The result of the struggle between the two candidates for the presidential elections in the
United States marks the victory of one form of capitalism – “rent” over “industrial”, which will dominate America and the world in the coming decades.
The result of the struggle between the two candidates in the US presidential election not only marks the victory of one of the famous statesmen and one of the two political “philosophies” of the further development of American society, but also victory of one of the forms of capitalism – rent th (financial) over industrial (industrial). Today it is already obvious that “ rental capitalism” as a result of the election of Joseph Biden 46 will retain his dominant position in United States States and around the world in the next two or three decades .
To understand the essence of the “crossroads” of the civilizational development of America , and, accordingly, of the whole world in the coming years, that arose during the presidential elections in the United States, it is necessary to recall Lenin’s fundamental work “Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Capitalism” … For those readers who are idiosyncratic to the entire theoretical legacy of Vladimir Ilyich, and are ready to immediately stop reading this article because of mentioning his name, we kindly ask you to at least familiarize yourself with its conclusions, since it will not talk about the scientific work of the founder of socialism in the world, but only about those of its methodological foundations, which in recent decades have found their confirmation in practice, and received further theoretical development in modern Western political and economic studies.
How true are the conclusions of Marxism-Leninism about the inevitability of the “collapse” of capitalism and its replacement by communism in modern historical conditions?
According to the Marxist theory, capitalism is only one of 5 socio-economic formations that humanity goes through in the process of its development. It replaces feudalism in the process of civilizational evolution, and precedes communism.
In his writings, Lenin, trying to apply Marxist analysis to the historical and socio-economic conditions of the Russian Empire of the late 19th – early 20th centuries, developed the idea of socialism, as a transitional phase of communism, expressed in fragments by the classics, and tried to theoretically substantiate the possibility of its construction in a separately taken, civilizationally backward country, which was at that time tsarist Russia. As you know, Marx and Engels believed that communism is a natural stage in the evolution of mankind, replacing capitalism, but in its full phase it can first be built only in the most economically developed countries. In turn, the presence of such an advanced ” outpost “will allow backward countries to” jump “some stages / stages / phases of capitalist development.
In his brochure, written in exile during the First World War (in 1916), Lenin, criticizing the theory of “ultra-imperialism” Karl Kautsky, and based on the ideas of the British economist John Hobson and the German economist and politician Rudolf Hilferding, derived five distinctive features of capitalism 20th century compared to the 19th century : the emergence of monopolies, the concentration of financial capital, the beginning of the export of capital, the formation of international cartels, the struggle for territorial-colonial section of the world.
As the history of the 20th century has shown , Lenin’s assertion that imperialism is the last stage in the development of capitalism, characterized by its parasitism, decay and dying, was erroneous. By “parasitism” and “decay” he understood the transition of capitalism to the stage of obtaining “non-productive” superprofits by private owners of the main means of production due to their monopoly position, the use of financial instruments for lending and investment, and the colonial robbery of the peoples of economically backward countries.
Karl Kautsky turned out to be right and other theorists of Western Social Democracy, who viewed “Ultra-imperialism” as a hypothetically conceivable phase of capitalism following imperialism. This idea was based on the fact that that imperialism, with its aspirations for war, can be overcome within the capitalist formation itself. At the time of its emergence, the closest synonyms of “ultra-imperialism” that reflected its essence were the concepts of “collective imperialism”, “super-imperialism”, “hyper-imperialism” and “post-imperialism”.
According to them, along with the renunciation of violence between the developed capitalist powers and their successful cooperation in international organizations , the main typical features of “ultra-imperialism” were considered the increasing freedom of trade, the merging of industrial and financial capital with a simultaneous growing concentration both. This, in the opinion of Kautsky and his fellow thinkers, “ultra-imperialism” , as a higher stage / phase of development of the capitalist socio-economic formation, significantly differs from imperialism, which is characterized by tendencies of protectionism, striving to protect the zones of national economies from imports, while increasing exports to the outside. Both phases are monopolistic.
