I gave here my reasons why I think that a real Marxist analyse of ACTUAL capitalism (so imperialism) is needed. Because already IN FACT anti-imperialist resistance is developing in the world, but often by organizations that lack (that is my opinion) a scientific analyse to base their anti-imperialist strategy on. A lot of those organizations that are developing a real anti-imperialist resistance were, for a lot of reasons, ORIGINALLY ANTI-Marxist and ANTI-communist. And on the top of it: ACTUAL self-declared communist, revolutionary or “Marxist-Leninist” in their “neighbourhood” produce (and of that I gave here also some examples) rather dogmatic or very general analyzing of actual capitalism. And some of those self-declared communist, Marxist organizations are IN FACT becoming REFORMIST organizations, defending their reformism with Marxist-SOUNDING arguments.
The core, the main-form in which actual imperialism (being the last possible stage of capitalism) is, as I will call it: the globalised integrated production-chain (GIPC). I purposely don’t use the term monopoly here, because a GIPC is composed itself by different monopolies (out of different production-SECTORS). Like the term “ownership”, is the term "GIPC" not a bourgeois economical or juridical concept or definition. It are rather my personal principal definitions, concepts or conclusions. By using examples I will legitimise these concepts.
So now here my attempt of an analyse of actual imperialism, as a base to develop an anti-imperialist strategy.
So now here my attempt of an analyse of actual imperialism, as a base to develop an anti-imperialist strategy.
A GIPC is composed by different monopolies in different production-sectors. These sectors are each a stage in the production-process of - finally - the production of consumer-goods that are to be SOLD to REALISE the total surplus-value.
The final surplus-value is composed out of pieces of surplus-value made out of the exploitation of the work-force of the workers involved in the whole production-chain (the whole GIPC, from winning and refining of the natural resources to the production of the final product). This is a typical characteristic of imperialism and is what Lenin called “the socialising of the production”.
REMARK: this total of surplus-value finally realised after the selling of the end-product is more than just the “benefit” or “profit” of the final end-product-selling “enterprise”, (being for example cars, mobile-phones or computers).
There exist monopolies of natural resources for the winning, digging, extracting or in another way APPROPIATING of natural resources as oil, coal, all kind of metal – or mineral-ores, agricultural products (grain, rice, soya-beans, vegetables, natural textile-fibres) or of forest-cultural products (wood, rubber) and all kind of natural pharmaceutical resources.
There are the monopolies of first refining and first processing of all those resources
There are the monopolies of the production of all kind of intermediary products
There are the monopolies of production or assembling of final products
There are the monopolies of logistics, transport, distribution and selling and of financing
There are the monopolies for the production of all kind of industrial goods needed in all those monopolies here above
The ownership of all those monopolies is mostly “distributed” between those capitalists who have the monopolies “stream-upward” or “downstream” ALSO in “divided” ownership.
The production-process in a GIPC goes from the winning, digging or extracting of the natural ressources to the distribution and selling/delivery of the final product. In the whole production-chain surplus-value is formed out of the exploitation of the workers involved in the production along the whole production-chain. That surplus-value is finally realised by the SELLING of the end-product.
The production is social; the appropriation of the surplus-value is private.
The REALISATION of the surplus-value, composed through the social production is based on the SELLING of the final product for its value: the incorporated (social) working-time. That surplus-value is (just as the total production) primarily appropriated by the capitalists (who have the collective ownership of such a GIPC) and is distributed among them.
The primary natural resources are been appropriated by the capitalists in regions in the world were the popular masses are living under colonial production-relations. This appropriation is done by the monopolies themselves, by local undertaking enterprises or mercenary militias. The local popular masses living in the extraction-regions are being expropriated daily.
The capitalists are only paying for the work to dig or extract the natural resources or for making them « production-ripe ». The wages or salaries of the workers (coming out of the popular masses that are been expropriated) are hold very low because the colonial production-relations are keeping whole populations (out of which the local workers are coming) in permanent insecurity, poverty, oppression. On that enormous exploitation (the free expropriation and the very low wages) is based the « buy out » of class-struggle and eventually revolutionary aspirations of the workers in the imperialist centres.
Of course competition exists between the different monopolies in a same stage in the production-process, EVEN as those monopolies are “owned” in a “divided” ownership by the same capitalists.
But so there can also be competition between departments, subsidiaries or division in one monopoly. This is also the case as the different inter-competing monopolies are in fact just different ”lines of supply” of a monopoly higher in the chain of production of a GIPC. Competition is compelling each division, department or monopoly to increase the level of exploitation and so to increase the surplus-value as a result of this.
Everywhere in the GIPC, on each place in the production-process surplus-value is made out of the exploitation of the in the production involved workers. The total amount of surplus-value is distributed among the different capitalists in relation of the part of “ownership” that they have of the whole GIPC. Although the surplus-value (in PARTS of surplus value) is often already distributed earlier (a kind of advanced payment), surplus-value is only then REALISED when the final end-product is sold.
