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«Globalization» -the mole is at work

«Globalization» -the mole is at work
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Despite the proclamations of optimism by bourgeois spokesmen, menacing clouds have begun to gather on the horizons of international capitalism. The economy of the entire world is immersed in one of the chronic crisis of overproduction that causes long periods of downswings interspersed with ever briefer conjunctional economic upswings, sharpening imperialist rivalry all over the planet notwithstanding the façade of official consensus amongst the major powers and the unanimity expressed in international forums.

The USA, the world's military hegemon, is marked on the economic level by an economy that is ever more parasitic: proportionally the industrial sector has lost vitality and thrust; its foreign commercial debts, particularly with reference to Japan and China, have not ceased to grow month after month; its power rests on the role of the dollar as international exchange, on income drawn from control of the most centralized movement of capital, as well as from strategic military control of the important sources of raw materials.

The recent American diplomatic offensive is a response to these changing international rapports. It rides above all on two rails, the control of the sources and routes of oil and control of the distributive system of international credit. From Central Asia, where the US remains at the heart of the diplomatic conflict centering on the resources of the Caspian Sea, to the Middle East, where it continues to arbitrate events by means of the embargo on Iraq, to middle Africa, shown by the rapprochement with Angola amidst the deterioration of French power, to Latin America, marked by the goal of a Single Market by the year 2005 by which it hopes to guarantee itself the world's most fruitful automotive market, besides remaining close to Venezuela, its principal oil supplier, there is no «global area» that is not «vital» to American interests. Thanks to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, US imperialism continues to monopolize the extraction of surplus value worldwide while dictating the economic role of each continent. In the Asian-Pacific area, the recent summit with China confirms, in the final analysis, the cozying up to of the two imperialisms and their political and economic understanding, seen also as an anti-Japanese measure, at the very time that the never ending contrasts with Japan crop up in the fields of port services and automobiles, as they do with Korea where the competition is also automotive.

The most immediate competitors of Yankee imperialism, Germany and Japan, are sidelined for the present and must soft-pedal their actions, given their incomplete autonomy on the military-political level. But the distances between leader and followers are shortening, and this is not a good development for continued friendship amongst these avaricious capitalisms. Amidst signs of economic stagnation and the growth of unemployment, they are both occupied with financial problems. The number of unemployed in Germany has passed the 4.5 million mark, and that nation is compelled to continue to undertake the heavy costs of unification with annual expenditures of 150-200 billion marks, and hence is hesitant to push its concept of «a European bloc.» Japan has yet to recover from the ruins of the speculative bubble that burst in the eighties, and there is building up in its banking system an explosive mix that can lead to ramifications throughout the entire capitalist order.

The recent market and monetary crises that spread throughout southeast Asia, requiring an underwriting of much more than the $50 billion needed in the Mexican bailout in 1995, and the differences between Japan and the US as to their management, are emblematic of the contrasts. The large and continuous depreciation of fictitious capital, and above all the continuous devaluation of the currency of the Asian Tigers are an indication of existing overproduction; the overspeculation in the last several years is an outcome and a byproduct fed by inflated stock values rising from the growth of business takeovers that surpassed the $trillion figure in 1996 (up from $866 billion in 1995).

The principal effect of this crisis will be to favor on a world scale a new concentration of capital and property; the real effects will be felt beginning initially in the Asian-rim countries; bank closings and industrial shut downs have already begun in Indonesia. In Korea 14 of the 30 industrial and financial conglomerates, the chaebols, are so burdened with debt that they stand on the verge of collapse. Here the devaluated currency and the low labor cost are no longer enough to mediate the condition. Meanwhile, at the stage of imperialism, the parasitic nature of capitalism continues to grow worldwide; public debt and international credit have become the fundamental levers of capital accumulation, and they require ever lower interest rates and increasing state intervention to stimulate commercial growth and monetary circulation. It is not by chance that after trumpeting liberalism for so long, the daily «Sole 24 ore» should accuse Japan, the neural center with the potential to magnify the crisis, of being «too little interventionist». Economic totalitarianism is the irreversible nature of capitalism attaining the imperialistic stage. The impossibility of a higher valuation and the need for a repartition of markets, never a peaceful endeavor, render capitalistic contradictions more acute. We must not expect a simple replay of 1929, given that the mode of development of productive forces was different to that date from what it has been since the end of the last World War. Economic totalitarianism has led to political totalitarianism and accentuated state control of the economy. The new 1929 will occur in the form of a series of 1987s and 1997s, in anticipation of the event that will signal the critical coming to a head of the chronic crisis; the prelude of capitalism's turn to war preceded by a general and widespread Keynesian rearmament. At this point, events will have confirmed Marxist catastrophic expectations.

