dinsdag 1 december 2009

Anti-imperialist united front 5

Today, a part of the capitalist class (of capitalism in the stage of imperialism) is “located” in the “colonised region” itself. I am not talking about comprador-bourgeoisie, people whose income or power is linked to the work they do, to protect the interests of imperialism, linking their own interests totally to those of imperialism.
I am talking about people who can be considered as “owner” (in imperialism it is almost always, “CO-owner” as I will explain later) of “means of productions”.
So the Saudi-family-clans are NOT “just” bourgeois who have linked their interests to those of imperialism, they are a part of the world-capitalist class (of capitalism in the stage of imperialism so I speak further about “imperialist-capitalists”)
This count also, I think (and I will search also information about this later) for example, for the “owners” of the “privatised” state-enterprises in China, and Russia, now becoming worldwide monopolies, and the “Indian” (co-)owners of Arcelor-Mittal and the “Brazilian” (co-)owners of Inbev. They are, for example, now responsible for the “capital-export” out of Saudi-Arabia (or China, Russia, India, Brazil)..... into the CENTRES of imperialism. And this is then for example a characteristic of imperialism that has further developed than it was in the time that Lenin wrote his analyse. At that moment, you have the BEGINNING of the phenomena “capital-export” (out of the imperialist centres to the colonised regions) that was becoming more important than the “export of commodities” to the colonies, after, lets say, 1900.
That “ownership” exists by having for example a controlling quantity of shares, having controlling share or having centralised capital in financial institutions that have their interests in the big monopolies by the way of the enormous amount of ....debts those monopolies permanently have.
The Saudis for example have their “ownership” on big parts of worldwide production-chains by way of ARAMCO and SABIC.

“About SABIC
Headquartered in Riyadh, SABIC was founded in 1976 when the Saudi Arabian Government decided to use the hydrocarbon gases associated with its oil production as the principal feedstock for production of chemicals, polymers and fertilizers. The Saudi Arabian Government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is the world’s 5th largest petrochemicals company. The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.
In Saudi Arabia, the company has 20 world-scale complexes and 19 of them are located in the industrial cities of Al-Jubail and Yanbu. Some of these complexes are operated with multi-national joint venture partners such as ExxonMobil, Shell and Mitsubishi Chemicals. Elsewhere, SABIC manufactures on a global scale in more than 45 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. SABIC’s overall production has increased from 27 million metric tons in 2001 to 55 million metric tons in 2007.

About Saudi Aramco
Saudi Aramco is one of the largest oil companies in the world and is 100% owned by the government of Saudi Arabia. It is a fully-integrated, global petroleum enterprise and a world leader in exploration and producing, refining, distribution, shipping and marketing. It manages proven reserves of 260 billion barrels of crude oil and it manages the fourth-largest gas reserves in the world, 239.5 trillion cubic feet. Saudi Aramco, through its affiliate, Vela Marine International Ltd, owns and operates the world's second largest tanker fleet to help transport its crude oil production, which amounted to 3.3 billion barrels in 2005. Saudi Aramco, through its affiliates, has joint ventures and subsidiary offices in China, Japan, Netherlands, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. Saudi Aramco also refines and distributes oil products throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to meet domestic daily energy demands.[1]
With their ownership over SABIC and ARAMCO the Saudis have co-ownership, together with imperialist capitalists located in the imperialist centres itself (US, Japan or Europe). They have also co-ownerships together with imperialist capitalists located in colonised regions (in South-America, India) or in former socialist countries (China or Russia) this co-ownership is mutual. So you can say that other imperialist capitalists have co-ownership over Saudi capital. “Legally” it seems bizarre, because SABIC and ARAMCO are   'officially” owned only by Saudis, but I will explain later that ownership over means of productions is not bound by bourgeois economic or juridical principles)
That “co-ownership” is for a big part a result of foreign direct investments (FDI) that goes to joint-ventures and “mergers and acquisitions” (M&A)
Here you can say that the Saudis get the “co-ownership” over a part of the globalised integrated production-chain of ......cars.

