Re: [OPE] Britain--parasitic and decaying capitalism: A comment

From: <>
Date: Mon Dec 28 2009 - 11:43:41 EST

At 21:39 27/12/2009 +0100, you wrote:
>Hi David,
>I should point out that I think that imperialism as I put it still
>operates and that on the whole I do agree with the general points. It is
>rather that I find many arguments unconvincing and inadequately theorized.
>On 2009-12-27 20:23, you wrote:
>>That is, large conglomerations of capital backed by the state or regional
>>states plundering and looting the vast majority of an already divided
>>world. It is the rivalry between these states or regions that will
>>necessary force a redivision of the world by military means. It is not
>>concerned with 'normal' capitalism or 'normal' market relations or 'free'
>>markets but capitalism in its imperialist phase.
>No fundamental differences here, just that once market exchange has been
>established the rentier interest can and often does operate without
>imperialism, i.e. without extra-economic coercion. So what role does the
>IMF and World Bank play in forcing countries to comply with the demands of
>the major imperialist powers? Why did the US and Britain go to war and
>occupy Iraq and Afghanistan? As I said we are not talking about 'market
>exchange' but coercion - plunder and looting in fact - something quite
>obvious to the vast majority of people in the world. You have ignored my
>points re state monopoly capitalism
>>I have no idea what your mean by working class and what you think the
>>professional class is and how they earn such high incomes.
>I take the working class to belong at one extreme in the production of
>goods and services within relations of wage-labour. The professional
>middle-class has a certain degree of autonomy in that it can control a
>part of the labour process. It is an economic position obtained primarily
>through education processes and privileges that provide skills and/or
>status. The higher incomes of the professional middle-class derives from
>the relative scarcity of its labour-power, which gives it bargaining
>power. Note what happens to bargaining power when there is over-supply of
>a certain profession. Where is value and surplus value produced? The
>so-called autonomy of the professional middle classes, who in general
>belong to the unproductive services sector of the economy, is being
>rapidly eroded in this crisis as jobs are being rapidly cut. The financial
>oligarchy is right at the heart of imperialist governments, so this sector
>has got back to business as normal - that is also the significance
>of state monopoly capitalism.
>The higher levels of real incomes in the advanced countries are primarily
>due to the relative development of productive forces there, not the
>operation of imperialism. I cannot believe you said this. The vast
>majority of workers in the imperialist countries such as Britain - more
>than 80% - do not produce value or surplus value. I thought that was
>obvious. Perhaps you also reject the division between productive and
>unproductive labour. Of course, the huge relative differences in labour
>productivity across the globe owe to (i) the historical operation of
>imperialism that enabled an (uneven) development of capitalism, (ii) the
>squandering of the surplus product in pre-capitalist modes of production
>and (iii) the current operation of the rentier interest in the developing
>>Why are the main imperialist countries determined to destroy Cuba and the
>>new Latin American and Caribbean countries in ALBA trying to break away
>>from imperialist domination? Is all this my imagination?
>No, I agree. I think it is consistent with what I wrote previously about
>the need for extra-economic coercion if the normal operation through the
>market is resisted. This is simply a tautology. We are talking about
>imperialism - plunder and looting of the world's resources by a handful of
>advanced capitlaist countries.
>>The new labour aristocracy in Britain cannot look in the mirror and
>>recognise the source of its privilege, so I am not surprised that it is
>>the theory of the labour aristocracy - a position that was obvious to all
>>revolutionaries at the time of the first imperialist war - that is
>>rejected by nearly all socialist currents in the imperialist countries.
>I'm sorry, whatever you personally take as 'self-evident' cannot
>self-evidently be taken as a scientific theory.
>>We start from a very different understanding of the world and I am sure I
>>could never convince you about the real nature of imperialism.
>The goal in a discussion list is not necessarily to convince other
>discussants but to clarify and address issues that are raised. This is
>neither debate nor polemic. For most people living in the world combating
>imperialism is a life and death question not a debate or polemic. Perhaps
>when revolutionaries said and still say that the choice for humanity is
>socialism or barbarism you think they are exaggerating - sorry but that is
>the real situation under imperialism - parasitic and decaying capitalism.

David Yaffe

>//Dave Z
>ope mailing list

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Received on Mon Dec 28 11:46:58 2009

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