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The offending article.
Last week, our editorial focused on the actualization of Marxist political economy
A Marxist economist took us to task to give us a lesson in communist political economy.
The end of competitive capitalism and opulent stock market.
First, our critic proposes a quote from Lenin, the master of the analysis of modern imperialism. For Lenin, the stock market, an instrument of emerging, liberal, free-market capitalism, was destined to disappear or to radically change its vocation.
Lenin wrote: “In other words, the old capitalism, the capitalism of free competition, with this absolutely indispensable regulator that was for him the Stock Exchange, disappears forever. A new capitalism succeeds it, which includes clear elements of transition, a sort of mixture between free competition and monopoly” (Imperialism, the Supreme Stage of Capitalism, p.43 Beijing Edition).
Lenin makes two mistakes here. On the one hand, the old capitalism, that of the fierce competition between small independent producers, does not disappear, it is transformed, and the competition between giant monopoly actors is exacerbated, and becomes warlike – titanic – as gigantic as the tentacles of these gargantuan multinational conglomerates. Lenin’s second mistake, it seems clear today that the
stock market does not disappear from the capitalist economic horizon, but on the contrary its mission and action become more complex as the economy in general, and especially its financial reflection, develops and extends covering the entire neoliberal capitalist world. Worse, from now on all economic crises find their amplifying echoes.
The phase of imperialist expansion through its multiform capital.
Let’s reiterate what we wrote last week, contrary to what Lenin claimed in his famous volume, the capitalist mode of production, which was just beginning its imperialist upward phase, had not finished of developing all the productive forces that it was large enough to value – that is to say, the centralizing neoliberal capitalism had not finished of accumulating capital to be valued according to a continuous, well-known monetary cycle. The archaic state of the Russian, Chinese, Indian, African and East Asian feudal economies of this inter-war period should have sufficed to convince the Soviet revolutionary that he anticipated the historical developments. (2)
Our communist criticism adds and affirms: “This is consistent with Marxism, the financial capital is interested only in credit, its function is to develop indebtedness, because it is just from indebtedness that it gets its profit, he wants only money to make money, namely A = A’ and nothing else interests the banker, the speculator, the financial capitalist “(3).
From the appearance to the nature of the contradictions.
In the economic and political life there is the appearance of things, for example, the evanescence of banking, financial and stock exchange operations and there is the concrete reality of the production – processing – marketing of goods and services called goods. Marx has demonstrated that in the capitalist economy money = capital = does not produce money (A = A ‘= A). No initial capital (means of production), no production, no goods and no market value, no credit to lend, and no profit or interest to share. The interest on loans is nothing more than a drain that the money capital makes on the capital-means of production and on the marketed merchandise capital during the cycle of circulation – wider reproduction – of the general social capital, one being the nature of the phenomenon and the other its monetary or capitalistic reflection.
Let’s go further with our fellow traveler. He writes: “According to Bibeau, since Lenin we know that the industrial – commercial and banking capital has merged on the stock exchange to form only a single international capital, the hegemonic globalized financial capital . This synthesis of Lenin is fanciful to say the least, explains our criticism. For Marx, the financial capital stems not from the merger, but from the separation between (industrial and commercial) capital and loan capital, embryo of the “autonomous” credit-loan system and the public limited company. At its origins, the financial Capital is born by industrial and commercial Capital. At first, it only handles specialized technical operations for industrial and commercial capitalists. But in doing so, these technical movements become “autonomous” and become the function of a particular capital = the financial Capital.. The total capital is divided up in the process of circulation in order to carry out integrating operations for the whole capital“(4).
Specialization and integration.
To understand the economic transformation that took place between the emerging phase of commercial and industrial capitalism and the phase of globalized neoliberal financial capitalism, which the Marxist-Leninists call modern imperialism, we must revisit the process of creation, circulation and distribution of the value. Thus, in the preceding quotation we find the terms “fusion, separation, splitting, specialization and integration”.
Globalized production, globalized finance.
