Re: [OPE] Patnaik's Notes on Contemporary Imperialism

Date: Mon Dec 27 2010 - 16:27:34 EST

> many corporations are self-financing, do not rely greatly on bank
> loans, and are not controlled by banks.
Hi Jurriaan:
Yes, that's a good point: this is often the case for the leading firms in
oligopolistic markets.

> It is moreover not true that finance-capital "has become international in
> the current phase of imperialism"; capital finance, as Marx already
> observed, has been internationalized for centuries.
That's true too: moreover, the trend towards multinational corporations
only developed decades after Lenin's pamphlet. One of the leading factors
behind locational decisions by MNCs (access to markets whereby states
inform firms that if they want to sell commodities in their economy
they must also produce them there) was not anticipated.
> 2) There is no real "over-production" since there is a global market in
> which products can be sold.
I don't follow you here. Just because commodities can be exported
for sale doesn't mean there is sufficient demand for those commodities abroad:
i.e. there can still be excess supply (over-production).

> 4) Current account deficits just don't affect the rate of economic growth
> very much.


> "Globalization" insn't even a Marxian category, and its meaning is in
> dispute. The Left ought finally to admit that Lenin's short pamphlet on
> imperialism, based on extracts from 148 books and 232 articles, and
> published under the watchful eye of the censors, is deficient in its
> understanding of economic history, and not based on a value-theoretic
> analysis of the world market. Why should our understanding of imperialism in
> 2010 be based axiomatically on what Lenin wrote in a pamphlet in 1916?

Yes, I agree: in Lenin's defense, though, it should be said that his
popular outline was intended to describe the *latest* phase of imperialism.
Part of the confusion, I think, stems from what appears to be a mis-
translation or perhaps more accurately ambiguous term: in English "last"
can be interpreted differently. In context, the meaning of "last" seems
to be "latest" rather than "final".
In solidarity, Jerry
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Received on Mon Dec 27 16:29:02 2010

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