Monday, 9 December 2019

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 24 - Part 49

Marx cites five factors determining “the inclination to accumulate” described by Jones

““… 1st.—Differences of temperament and disposition in the people. 

“2ndly.—Differences in the proportions in which the national revenues are divided among the different classes of the population. 

“3rdly.—Different degrees of security for the safe enjoyment of the capital saved. 

“4thly.—Different degrees of facility in investing profitably, as well as safely, successive savings. 

“5thly.—Differences in the opportunities offered to the different ranks of the population to better their position by means of savings” (p. 24).” (p 448) 

All of these, Marx says, come down to the stage of capitalist development reached by each economy. 

In relation to, as I described earlier, 

“Where capitalist production exists in a developed form, profit constitutes the chief source of accumulation, that is, the capitalists have concentrated the greater part of the national revenue in their hands and even a section of the landowners seeks to capitalise [their revenue].” (p 448) 

Indeed, with the development of savings banks, even the small scattered savings of workers can be pooled, by the banks, into a larger fund of loanable money-capital. In more recent decades, the banks and insurance companies have taken control of workers' savings in pension funds, in Britain, amounting to around £1 trillion, for that purpose. 

Marx notes in relation to the third point. 

“Security (in the legal and police sense) increases in proportion to the degree to which the capitalists secure control of the State administration.” (p 448) 

With social-democracy, and the creation of welfare states that is extended further. The state and central bank also provide further security via planning and regulation of the macroeconomic conditions. And, with the development of a world economy (imperialism), this security is extended on a global scale, within the structure of an international system, and hierarchy of states, each constrained to protect the same bourgeois property rights for capital, wherever it is invested. And, those same social-democratic institutions, established to provide that security within the nation-state, become internationalised, via global para state bodies, such as the IMF, World Bank, GATT/WTO etc. The same concentration and centralisation of capitals leads to the need for capital to burst asunder the constraints imposed by the nation state. Not only does it do so by these global para state bodies, but also increasingly merging the national economies themselves, into larger economic units, like the EU. Similar to the way Engels described the non-historic people's, who never managed to make the transition from being merely nationalities to being nations, organised within a nation state, so today, those nations that fall outside these larger economic units, are destined to be dominated by them.  The way, currently, even before Britain actually leaves the EU, it is forced to supplicate itself before the US and Trump, illustrates this point.

In the 19th century, US industrial capital imposed itself in the Civil War, to ensure that the individual states were subordinated to the Federal State. The Napoleonic Wars, and WWI and II attempted a similar thing in Europe, which history itself imposed via the creation of the EU. Across the globe, similar associations of nation states into larger economic and political unions are occurring as capital demands a common set of rules and regulations for its accumulation. 

No comments: