Re: (OPE-L) Re: Paresh Chattopadhyay 'Capital, The Progenitor of Socialism'

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Mon Jan 05 2004 - 12:17:02 EST

>Paul C response to DY's  statement  seems to me to be strange indeed.  Is PC
>stating that 'globalisation' ( whatever this is.......a more amorphous
>notion one would find hard to find!) has somehow abolished monopoly? Clearly
>then various EU / US state agencies are barking up wrong trees! quite apart
>from the serious disappointment in their careers that so many writers and
>'economic' investigators  will now suffer at the hands of PC's discovery!
>What is actually clear is that relatively few producers/corporations  in the
>world, lets say 300, headquartered in very few states lets say 10, but
>mostly in the US, have a monopoly ( in the sensible sense of over 25% of the
>market ( UK Competition regs)), and that this 'monopoly' allows huge profits
>which are in part are used to provide payments to sections of the work force
>to ensure loyalty and stability to the system.

1. These 300 corporations only employ a small part of the work force
in the imperialist countries. Any transfer of value from competitive
to monopoly capital should obtain as much intra as inter nationally.

2. If there are monopoly profits they probably are received only by
the most advanced technology sectors, e.g. design and logic rather
than basic memory chips. But as capital goods sectors tend to suffer
first and hardest in a downturn, monopoly profits are also vulnerable
to the business cycle.

3. All this reference to monopoly seems to suggest Baran and Sweezy's
framework; is this implicit? Please clarify.

4. This explanation for the stability of imperialist countries
suffers from a materialist metaphysic--the working class has to be
materially bought off or it would be revolutionary. This discounts
the role of culture, the media, the legal system and the power of the
state, and many other factors. Let's not pretend that the labor
aristocracy thesis is the only explanation for the stability of the
dominant advanced capitalist countries.

5. David's point is a good one, and reflects his own ambivalence:
"Yes, at the same time,  ever greater numbers of  unproductive
workers are being forced into very low paid jobs in the imperialist
countries as well. This is a measure of  the crisis of imperialism...
There is little doubt that the numbers of privileged workers that
imperialist economies can sustain is diminishing and will eventually
return to a small influential minority of the working class.."

6. David Y is arguing at absolute variance with Grossmann's wage
theory. In fact he seems much closer to Bukharin; is David aware of

7. David Y fails to consider how imperialist exploitation does not
benefit but costs the working class in the imperialist countries. At
this time, his emphasis could not be more misplaced.


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