Ironically, those very trends that Lenin identifies about the need for Capital to expand beyond its borders are more appropriate for the conditions that existed after WWII, even then it is just as plausible to explain the movement of Capital into new parts of the globe on the basis of the principles Marx outlines in Capital, such as the tendency of Capital to move into areas where it can achieve a higher rate of profit, than in terms of any “necessity” to do so.
As I wrote in “Imperialism & War”,
“In fact, as the previous documents have shown, the division of the world into colonies can much better be explained in terms of the dynamic of feudalism, and of Merchant and Money Capitalism leading to Colonialism than it can by a Finance Capital dominated Imperialism.
In other words, the situation that arose, in the 19th Century, in Latin America, in respect of the alliance between the interests of Britain and the US, around the Monroe Doctrine, after WWII, became globalised, and for the same reasons. In the 19th Century, Britain, as the global hegemon, and workshop of the world, was in favour of free markets, precisely because it knew that it could undercut every other economic power. After WWII, the US held that position. It had every reason to want to break up the old Colonial regimes in order to open up these markets and sources of primary products.
That didn't mean that Capitalists had ceased being Capitalists, but Bismark and Louis Napoleon, had demonstrated that the Capitalist State could play a significant role in bringing about industrialisation and modernisation.
Nor, did it mean that Imperialism ceased being Imperialism, but Imperialism was now determined by the interests of multinational, industrial Capital, and by transnational Banks. And within this Imperialist System, the need to ensure the rules of the game were adhered to became paramount, including the rules in respect of the defined spheres of influence.
But, the demise of Stalinism removed this basis upon which the globe was divided, and the context in which this global competition for influence was taking place. It is no coincidence that although, the new International Division of Labour, really commenced in the 1980's, the greatest expansion of globalisation occurred after the fall of Stalinism in the USSR.
Under Nasser the method of industrialisation and modernisation, began in the 19th Century, based on State Capitalism, in fact, fitted well with the top-down, statist methods of Stalinism, which meant that Egypt was able to form a close relation with the USSR, which provided it with resources when the US and UK withdrew financing of the Aswan Dam.
But, Egypt did continue to develop. Under Sadat, in the 1970's, a policy similar to that undertaken in China was begun. It was known as, “Infitah”, or “Open Door”.
Wikipedia provides a List Of Egyptian Companies, and it is interesting to note that many of these that have developed in recent years have been in the new, more dynamic sectors of the economy such as in ICT, and Financial Services. In other words we see the process of combined and uneven development at work yet again, with newly industrialising economies being able to move rapidly into those new industries which represent high value added, and high rates of profit. According to the CIA World Factbook, Agriculture now accounts for around 13.5% of GDP, whilst Industry accounts for 38%, and Services nearly 49%. Given the importance of Tourism to the Egyptian economy, it is no wonder that this latter is such a high number. In terms of employment, Agriculture accounts for 32%, reflecting its labour intensive nature rather than its inefficiency – in fact Agriculture in Egypt is relatively intensive – industry accounts for 17%, and Services 51%, again reflecting the large numbers employed in Tourism.
A measure of economic development often used by economists is energy production and consumption. Egypt comes 28th in the world in terms of electricity production, and 29th in terms of consumption. The increasing development of industry, and particularly of the newer industries is reflected in the literacy rates. The Rate, for the whole population, is 71%, 83% for males, and 59% for females, and the normal time spent at school is 11 years.
Back To Part 4
Forward To Part 6