SABIC to acquire Owens Corning's share in STAMAX BV, April 1, 2003

Paris, France, (April 1, 2003): SABIC Europe announced today that it will acquire Owens Corning’s 50% share in StaMax BV, a joint venture formed in 1999. This gives SABIC full ownership of this company that produces StaMax® P long glass fibre polypropylene composite material. Under the new arrangement, Owens Corning will be the supplier of PerforMax® glass fibre. StaMax BV will use Owens Corning’s unique patented process and this proprietary glass fibre to produce and sell material in the European market.
As part of the agreement, SABIC will manufacture StaMax P under license from Owens Corning and will have exclusive production and sales rights for StaMax P in the European market. (...)
StaMax P is a lightweight, long fibre glass polypropylene thermoplastic for semi-structural applications that replaces metal and bridges the gap between short-fibre compounds and glass mat thermoplastics (GMT). It was developed by SABIC Europe (formerly DSM) in partnership with Owens Corning. The two companies founded StaMax BV in 1999, and set up a production line in Genk (Belgium).
The thermal and mechanical properties of StaMax P – such as high heat-deflection temperatures, low thermal expansion and high stiffness, high impact resistance, low creep and high tensile strength – make it highly suitable for semi-structural applications in the automotive industry. Highly suitable applications include front-end modules, dashboard carriers, door modules and under-body shielding. StaMax is widely accepted and increasingly used in these applications throughout the European automotive industry.(...)
SABIC Europe is part of SABIC, the Middle East’s largest petrochemicals company, which is based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. SABIC’s business activities have been organized into six Strategic Business Units (SBUs): Basic Chemicals, Intermediates, Polyolefins, PVC & Polyester, Fertilizers and Metals. SABIC has two large industrial sites in Saudi Arabia (Al-Jubail and Yanbu), with sixteen world-scale production complexes. In addition, SABIC has interests in three production complexes in Bahrain. Over the last sixteen years SABIC’s overall production capacity has increased considerably. In 2002 it had total sales of USD 9.06 billion.[2]

That “co-ownership” over means of productions the Saudis has it “collectively” or together with other oil-companies.
While the Saudis have “only” the ownership over the oil in the underground of that desert they once claimed to be their property (expropriation the rest of the Arab people), with their “co-ownership” they “own” (together with the rest of the imperialist capitalists) almost ALL the oil-sources. “Co-ownership of means of productions” means, having sometimes COLLECTIVE interests with other imperialist capitalists, and sometimes COMPETITION, Sometimes “common interests” with some capitalists to face competition with other (groups of) capitalists.

“SABIC to acquire DSM's petrochemicals business Heerlen, NL, 3-Apr-2002 Joint press release
DSM and SABIC, the largest petrochemicals producer in the Middle East, have reached an agreement in principle on the purchase of DSM's petrochemicals business by SABIC. The transaction involves the transfer of all shares of the companies that together form DSM Petrochemicals (DPC), the associated DPC participations and sales activities, and the related technology positions, patents and trade names.(....)
The Middle East's largest petrochemicals company, SABIC, is based in Riyadh, Saudi-Arabia. It was founded in 1976, when the Saudi Arabian government decided to use the hydrocarbon gases released in the production of oil as raw materials for the production of chemicals and polymers.
The Saudi Arabian government owns 70% of the SABIC shares. The remaining 30% are held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
SABIC's business activities have been organized into Strategic Business Units (SBU), which have been clustered in five Industry Groups: Basic Chemicals, Polymers, Intermediates, Fertilizers and Metals.
SABIC has two large industrial sites in Saudi Arabia (Al-Jubail and Yanbu), with sixteen world-scale production complexes. Some of these production complexes are operated with multi-national partners, such as Exxon Mobil, Shell, Fortum, Ecofuel/ENI and Mitsubishi Chemicals. In addition, SABIC has interests in three production complexes in Bahrain. Over the last sixteen years SABIC's overall production capacity has increased considerably. In 2001 it amounted to 35 million mtpa in 2001.
SABIC employs about 14,500 people worldwide, most of who are based in Saudi-Arabia. In 2001 SABIC posted sales of approx. SR 29 billion (EUR 8.9 billion) and a net profit of approx. SR 1.8 billion (EUR 550 million)[3]. “
In his analyse of 1990, Ludo Martens (until 1995 EFFECTIVE president of the WPB - PVDA, pvda.be) describes:
“Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrein, Oman and Qatar are artificial states having together a population of no more than 10 million, but owning 670 billion dollar in foreign countries. At the same time the Arab states with the biggest population (190 million) have a foreign debt of 208 billion dollar, which is a burden for the working population.  The royal family of Kuwait owns a private fortune of 50 billion dollar. King Fahd of Saudi Arabia owns 18 billion dollar. In Kuwait the yearly income pro inhabitant is 14.000 dollar, while in South Yemen it is no more than 420 dollar, in Morocco 610 dollar and in Egypt 680 dollar. The six Gulf-states invest only 7% of their financial means in the Arab world en than only for those economic sectors that produce luxury goods designated for the rich.[4] The leading class in Kuwait controls 100 billion dollar abroad, of which the half is administrated by the “Kuwait Investment Office”. This company owns 10% of BP (British Petroleum). In Germany she controls 25% of Hoechst, 17% of Daimler-Benz, 15% of Metalgeselschaft. In Spain she has shares in 70 important companies. In Italy she owns 6,7% of the shares of the Fiat holding. In the United States she is present in 480 big companies.[5] [6]"
There is a difference between the “state” Saudi-Arabia (which you can consider as an imperialist entity, the “banc” or “holding” of the Saudi family-clans) and the “states”, once colonies, trying to develop a economy that is NOT totally “owned” by imperialist capitalists, so a development of a “national” state-capitalism that should “compete” with the former colonising imperialists. Saudi-Arabia is an imperialist entity is also different from former colonies run by a comprador-bourgeoisie allowing the expropriation of their inhabitants by the imperialist monopolies: for example the comprador-bourgeoisie of Nigeria giving Shell all possibilities to expropriate the Nigerian people.
“Turkey and Egypt, the leading FDI recipients, reduced corporate income taxes and expanded their promotional efforts. Kuwait also plans to cut corporation tax from 55% to 25% in order to attract more FDI into the non-oil sector.
In the extractive sector, Qatar unveiled changes in contractual/ tender conditions, in order to facilitate the process of bidding for and securing contracts managed by Qatar Petroleum (QP), the main vehicle for energy exploration and development. These changes, when implemented, should have a major impact on FDI within the context of Qatar's gas expansion drive. Mega schemes in the pipeline include the 'Pearl Project'--51% and 49% owned by QP and Royal Dutch Shell. It will be the world's largest gas-to-liquid plant costing $18,000m and due on-stream by 2011. But few countries permit foreign participation in the upstream oil sector, which explains modest inward FDI into primary industry, despite huge reserves. The MENA region holds two-thirds of global proved oil reserves, equivalent to 801bn barrels. Others (notably Iran) impose stringent conditions on foreign energy companies, whilst in Algeria the state-owned Sonatrach must hold a minimum 51% stake in all hydrocarbons projects. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia has allowed Shell and France's Total to invest in natural gas exploration projects in the Rub Al Khali desert (Empty Quarter).[7]
This is explaining the whole political, economical, ideological (and in the near future ARMED?) intervention on Iran by the imperialists. Iran has to put in power a comprador-bourgeoisie that will “integrate” Iran in the imperialist control. As a reward “new owners” of the privatised Iranian oil-sources are allowed to enter the little circle of imperialist capitalists. (As were once the Saudi and Kuwaiti family-clans and the emirs-families of the U.E.A.)

