Roberto Bolaño: 2666. “Al mes siguiente, en mayo, se encontró a una mujer muerta en un basurero situado entre la colonia Las Flores y el parque industrial General Sepúlveda. En el polígono se levantaban los edificios de cuatro maquiladoras dedicadas al ensamblaje de piezas de electrodomésticos. Las torres de electricidad que servían a las maquiladoras eran nuevas y estaban pintadas de color plateado. Junto a éstas, entre unas lomas bajas, sobresalían los techos de las casuchas que se habían instalado allí poco antes de la llegada de las maquiladoras y que se extendían hasta atravesar la vía del tren, en los lindes de la colonia La Preciada.”
Marx considered that capitalism was a necessary and desirable stage in the evolution of society to prepare the advent of its supposed scientific socialism whose placenta could not be other than capitalism. No other way was possible without going through capitalism. Therefore, the sooner capitalism globalized, the better to advance towards its socialism. Marx was thus among the first to justify (and desire) the necessary and rapid capitalist globalization.
The productive forces (Marx's pro-capitalist carrot)
Manifiesto comunista 1848 : "Capitalism is a "universalizing system, a mode of production that will sweep all other modes of production and eventually encompass the entire globe”.
“the bourgeoisie draws civilization to all nations, including the most barbarous. The cheapness of its merchandise constitutes the heavy artillery with which it destroys all the Chinese walls and imposes the capitulation to the barbarians of more stubborn xenophobia”
“ the bourgeoisie has created enormous cities, increasing the urban population in a very high proportion with respect to the rural one and with this has taken a considerable part of the population out of the idiocy of rural life. In the same way that it has made the countryside dependent on the city, it has also made the barbarians nations or semi-barbarians dependent on the civilized ones, the farmers dependent on the predominantly urban people and the East dependent on the West.."
Marx understood economic growth and the accumulation of capital as something good, desirable, civilizing, and revolutionary in itself. No future for the systems that do not adapt to the level reached by the productive forces! He understood that capitalism was a necessary and essential system to boost the growth of the productive forces to a sufficient level to be able to start another superior system.
The feudal system was swept by its maladjustment to the level reached by the productive forces. But the reasoning also covers any precapitalist or non-capitalist social formation (the barbarian or semi-barbarous nations) and in general any form of resistance to the advance of capitalism.
“The middle classes, the small industrialist, the small merchant and the peasant fight, all of them, against the bourgeoisie to ensure their existence as such middle layers and save themselves from their collapse. They are not, then, revolutionary but conservative. Moreover, they are reactionary, in that they try to turn the wheel of history back.”
Marx considers the capitalist system necessary to develop the productive forces and to generate the proletariat. It attributes to the proletariat the exclusive role of a revolutionary agent capable of establishing socialism. Ergo, every aspirant to socialism should favor capitalism as a necessary evil since one can not reach "scientific" socialism without first going through capitalism.
Therefore the American Indian nations, the Congolese surprised by the voracity of the rubber capitalists, the Africans surprised by the trade boom that turned them into slave capitalist productive forces, the small merchants, the artisans and small industrialists, the peasants, etc., they should sacrifice and accept their sad fate at the hands of capitalism, since their resistance to capital is something semi-barbarous and uncivilized and accept that their only revolutionary future is to wait to become proletarians and wait that capitalism mature sufficiently the productive forces so that scientific socialism can be established. Sic!
Of course, capitalism accelerates the growth of productive forces, productive forces in the very short term, but destructive forces in the long run. The capitalist environmental disaster has turned the human being who will inherit "scientific socialism" into a sickly creature that develops its sad existence in a self-destructive toxic capsule. Capitalism has become a cancer with social and ecological metastasis. Socialism at this time can no longer aspire to "enjoy" the level of development of the productive forces achieved by capitalism (Marx's pro-capitalist carrot) but humbly attempt to repair the monumental messes that the destructive forces are causing to the only planet we know to live.
Marx also did not put a limit the development of the productive forces. The more the better. Nor did it distinguish between constructive and / or destructive, rational or irrational forces, since it was necessary for capital to make them grow as much as possible so that scientific socialism could take over once the capitalist system was exhausted (due to its internal contradictions) and could not make them grow anymore.
Marx intuited the capitalist environmental disaster that was already evident with the depletion of agricultural land and the need to import guano and nitrates from Perú and Chile on a large scale. "Work is first and foremost a process that takes place between man and nature, a process in which man regulates and controls his metabolism with nature through the mediation of his own action" ... "acting on the external nature and modifying it by this movement, it also modifies its own nature "(Capital I). But these considerations could only have a very limited practical relevance in capitalist society, by definition incapable of such a rational and coherent action, and therefore should be sacrificed in favor of the advent of scientific socialism that would finally take action on the matter.
In reality, capitalism has never been good for humanity and for the planet. It is a cancer whose initial malignant tumors tried to resist the workers, the farmers of all the continents, the small merchants, the slaves, the Indians of America, the trade unions, the small craftsmen, industrialists and manufacturers, the civilizations "discovered" and massacred and the indigenous tribes that defended their peculiar forms of socialism, their communal lands, their forests, meadows, coasts, lakes, tundras, agricultural lands, fisheries, fauna and flora, ..., in front of the infinite greed of capitalism.
Nor is it true that capitalism is the only system capable of developing the productive forces so that it can be passed on to the socialist system. There were socialist societies long before the planet became contaminated with capitalist cancer. And the sustainable development of the productive forces had been rather the norm before the advent of the reign of capital.
Marx argues that capitalism will end up failing as a driver of the productive forces. In his great work "The Capital" concludes that the internal contradictions of the system cause crises that slow down the growth of the productive forces. Socialism will resolve these allowing the productive forces to grow without obstacles of any kind. This socialism, necessary son of capitalism, will be the "scientific socialism."
The Marxian concept of productive forces is a concept without nuances. It is the same productive forces that the capitalist cancer develops that socialism will inherit in order to continue to develop them even faster. The sin of capitalism, as it was at the time of feudalism, is that it does not develop them with sufficient tenacity.
Initial primitive accumulation or Permanent primitive accumulation
Roberto Bolaño (2666): “… En la plaza había seis árboles, uno en cada extremo y dos en el centro, tan cubiertos de polvo que parecían amarillos. En una punta de la plaza estaba la parada de los autobuses que traían a los trabajadores desde distintos barrios en Santa Teresa. Luego había que caminar un buen rato por calles de tierra hasta los portones en donde los vigilantes comprobaban los pases de los trabajadores, tras lo cual uno podía acceder a su respectivo trabajo. Sólo una de las maquiladoras tenía cantina para los trabajadores. En las otras los obreros comían junto a sus máquinas o formando corrillos en cualquier rincón. Allí hablaban y se reían hasta que sonaba la sirena que marcaba el fin de la comida. La mayoría eran mujeres.”
R. Luxemburgo (Acumulación primitiva): “From the beginning, and at present, the forms and laws of capitalist production aim to encompass the entire globe as a reservoir of productive forces. Capital needs to appropriate the productive forces to carry out its exploitation and therefore plunder the whole world, procuring means of production from all corners of the world, snatching them, if necessary by force, from all kinds of social and economic formations. civilization levels ". ... "When the War of Secession interfered with the import of American cotton, causing the notorious "cotton starvation" in the Lancashire district, new and immense cotton plantations emerged in Egypt almost immediately, as if by magic. Here the oriental despotism was combined with an old system of slavery, alltogether put at the service of European capitalist accumulation. "..." The English Blue Book on the practices of the Peruvian Amazon Company, Ltd., in Putumayo, has recently revealed that in the free republic of Peru international capital can, for all intents and purposes, enslave the natives, to appropriate the means of production of the primitive countries through exploitation on a larger scale. Since 1900, this company, financed by British and foreign capitalists, has launched approximately 4,000 tons of Putumayo rubber onto the London market. During this time, 30,000 natives were killed and most of the 10,000 survivors were crippled by beatings.”
Karl Marx: "The discovery of the countries of gold and silver in America; the extermination, the reduction to slavery and the burial in the mines of the indigenous population; the principle of the conquest and looting of eastern India; the transformation of Africa into a commercial hunting territory for black skins, were the procedures that characterized the dawn of the epoch of capitalist production. These idyllic processes constitute the main moments of primitive accumulation" (8) El Capital, I, p. 716.
Marx argues that the exogenous forms of appropriation of resources and surplus value not properly "capitalist" (primitive accumulation according to The Capital) were necessary for the takeoff of industrialization. Once set in motion, the system generates endogenous mechanisms of accumulation. Hence the adjective "primitive" (in the sense of initial).
Marx was confident that after the initial consolidation phase accumulation would occur endogenously according to the functioning of the system described in The Capital, necessarily generating more and more proletariat.
K. Marx (Labor and Capital): “Capital can only be multiplied by exchanging for labor power, creating wage labor. The labor force of the salaried worker can only be exchanged for capital by increasing capital, strengthening that same power of the one who is a slave. The capital increase, therefore, is an increase of the proletariat, that is, of the working class. "..." capital and wage labor are the two sides of one and the same relationship ". ... "If capital grows, the mass of salaried work grows, the number of salaried workers grows.”
But history has shown that the capitalist mode of production has used and uses continuously and increasingly unconventional forms of exogenous accumulation (which do not create necessarily direct wage labor or new proletariat) such as theft, expropriation / forced and / or fraudulent appropriation of land and natural resources, a varied and more sophisticated range of new forms of "informal" labor exploitation and a growing criminalization of production relationships with hundreds of millions of semi-covert slaves, with their assassins journalists and trade unionists killers , with its waves of undocumented immigrants, with the indissoluble connection between free zones, slave maquiladoras, trafficking in human beings, pimping, drug trafficking and free trade agreements.
Thus, it is not an "original or primitive" accumulation previous to start functioning in a capitalist way, understanding capitalism as a higher form of cumulative production (better, more advanced, purer, more scientific, more revolutionary).
In fact, it is not even a type of accumulation different from the "normal" or "usual" capitalist cancer. All the conceptual terms used in this regard (primitive, original, exogenous, etc.) have up to now only distorted the essential and permanent reality of this lever indissolubly linked to capitalist growth.
Thus, the reality of the "normal" globalized capitalist accumulation generates more lumpenproletariat than proletariat. It generates more expulsion and marginalization than employment. More crime, traffic, slavery and servitudes than the law of value.
The law of Marxist value does not explain how the system works
The law of labor value which is presented as a special category of the capitalist system (Capital) hardly works during the initial phase of capitalism and even less during the current monopolistic phase.
In reality, there is no one form of labor exploitation characteristic of the capitalist system as the Marxists have wanted to see. In practice, the system has managed and continues to handle a wide, varied and somewhat sophisticated deck of forms of exploitation and appropriation that coexist, compete, re-adapt and are often interchangeable.
Capitalism is an eminently inclusive system, it constitutes the supreme form of exploitation of humanity and nature capable of taking advantage of and perfecting all possible forms of exploitation and appropriation, both prior to the system and the actually existing in other areas far from its initial core of expansion, and also, of course, those that have arisen as supposed opposition to it (the suposed really existing socialism).
Interestingly, one of the most unsuspected defenders of the law of value turned out to be Stalin himself:
Joseph Stalin: (Economic problems of socialism in the USSR): “The operation of the law of value is not confined only in the sphere of the circulation of goods. It also extends to the sphere of production. ... in fact, consumer goods, necessary to compensate the labor force spent in the production process, are produced in our country as merchandise subject to the operation of the law of value. It is precisely here where the law of value exerts its influence on production ... since it trains and teaches our executives to properly handle the magnitudes of production, to improve production methods, to lower production costs, to practice accounting of costs, and, in short, make your companies produce profits.”
Stalin did not have enough with the brutality of his "primitive socialist accumulation". He wanted more. He dreamed of adding the mechanism of the law of value to his system to extract more capitalist surplus value from the Soviets. In this line (introduction of competition stimuli) their successors continued until the desideratum of Perestroika.
¿The only revolutionary agent is the salaried proletariat?
Christian Rakovsky (old Bolshevik victim of Stalin): “… What has happened to the revolutionary spirit of our party and our proletariat? Where has your revolutionary initiative gone? Where are your ideological interests, your revolutionary values, your proletarian pride? Surprising such apathy, weakness, pusillanimity and opportunism, …”
K. Marx (Communist Manifesto): “The lumpenproletariat is an essentially parasitic group, largely the byproduct of the oldest and most obsolete stages of social development, and which normally could not play a progressive role in history. In fact, because it acts only for its own socially ignorant interest, the lumpenproletariat is easily bribed by reactionary forces and could be used to combat the real proletariat in its efforts to achieve the end of bourgeois society. Without a clear class consciousness, the lumpenproletariat could not play a positive role in society. Instead, it exploits society for its own ends, and is exploited in turn as a tool of destruction and reaction”.
Vincent Spotted Eagle (1934): "Before the white man arrived, our mode of production and distribution worked on a cooperative basis, without any exploitation, this is communism, which is pure Americanism."
Marx considers that the proletariat is the only revolutionary class. The lumpen, the marginalized, the expelled from their lands, the indigenous American nations, the indigenous Asian nations, the indigenous African nations, the small merchants, the peasants, the artisans and small industrialists, the slaves, the unpaid house workers ( unpaid reproducers of the labor force), the undocumented, the uberized, etc., are either useless for the revolution, or counterrevolutionary.
In this Marx erred resoundingly. It was the peasants who overthrew Tsarism in Russia and created the soviets of peasants and soldiers (peasants in revolutionary arms before the Bolsheviks decaffeinated them) during the 1st GM. It was the Chinese peasants who took Mao and the CPC to power after the 2nd GM.
The lumpenproletariat and the peasants (idiotic people according to Marx), the hundreds of millions of Hukou undocumented migrant farmers, those who built the infrastructures and buildings of the Chinese monopolistic neoliberal miracle, those who manufacture smartphones in Chinese maquiladoras like Foxconn, are (and not the salaried proletarians with papers) with their "savage" strikes have ended up beating the monopolistic multinationals and their suporters of the Chinese Communist Party, forcing them to raise wages.
They are the ("idiotized" ) Chinese peasants the only vanguard to fight against the expropriation of land, pollution and climate change in China.
It is the lumpen-American Indian nations that face the big mining, energy and agro-food corporations that want to take over and destroy their lands and crops and they are the first line in the defense of the environment and climate change.
Yes, they are anti-capitalist fighters who "fight, all of them, to the bourgeoisie to ensure their existence and save themselves from their collapse" and they are revolutionaries and not reactionaries (as Marx says) since they try to turn the roll of capitalist history back. On the contrary, it was the European salaried proletariat that supported their respective bourgeoisies in both the 1st and the 2nd GM. And it was the proletariat of the countries of the center that supported the imperialism and the colonial empires of their respective bourgeoisies and it was the proletariat of the USSR that confidently embraced the return to capitalism.
The formal-informal dichotomy and the segmentation of exploitation
Roberto Bolaño (2666): …” En el basurero donde se encontró a la muerta no sólo se acumulaban los restos de los habitantes de las casuchas sino también los desperdicios de cada maquiladora. El aviso sobre el hallazgo de la muerta lo dio el capataz de una de las plantas, la Multizone-West, que trabajaba asociada con una transnacional que fabricaba televisores.”
Silvia Federici: “The perspective, then, is to analyze the salary as an instrument of division and construction of different labor and disciplinary regimes, to which correspond different power relations among the workers -construction that has been fundamental in the diffusion of capitalism on a world scale.”
Marx wanted to justify the revolutionary character of capitalism as a form of exploitation that used the trick of converting the labor force into a commodity that the proletariat sells under contract to the employer in exchange for a salary and he exploits it to extract his benefit. In reality, this contractual form of employment relationship has nothing "capitalist" per se. It is a conquest of workers, such as social protection, reduction of working hours or pensions, after years of struggle and resistance against the greed of capital.
But the worker with a salary, with a working day, with social security, etc., that is, the proletarian of the "formal" sector that has managed to extract certain concessions from capital, among them the contract that stipulates the conditions of the sale of the only merchandise he possesses. It is a rather unlikely privilege, since much of his "labor conquests" have been at the expense (and as a consequence) of allowing the merciless exploitation of other workers without papers, without contracts, immigrants, blacks, slaves , marginalized, informal, etc., the lumpen-proletariat of using and throwing, both those who live in the vicinity of the central cities of the system and those of the colonial or neocolonial peripheries.
The competitive dichotomy between the formal sector (wage-earner) and the informal sector has become a fundamental feature of globalized monopoly capital. The formal-informal dichotomy is inherent in monopolistic globalization and is reproduced in each and every sector and on a planetary scale. While in the rest of the world the informal sector predominates overwhelmingly over the formal sector, in the central countries the informal sector is advancing by leaps and bounds with paperless immigration and progressively informalizing (mini-jobs, temporary employment agencies, etc.) with new forms of digital e-exploitation and control (telematics version of old putting out system (Uber-eat, Mechanical Turk, CrowdFlower,….).
The formal-informal dichotomy segmentize and divides the exploited, generating categories and ladders. The white wage-earner is considered superior to the salaried employee of color, and this is considered superior to the informal worker without salary or the undocumented immigrant and all the female equivalent. Monopolistic corporations, in the same way that they segment consumers and markets to place their products and services, also segmentize their employees to achieve the highest possible exploitation rates.