The object of the capitalist mode of production is to organize the production of goods and services for the enlarged reproduction of the human species. To achieve this, the capitalist mode of production has been structured into a real sphere of material production and its reflection, the virtual capitalistic sphere. As the material sphere is constantly expanding (geographically, to all continents), specializing and becoming ever more complex (technically and scientifically), the virtual capital sphere has had to do the same. Since the productive capital must make a longer and more complex industrial and commercial reproduction cycle for its valuation, the virtual monetary capital has been forced to do the same and extend its scope of activity to the world; to intensify its operations and to specialize them and thus to split them according to the functions demanded by production and marketing so as to integrate-encompass the whole process of material circulation (merchandise) and virtual circulation into a functional and expansionist whole. This explains the natural evolution of emerging capitalism and competition towards capitalism in the competitive imperialist phase and the development of what some call “financial capital“, which is the name given to monetarized and globalized capital corresponding to a globalized economy.
All these real-material resources-and their monetary-virtual reflection-are so well integrated that if a form of material capital (industrial, for example) does not play its role adequately by not valuing all the productive capital available, by not producing enough surplus value (only source of capital wealth) this automatically leads to compensatory phenomena in the fields of virtual monetary capital such as
quantitative easing operations – QE” or furthermore; a lowering interest rates to facilitate the access to credit to artificially maintain the consumption; or downwards the stock market speculation against deficient assets in favor of artificial speculative assets; or else the price rises in order to reduce the purchasing power of workers and actually reduce the value of labor-intensive goods … etc. the tips and tricks of the capitalists are innumerable, but all lead to the same crisis of overproduction or under-consumption in relation to the productive capacities of the capitalist mode of production in the imperialist phase.
It is at the moment when the relations of production hinder the development of the social productive forces that a mode of production gradually slips towards its replacement, no longer fulfilling the mission that saw it born. Under the capitalist mode of production in the imperialist phase, the signal of this imminent end is given to us by the incapacity of capital to value itself, that is, to generate enough surplus value to satisfy all the capitalist, private or nationalized (state), having a specific role to play in the wider reproduction of society.
Please note that it is totally useless on the part of anti-globalists, reformists, monetarists, tax experts and leftists of all kinds to whine for the state officials and political minions at the service of the rich to set up this or that measure of austerity or this or that program of investment and development, the bourgeois state will do it anyway in the vain hope of saving this moribund mode of production.
The imperialist phase of a mode of production corresponds to the phase of expansion of this mode of production until this mode of production has reached the maximum of the capacities of development of its productive social forces; a zenith from which it can only collapse under the repeated blows of its internal contradictions which materialize by the incapacity of its social relations of production to ensure the development of its social means of production, since the system, not fulfilling more its historic mission, engages on its decline.
To grow and accumulate, capital must flow. At each stage of the extended reproductive cycle of real material capital corresponds with a form of virtual money supply that should reflect the physical capital in circulation. It is the approach of separation-specialization of financial capital that is integrated into the entire cycle of circulation ensuring the valuation-reproduction. Unlike vulgar economists, monetarists or tax experts, we know that a reflection cannot acquire “autonomy” of functioning and that if the virtual reflection of material-real capital comes to wander it will only conceal the contradictions of the system, by delaying the implosion and by amplifying the impact. Thus, when Nixon repudiated the obligation of parity between the gold and the leaded dollar, he released the credit thus offering a respite to the Atlantic imperialism on borrowed time.
For the capitalist mode of production, in the supreme imperialist phase, the obvious signs of collapse are showed in various forms such as material crises of overproduction; monetary and / or stock market crises, where virtual monetary capital – financial-integrated and unproductive – attempts to capture a larger portion of the surplus value, thus sterilizing the productive material capital, which Marx called the rise of the organic composition of capital leading to the downward trend in the profit rate.
The proletarian class must know these financial mechanisms in order to anticipate their disruption and disintegration, not to remedy and reform them, but to bring them to their peak and make them burst in the most hurry (5).
- Bibeau the systemic crisis of capitalism.
Traduction by Claudio Buttinelli. Roma
Éditeur du webmagazine http://www.les7duquebec.com