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

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Sun Dec 27 2009 - 15:39:08 EST

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.

> 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.

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. 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 world.

> 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.
> 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.

//Dave Z

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Received on Sun Dec 27 15:42:19 2009

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