Fwd: 'Gas-out' apr 7-9

Jim heartfield jim at heartfield.demon.co.uk
Mon Mar 13 12:39:25 PST 2000

In message <s8ccd05a.077 at mail.ci.detroit.mi.us>, Charles Brown <CharlesB at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us> writes
>And of course, the theory of monopoly capitalism and imperialism that Varga is
>referring to is Lenin's theory. How odd not to mention the origin and most
>famous exponent of the theory being criticized.

It would be a terrible thing to saddle Lenin with responsibility for Varga. Lenin shows how imperialism develops on the basis of the laws of development that Marx isolated. The revisionist Varga fixes on the surface appearances to assert that Marx's theory no longer applies.

Varga, Berlioz, Welland, Aaronovitch et al are all proponents of the theory that monopoly capitalism exploits healthy productive capitalism. This is the conclusion of the method of isolating one fraction of capital from another.

Marx of course polemicised vigorously against such an approach, for example in the opening passages of the Grundrisse, where he slags off a Prudhonist for counter-posing healthy productive capital to parasitical banking capital.

The natural conclusion of isolating one group of capitalists for special attention is to favour the restoration of the system by the expulsion of its bad apples. As Bebel pointed out, this is the 'Socialism of Fools' that lead to campaigns against 'Jewish Capital'. In the 1970s some radicals organised a protest against the City of London and were shocked when the neo-Nazi National Front joined the back of the demonstration with banners denouncing Jewish financiers.

Of course Rakesh is right that there are deviations in rates of profit, and that monopolies do try to secure higher profits (did we think they would seek lower ones?). But over all the method of distinguishing between different factions of capital overlooks the unifying element of exploitation of labour. -- Jim heartfield

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