رشد، عدم اطمینان و جهان سوم در ظهور و سقوط سرمایه داری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|8506||2005||32 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Asian Economics, Volume 16, Issue 2, April 2005, Pages 153–177
Capitalism is subject to a growth imperative, because uncertainty about the future makes it impossible to survive remaining in a stationary state. Furthermore, growth beyond what is possible for a closed system is necessary for long-run survival. Profitable, some would say predatory relations with other systems and institutions are necessary. The distinction between capitalist and non-capitalist systems and institutions is private ownership and administration through markets in one case and bureaucratic ownership and administration in the other case. The historical development of capitalism is reviewed, starting with the merchant-guild capitalism of feudal society. Merchant-guild capitalism gave rise to great rewards of conquest, the modernization of European agriculture, urbanization of the peasantry and the Industrial Revolution. The latter's prosperity resulted in “excess supply” and the solution to that problem was found in welfare capitalism, corporate capitalism and the multinational institutions of world control. What this means for the Third World is then examined empirically and theoretically, the latter by considering three models of capitalist development. One is the neoclassical model of exogenous growth, the second is the endogenous growth version of the model and the third is a biological type of model that recognizes how growth in the size of the West relative to the Third World makes it increasingly difficult to satisfy the demand for continued growth on the part of corporate capitalism. As the demands on the environment rise, and as the collapse of civil society in Africa and elsewhere in the Third World takes place, the decline of capitalism begins.
My understanding of this statement is that, at some point the contradictions in a system's development makes it “impossible,” because the growth of a new system needed for progress under the old one ultimately destroys the old one. That is the question we now wish to explore with respect to the current stage in capitalist development, with the benefit of the knowledge gained since Engels wrote the above passage. There are two driving forces behind the explanation to be presented here. One is recognition of the fact that uncertainty about the future subjects capitalism to a growth imperative. It cannot remain in a stationary state. Moreover, to survive, it must grow at a rate that is beyond the capacity of a closed system. It must profit from economic relations with labor and with other systems, capitalist or non-capitalist, at home and/or abroad. The other driving force is recognition of the fact that capital does not merely augment the productivity of labor in a capitalist society. It becomes wealth. As such, it is both a source of income for capitalists and available for their immediate consumption and other uses that make it an instrument of power. More on this later. This growth imperative is illustrated by the Industrial Revolution, the remarkable increase in income and wealth that took place in Western Europe, the United States and a few other countries between the 15th and 19th centuries. Technological progress was not the sole source of this great prosperity. It also relied materially on exploitation of the human and natural resources of the Third World and, in great measure, the transformation of agriculture at home. At the start of the Industrial Revolution, the great majority of the people were on the land—a peasant population employed in feudal agriculture. By the end of the 19th century, agriculture in the West had been transformed into capitalist enterprise. In addition to technological progress, enclosure of the commons and other such expropriation measures reduced the fraction of the population on the land from 80 or 90% to less than one-half. The peasants driven off the land provided the cities with an abundant and cheap labor force, so cheap that Adam Smith, Malthus and other classical economists recognized that the wage rate fluctuated around its bare subsistence level. Disease and starvation eliminated a surplus in the population above what industry required, with emigration to the Americas and elsewhere providing some relief. The progress of the Industrial Revolution culminated in the long-run problem of excess supply of labor and output. The problem was not widely recognized until the work of Kalecki and Keynes appeared during the Great Depression of the 20th century. The solution to the problem of excess supply took two competing and complementary forms. One was welfare capitalism, also called social democracy. The inadequacy of the private arrangements for economic security resulted in a rise in social security through such developments as trade unions, unemployment compensation, pension plans, and socialized medicine. In addition, numerous activities, such as housing, electricity and water, were regulated or provided by the state or other socialistic non-market arrangements. In general, the greater the role of socialistic non-market arrangements, including the state, in economic activity, the smaller was the volatility and inequality of income. The other solution to the problem of excess supply of labor and output created by the Industrial Revolution may be called corporate capitalism. Its striking feature has been the extraordinary expansion in a wide range of non-production activities within the corporation that became needed to maintain the profits, growth and security obtained through monopoly power. The perpetuation of abnormal growth continued through the privatization and deregulation of health, education, water, electricity, and other non-market activities, through the increasing exploitation of the people and resources of the Third World and through the continued degradation of our natural environment. Corporate capitalism no less than welfare capitalism, involves the suppression of the market, here by large, privately-owned bureaucratic organizations, described so powerfully by Galbraith (1986). This pursuit of growth also increased economic insecurity, since the volatility of growth increases with its average rate, and with the relative importance of the private sector. Hence, a wide range of financial measures are also undertaken to reduce the insecurity of capital and strip labor of security at home as well as abroad. The wealth of corporations, of their shareholders and of proprietors is in