In a study specific about FDI, “Foreign Direct Investment Surged 29% Worldwide in 2005”[8], the introduction says:

“The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its authoritative annual appraisal of global FDI trends earlier this week. Global Insight analyses its findings, and asks whether the impressive cross-border flows of 2005 will be repeated over subsequent years”
The conclusion about Iran is clear....:
“Iran's ongoing standoff with the international community over its nuclear programme extracted a negative toll as it failed to attract more inflows than in previous years. The election of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmedinejad as Iranian president and his hostile international posture have created an added obstacle to foreign investment.[9]
Why you can say that the Saudi (and Kuwaiti, and of UAE) leading families are part of the imperialist capitalist class, and that they “(co-)owns” the oil in the whole Arab world.
Helped by the colonisers, some Arab family-clans formed entities in the Arab world (borders of other countries were also drawn by the different colonising countries, and claimed the oil in the ground as their own and so expropriating the Arab people, depriving them from the means for their economic development.
In other former colonies or newly “colonised” countries, for example Iraq, the oil is now “owned” (under control of and controlling the technology, transport, refining, the prises etc) by the big oil companies. They exerted that “ownership” by the use of an installed comprador-bourgeoisie. (The Iraqi, but former leader of a “Kurdish” organisation, Talebani put in a leading position in Iraq by the Americans, was working in earlier days for the CIA) But those big oil-companies have al kind “connections” with for example the Saudi companies. And the Saudi companies have shares in and joint-ventures with those and other oil-companies.
This is the way that imperialist capitalist has “ownership” (so mostly “collective” and in “shared” ownership) over the most important “means of productions” in the world.
As co-owners they have common interests in good colonial production-relations of imperialism put on the whole Arab region. As competitors they tried to get the highest profits, higher than their competitors.
These are some characteristics of imperialism, as I see it, which developed further than in the time that Lenin wrote his book. I will argue this in the next article.

[1]              http://www.jeccomposites.com/composites-news/5037/PP-PE.html,  23 Juli 2008,  SABIC to market polyolefin products of Saudi Aramco in China

[2]              http://sabic.ru/news-media-relations/news/_en/sabictoacquir.htm
[3]              http://www.dsm.com/en_US/html/media/press_releases/Sabic_acquire_DSM_April32002.htm
[4]    Newsweek, 13 August '90, p. 13.
[5]    Libèration, a weekly of Morocco 3-17 August '90.
[6]    “Why the United States and Israel want WAR in the Middle East”, Ludo Martens, Solidair nr 32, 29 August 1990.
[7]              http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2742/is_384/ai_n25015921/
[8]              http://www.globalinsight.com/SDA/SDADetail7225.htm
[9]              http://www.globalinsight.com/SDA/SDADetail7225.htm