The EU question (Response to Louis - II)

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Wed May 2 23:13:51 MDT 2001


[ from Nestor ]

En relación a Re: The EU question (Response to Louis - II), 
el 2 May 01, a las 20:34, Louis Proyect dijo:

> > Marx's theory of history doesn't require 
> >that, for capitalism to develop more fully in the "Third World," the 
> >capitalist classes be local. 

Whether Marx had a theoy of history or not, and whether this theory
may become a concrete being with its own requirements is out of my
scope of interest.

What I want to stress is something quite different: that nobody, not
me at least, is saying that imperialist capitalism is not capitalism,
that colonial capitalism is not capitalism. What I am saying is that
whenever an economy is forced to work in such a way that the highest
strata of the ruling class are associated to foreign capitalists, and
these capitalists ensure that this economy will not be able to produce
its own capital, then this economy will not be able to generate the
full circle of capitalist reproduction.

And this implies, among others, both as a cause and as a consequence,
violent enforcement of sub-consumption and of under-production. By the
way, Julio is lucky not to have his statistics handy, because WHEN
UNDER THE SAME TECHNICAL CONDITIONS OF PRODUCTION Brazilian or
Uruguayan workers are as productive (if not more, because of harsher
conditions at the workplace) than, say, their Japanese or Norwegian
counterparts.

In this way, the contribution of the periphery must be understood not
as much as a direct plunder (which on the other hand it is) but
esentially as a device that, through a deformed capitalist
development, ensures that the rate of profit at the core does not fall
too much. I would like to draw Julio's attention here to the point
that at the core, where there EXISTS a definite relation between the
amounts of capital advanced to section I and to section II, wages can
never descend below a certain point without generating a crisis.  This
is exactly the opposite in the periphery, where salaries can never
RISE above an ever dropping level without generating a crisis.

Does this observation on the behaviour of the prices of the most
unique commodity, human energy, say nothing at all? Is Julio's
explanation that the periphery is simply "not enough capitalist"? Too
poor an explanation: why wasn't this the case in, say, the United
States of America during the first decades of independence? What are
the opposite consequences of the Homestead Act (please read Harvey's
"The Spatial Fix") and widespread latifundia in the peripheries? What
do these facts tell us about the relation between direct producers and
their conditions of existence? And how can't we draw a conclusion
along the lines that, among others, I am proposing (that these initial
conditions generate the blueprints for quite opposite kinds of
capitalism) instead of the mollifying and tender "just give them time"
of Julio Huato and, if I am not wrong, Jeremiah Bentham?

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar





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