The Chase across the Globe: International Accumulation and the Contradictions for Nation States

The Chase across the Globe: International Accumulation and the Contradictions for Nation States

The Chase across the Globe: International Accumulation and the Contradictions for Nation States

The Chase across the Globe: International Accumulation and the Contradictions for Nation States

Excerpt

In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels wrote, somewhat extravagantly, that precapitalist societies would be forced to adopt the capitalist mode of production 'on pain of extinction'. In the mid- nineteenth century, the style of colonial oppression made the connotations of brutality and militarism quite appropriate. Some will contend that the image of the brutality of conquest continues to depict the extension of capitalist class relations in the post-war, (generally) post- colonial era. And there is no argument that the list of cases of imperialist aggression to support or assert the rule of capital is long, and continues to grow.

But such aggression is not the only means by which the rule of capital is asserted and extended, and reliance on such cases to establish the expansionist nature of capitalism misses the most pervasive and adaptive elements of the process. After all, Marx showed that the exploitation of labor by capital in capitalism is associated with 'free' wage labor -- workers are free to sell their labor power where they choose; and they are free to not sell their labor power ... but starve. The global expansion of capital and capitalism is similarly conceived in a dual freedom: the freedom of individual capitals to participate in a global market ... or liquidate. Competition on a global scale invites capitalists everywhere to shape up to international standards on price and quality, or go out of business. This is what makes international expansion a chase over the whole face of the globe: it is about individual capitalists throughout the world facing the direct discipline of a globally- integrated market.

But it is not simply a chase of individual capitalists or transnational corporations (TNCs) to implant their logos further and further afield. The development of TNCs, significant as this has been in the past quarter of a century, is just one form of the chase. More generally, the chase is about the international movement of commodities and the global integration of capital markets. The underlying nature of the chase is not . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.