[Marxism] Fwd: Davos and the Donald | Michael Roberts Blog

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jan 27 06:01:14 MST 2018

Protectionist trade policies and competitive devaluation are nationalist 
medicines for economic weakness and domestic slump.  But they only work 
(even then for just a limited time) as long as nobody reciprocates.  In 
the Asian crisis of 1998, Malaysia did not obey the IMF and opted for 
nationalist policies and it worked because all other Asian economies did 
what they were told.  But in the 1930s, when the US imposed tariffs, 
other countries followed suit and so aggravated the slump.

The point is that it is not ‘unfair competition’ in world trade that has 
caused the decimation of US manufacturing jobs since the 1970 but the 
decision of US capital to invest in technology to replace labour and to 
send their factories and units abroad to use cheaper labour. 
Globalisation was the a reaction of the global crisis in profitability 
in the 1970s (as the previous wave of globalisation in the late 19th 
century was).  It was part of the neoliberal agenda to drive up the rate 
of exploitation and thus profitability.  But it did not last.

The global elite gathering in Davos fret that Trump and other 
nationalists will spoil the party and even end democracy.  But the 
Donald emerged because of the failure of global capital, as represented 
by Davos.  The Donald’s appearance shows that, as trade and finance 
stagnate, imperialist rivalry will grow.  And it will be labour that 
will pay for this once again.


More information about the Marxism mailing list