each case the present value of expected future cash flows discounted at rates that increase with their risk. Wealth rises and falls with these expectations and with the uncertainty as to their amounts. Each corporation engages in the activities described previously in order to maximize the arithmetic means of these future cash flows and minimize their variances. These corporations also call on their governments to engage in the economic, diplomatic and military activity that serve this purpose. The public debt is also private wealth as long as it is not destroyed by inflation, so that is further reason for depressing wage rates and material prices. As wealth in the First World rises, while the living conditions of labor and of the peasantry in the Third World decline, the system becomes increasingly impossible. The most frightening consequences of the further development of corporate capitalism are for the Third World. Peasant agriculture there is being destroyed at an increasing rate by commercial agriculture in luxury foods and by imports of basic foods. The population being moved off the land now is enormous by comparison with what had taken place earlier in the Industrial Revolution. Western affluence does not facilitate the replication of its industrialization in the Third World. The branch plant industrialization that serves the West employs a pitifully small fraction of the labor force, generates woefully little by way of a domestic market and provides a grossly inadequate surplus for further industrialization. Hence, dependency and continued exploitation by multinational corporations result in the large-scale growth of urban slums, underground capitalism and a reduction in life expectancy of the people driven off the land. Third World competition with industry in the West increases inequality in the West and threatens it with replication of the conditions of the Third World. Uncertainty about the future subjects capitalism to a growth imperative. Growth in wealth beyond what is possible for a closed system is required by uncertainty to avoid decline and collapse. That growth is achieved by predatory relations; that is, by the destruction of other systems, other classes, the natural environment and ultimately the Third World. As capitalism grows relative to the non-capitalist world on which it feeds, that growth and the impoverishment of the Third World make the required growth rate an increasingly formidable challenge. The challenge is increased further by the demands of welfare capitalism, made possible by capitalism's democratic institutions. The challenge is met through the bureaucratic and corrupt institutions of welfare and corporate capitalisms. At some point in this process, the contradictions become impossible, so that transition takes place to a new welfare capitalism or market socialism or the system collapses. What follows carries forward in many respects the work of Baran (1957) and Baran and Sweezy (1966) by recognizing the presence of uncertainty and the desire for security in capitalist development
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The two great accomplishments of the capitalist systems in the First World over the last 500 or so years have been (1) the enormous increase in productivity, wealth and consumption, and (2) the establishment of civil liberties, popular elections and the other institutions of democratic societies. They are represented today by the competing and complementary performances of corporate capitalism and welfare capitalism. In the wide range of ways described earlier, corporate capitalism exploits other systems and the environment in order to achieve growth well beyond what is possible through technological progress alone. Moreover, at least until recently, the democratic institutions of capitalist countries in the First World have given the strength to welfare capitalism that has made part of the benefits of growth flow down to the wider population as a whole. Unfortunately, the Third World has contributed enormously to the prosperity of the First World, while sharing in this prosperity little if at all. On top of that, the Third World is now being used by corporate capitalism to threaten the continued existence of the welfare state in the First World. Subsistence wage rates draw manufacturing and many other activities to the Third World. Compensation rates and employment are thereby depressed in the First World. In addition, every activity of the state in the First World is being attacked and curtailed or privatized and priced out of the range of an increasing fraction of the population. We are told that the role of the state in providing income support and security for the population must be curtailed because it cannot be afforded. Where is the increasing surplus of output over its production cost in the First and the Third World going? The answer includes the increasing cost to corporations of maintaining their monopoly power and the increasing military cost to governments to maintain the exploitation of the Third World. It also includes the increasing cost to all of the insecurity of corporate capitalism. An increasingly important dimension to this contradiction in capitalist development is the modernization of Third World agriculture combined with the urbanization of its population over the next 30 years. The Third World's urban population will double from two to four billion people over these years. The population movement now taking place is on a scale never before experienced. The prospect is that all but a small fraction will be idle, or drawn into illegal activities (underground capitalism), tribal warfare, or violent expressions of nationalism. They will die of starvation, disease and civil conflict on a massive scale. Certainly in the Third World, the system is becoming impossible. What is needed is an enormous expansion of welfare capitalism in the First World with most of the benefits to the Third World. It is sickening to see the large fraction of the world's output consumed by the small fraction of the world's population in the First World. This excessive consumption takes two forms. One is the actual consumption of the middle class as well as the rich, and the other is the private and public cost of the monopoly power that maintains this exploitation. Without the transfer of a large fraction of this surplus to the Third World, the destruction of the human and material resources there along with the world's environment threaten the continued existence of life on earth. Whether or not this transfer will take place, and if so how, remains to be seen.