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On 2017/08/20 09:01 AM, RKOB via Marxism wrote:
The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences
/A Pamphlet by/ /Michael Pröbsting (RCIT),18 August 2017/
3. Is the Category of “Sub-Imperialism” Useful?

Thanks for this. It's got great material in it. But let me jump to the end (see below), to ask why Pröbsting has only two categories of exploitation, when it is evident (as Marini showed in Brazil from the 1960s) that there are semi-peripheral - or 'sub-imperial' - powers that act as deputy sheriffs and whose firms do far better in relation to accumulation within the South, than the fully exploited countries?

"As Marxists we must focus on the law of value and the transfer of value between countries and the political order associated with this."

Right then, I would add, here (were Louis not .txt-dogmatic rather than .html-friendly), a small .jpg of a graph that comes from the South African Reserve Bank, whose mid-2015 Quarterly Bulletin measured the extent of profit transfers. It's quite obvious that there are imperial powers whose corporates take more than 100% of repatriated profits; a middle layer - including all the BRICS - whose profit repatriation ranges from 20-50%; and an exploited layer with 10% or less profit repatriation. I'll send this to you off-list, but I discuss it as part of the theory of sub-imperialism - which also relates to other features of accumulation and class struggle - in the Marini tradition, here: https://peoplesbrics.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/bond-2016-brics-banking-and-the-debate-over-subimperialism-in-third-world-quarterly.pdf

The "political order" associated with this value transfer includes the IMF (where 4 BRICS countries are expanding their influence dramatically at the expense of poor countries), the WTO (where 3 BRICS helped destroy food sovereignty at the last summit in 2015), the UNFCCC (where the BRICS and West are the main beneficiaries of the "bullshit" agreement, in the words of Jim Hansens) and the G20. The latter's role in the expanded super-exploitation of Africa became abundantly clear last month in Hamburg, with Schauble's Compact with Africa, which is a public subsidy system for both Western and BRICS corporates to amplify the looting. Next month in Monthly Review, I will publish a long article explaining this, but here are a half-dozen more short pieces if you want to explore this problem.








If anyone would like our irregular newsletter discussing what we term 'brics-from-below' (focusing on social struggles and BRICS sub-imperial contradictions), please let me know: pb...@mail.ngo.za (We are having seminars in Johannesburg on 31 August and 18 September, as well as a 2-3 September counter-summit in Hong Kong.)



*Is the Category of “Sub-Imperialism” Useful? *


A number of progressive theoreticians support the conception of a “transitional” or “sub-imperialist” state as a third, additional category of countries in addition to colonial and semi-colonial countries. We have elaborated our criticism of the theory of sub-imperialism in /The Great Robbery of the South /and we will only summarize here briefly some conclusions.

Naturally if states undergo a process of transformation from an imperialist to a semi-colonial country or the other way around, they are “in transition” and in this sense it can be useful to describe a temporary process of transformation. However, the supporters of the theory of sub-imperialism don’t understand this as a category to describe the transition process but rather see it as a separate, independent category. And here lies the fundamental problem.

Capitalism unites all nations in the world via economic and political expansion and the formation of a world market. This process has taken place from the beginning of the capitalist mode of production and has tremendously accelerated in the epoch of imperialism. Under these conditions, no nation escapes the formation of ever closer economic and political ties with the dominant imperialist powers. Such close relations automatically create, modify, and reproduce mechanisms of exploitation and superexploitation. In other words, under capitalism – and even more under imperialism – all nations are sucked into the process of super-exploitation. Either they are strong enough and become part of the oppressing nations, or they are pushed into the camp of the majority of humanity – the oppressed nations. There is no “third camp” in between.

Of course, there are significant differences in the development of the productive forces among the imperialist states as well as among the semi-colonial countries. This is only logical given the unequal dynamic of development between nations. Hence, it is indeed true that there are bigger and smaller imperialist countries which are unequal. However, the point is that the smaller are not exploited by bigger imperialist powers. For example the USA and Canada are certainly not equal but also don’t systematically exploit each other. The same is true for Germany and Austria or France and Belgium, Luxemburg or Switzerland. However they are all imperialist nations. Why? Because they have developed significant monopoly capital and financial capital which is used to systematically exploit and transfer value from the South, and they are part of an international imperialist order from which they profit and defend by various means. Likewise there are advanced semi-colonies which have a certain regional influence (e.g., Brazil, India, Greece) and others which have none; some are stronger and others are weaker. But as Marxists we must focus on the law of value and the transfer of value between countries and the political order associated with this. And here it is obvious that the industrialised semi-colonies are also dominated and super-exploited by the imperialist monopolies. For these reasons we reject the usefulness of the category of “/Sub-Imperialism/” as part of the Marxist analytical apparatus.

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