[Marxism] America No. 1?

rrubinelli rrubinelli at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 8 07:00:22 MST 2005

Summing up, or down, and some loose ends or beginnings:

1.Julio's figures are fine for what they show, but not so fine for what
they don't show-- which is historical changes in the rate of
convergence-- The FT article also records the post WW2 convergence but
identifies the severe change in that rate since 1991 and earlier, with
OPEC 1 in 1973.  And that's the point, the transformation of convergence
into divergence, and the reasons for the transformation.

Further, we know what made those rates of convergence real  for Japan
(and Europe) and South Korea, Taiwan, etc.-- "no charge" capital
formation provided by the US;  fee free industrialization/investment
financed, in the main,  by the US working class.

Japan, South Korea, Taiwan were made what they are today as contractors
and logistical depots for the US and its post WW2 wars.  Honda?
Motorcycles?  Try generators, giving us cold Budweisers during our grand
tours of SE Asia.  PS I hate Budweiser.

Well, the good times are gone, the 60s were finally over in 1973, the
Beatles are definitely not getting back together.  Japan's recent
stutter step recovery was financed by its creation of an underclass,
transfer of wealth from bottom to top, and not even China, that not so
little engine that could or couldn't,  is enough to offset the
structural weakness of Japan's economy.

2. Speaking of China, a comrade asked "how long will it take China to
overtake the US [economy]?"  The answer is "forever."  Let me put it
another way, before China overtakes the US it will have to overtake
Japan and  the EU.  So put the US to one side for a second.  When do we,
any of us, see China overtaking Japan?  If we can envision this interim
milestone, perhaps we can extrapolate.  But I don't see that happening.
Not ever.  Never happen.  Not without a socialist revolution, which will
make the question itself  obsolete.

3. My point re permanent revolution and the struggle for
self-determination:  the same class forces are at work in both,
presenting themselves first as "democratic" movements, but as such are
incapable of confronting the real economic conditions and tasks at hand.
Just as Lenin abandons "democratic dictatorship of proletariat and
peasantry" ( a description whose very awkwardness captures the conflict
between appearance and essence), in favor of  "all power to the soviets"
( the real content of permanent revolution), the movement, demands,
rights for/to self-determination can be fulfilled only in their
abandonment, their supercession by workers' revolutions.


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