Example of the composition of a GIPC of cars
- Resources: oil (as fuel and as feedstock for base-products), all kinds of metals (out of ores or in the form of already transformed or refined products as steel, alloys,), all kind of sands and salts (for example for glass)
- Refining: to fuel, feedstock for the production of plastics, carbon-fibres, base-products for electronic components
- Production of intermediary products: electronic circuits, layered glass, metal-processing, plastic-processing and further stream downward: coach-work, engines, component of electronic monitoring, textile-production, processing of textile, seat-production, tire-production
- Transport between all the stages of production
- The production of the production-lines, production-machinery, robots, the production-halls......
- Finance in all the stages of the production
- Distribution: the selling of the endproduct to a consumer that can buy it... realising the surplusvalue (of which the biggest part is already advanced appropriated by the capitalists)
The ownership of such a GIPC is of course in hands of capitalists. But different capitalist “owners” have a different proportion of ownership. This ownership of means of production is a principal term not always identical to bourgeois legally or bourgeois economical defined ownership.
Because the quasi monopoly of a certain enterprise about the supply of certain products of their “undertakers” or the financing of that undertaker, about the delivery of machines or resources or industrial goods makes that that enterprise is in fact “owner” of that undertaker. That enterprise stays in a same “ownership”-relation with certain monopolies. The “ownership” of that monopoly is distributed among “shares”. And “shares” are not only owned by individuals but also again by enterprises of financial enterprises.
Crucial resources are dug in Africa by workers in quasi-slavery, controlled by military groups. Those minerals or ores are in fact appropriated by those military groups and come -by different little companies in hands of just some big companies who have the monopoly of the purchasing of those ores and minerals. In fact the “owners” of that big monopoly ARE IN FACT so also “owners” of those military groups and those little trading companies and are those workers working in quasi-slavery a part of the workers involved in the whole GIPC. So SIMILAR monopoly production-relations are existing further stream-downward in that GIPC, in the refining, the production of intermediary products, in the assembling of the end-product: that car, that computer, that mobile-phone, that television, those wooden products used in the construction of houses, yes even those food-products produced on the base of products grown in Africa, Asia or South-America.
Individual capitalists, but mostly groups of capitalists have a certain percentage of ownership of the different parts of such a GIPC... So a whole GIPC is “collectively” owned by a larger group of capitalists.
So the main-form in which the means of production exist - GIPC's - are “collective” property of a larger group of capitalists (who in a certain manner of organisation and in different percentages are owners of the different parts of such a GIPC). In an earlier stage of imperialism those “parts” (each of them is itself a monopoly in a certain production-sector) were each owned by a more or less distinct group of capitalists, who got their share of the surplus-value on the moment of the selling that resource, of the selling of that intermediary product or of the selling of that production-machinery.
In the time of Marx (in the PRE-imperialist stage as one can say), the main-form was a distinct enterprise owned by an individual capitalist or a capitalist-family.
The ownership of a GIPC is distributed among groups of capitalists (grouped in all kind of financial institutions exerting that “ownership” for them). An individual capitalist is just “owner” for just a part AND often also for a part “owner” of a COMPETING GIPC. Individual or littler groups of capitalists sometime “own” a PART of the total GIPC.
But the parts of a GIPC depend of each other and so the ownership of the total GIPC is in hands of the total group of owners who together have the hundred percent ownership of that GIPC.
An oil-monopoly (and so the owners of that monopoly, mostly grouped in financial companies as all kinds of bancs, holdings etc.) control (by a certain percentage of ownership, by having the monopoly on delivering,....) energy-monopolies (fuel for cars, engines, electricity-producing,....) and chemical monopolies, who themselves control in a similar way the production of intermediary products (bulk-plastics, base-products for higher engineered plastics), who themselves control in a similar way the monopolies that produce all kind of end-products (cars, furniture, electronic and electric equipment etc..)
The biggest shareholders of an oil-monopoly have also participation and are so for a part also owner of for example resources-monopolies (metal-ores ...for ex coltan) or participation of refining-companies, cracking-installations, producers of plastic-base-products, producers of polymers, plastic-moulding-enterprises...
Big share-holders or groups of big share-holders are also participating in all kind of financial companies, who themselves are financing all stages of the production and also of non-monopolies. So is the control (and in fact the « ownership of means of productions » in the hands of a relative little group of the real capitalists, (the capitalists in capitalism in the stage of imperialism of which the main-form is, the GIPC)
AND “FREE” COMPETITION?
Although you can not speak anymore of FREE competition (FREE competition disappears in the imperialist stage of capitalism) competition is NOT disappearing (it is a characteristic of capitalism being the most advanced system of COMMODITY-production) by the development of monopolies and the integrating of the monopolies in what I call GIPC's.
Capitalist competition RE-appears every moment again, but now WITHIN the monopoly, for example between the part of that monopoly that is mostly working out of the American continent and the part of that same monopoly that is working out of the European continent.
