[Marxism] The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences (Pamphlet)

Patrick Bond pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sun Aug 20 01:58:45 MDT 2017


On 2017/08/20 09:01 AM, RKOB via Marxism wrote:
> The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences
> /A Pamphlet by/ /Michael Pröbsting (RCIT),18 August 2017/
> ...
> 3. Is the Category of “Sub-Imperialism” Useful?

Thanks for this. It's got great material in it. But let me jump to the 
end (see below), to ask why Pröbsting has only two categories of 
exploitation, when it is evident (as Marini showed in Brazil from the 
1960s) that there are semi-peripheral - or 'sub-imperial' - powers that 
act as deputy sheriffs and whose firms do far better in relation to 
accumulation within the South, than the fully exploited countries?

"As Marxists we must focus on the law of value and the transfer of value 
between countries and the political order associated with this."

Right then, I would add, here (were Louis not .txt-dogmatic rather than 
.html-friendly), a small .jpg of a graph that comes from the South 
African Reserve Bank, whose mid-2015 Quarterly Bulletin measured the 
extent of profit transfers. It's quite obvious that there are imperial 
powers whose corporates take more than 100% of repatriated profits; a 
middle layer - including all the BRICS - whose profit repatriation 
ranges from 20-50%; and an exploited layer with 10% or less profit 
repatriation. I'll send this to you off-list, but I discuss it as part 
of the theory of sub-imperialism - which also relates to other features 
of accumulation and class struggle - in the Marini tradition, here: 
https://peoplesbrics.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/bond-2016-brics-banking-and-the-debate-over-subimperialism-in-third-world-quarterly.pdf

The "political order" associated with this value transfer includes the 
IMF (where 4 BRICS countries are expanding their influence dramatically 
at the expense of poor countries), the WTO (where 3 BRICS helped destroy 
food sovereignty at the last summit in 2015), the UNFCCC (where the 
BRICS and West are the main beneficiaries of the "bullshit" agreement, 
in the words of Jim Hansens) and the G20. The latter's role in the 
expanded super-exploitation of Africa became abundantly clear last month 
in Hamburg, with Schauble's Compact with Africa, which is a public 
subsidy system for both Western and BRICS corporates to amplify the 
looting. Next month in Monthly Review, I will publish a long article 
explaining this, but here are a half-dozen more short pieces if you want 
to explore this problem.

https://www.pambazuka.org/emerging-powers/falling-brics-endanger-their-citizens%E2%80%99-health-starting-south-africa%E2%80%99s-jacob-zuma

https://www.pambazuka.org/economics/world-economic-forum-africa-germany-pitched-dubious-new-g20-corporate-strategy

https://www.pambazuka.org/democracy-governance/brics-new-development-bank-meets-delhi-dashing-africa%E2%80%99s-green-developmental

https://www.pambazuka.org/democracy-governance/taking-down-trumpism-africa-delegitimation-not-collaboration-please

https://www.pambazuka.org/global-south/will-washington%E2%80%99s-new-pro-moscow-anti-beijing-gang-drive-wedge-through-brics-2017

https://www.pambazuka.org/global-south/brics-fantasies-and-unintended-revelations

https://www.pambazuka.org/emerging-powers/imperialism%E2%80%99s-junior-partners

If anyone would like our irregular newsletter discussing what we term 
'brics-from-below' (focusing on social struggles and BRICS sub-imperial 
contradictions), please let me know: pbond at mail.ngo.za (We are having 
seminars in Johannesburg on 31 August and 18 September, as well as a 2-3 
September counter-summit in Hong Kong.)

Cheers,
Patrick

***

*Is the Category of “Sub-Imperialism” Useful? *

**

A number of progressive theoreticians support the conception of a 
“transitional” or “sub-imperialist” state as a third, additional 
category of countries in addition to colonial and semi-colonial 
countries. We have elaborated our criticism of the theory of 
sub-imperialism in /The Great Robbery of the South /and we will only 
summarize here briefly some conclusions.

Naturally if states undergo a process of transformation from an 
imperialist to a semi-colonial country or the other way around, they are 
“in transition” and in this sense it can be useful to describe a 
temporary process of transformation. However, the supporters of the 
theory of sub-imperialism don’t understand this as a category to 
describe the transition process but rather see it as a separate, 
independent category. And here lies the fundamental problem.

Capitalism unites all nations in the world via economic and political 
expansion and the formation of a world market. This process has taken 
place from the beginning of the capitalist mode of production and has 
tremendously accelerated in the epoch of imperialism. Under these 
conditions, no nation escapes the formation of ever closer economic and 
political ties with the dominant imperialist powers. Such close 
relations automatically create, modify, and reproduce mechanisms of 
exploitation and superexploitation. In other words, under capitalism – 
and even more under imperialism – all nations are sucked into the 
process of super-exploitation. Either they are strong enough and become 
part of the oppressing nations, or they are pushed into the camp of the 
majority of humanity – the oppressed nations. There is no “third camp” 
in between.

Of course, there are significant differences in the development of the 
productive forces among the imperialist states as well as among the 
semi-colonial countries. This is only logical given the unequal dynamic 
of development between nations. Hence, it is indeed true that there are 
bigger and smaller imperialist countries which are unequal. However, the 
point is that the smaller are not exploited by bigger imperialist 
powers. For example the USA and Canada are certainly not equal but also 
don’t systematically exploit each other. The same is true for Germany 
and Austria or France and Belgium, Luxemburg or Switzerland. However 
they are all imperialist nations. Why? Because they have developed 
significant monopoly capital and financial capital which is used to 
systematically exploit and transfer value from the South, and they are 
part of an international imperialist order from which they profit and 
defend by various means. Likewise there are advanced semi-colonies which 
have a certain regional influence (e.g., Brazil, India, Greece) and 
others which have none; some are stronger and others are weaker. But as 
Marxists we must focus on the law of value and the transfer of value 
between countries and the political order associated with this. And here 
it is obvious that the industrialised semi-colonies are also dominated 
and super-exploited by the imperialist monopolies. For these reasons we 
reject the usefulness of the category of “/Sub-Imperialism/” as part of 
the Marxist analytical apparatus.





More information about the Marxism mailing list