RE: [OPE] The Crisis of the Euro

From: <>
Date: Fri Jan 23 2009 - 13:42:21 EST

I am not sure whether you read my article on Britain: parasitic and
decaying capitalism. Anyway it is available at

There I give four examples of parasitic capitalism or imperialism. They
relate to Lenin's discussion of the issue. PaulB is correct to say all
capitalist exploitation is parasitic in one sense but this concept of
parasitic relates very clearly to the advent of imperialism and I believe
is more useful analytically.

David Yaffe

At 15:37 22/01/2009 +0100, you wrote:
> > I think this brings out very clearly the fundamentally unproductive and
> parasitic nature of
> > the city of london and of the financial services 'industry' in general.
> It seems to show
> > that Smith and Marx were right about unproductive labour.
>Hi Paul C and Paula:
>Is that what it shows? Or does it show, rather, the vulnerabilities of
>individual capitalist
>economies which are dependent on one or two major industries or
>sectors? These
>vulnerabilities have long been known in less developed capitalist
>economies which, largely as
>a consequence of the legacy of colonialism, specialized in a small number
>of economic activities
>(e.g. 'one crop economies'). The UK, as an imperialist power, came to
>this condition
>through a different historical route.
>In any event, a fews additional comments are worth mentioning:
>1. the claim by Jim Rogers is surely an exaggeration: the economy of the
>UK does
>indeed produce commodities which can be sold. His exaggeration is a sign
>of the times:
>just as capitalists in a time of growth and prosperity think that it will
>never end so
>too in a crisis _their_ bubble is burst and they can see no end or hope
>(and it was for
>that reason, among others, that we saw an increase in suicides among the
>bourgeoisie during the 1930s).
>2. From a Marxian perspective, ALL capitalists are parasites living off of
>the surplus
>labor performed by wage-workers. The claim that bankers are parasitic
>reflects a
>prejudice of other segments of the ruling class and, historically, the
>landowning class.
>The landowning class (and, in some nations, the peasantry) similarly
>tended to conceive
>of urban areas as parasitic. If banking capitalists receiving a large
>chunk of their profits
>from other capitalists or the state rather than from directly exploiting
>workers, that
>could cause them to be viewed as parasites by those other capitalists but
>from a
>working-class perspective it seems to me that they are no better or worse
>capitalists in general.
>3. A transfer of surplus value internationally can be a source of growth
>for an
>individual capitalist nation even though and when there is no increase in
>the global quantity of surplus value produced. Thus, the financial sector
>assist in the growth of individual capitalist nations to the same extent
>as an
>industrial sector (?).
>In solidarity, Jerry
>ope mailing list

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Received on Fri Jan 23 13:47:22 2009

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