In China, the communist party together with the human resources experts of the big monopolistic transnationals took advantage of and perfected the Maoist institution of the Hokou to convert hundreds of millions of Chinese workers into undocumented (informal) immigrants in their own country, labor force that multinationals and their Chinese emulators have taken advantage of for the meteoric and irrational Chinese capitalist accumulation of recent years.
Capitalist Slavery neither primitive nor original
Roberto Bolaño (2666): “... Los policías que vinieron a buscarla encontraron a tres ejecutivos de la maquiladora esperándolos junto al basurero. Dos eran mexicanos y el otro era norteamericano. Uno de los mexicanos dijo que preferían que recogieran el cadáver lo antes posible. El policía preguntó dónde estaba el cuerpo, mientras su compañero llamaba a la ambulancia. Los tres ejecutivos acompañaron al policía hacia el interior del basurero. Los cuatro se taparon la nariz, pero cuando el norteamericano se la destapó los mexicanos siguieron su ejemplo”.
Silvia Federici (Caliban and the witch): “The plantation system was decisive for capitalist development not only because of the immense amount of surplus labor that accumulated from it, but because it established a model of labor administration, export-oriented production, economic integration and international division of the work force that since then has been the paradigm of capitalist class relations. With this immense concentration of workers and a captive labor force, uprooted from their land - which could not rely on local support -, the plantation prefigured not only the factory but also the subsequent use of immigration and globalization aimed at reducing labor costs. In particular, the plantation was a key step in the formation of an international division of labor that - through the production of "consumer goods" - integrated the work of slaves into the reproduction of the European labor force, at the same time that kept workers enslaved and salaried, geographically and socially separated.”
Capitalism has been able to perfect slavery and to diversify it into hyper-sophisticated forms of slavery (Cotton Kingdom, slave plantations in the Caribbean, exploitation of the indigenous rubber tappers by the Belgian capital in the Congo and English capital in Latin America, ..., as a lever for the "normal" accumulation of the system. The slaves of the south of the USA produced the raw material of the 1st industrial revolution, Congolese rubber slaves and the Latin American forests produced the basic raw material of the 2nd industrial revolution while the enslaved (by the Rwandan military) Congolese produce coltan, gold and bauxite for the manufacture of computers and cell phones of the 3rd industrial revolution.
Experts in human resources of large corporations are constantly sniffing for possible forms of fraudulent exploitation with the collaboration of corrupt local authorities (caste system, premarital traditions, ...), to achieve the highest possible rates of exploitation, forms "Innovative" of accumulation that have nothing of "primitive" and are in continuous growth.
Guest workers. In the monarchies of the gulf, the vast majority of the working population is made up of immigrant workers in a regime of debt slavery ( Indentured workers </ i>) and controlled by mafia organizations in collusion with the large multinationals whose human resources departments design and perfect in real time the modern system of slavery in the gulf.
Expropriation / appropriation of common
Roberto Bolaño (2666): “... La muerta era una mujer de piel oscura y pelo negro y lacio hasta más abajo de los hombros. Llevaba una sudadera negra y pantalones cortos. Los cuatro hombres se la quedaron mirando. El norteamericano se agachó y con un bolígrafo le apartó el pelo del cuello. Mejor que el gringo no la toque, dijo el policía. No la toco, dijo el norteamericano en español, sólo quiero verle el cuello.”
Silvia Federici: “This period in Nigeria was very important and productive. It has shown me clearly that the enclosures of lands, the enclosures of which Marx speaks, are not a phenomenon only of the past. The original accumulation continues today. It is a permanent accumulation. My experience in Nigeria made me see directly what Marx described in the chapter on original accumulation. For example, I saw in particular how oil companies threw people off their land to extract oil from them.”
In the agricultural community of Wuacua, near Nakarari (Mozambique), one day in 2012, district officials came to ask residents to sign some documents. In return, they were promised a sum of money and the realization of "social projects". But it was a different matter: they signed the explicit renunciation of the DUAT (Direito de uso e aprovechadamento da terra), a document by which the State, the owner of the entire land of Mozambique since independence and according to the 1990 constitution, gives land for its direct cultivation to the peasants. They were deceived. They were told they would take part in a rural development program and they signed documents they did not understand. They received a compensation, between 4,500 and 6,000 metical [60 to 80 euros], after which they had to leave their land. Shortly thereafter, Agromoz, a mixed Brazilian and Portuguese capital company, obtained a concession of 9,000 hectares, which has converted the extension into a soy monoculture. They took advantage of the fact that a large part of the population was illiterate and few understood Portuguese well.
