CHAPTER 36
INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT

THERE may also be international investment within the capitalist sphere. If the capitalist sector were a single unified economy with free movement of labour over the whole area, free opportunities for entrepreneurs to organise investment wherever they please; and a unified capital market, so that rentiers of each nation buy and sell placements of all kinds without respects to their national origin; and if, furthermore, complete laissez-faire rule -- governments were completely passive in economic affairs -- then the division of the capitalist world into nations would have no relevance to the process of accumulation. There would be a broad tendency to equalisation of the rate of profit and the level of wages throughout the capitalist world, and the analysis of a single economy which we have set out would be applicable with no more reservations and complications than are required for the discussion of accumulation within a country where different industries predominate in different geographical areas.

In so far as these conditions are not fulfilled there are special qualifications to be brought into the analysis.

In reality these conditions are fulfilled to some extent, but very imperfectly. Workers move more readily, as between industries and areas, within one country than over frontiers: and even when labour is immobile the level of wages in one industry has an influence on wages in others within a country (through setting up ideas of what is fair and what is possible) which is quite absent as between countries. Entrepreneurs find it easier to operate in an area whose language they understand and whose government is sympathetic to them. Rentiers have strong preferences (not necessarily in favour of their own country) as between placements of different national origin.

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