That is, the theory of “ultra-imperialism”, on the one hand, became as if the ideological forerunner of the neoliberal model, which was philosophically and politically designated by Friedrich Hayek in the second half of the 40s of the XX century, and economically in 1950 -s was founded by Milton Friedman. And on the other hand, which from the late 1970s of the XX century began to be implemented in practice by the United States, Great Britain and a number of other leading Western countries.
Capitalism pre-evolved to the “handle” … communism?
But the paradox of the zigzags of the “spiral” of historical development and the genesis of the theoretical discourse on this issue is that the modern processes of capitalist development have led developed countries with market economies to the actual construction of socialism in them (Scandinavian countries, France). And the coronavirus pandemic that struck humanity over the past year has intensified the processes that began at the end of the 20th century to introduce elements of communist social relations by governments. That is, to put into practice the same ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin.
But a prerequisite for the transformations of capitalism as a socio-economic formation taking place today has become the introduction of new social rent soften class contradictions in their social organisms. Namely, along with the transition to the “welfare state” model since the late 1920s, new types of social rent that never existed in the past appeared , such as unemployment benefits, disability pensions, state payments to certain categories citizens (maternity capital, subsidies for the purchase of housing for state employees, etc.), social pensions that do not depend on personal labor savings. “Social rent” , preventing significant sections of the population of the advanced capitalist countries from falling into poverty, stabilized society and began to act as a kind of payment to an individual for unrealized opportunities.
Europe is faced with an influx of migrants precisely because the minimum benefit in Germany is much higher than the full wage in Africa. Thus, money is paid not so much for work as for entering a certain community , territorial or, less often, corporate. Market mechanisms cannot explain this. Moreover, not only the stratification of society on the basis of market demand has become receding ь into the background, but also the “ethics of Protestantism ” itself, about which, following Max Weber, theorists of Western society spoke for a long time, the beginnings will disappear b from the public mind.
Printing and distribution of money “from a helicopter” to both businesses and citizens to “support their pants” in the conditions of coronavirus quarantine, carried out in the United States and in almost all developed European countries is the most revealing evidence of the germination of communist social relations.
Guaranteed payments by the state that cover basic needs – this is how many imagined the advent of communism two hundred years ago . If the idea of building communism in the days of Marx / Engels, and Lenin / Stalin, and Khrushchev / Brezhnev was perceived as a fairy tale, now in developed capitalist countries, in which the basic conditions have been formed , it can come true in one form or another . No need for extra jobs, no need to go to an unloved job, all the time a person’s life becomes free … In a sense, achieving the level of universal equality in certain civilizationally advanced societies has become a practical reality for the first time in the history of mankind.
A LEGAL QUESTION ARISES: WHY AND HOW DOES IT HAPPENED?
Over the past 50 years, the neoliberal model of capitalist development has brought Relative peace (at least on a planetary scale), prosperity and technological progress, dramatically reducing poverty and raising living standards around the world. But in the decade since the global financial crisis of 2008, the model has come under threat, especially when it comes to maximizing profits and equity. These principles have proven to be essential for running good business, but not sufficient.
The classical model of capitalism assumed a continuous growth of production, which was reflected in the idea of continuous and unlimited progress of mankind. However, the moment came when the market finally globalized, that is, it was actually distributed among global players . Its extensive expansion has stalled, and with it the growth of world production has stopped.
Attempts to redistribute the market – trade wars, “soft power”, private military companies in the service of corporations – do not solve problems . Today, with the improvement of technology, the amount of goods produced is growing, but the world GDP is decreasing. Accordingly, the number of people employed in production decreases. . If the early industrial industrial giants needed tens of thousands of workers, today these are automated workshops, and the niche of the service economy is few in number. Global corporations such as Microsoft or Google employ just over 100,000 people, and this number of employees is enough for the whole world.
Over the past four decades, in most developed Western countries, and especially in the United States, as the “key” country of the capitalist world, we have seen a “wicked trinity” of economic problems: slowing productivity growth, growing inequality and huge financial turmoil.
According to Jason Furman of Harvard University and Peter Orzag of investment bank Lazard Freres SAS, “From 1948 to 1973, real average household income in the United States increased by 3% annually. Thanks to this, the probability that the child will have a higher income than his parents was 96%. Since 1973, the median household has seen its real income grow at only 0.4% per year. As a result, today 28% of children have lower incomes than their parents. ”
A logical question arises: p why does the modern capitalist economy does not live up to expectations? The answer is is largely associated with its transition to the stage of “rental capitalism” or “rentier capitalism” . Its “roots” were those primary trends in the evolution of the capitalist socio-economic formation, which Lenin recorded in his work “Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Capitalism”. Namely, the processes of concentration of financial capital and the emergence of a financial oligarchy that were already actively going through.
Western analysts on the causes of the crisis of modern capitalism
In September 2019, the largest European media discussed an article by Martin Wolff in the Financial Times “Why rental capitalism destroys liberal democracy.” Its author argues that modern capitalism differs sharply from its ideal image based on fair competition and democracy. The current economy, he writes, is organized in such a way that elite groups have the ability to extract rent at the expense of the rest of society. By “rent” Wolf understands the part of the income of a manager or official received from his privileged position.
More broadly, the term “rent” refers to remuneration in excess of that which is necessary to stimulate a desired supply of goods, services, land or labor. Rent capitalism describes an economy in which market and political power allows privileged individuals and businesses to receive most of that rent at the expense of everyone else.
In fairness, it should be noted that the current wave of rethinking the role and essence of capitalism was launched not by a British business newspaper, but by the largest lobbying organization in the United States. In August 2019, the Business Roundtable, a business association of 15 million CEOs from leading United States companies with 15 million employees, changed its declaration. For the past 22 years, it has stated that corporations “exist primarily to serve their shareholders.” This summer, 181 -н CEO committed to “lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders — customers, employees, suppliers, local communities and shareholders” . It is noteworthy that shareholders in this list were in last place.
As if echoing the conclusion of American business practitioners, one of the three most authoritative publications in the world of profit and cash, The Financial Times even launched a special project “Capitalism. It’s time for a reboot. ”
Finance plays a key role in the economy at the “rental stage” of capitalism’s development. Deprived of proper regulation, they tend to metastasize, like cancer. The financial sector’s ability to generate credit and money allows it to expand its own activities, incomes and often illusory profits.
The simplest type of transfer of capital to rent is the capitalization of a startup : to create a new production facility and immediately sell it profitably, transferring management to the hired management and remaining a shareholder, i.e. rentier. The share of rent in the distribution of income is constantly increasing, displacing the share of labor.
A 2015 study by Stephen Cecchetti and Eniss Harruby for the Bank for International Settlements argues that “the level of financial development is good only up to a certain point, after which it becomes a brake on growth: a rapidly growing financial sector is detrimental to the growth of aggregate productivity.” Scientists believe that when the financial sector grows rapidly, it hires the most talented people. Not only do they actively take loans to acquire property – this is how the collateral mass is formed. It is also a diversion of talented human resources in unproductive, useless directions.
In addition, excessive lending growth, as shown by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff in their book This Time Will Be Different, almost always leads to crises. This is why no modern government dares to allow the supposedly market-based financial sector to function without its help and guidance. But this, in turn, creates tremendous opportunities to benefit from irresponsibility: PROFITS PRIVATIZATION AND LOSS NATIONALIZATION HAPPEN. Hence, further financial crises are guaranteed.
The most characteristic features of “rental capitalism” are:
1. Slowdown in productivity growth labor in the real sector of the economy despite the explosion since 1980 activity in the financial sector, and the transition of developed capitalist countries from the 4th to the 5th and 6th technological order.
2. Regular inflation and bursting of financial bubbles in non-manufacturing sectors of the economy : in the real estate market, stock, foreign exchange and cryptocurrency markets.
So, for example, the salaries of specialists in the “non-manufacturing sector”, tied to the price of a company’s shares, gives the management a huge incentive to increase these quotes by manipulating profits or borrowing money to buy shares. None of these strategies add real value to the business. But they allow top managers to make big fortunes.
3. The emergence of large disparities in wages in various sectors of the economy. Thomas Philippe of the Stern School of Business and Ariel Reschef of the Paris School of Economics showed that in the 1980s, the relative earnings of financial professionals rose sharply as a result of industry deregulation. According to their estimates, it was then that the incomes of specialists in the financial sector exceeded the wages in the rest of the private sector by 30-50%. Moreover, significant increases in wage disparities also result from radically different remuneration of workers with the same skills across firms : this has become a new form of rent-seeking.
4. Reduced competition not only as a result of monopolization of leading sectors of the economy, but also of individual professions , managerial positions and even urban agglomerations.
Thus, in the above-mentioned Furman and Orszag argue that there is evidence of an increase in the level of market concentration in the United States, expressed in a higher level of “entry” for new firms and a smaller share of young enterprises in the economy compared to three or four decades ago … Research by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Oxford Martin School also found a widening productivity gap and, consequently, a growing profit gap between the world’s leading companies and everyone else.
Individual managers ” superstar workers ” and their companies receive monopoly rents from the sale of their franchises and “intangibles” , because they can now serve the world markets more cheaply thanks to their privileged position. The most prominent examples here are Internet monopolies (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Alibaba and Tencent) in the form of network platforms.
According to Deborah Hagreaves, founder of High Pay Center, in the UK, the ratio of the average CEO salary to the average salary has grown from 48 in 1998 to 129 in 2016. In the United States, the same figure skyrocketed from 42 in 1980 to 347 in 2017.
A similar example is the agglomeration network externalities noted by Paul Collier in The Future of Capitalism. Successful cities – London, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco – create powerful feedback loops by attracting and rewarding talented people. This is disadvantageous for businesses and people who find themselves in less popular cities. As a result, agglomerations form rent not only in real estate prices, but also in income.
5. The merger of large industrial corporations and the state leads to a completely different social structure , the core of which is directly embedded in the pyramid of distribution of national resources. Globally, the markets are distributed so that 150 TRANSNATIONAL COMPANIES AFFILIATED WITH THE WORLD’S LEADING POWERS CONTROL 60% OF THE WORLD MARKET. Under these conditions, it is possible to get your significant market share only by distributing government orders, integrating into large national programs. Therefore, political and economic lobbying develops, and the state begins to return to protectionist policies, trying to reserve a certain market share for national companies.
6. A sharp increase in income inequality of the richest stratum the population and other citizens of the country. Over the past 40 years inequality has risen markedly in almost all Western economies. In continental Europe, especially in the Nordic countries, it has grown more slowly than in the UK and the US. But the figures for the United States of America are really impressive. From 1980 to 2014, the average real income of one percent of the wealthiest US citizens have increased by almost 2.7 times, and their share in national income has increased from 10 to 21 percent .
7. An undeniable aspect of rent seeking is tax evasion. Corporations (and their shareholders) benefit from the public goods – security, legal systems, infrastructure, educated workforce, and socio-political stability – provided by the world’s most powerful liberal democracies. However, they are also in a privileged position to exploit tax loopholes – especially for companies that have difficulty pinpointing a manufacturing or innovation source.
The biggest problems in the corporate tax system are tax competition, erosion of the tax base and redistribution of profits. The first is the reduction in tax rates. The second and third we see in the registration of intellectual property in tax havens, in accounting for tax-deductible debt from profits earned in jurisdictions with higher taxes, as well as falsifying transfer prices within multinational companies.
In a 2015 IMF study, it was estimated that EROSION OF THE TAX BASE AND REDISTRIBUTION OF PROFITS FOR THE FAVOR OF OFFSHORE REDUCED LONG-TERM ANNUAL INCOME in OECD countries by about $ 450 billion (1 percent of the gross domestic product) in the OECD, by just over $ 200 billion (1.3 percent of GDP). These are important numbers in the context of income tax, which averages only 2.9% of GDP in 2016 in OECD countries, but only 2% in the United States.
According to Brad Setser of the Council on Foreign Relations, American corporations report 7 times more profits in small tax havens (Bermuda, British Caribbean, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Singapore and Switzerland) , than the six largest economies in the world (China, France, Germany, India, Italy and Japan). Trump’s tax reform has changed almost nothing . And of course, not only American corporations benefit from such loopholes.
In such cases, rents do not just accumulate in the “right places.” They are themselves created through lobbying for unfair tax loopholes and active opposition to the adoption of laws necessary to effectively regulate mergers, anti-competitive practices, legal suppression of the facts of financial violations, environmental pollution and violations in the labor market. Corporate lobbying takes place at the expense of the interests of ordinary citizens. Studies show that today the demands of ordinary people mean little in the development of public policy.
8. An obvious sign of rental capitalism is a high level of corruption not only in developing and transit countries , but also its increase in developed democratic countries.
9. Creation of a global system of neo-colonial exploitation by transnational corporations and states of the “golden billion” of the “Third World” countries not only by traditional force (Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria ) but also through the ideological imposition of the values and institutions of democracy on them according to the patterns of the so-called “Open Society” and the purposeful formation of comprador administrations in them from among the national grand-eater cadres.
What is the mistake of Trump’s presidential plans to reform capitalism in the United States
In an effort to overcome the negative effects of “rental capitalism” on the United States, President Donald Trump has focused on addressing bilateral trade imbalances as a cause of job losses. According to him, the American deficit is the result of “bad” trade deals with other countries. Indeed, the US has a general trade deficit and the EU a surplus. But the trade policies they implement are very similar and does not explain the sales balance between them.
As significant as the political and cultural “shock from foreigners” is, the economic impact of immigration also remains very modest. Studies have shown convincingly that the impact of immigration on the real incomes of indigenous people and on the financial situation of host countries has often been positive . Much more productive than this politically advantageous but misguided focus of opinion on the alleged damage caused by foreign trade and migration is, according to leading prominent Western economists, the study of modern rentier capitalism.
Therefore, if we digress from the specific motivation of the 45th President of the United States in his desire to return the factories and factories of leading companies to America, and make a theoretical generalization, then we can say that TRUMP TRYED TO RETURN / RESTORE THE LEADING ROLE OF “PRODUCTION CAPITAL” RELATIONSHIP TO FINANCIAL, “RENTAL”.
How ultimately real is from the point of view of possible zigzags of the civilizational “spiral” of socio-economic progress of mankind a return from the “postindustrial” to the “industrial” stage of its development (see . Toffler’s work “The Third Wave”), the subject of special scientific research . Here, only it can be stated that the results of the last presidential elections in the United States testify to the collapse of Trump’s attempt to turn evolutionary back time. Return to ” White House “Joseph Biden already in the status of President marks the victory of the representative of” rental capitalism “over ” “. And in our opinion, this is the last stage of “decay” and “dying” of capitalism as a socio-economic formation.
WHAT IS THIS FOR THE WHOLE WORLD AND UKRAINE?
a) Activation of processes aimed at even greater globalization of the “globalized world.” to clearly fix and “cement” the hierarchy of states that has developed in the world over the past 40-50 years by increasing the political and economic dependence of the countries of the “Second” and “Third Worlds” on the leading Western states.
b) Strengthening the neo-colonial exploitation of natural and human resources of the “Third World” countries by the states of the “golden billion” in order to maintain a high standard of living for their citizens and introduce them for “repayment” internal social protests, elements of the communist distribution of the results of the social product produced by them and sucked out of their neo-colonies.
c) By intensifying special and military operations to preserve the United States’ status of “neo-imperial metropolis” and “international gendarme”.
r ) Conclusion , against the background of the public demagogy of the Washington leadership about increasing confrontation with its main geopolitical opponents, secret agreements with China, Russia, Great Britain, Iran, Turkey, the EU and Germany (like Obama with Putin on Crimea) on the division of spheres of influence in the world in order to increase the efficiency of mechanisms for managing world processes and preserve their neo-colonial super profits.
e) Strengthening the role of the state in regulating market relations in the economies of developed countries themselves in order to increase the efficiency of redistribution of social incomes and benefits, and deliberate weakening of state institutions in the countries of the “Third World” , up to the complete deprivation of the last of the slightest subjectivity and sovereignty.
f) The increasing manipulativeness of democratic institutions in the management of their “plebs” by the ruling class with the help of modern information technologies.
g) By stepping up the activities of Western grant government and public organizations in developing countries by increasing their funding in order to strengthen the influence of the “sorosyats” as the personnel base of the comprador neoclonal administration on internal processes taking place in the states of the “Third World”.
h) Strengthening the compliance and venality of the WE-team while fulfilling the instructions of the Western “masters” on internal economic and internal political issues.
and) By deliberately increasing Ukraine’s debts to international financial institutions by the current government in order to further tie our country to Western “partners”.
j) Strengthening, against the background of the peace-loving foreign policy rhetoric of the new US state administration, pressure on the Ukrainian authorities with the demand to radicalize “on all fronts” Ukraine’s position in relation to Russia .
1) Free enterprise capitalism has shown in the 20th century a remarkable ability to reinvent itself. But the emergence of elements of the communist distribution of social benefits and the decay of market relations in developed Western countries in the second half of the 20th century indicate that he, as a socio-economic formation, has exhausted its civilizational potential. There is no hope that capitalism will be able to reform itself and reboot into a new quality after Biden’s victory over Trump, judging by the previous activities of the first as vice president of the United States and his election program.
2) The transition of capitalism to a new, “rental stage” of its development has led to the dying out of economic competition, a catastrophic decline in labor productivity growth, increasing inequality between the ruling class and the rest of the citizens , the dysfunctional breakdown of democratic institutions in Western societies, and the discrediting of basic humanitarian values. Not only the stratification of societies on the basis of market demand fades into the background, but in itself the “ethics of Protestantism” , which, following Max Weber, the theorists of Western society talked about for a long time, disappears from the mass mentality.
3) The decay of “rental capitalism” does not mean the apocalypse of the existing world order . Its protracted “decay” and “dying” manifests itself in low rates of economic growth compared with the same communist China and Vietnam. The prolonged stagnation of “rental capitalism” (over the next 20-30 years) is possible, on the one hand , due to the uneven civilizational development of different countries on Earth, and with on the other hand, – thanks to the global system of neo-colonial exploitation of natural and human resources of the peoples of the “Third World” built over the past 50 years by developed states.
4) Today the governments of developed Western countries are forced to use the communist principles of allocating financial resources to support business and ordinary citizens in the context of the coronavirus crisis does not mean ripening at the moment on the basis of a collapsing old socio-economic formation, a new one. On the contrary, the stabilization measures taken only intensify the processes of decay and dying of capitalism at its rental stage.
5) Growth of “rental capitalism” into a full-fledged communist system with the emergence in it of a system of distribution of public goods and resources “according to the needs of each person, and not according to his contribution to social “income” is possible only as a result of complete automation, robotization and androidization of all types of production and spheres of labor of mankind. That is, in the process of achieving productive forces significantly higher level of their technological development.
6) The pessimistic scenario for the development of the “rental economy” in the global dimension, which may become reality if the search for a way out of the coronavirus pandemic is delayed, is the closure of various countries within national boundaries, the formation of rigid social groups that are not inclined to allow an influx from outside, depending on the proximity to the distribution of state rent. In fact, this will mean the emergence of a new estate society on a global scale. In it, a person’s social status will be determined both by his citizenship to developed or undeveloped countries, and to a certain state striking or powerful private corporation. In this case, the so-called “private traders” and even more so “unemployed” will be much less protected in socially. This trend exists now, the only question is whether it will become dominant.
7) Trump’s attempt to return the leading role of manufacturing (industrial) capitalism to rental (financial) capitalism is very controversial and controversial. Although the zigzags of the spiral of civilizational development of mankind at its current stage of social evolution are “inscrutable”, no one has yet proved such a possibility.
8) Biden’s victory in the US presidential election promises Ukraine only a further loss of sovereignty, erosion of statehood with the help of “soros” and even greater neo-colonial enslavement. If, of course, our society does not find the strength to implement, despite the external and internal factors that are not in its favor, a “civilizational breakthrough”.
OUR PEOPLE’S OUTSIDE THE HISTORICAL DEADLOCK IS POSSIBLE ONLY ON THE WAY refusal of any external government of the country, restoration its sovereignty and subjectivity both in domestic and foreign policy, and complete reboot of the Ukrainian statehood.
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