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kurumba • 3 years ago

If the export sector's contribution to China's "growth" has dropped significantly and as exports to the US account for only 4% of China's economic expansion as claimed recently by The Financial times and elsewhere then why is such a potential trade "war" so important? Ever since China embarked upon "economic reform", transitioning the economy into an ultra cheap labour cost assembly site based on Foreign Direct Investment was paramount for The Chinese leadership. It followed that for decades the restructured Chinese economy has been based on maintaining high rates of fixed investment, wherein the export and real estate/construction sectors have dominated. This has been the very definition of Chinese "reform". The only meaningful Chinese firms have traditionally been State Owned Enterprises [SOEs] producing intermediate inputs e.g steel and energy coal etc. I fail to see where all this non-export sector growth is coming from given that the Chinese regime is obviously very fearful of Trump's widening tariff threats [Trump himself has complained about Chinese imports into the US potentially reaching some $500 Billion, a massive amount] and that Chinese firms and wage rates are not conducive to internal expansion that has typically occurred under conditions of advanced country Oligopoly.

The trade war is only the excuse to attempt to put China's economic and political expansion back into its box. The colonial hegemony of the USA and the western industrialized 'former colonial rulers' of the underdeveloped world are losing their grip on power as the developing nations begin to strike their own deals with the opposing powers of Russia, China, and India.

michaelroloff • 3 years ago

It would be wonderful indeed if "the international working class, unified at an unprecedented level, " to block the impending nationalist war [s] but .e.g. Trump's "make Amerika great again" natio-fascism is chiefly supported by the working class and of course the military-industrial complex; and I don't see any international union organisations making serious inroads in European nationalistic tendencies, which have been exacerbated if not resulted from U.S. wars in Africa and the Middle East. Pessimstically yours.

Greg • 3 years ago

"This drive does not arise from the heads of the capitalist politicians—their actions are only the translation into politics of the objective logic and irresolvable contradictions of the capitalist system over which they preside."

Likewise, the support by the practical and successful petty bourgeoisie of the above mentioned capitalist politicians and their drive for war (think, Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez) depends on a purely subjective and individually based "truth" that's not bothered by "abstractions" (obvious contradictions) and changes with the needs of the (ruling class) day.

"Pilate wished to suggest that the practical and successful man need not trouble himself with such an abstract problem, and that, at any rate, the definition of truth is a purely personal matter, which changes with the needs of the day." -Twenty years since the death of Marxist historian and sociologist Vadim Rogovin

Warren Duzak • 3 years ago

Beams excellent piece included:
"As the position paper issued by Washington in May put it: “China will
cease providing market-distorting subsidies and other types of government support that can contribute to the creation or maintenance of excess capacity in industries targeted by the Made in China 2025 industrial plan.”

This issue of "government support" in China is reflected in the U.S. but in a different way. Nashville and Tennessee governments alone have given hundreds of millions of dollars in "tax incentives," payment for worker training and outright "grants" to corporations in "government support."
Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) got millions for, of all things, furniture for new offices which included thousands of dollars for a guitar-shaped table.
Gaylord's Opryland Resort got almost $14 million from the city to build a $90 million hotel Waterpark that would only be open to hotel guests!
The state and its capitol are prepared to give Amazon more than $1.5 billion to have the corporation move is second U.S. headquarters here.
Like the Chinese government and oligarchs, neither state nor city will reveal the details or total amount.
As the WSWS has so correctly observed before, "the hypocrisy is breathtaking."

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

I should say I do not agree that globalised production is a beneficial or positive economic development. I accept that as a by product there is a positive political result namely the creation and expansion of the international working class. But the only reason for globalised production is the exploitation of lower wage rates in developing countries. If the cost of labour, taking into account currency exchange rates as well as wage levels, were the same in every country and region, there would be no advantage in producing most commodities in Asia for sale in North America or Europe (or vice versa). Also, I do not accept that free trade is in everyone's interest. The only argument ever advanced in it's favour by economists, the comparative advantage argument, is spurious. Even its originators, Adam Smith and David Ricardo, accepted that the benefits would only apply if capital was immobile across national boundaries, which hardly applies today. The US economy's industrial growth, though the result of several factors, was only possible because the US rejected free trade in favour of protective tariffs which protected its infant industries from foreign competition. What is the central fallacy in the comparative advantage argument is that the prosperity of the majority of a country's citizens under capitalism depends on a strong, capital intensive, manufacturing sector, but which also requires a large labour input. Only those jobs can pay a sufficiently high wage to workers. Their spending power also invigorates the whole economy.

Kalen • 3 years ago

Your quite reasonable concerns are partially addressed here with Quasi-Marxist analysis:

FALLACY OF FREE MARKET AND FREE TRADE: A THEORETICAL VIEW.
https://contrarianopinion.w...

Thy major point about this issue global or local is often completely missed namely that this dispute have nothing to do with Workers Socialist Revolution but to perhaps see ways how to save capitalism in a way of sharing more wealth with working class, how to suppress class struggle with Bread and Games or War, an old Roman method of divide and conquer.

Hence, capital controls, tarrifs , barriers, subsidies are instruments of having any possibility of real social policies in capitalism system making it more livable and longer lasting than in case of intensified pressure on working class and class struggle of globalism versus nationalism.

Popularity of National Socialism in capitalist country like Germany was exactly due to that process of corruption of working class who embassy stoped to question system as long as provided them with goods.

Little did they know, that they were in 1930 confronted with no permanent political solution to their class issues via improvement of standard of living and importance of their labor on the propaganda spectrum,but with dead end politics of submission to one political sellouts or another since their forced unity was just subordinated to capitalist imperative of ufettered economic and military growth via extreme exploitation.

And that is what's wrong with nationalism namely it is shutting down paths of class struggle toward class liberation, as it neuters this struggle.

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

Thanks. I shall have a look.

Joe Williams • 3 years ago

The globalization of the productive forces is not a result of capitalist greed and exploitation, it's simply a natural consequence of human evolution, because humanity is a global species. The eradication of national borders allows more goods to be produced and distributed more efficiently, thus potentially benefiting everyone, and also grants people the basic right to live where they please. There is absolutely nothing progressive about opposing the development of the productive forces.

More efficiently for whom? What are the criteria for determining this chimera of efficiency? Is the health and well being of the planet's natural diversity even considered in these determinations? Is the health and welfare of underpaid workers in the "sweatshop" countries a real input for these solemn deliberations?

I think not. The only criteria seems to be the delivery of the highest possible profit to the providers of the capital investments, irrespective of the needs of either the eventual consumers who much buy the products (at the cost of their on jobs) or the very real needs of the workers (who are the actual producer of those goods), who are forced to accept the relative poverty of these commercial "agreements" among the owners of capital.

In terms of energy, the cavernous cargo vessels that ply the world's oceans use the cheapest and dirtiest fuel, which contributes to the degradation of the environment.

These costs and the extraction of natural resources necessary to satisfy the unending requirement for steadily increasing growth (of profits, if not of actual demand for those goods) are responsible for the degradation of every biome on the planet, and for the subjugation of the less powerful so-called trading "partners" who risk suffering military actions against them, should they balk at being enslaved by so-called "free trade" agreements.

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

There is a difference between the growth of global productive capacity and globalisation. Prior to the latter process, manufacturing capacity was increased including by western investment in developing countries, especially in Latin America. But production in those countries was for local regional and national markets. The US accepted competition from the German economy as a price to be paid for avoiding the postwar threat of socialism. But the Japanese export driven model of growth was eventually unacceptable. The US demanded the Japanese destroy this model by raising their own currency to a level which made their exports much less competitive. The Japanese rich were given financial opportunities in the US as compensation. However, when the South Koreans and other nations copied the Japanese model, the US government and US multinationals radically changed their economic policy. A conscious choice was made by the Reagon administration to export manufacturing jobs en masse to developing countries as well as attacking the incomes of US workers who had jobs. Henceforth, most goods manufactured for US consumption were to be produced abroad, from Mexico to China. Once US based multinationals started down this road, European and even Japanese ones followed. This did not mean an increase in productive forces but a substitution of one labour force for another. Thus the rise of Chinese industry was as much a part of this process as the deindustrialisation of formerly prosperous parts of the US and the UK. This has nothing to do with the evolution of our species and everything to do with the evolution of capitalism. This is what I mean by globalisation. It has not eradicated national borders but is a major factor in the recent development of far right nationalism in Europe. It is a strong contributor to the restructuring of western economies so that only a minority of British workers have full time permanent jobs. It is also used as leverage to drive down wages in western economies. Of course in recent years the Chinese and Indian economies have grown under these policies so that there is now an increase of global capacity. Nor do I believe this process has led to a genuinely more efficient system of production and distribution. To produce products in one part of the world for distribution to another part half way around the world is very inefficient, if the product could be made nearer to the point where it would be used. It however becomes profitable if the labour used to produce it is much cheaper than that available where the the object is to be sold. I do not believe what I mean by globalisation is progressive at all. It has been pushed by the most reactionary political forces in western societies as an integral part of what the WSWS calls a social counter revolution. As the WSWS again points out it makes the preservation of national welfare states or a decent standard of living for working class people impossible. I am not calling for this to be reversed under capitalism. That seems impossible. Only the overthrow of capitalism offers the possibility of positive change. But under international socialism, globalised production chains will finally be seen for what they are, an unnecessary and inefficient encumbrance on humanity.

Joe Williams • 3 years ago

I think you are largely confusing globalisation with imperialism. I think you are also misunderstanding the wsws position. The wsws does not call for xenophobic or nationalist policies to close borders and keep workers imprisoned in their home countries to be used as a captive labor force by the domestic bourgeoisie. The wsws calls for an internationalist and proletarian socialist movement in conformity with that advocated by the workers movement ever since the publication of the communist manifesto.

profitability =/= efficiency

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

I quite agree and that sums up my reason for objecting to the notion that globalisation is a positive development whose potential would be realised under socialism. However, I suspect that you may be intending this remark as a criticism in which case I don't understand your underlying reasoning.

I really could not care less what you call it. I just want people to start treating each other better. What makes those with sticky fingers think that they are so G.D. better than everyone else that they can condemn whole segments to poverty and even death, all for the sake of their bits of imaginary ego-boosts?

ALL of the "isms" in the world have never worked out a justification for greed and the lust for power. No matter what the system, crooked people always try to exploit others, and blamejustify it all on their "good genes". (edited)

Capitalism is no better or worse because it just doesn't matter what the system is, the crooks will always cheat that system to get more than everyone else.

denis ross • 3 years ago

An interesting theory to describe what is essentially creation of a world customs union based on the model that created Germany in 1871, the Zollverein. Spreading the customs union (Zollverein) worldwide was the reason for the two world wars--instead of maintaining a world federation politically and economically. The United Nations was designed to be a federation, but under post-1945 changes in the USA and subsequent pressures on the UN and its member states, it began developing into a union, not a federation. This was accompanied with creation of a global Zollverein, tariff free borders and free trade.
The difference politically between a union and a federation is that in a federation the member states award limited operating powers to a central coordinating body which does what the members want; in a union the central body holds all the powers and tells the members what to do.

sumwunyumaynotno • 3 years ago

The United Nations "holds all the powers and tells the members what to do" ? That's news to me. As far as I can tell, the members do what they damn well please. The UN is more like a fractured federation with a nearly impotent central body - the so-called "Security Council" - which issues edicts but has no enforcement power. Same with the World Court.

The UN was designed by the victors of WWII to be "crippled", mere window-dressing as a calming salve for the developing nations. From the start, it was meant to be largely ineffective as the world's policeman and justice system .

All the nation states with any significant power are still more interested in preserving as much their own power and hegemonic control as possible.

Greg • 3 years ago

"...globalised production is the exploitation of lower wage rates in developing countries."

As if domestic production were not the same thing. The author is essentially arguing for "lesser evil" exploitation in the interests of society as a whole.

Reformists always do.

"The crisis also exposed in full glare another of the central myths of the capitalist order—that the state is somehow a neutral or independent organisation committed to regulating social and economic affairs in the interests of society as a whole." -Ten years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers

I suppose the determination of what constitutes the "interests of society as a whole" depends on which end of the stick one's "society" is holding.

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

I am not a reformist and was not arguing "essentially" or otherwise for any such thing. Indeed I was not advocating, in that comment, any economic policy at all. I am rather surprised that even one person should think otherwise. Perhaps I didn't explain myself with sufficient lucidity. I was explaining my disagreement with Beams' claim that globalised production chains represented in some technological sense a real advance that absent the distortions of capitalism was a genuine improvement. I have tried to restate my reasoning, I hope more clearly, in another reply below.

Greg • 3 years ago

"I accept that as a by product there is a positive political result namely the creation and expansion of the international working class."

That's a beneficial or positive economic development. But it's not a "byproduct."

"Indeed I was not advocating, in that comment, any economic policy at all."

Seriously, Jerome?

"I do not agree that globalised production is a beneficial or positive economic development."

I gotta be thinking right here Jerome any policy you do happen to advocate won't be praising globalised production as a beneficial and positive economic development. Especially when it comes the material interests of the working class.

Slippery Jerome. Verrry slippery.

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

Advocating a policy does not involve praising anything. Perhaps you mean recommending. You would then be right. I thought I had made it clear that I believe this form of organistion is not in the material interests of the working class. That is one way of putting my disagreement with Beams insofar as I understand it. However my fundamental advocacy of policy would be that of international socialism the result of which would be the handing of power to the working class to be exercised democratically. I and others would be able to recommend particular policies but the decisions would be made democratically by the working class themselves. Under capitalism I can see no way of undoing what has been done without causing immense suffering and pain to millions of people. In any case, for reasons Marxists should understand, this will not happen.

Greg • 3 years ago

"However my fundamental advocacy of policy would be that of international socialism the result of which would be the handing of power to the working class to be exercised democratically."

The "handing of power" from whom exactly?

As it is now, the minority holds the power. So it's reasonable to think you mean they would hand the power over to the majority.

Which would be silly.

But whether or not that was your meaning, "the handing of power to the working class to be exercised democratically" besides being exactly backwards, is an opportunist "understanding" of Marxism. It implies a perspective where the state does not need to be destroyed.

"The crucial question for Marx was what was the social material force—the class—created by capitalist society itself, which would be the agency, the driving force, of this transformation." -A promotion of the “life-style” politics of the pseudo-left

It's a version of the frequently and historically repeated goal of replacing one petty bourgeoisie minority with another, betraying the material interests of the working class and the revolution every time.

It seems like you might have just mentioned that phrase as an aside but it might indicate the deeper problem.

Before you start analyzing which policies might be recommended (which seems to be mainly what interests you) you have to understand the class nature of the problem. That doesn't come down only to understanding that there are two classes in struggle in society and then applying your everyday petty bourgeois thinking to it.

Have you read David North's Lenin, Trotsky and the Marxism of the October Revolution? It was written back in March yet it's still posted on the wsws main page--for a reason.

It provides a concise explanation of some of the fundamental ideas and way of thinking you have to understand if you want to have any kind of intelligent conversation about socialism.

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

My everyday petty bourgeois thinking. I mostly try to be polite and respectful to those with whom I disagree, preferring to stick to a rational discussion of the points at issue. I have been frankly amazed that with 2 possible exceptions no one has understood the main point of my comment on globalisation. Notice I say "understand" not "agree with". But of all the people who have engaged with me you have been furthest from such an understanding. You actually did momentarily understand one thing I said when you wrote "It seems like you might have mentioned the phrase as an aside": congratulations! Everything else you seem to almost willfully misunderstand. It eventually dawned on me that you seem to react to everything I say by subjecting it to a kind of Marxist psycho analysis, rather than try to grasp what I might actually believe independently of what your beliefs are. This is what I call arguing in good faith. Otherwise you are projecting your mindset onto everyone else. I accept possibly that you think that being a Marxist requires you to do that but I disagree. However the fact that many Marxists do think like that is one reason I would not call myself a Marxist. For me to fully explain my politics would require me to write a blog if not a book. But you have been persistent in your misrepresentations of my thinking, if also patronisingly condescending, so I shall make one last effort to clarify what I did not mean in your above remarks: "what mainly interests you" - depends on the context. In this case I was not "mainly interested" in advocating policies of any kind at all as I explicitly said to no avail in your case. I was mainly interested in arguing that the arrangements of globalised production were not inherently efficient. My remarks are not an opportunistic "understanding" of Marxism because I am not a Marxist. More importantly, I know something about logic and my words do not logically imply a perspective where the state doesn't need to be destroyed, nor is that what I believe. On this point I agree with Marx. My use of the word "democratically" did not refer to parliamentary democracy but to more direct forms such as works councils. While I shall probably have a look at the North article out of interest I think I am capable of having what I consider to be an intelligent conversation about socialism without being familiar with its contents. If you think not that's fine. I am happy to confine my conversations to those who think I am worth discussing with. Since you have been so condescending to me I think it's only fair that I should end my participation in this litany of misunderstandings in like manner: a little intellectual humility would assist in your attempts to understand and communicate with your fellow humans, the absence of which spells bigotry and arrogance. Herewith endeth this lesson as well as my interest in explaining myself on these matters.

Greg • 3 years ago

"While I shall probably have a look at the North article out of interest I think I am capable of having what I consider to be an intelligent conversation about socialism without being familiar with its contents. If you think not that's fine."

Yeah, that's exactly it. You have to at least be on the same page of the article mentioned and the philosophy etc.

CH • 3 years ago

And how, short of making a world socialist revolution, does one go about making "the cost of labour, taking into account currency exchange rates as well as wage levels ... the same in every country and region"?

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

This comment is logically irrelevant to my point and my argument. I wasn't suggesting any economic policies at all. I was trying to distinguish between the economic distortions inherent in capitalism and underlying real costs of production which have nothing to do with wage levels. See my reply below beginning "I was not trying to argue that...".

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

Actually, though it was not my intent to argue this (see below), but there is a case to be made that globalised capitalism is a force pushing for the equalisation of wage levels across across national and regional boundaries and has indeed made some "progress" in this direction. In some developing countries there has been a slight upward movement of wage levels but, except in China, this has not led to a significant improvement in living standards. There continues to be a marked decrease in real wage levels in western countries as well as in working conditions, which has been well documented in WSWS reports. Of course this is also one reason for globalisation.If western governments continue to get their way, this reduction of income levels and living standards will get worse. So under capitalism, the day may come when western workers are not paid much more than, say, their Chinese counterparts. Oh happy days! (I should not have to point out that the final statement is meant as sarcasm.)

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

I was not arguing that was possibly going to happen nor suggesting that any reformist "solution" to present day economic problems, national or global, is possible. I was not advocating anything of the sort. Your question suggests that you have completely missed the point of that part of my comment. I am not a reformist and was not advocating any policies at all in my comment. I was criticising Nick Beams comments that globalised production chains employed represent a genuinely beneficial development in some deep sense. I maintain that this isn't the case at all. Capitalists find this a profitable strategy only because of vast labour cost differentials across the globe as well as the fact that governments in many countries, including Bangladesh and China, tolerate dangerous and hazardous working environments that western governments, as yet, don't. Not that I believe this is out of the latter's concern for the welfare of their workers. This misunderstanding arises possibly because the ICFI realises this development arises from modern advances in technology. But that technology enables capitalists to increase their profits in this way does not mean the resulting organisation of production is actually of any benefit to humanity. If one measures the cost of labour in man-hours, not by wage costs, one sees the cost advantages disappear. By that standard the true cost of a smart phone manufactured in China is the same if it's produced in North America. But then it is seen to be more costly to produce a smartphone in China for the North American market because there is the additional real cost of transporting the phones from China to North America. Of course, under capitalism this relation is obscured because the wage differentials make this organisation of production very profitable for some Asian companies but mainly for western companies who subcontract their manufacturing to developing countries and hugely mark up the prices on their goods when they arrive in western markets.

sumwunyumaynotno • 3 years ago

Nick Beams did not say that "globalised production chains employed represent a genuinely beneficial development in some deep sense." He said that such an outcome is impossible under capitalism and the system of competing nation-states. The only "deep sense" is that he said it would be possible for globalization to have a positive effect for humanity if the international working class were able to abolish capitalism, the pursuit of private profit, warring nation-states, and institute socialism.

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

Thanks for your comment. You are the only responder to my comment that comes close to addressing the point I was really trying to make. Actually, reading the above piece more carefully, you're right Beams does not say there anything like I've claimed in that piece. He does however say something like that in other previous articles. I agree that his position is essentially as you have outlined it in your comment. What even you seemed to have not understood is that it is that claim that I am disputing, that I maintain under global socialism such globalised production systems are not efficient at all. I use as an example production of smartphones in China for North American and Western European markets. The main reason for this is the wage differential between Chinese and western workers. Under socialism this wage differential would ultimately be eradicated. That this would demonstrate that this way of organising production is inefficient can be seen by measuring labour costs in man hours instead of wage rates. Under socialism it would be more expensive to produce smartphones in China for use in North America and Europe than to produce them in the latter regions because there remains the real extra cost of transporting them to their destinations. There are of course further complications about determining where production should be located, but the point I am trying to make is a relatively simple one and I am surprised that no one seems to have understood it but rather most have taken me to be saying things which are wildly different to what I intended. At least you have come close.

imaduwa • 3 years ago

Thank you comrade Nick Beams. US's century is 20th and a bygone one. You finely point out on the basis of Trotskysm the mortal danger that humanity faces resulting from the inter-imperialist rivalry that is escalting by the day. Besides,the US's taking up of its rival China, the second biggest economy, in trade war pose a military confrontation to which Russia could be attracted on to China side. Also Russia has been taken up by American imperialism independently as a target. Brexit hard or soft would also confound economic nationalism that is gathering momentum hugely. US sanctions on Iran is bound to sharpen the conflict between European imperialists. Also India appears to be in crisis on whether to abide by US dictats as per its Iranian economic connection especially on oil purchase. US's increasing protectionism has already gone out of control as per its implications to global polity and military activity. In view of this critical situation the role of the working class, national and international, should determine the future of humanity. Role of the revolutionary triumvirate, ICFI/SEP/IYSSE, is of paramount importance. I appeal to national working classes to build SEP as your national party of the socialist revolution. I appeal to youth and students to build your national chapters of the IYSSE in schools, universities etc. as quickly as possible. World war is haunting. Very existannce of the humanity on this palnet is uncertain, if we unitedly as workers, youth and students fail to empower the party of the world revolution, ICFI. Victory to international socialist revolution. Death to protectionism whose major advocate is US capitalism/imperialism. Down with the psudo left and the trade unions.

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

Keynes, who designed the Bretton Woods system, also proposed an international banking system and currency (called the Bancor). The purpose was to prevent the kind of unbalanced world trade which now dominates the global economy. Under his proposed system, countries with chronic trade surpluses would be penalised, thus preventing a situation like the present with some nations being massive exporters and others massive importers. Instead, all countries would hover around balanced trade where their imports equaled their exports in value. The US government told Keynes to shut up about this plan or they would cancel their promised postwar loans to the UK. The reason was that at the time the US planned to be a net exporter. Incidentally, Keynes warned that if the system of managed currency exchange rates were abandoned, the financial markets would become a "virtual senate" which would have the power to dictate economic policies to nation states.

Greg • 3 years ago

"Keynes, who designed the Bretton Woods system, also proposed an international banking system and currency (called the Bancor). The purpose was to prevent the kind of unbalanced world trade which now dominates the global economy."

Perpetually caught in a "lesser evil" loop of some variety or another from which the reformist never escapes, applying the same failed (ruling class) logic over, and over and over and over...

