06 September 2013
Just started reading a book I bought a few years back that has just sat on the shelf. "Wobblies & Zapatistas". Wishing I had picked it up sooner...The first chapter already has me worked up!
The book is interesting so far, but there is a major error in the application of Marxian theory in the first chapter. When discussing "globalization" in the lens of the Zapatista movement, the book cites the rising Organic Composition of Capital in the 1970's leading to a falling rate of profit for U.S. capitalists and thus the need for expansion. The result, of course, is NAFTA, and all the ramifications for the Mexican people*
What has not been adequately explained (at least to my mind) is that the profit rate did NOT fall during this period. It is beyond the scope of what I am going to undertake for a blog entry to find data to prove this but I would direct my reader to a lot of Rick Wolff's semi-recent work for evidence.
This common misconception that globalization was caused by the American capitalist looking for ways to increase a falling profit rate (due to a raising OCC) is just a simple case of finding results where the theory predicts they should be. The OCC rose, resulting in globalization, read Marx, the profit rate must have been falling??? I think Marx got this one really wrong! Globalization is a rusult of too much profit, not a falling rate, and the necessity to stick all of this surplus somewhere.
What is at stake in this argument? A valid question dear reader....please help me with it.
*As an aside, an interesting something cited in this book that I have never come across in my own NAFTA work (albeit years ago now). The Mexican government removed a line from their constitution allowing land to be held communally by a village at the request of the U.S. government as a precondition to NAFTA. Perhaps more on this another night.