marxist status of the term "speculation" , and the casino metaphor.
>Below, is a sample of Marx's discussion of these terms and concepts. All
>though it is not directly a discussion of speculation on the stock
>exchange, it should make clear that Marx uses the concept in a way that
>make it extendable to speculation on the stock market or anywhere.  I have
>put "stock exchange", "speculative" and "gamble" in caps.

I think also that the conceptual distinction between "finance" and
"financial" capitalism is necessary. In the mainstream, financial capital
is generally treated seperately from industrial capital (financial capital=
unproductive versus industrial capital=real economy). The term "finance
capital" is a much useful concept because it denotes an organic relation
between "financial" and  "industrial capital". It was first Lenin (after
Hilferding) who really elaborated the concept of finance capitalism in some
relational sense to real economy. Also Marx's formulation of  M-C-M'  shows
that money enters into circulation and reproduction of commodities within
the real economy, not outside of it.

In the US, we have look at the capital and institutional structure of
finance capitalism. Although some Marxists (Kotz, Fitch and Oppenheimer)
tried to apply Hilferding's theory of bank control over industry to US in
the 1950-60s, it did not make sense. US bank capital structure is far more
fragmented and less regulated than the German model. Centralization of
capital through a fusion of bank, industrial and state capital (monopoly
stage) rarely existed here. It may be correct to describe the corporate
structure of Wall Street as agressive/competitive capitalism among
oligarchic/giant conglomorates.

in any case, some excerpts from Marx and Lenin:

*** " Talk about centralization! The credit system which has its focus in
the so called national banks and the big money lenders and usurers
surrounding them, constitutes enormous centralization, and gives to this
class of parasites the fabolous power, not only to dispoil periodically the
industrial capitalists, but also to interfere in actual production in a
most dangerous manner-- and this gang knows nothing about production and
has nothing to do with it" (Karl Marx)***

***" A personal union, so to speak, is established between the banks and
the biggest industrial and commercial enterprises . The merging with one
another through the acquisition of shares, through the appoinment of bank
directors to the Supervisory boards (or Broads of Directors) of industrial
and commercial enterprises, and vice versa (Lenin, Imperialism)****

bye, Xxxx
Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
Ph.D student
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
Department of Political Science
135 Western Avenue, Milne 102
Albany, NY, 12222

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