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

From: Paula <>
Date: Tue Jan 05 2010 - 18:05:48 EST

Apologies also for getting back to you on this so late in the day.

Dogan asked :
"I do not understand your point about "state monopoly capitalism" and "plus *private* monopoly capitalism". Can you say something more about this why you think that this point is important with regard to the issues David raises in his article. Again why is the observation that there is "'labor aristocracies' in developing countries as well" is for the point David is making in his article absolutely essential? Where in the article does David divide the world into good and bad capitalist nations? Do you realy think David is so premature to do that."

I will separate these issues into two:

* David Y seems to be saying that the essential feature of imperialism is 'state monopoly capitalism'. My understanding is that imperialism involves both state and private-sector monopoly, though of course the two are often entwined. This is just a point of clarification, and no political differences between David and I hinge on this as far as I can see.

* The second point is the important one, politically. I know that David's article is about Britain, but look at the photo on page 8. The caption reads: "Oil: 'Can anyone today really deny the existence of monopoly profits or the domination of the 'Third World' by the rich imperialist nations?'. Well, I don't deny the existence of monopoly profits, but why does David ignore the fact that many so-called Third World nations are themselves major oil producers and reapers of monopoly profits? Could it be because he's trying to tell us that there are 'good' oil monopoly capitalists (Iran, Venezuela) and 'bad' ones (Britain, Norway)?

I happen to agree with some of David's points on the parasitic and decayed aspects of the British economy, though it's important to note that a national economy is never a monolith; British manufacturing is sick but not dead, and some sectors of the British economy are more dynamic and innovative than others. Again this is only a point of clarification. And, again, the important political point is that decay, parasitism, and other features of imperialism can also be found in the 'Third World'. See for example this piece on Dubai, published today by our old friend the BBC, which highlights the appalling exploitation of foreign labor there:

If Dubai was located right in the middle of the Swiss Alps, the Third-Worldist left would have no problem in labeling it as imperialist, parasitic, decayed, etc. But apparently a spade in the Middle East must never be called a spade.


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Received on Tue Jan 5 18:15:01 2010

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