In the months and days following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration, first political and then economic, of the capitalist «empire» of the ex-USSR, having defeated the spectral rival that had arisen from soviet power and artfully presented itself as «communism», the Western media and all the lackeys and court jesters in the service of the dominant bourgeois order outdid themselves in hailing the arrival of «the best of all possible worlds», a capitalism destined to go on into eternity.

From that point, years of development based on peace and democratic politics should have been followed by - to pluck the title from one of our low-grade domestic «best sellers» - years of «normalcy» and of well-being for all the «stock holders» of the planet Earth, thanks to the untrammeled workings of the free market.

«Peace and well-being, democracy and reforms», so goes the refrain, and by heavens who would not make some sacrifice and offer some payment for such noble goals?

Instead, Mr. M. Feldman, the ex-advisor to Ronald Reagan, now explicitly announces («Il Sole 24 ore», I 1/6/97) that a new armed conflict amongst the «democracies» is gathering force on a distant horizon, whilst admitting amongst various revelations that Hitler did came to power by democratic exercise, and that democracy does not preclude war.

Peace and well-being? Marxism has always denied the so-called balanced and harmonious development of capitalism, and today material facts are there to stubbornly demonstrate that antagonisms and catastrophes are the rule. The very nature of capital imposes the outbreaks of contradictions; the very creation of the world market and the growing commercial interdependence exasperates relations amongst nations and pushes them to imperialistic war. Just as war is indivisible from imperialism, so militarism and totalitarianism are inevitable appurtenances because they are indissolubly tied to financial capital, the formation typical of the imperialist epoch. The increasing commercial antagonisms are destined to become military since the power of the bourgeois state, which includes the military, is one of the determining elements in the competition, and therefore a factor in the struggle, between capitalisms; hence, before one's very eyes, sooner or later the antagonism is promoted to a mortal rivalry amongst States. Moreover, with concentration of capital, class polarisation accelerates and - as another confirmation - with it the growing impoverization of the working class, which means looking at that class from the vantage of a world-wide view, as did Marx, and measuring the degree of insecurity in the class responsible for the production of surplus value worldwide, without losing oneself on the up and downs of a particular national wage level. Inevery case, the growth of poverty is accompanied by the growth of military expenditures and new armed conflicts, with the issue being new openings to the world market, to the advantage of one imperialism and the disadvantage of another. Democracy and reforms? The failure of reforms is writ large and small in numerous recent events, not excluding the tragic and comical aspects of the, latest Italian crises. The only purpose of reformism is, and this in no small measure, that of keeping the working class in tow to capitalism, a policy made easier thanks to the legalistic and conciliative beliefs widely held in the working class, with major support principally amongst members of a labor aristocracy present in particular in the imperialistic countries. This faith in democracy continues to show itself to be the best assurance of capital's continued domination, the most efficacious way of disarming the working class, by holding out the illusion that it can safeguard its interests resorting to the ballot or supporting the reformist parties, parties that in turn promise to mitigate the more brutal and deforming aspects of capitalism by «democratic» parliamentary pressures..

We have no need to promote any defense of the fatherland or of the national economy; we chase after no universal peace or democratic transformation of bourgeois society. We know how to interpret the storm clouds gathering in the heavens above bourgeois society, and we rejoice, as Marx did in his letter to Engels in 1855:
I just received your letter that announces pleasureful prospects in the crisis of events....Things are going marvelously well. In France there will be a formidable crash. I hope that the great disasters in Crimea will make the cup overflow. The American crisis we had predicted is magnificent, and its repercussions on French industry has been immediate. Poverty has already engulfed the proletariat; for the time being there is no sign of revolution, the masses having been demoralized by the long period of prosperity. Up to this point, the unemployed we encounter on the streets simply go begging. Acts of violence increase, but with a much too slow rhythm».

We will await for that rhythm to pick up, continuing to prepare today the Party needed to guide the class actions to which the proletariat will be called on the morrow; to prepare the class war that will oppose imperialistic war. A preparation that first of all takes into account the lessons of counterrevolution, number one being the need for a clear delimitation from opportunism, a practice that has always surfaced in the workers movement in the wake of a revision of revolutionary theory and which feeds on alternative interpretations of the essence of the bourgeois state and the proletarian dictatorship, the dictatorship of the Party of the working class that we counterpose to whatever form the bourgeois dictatorship assumes.

Source: «Internationalist Papers», N.7, May 1998

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