The competition is becoming even sharper and sharper, involving IN that competition-struggle the whole population of big regions in the world.
Competition exists between whole GIPC's, composed out of monopolies that are succeeding each other in the production-process. Competition reappears every moment between departments, divisions and other parts of a GIPC or a composing monopoly, or also between two monopolies in one GIPC on a certain aspect of or intermediary product in the whole production-process.
This occurs for example where those monopolies are competing in the delivery of a certain resource, or in the delivery of a certain intermediary product or in the assembling of the end-product or in the distribution of the end-product.So a certain form of "nationalism" existing in a certain "colony" can create an ideologye of competition INSIDE the working class of the colonised popular masses, when this "nationalism" is opposing another "nationalism" of another "colony". These forms of "nationalism" are reflecting more existing competition between capitalists....For example Solvay (I analysed this in Etudes Marxistes 18/1993: "Un exemple de restructuration dans l'industrie chimique : la production de soude chez Solvay" you can read it here -in french- on marx.be)
The winning of natural soda, the soda-mining activities in the United States and the distribution-cartel of that soda is for a big part in hands of Solvay (the “American” part of Solvay). The industrial production of soda in Europe and the natural winning of soda in Turkey and Eastern-Europe are ALSO in the hands of Solvay.
Solvay-Europe wanted support of Europe against dumping-prices of soda coming out of America ... this was turning for a part against Solvay-America but of course also against competition of Solvay-America.
And of course Solvay-America benefited of the export-supporting activities for the soda coming out of America. While Solvay-Europe “suffered” under this “competition”.
The state-organs are also “global”. But the reality is the existing not of one global state to protect global imperialism but different states that are playing a role in the competition-position of GIPC's but also in the competition-position against each other of the different composing parts of one GIPC.
Finally it seemed to be logic that for those GIPC's as main characteristic of actual imperialism that there would be one global state. Well, there exist SOME state-organs in that direction: the IMF, the World-bank, the UN, the UN military forces, the NATO...
And there are in fact COLLECTIVE interests of the imperialists. For example; the interventions of the “imperialist alliance” against revolutionary developments wherever in the world which can threatening the ongoing of existence of imperialism... even intervention IN each other imperialist centre to support there the fight against and for the defeat of revolutionary developments.
But there exists also COMPETITION, and is a characteristic of imperialism. This makes that the development of one central global state is always stopped and hindered and replaced y a development of REGIONAL state-apparatuses.
For example of the STATE America, dominated by the United States but to which can also be counted Canada and Mexico.
So there is the state European Union, as there is Russia where exists a development to integrate as much as possible of the former Soviet-Union in one imperialist state. The Peoples Republic of China has started a free development of capitalism and in the actual state of global imperialism it can only mean that their former dictatorship of the workers will develop into an imperialist state-apparatus.
The development of the EU goes into the direction of integrating Turkey and/or Israel into that state-apparatus, although competition coming out of that other imperialist centre can slow down that evolution....and of course can be slowed down by revolutionary developments.....
A state-apparatus is something that is continuous in development following the development of capitalism.
The struggle against (neo-) colonial supremacy of imperialism result in a unification of an as big as possible unified anti-imperialist resistance, that based on discussion, education, making conscious and raising materialist historical consciousness. This will result to the development of as big as possible unified anti-colonial states.
How bigger the unification of the anti-imperialist resistance, how higher the revolutionary consciousness, how much the popular masses will join that anti-imperialist resistance and with what revolutionary knowledge, is depending of the ideological and political struggle inside that nationalist anti-imperialist struggle-movement, of the development of a real leading vanguard organisation etc....
The colonised part of the world, or those parts of the world that are submitted by imperialism to colonial production-relations are considered by the imperialisms (that is to say by the “legal use of repression or intervention”) making an integrated part of an imperialist state. That is for example materialised in the colonial front-post Israel considered to be a part of the state EU and by which Europe (in our example) will affirm and re-affirm and defend the colonial production-relations put on the biggest part of the Arab region.
This ALSO means that the working class in an imperialist centre (for ex. the EU) has to feel itself allied with the working-class that is a part of the population living under colonial production-relations. (So the European working-class with the Arab working-class as a part of the Arab popular masses ... or with the African working class as a part of the African popular masses)
The by colonisation drawn borders ( result of mutual competition and by a “divide and rule” ideology, are artificial borders that can be overcome with at the end for example one big state Africa or one big Arab state or one South-American (Bolivarian) state like once the one big Soviet-union or one big Chinese Peoples Republic.
That part of the working class in an imperialist centre but seen historically coming recently out or a region in the world that is living under (neo-)colonial production-relations (installed and re-affirmed by imperialism) can play a big role in raising the consciousness of the whole working class in that imperialist region.
In the next article I come one of the reasons of this attempt of me to make a CONCRETE ACTUALISED analyse of capitalism (in its actual IMPERIALIST stage): the making of a CONCRETE ACTUALISED CLASS-ANALYSIS.