"But this solves nothing because, as Marx’s analysis showed, the crises of capitalism cannot be overcome by reforms to the monetary system because, while they necessarily express themselves there, they were rooted in the very foundations of the capitalist economy, in its DNA so to speak—that is, in the social relations based on profit and the market system." -Ten years after Lehman: New financial crises in the making

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

Keynes' suggestion would have "solved" or rather prevented one problem, but not every problem of capitalism. Keynes was a reformist and capable of formulating policies which, if followed, would make capitalism more amenable to the interests of the majority of people. He was consciously trying to save capitalism from itself and said so. But you rightly point out there is a major problem with this thinking, namely that it ignores the self interest of governments and capitalists alike, who ignore such concepts of "enlightened" self interest in favour of short term advantage. Political reality intruded in Keynes' well-intentioned designs immediately as I've mentioned and the whole Bretton Woods edifice was knocked down as soon as it proved inconvenient for US interests. Similarly, I strongly suspect Keynes would have disapproved of financial deregulation, but the underlying development of US capitalism led to unstoppable political pressure for its implementation.

Greg • 3 years ago

"Keynes was a reformist and capable of formulating policies which, if followed, would make capitalism more amenable to the interests of the majority of people."

For the life of me I can't figure why you'd praise a policy that more effectively persuades or controls the masses to their own detriment and to the economic benefit of a minority--other than to conclude that like Keynes and the rest of the petty bourgeoisie, you're a reformist.

Warren Duzak • 3 years ago

Very interesting reply. Thanks.
Could you post the general source about Keynes' positions, please?

Jerome_Stern • 3 years ago

The most important theoretical source of his thinking is his own work "The General Theory of Employment, Money and Interest" which is available to read or download free online. I only recently learned of his Bancor proposal in an article by George Monbiot originally published in the Guardian. I read it on the Znet website, but I can't remember when. As for his quote about the financial markets becoming a virtual senate, I read that in some article about finance but don't remember the source. Sorry I can't be more helpful. There could be other books on his theories but he is somewhat unfashionable as mainstream economics has mostly reverted to a more ideologically driven right wing position.

Charlotte Ruse • 3 years ago

"In January, while Trump was requesting Congress to allocate funds for the US-Mexico border wall, China sent delegates to Chile, inviting Latin American leaders to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. Months later, as Trump bullied US allies at the NATO summit, China was wrapping up the “16+1 summit” in Bulgaria, where Chinese investment and diplomatic relations were marketed to Central and Eastern European leaders. And most recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his travels throughout Africa, where he was visiting with heads of state and deepening China’s relationships with the continent of the future, while America picks a one-sided trade fight with Rwanda."

The US "makes war" while China makes business deals.
Pick your poison--two capitalists countries controlled by
oligarchs which can only offer the working-class continued exploitation.

https://www.geopoliticalmon...

лидия • 3 years ago

Every time capitalism "resolves" its problems, it creates much more dangerous ones.

Greg • 3 years ago

The creation of much more dangerous problems yes, but the reformists is focused on "good intentions."

Where the contradiction between the subjective intention and the objective result is an abstraction.

Allowing the "every time" repetitive nature of their logic.

FireintheHead • 3 years ago

Absolutely essential reading . Thanks Nick

Sebouh80 • 3 years ago

An Excellent piece of article that explains clearly the trajectory that got us into US-China trade war, and what this means for the Global Capitalist System going forward. If we remember when trade war topic was first brought into picture Trump administration officials were saying imposing tariffs on China and Europe were the only way to correct the unfair trade balances. However, as the months progressed it quickly became known that US officials were using unfair trade practices of China as a scapegoat to demand further concessions from the Chinese authorities. These concessions include complete dismantlement of Made in China 2025 program and put a hold to their Silk Road initiative. In other words, Donald Trump and the entire American ruling circles see China as an existential long term threat and they are using trade war as a weapon to contain China's rising political and economical ambitions. For now Trump is increasing the tariffs so as to force the Chinese leadership to acquiesce to his conditions. Of course, I would expect in the coming days Chinese authorities to rebuff this latest round of sanctions and that they would retaliate their own tariffs. On the other hand, the Trump administration has put Iran under severe sanctions, and they also warned all big European Multinational corporations like Total and others to stop doing business with Iran after November. So as we can see we are in a very precarious Global situation right now due to rising contradictions between the needs of Global economy and nation states. The US wants to reinforce it's declining global hegemonic position at any cost. Now they started with economic war against countries they see as not cooperating to their demands, but under current conditions this could easily transform into Global war at some point in future.