13 June 2009

THe World Economy

It is not entirely fair, or for that matter accurate to simplify a globally integrated economy down to simple imperialism, therefore the following is very small part of what we are currently facing:

Global integration makes a lot of sense in the lens of capitalist growth. The traditional theory of imperialism holds, namely that domestic capital in advanced countries has fully saturated home markets and needs to find both new markets and/or cheaper sources of raw materials to increase profitability.

What is unique about the current period (and would be unique to any period of capitalist development) is the level of technology in the "home" nations.
Higher levels of technology by definition require larger capital investments, and ever increasing freedom/complexity of financial markets in order to facilitate these investments (and to get profit out of the colony).

As we are at the highest level of technology thus far in human advancement, modern imperialism requires the highest level of capital investment and most advanced financial markets the world has ever seen to be successful. All of this is fairly obvious and mundane.

Where this point becomes more interesting (to me at least) is that with greater levels of capital investment, (higher levels of development) it is easy to argue that greater levels of military security should also be a priority. This will come as no surprise to the portions of the world who live under perpetual occupation of the American military.

The two large contradictions here are that, 1. The very capitalists who rely on their home state for unprecedented military security are more often than not advocates of a shrinking the state at home (as the larger the state the more of their domestic profits are necessary to sustain it). And 2. The very same high level of technology that precipitates the need for military security in colonies (or subjugated nations, or whatever the popular thing is to call the countries we are fucking over today is), allows for easy destruction of large capital investments by small groups of unhappy, or aware citizens of these nations (ie "terrorism"). Technology facilitates the easier destruction of technology.

As per the development of any system, modern global capital holds within itself contradictions that have the potential to be its undoing.

07 June 2009

Why Marxism

For me, a (petit) bourgeois, much self examination is necessary as to the choice to study and work with a theory of the proletariat. There are many reasons that I wish to do this, and I imagine that the truth is a mix of these to follow and many others. This post is basically a list of superficial feelings that I grapple with, and I have intentionally avoided deep reasoning in the hope that superficial reflection on the negative aspects of my theory will lead to something positive. These are my weakest reasons for my own career path and I hope to post on my more noble personal justifications for Marxism soon.

1. As a bourgeois I have never been near the top of my class. I have experienced jealousy grounded in striving to be as wealthy as my neighbours. This is not a great reason, or even a good reason, to be a Marxist, but was certainly part of my life growing up. At times the idea comes forward in my mind that by helping overthrow the ruling class I could place myself in their position at the top of society. Essentially the idea is one of using the proletariat, and rhetoric of equality for personal gain. I hope this is not a strong part of my personality, but I certainly grapple with these feelings at times.

2. A counter point to #1. The (thankfully) more common thought that that material goods are a shallow pursuit and even becoming part of the ruling class will leave a person empty of true satisfaction. This idea becomes more dominate in my mind as I go through life. I believe this to be the truth. This of course brings the following question to light: If I believe that materialism is not a proper goal for a human to devote their existence to, do I have the right to force my view on others through revolution? Would this be any different from the followers of other theories (most notably religions) forcing their views on others?

3. Staying on the humanist perspective: I hope that a new organization of production will result in much faster progress of society, both in technology and in social relationships outside of production. I cannot help but wonder how many "Einsteins" have died of starvation, or been killed in imperialistic wars, or wasted their potential just trying to survive in other ways. Having lost God early in my life, my faith for now is placed in science and human development. I believe that a communist organization of production will lead to greater advances (capitalism did a great job advancing society in some parts of the world, but at a very unequal level that is unacceptable at our current level of global development. I feel most of the major contributions of capitalism are over).

4. A feeling of great injustice when viewing the world. Surely we as a species are advanced enough to give to each according to their needs? Even if this was only to help me sleep better at night...seeing the great waste and extravagance that many of us partake in during our own petite bourgeois existence disgusts me at times.

I realize the contradictions of a cynical self serving analysis of selflessness in society, namely communist theory, however it seems important for me to bring some of my poor reasons for studying within the Marxian tradition to light in the hope that underlying them I have better reasons for advocating and expanding a theory of the proletariat.