Today, Wuacua is a ghost town, surrounded by Agromoz plantations. The security guards recruited by the company do not allow anyone to approach.
It is a clear example of how "primitive accumulation" (forced expropriation, theft, cheating, swindle) plus "primitive socialist accumulation" (socialization of the land) are combined in 21st century capitalism.
The Agromoz example served as an incentive for agribusiness investors, brokerage companies, hedge funds, investment funds, etc., together with Japanese and Brazilian development agencies and revolving door politicians, to expand the scale in a monstrous project that it would cover 14 million hectares. The ProSavana project was conceived (in secret) in 2009 during the G8 summit in L'Aquila. Taking advantage of the fact that the land was owned by the State, more than 5 million peasants would be expropriated and expelled to convert their land into a monoculture of transgenic soybean, cotton and maize. Bill Gates, described the collusion of "example of innovative partnership." The example to follow was El Cerrado in the Brazilian Mato Grosso (where it was enough to evict a few bands of indigenous people and small farmers in the 1970s), and razing the land to install the current largest area of soybean cultivation on Earth.
The secret remained until August 2011 when the Mozambican minister of agriculture mentioned it (small slip) in an interview that was published in a Brazilian newspaper. In the same article, Brazilian agricultural entrepreneurs claimed to be enthusiastic about emigrating to the African country, where they were promised land for ridiculous rents. "Mozambique is a MatoGrosso in the middle of Africa, with free land, few environmental obstacles and much lower freight costs for China"
But the example of Agromoz also served for the peasant resistance struggle. The Mozambican peasantry rose en bloc against ProSavana. Informational caravans toured the country advising the peasant communities about the intentions of the officials who had recently deceived the community of Wuacua. Delegations of farmers traveled to Brazil to study the Mato Grosso model on the spot. A documentary filmed during that stay (which certified the environmental and ecological disaster of the Cerrado) circulated massively throughout Mozambique.
23 Mozambican organizations signed an open letter to the governments of Japan, Brazil and Mozambique, denouncing "the total absence of a broad, transparent and democratic public debate on an issue of great social, economic and social importance with a direct impact on our lives. " 40 international organizations signed the document together and distributed it.
The large peasant mobilization managed to stop ProSavana and the 5 million peasants in the area continue with their traditional crops.
Mike Davis: Planet of Slums: “After the fishermen's houses were cut off from the sea by a new highway, their fishing areas polluted by urban waste and the neighboring hillsides deforested to build apartment blocks, they had no choice but to send their daughters to the Japanese maquiladoras. It was the destruction not only of the livelihood of people who have always lived symbiotically with the sea, but also of the psyche and the spirit of the fishermen"
During the 1990s, the peasants of the periphery countries were subjected by the World Bank and the IMF to the economic strategy of "sinking or swimming". Through programs of structural adjustment and deregulation, the peasants had to cope ruinously with the world commodity markets and "swim out" towards the cities.
Formal housing markets in the Third World rarely provide more than 20% of new housing, so people resort to self-built shacks, informal rents, pirate subdivisions or sidewalks. In 2015, Africa had 330 million urban slum dwellers.
Since the beginning of the second millennium transnational corporations (oil and automobiles, mining and forestry, food, chemical, bioenergy and biotechnology, etc.) and state agencies (Gulf countries, South Korea, Japan, China, etc.) with the participation of financial capital, are acquiring large tracts of land and displacing huge groups of people from their lands, completely stripping them of their few assets and undermining the food security of the communities.
Since 2006, between 15 and 20 million hectares of farmland in poor countries (mainly in Africa and post-Soviet Eurasia) have been sold or leased to foreign entities. The deals are often abusive and lead to dispossession, especially when the "local communities" do not have formal, legal and clear property rights over the disputed lands. These agreements are often opaque, in general they are not consultative and are plagued by corruption cases of both local and central government entities collaborating in the expropriation / appropriation.
The main actors in land grabbing do not necessarily have to be transnational corporations. In Brazil, Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines or Indonesia, among others, the hoarding agents are mainly national capitals. Vietnamese and Thai corporations accumulate land in Cambodia and Laos, South African companies do so in Africa and Brazilian companies in South America. In China, and in India, as a consequence of their subordinate role in monopolistic globalization, Chinese corporations and state agencies increasingly monopolize land for non-agricultural purposes, such as mining, industrial development and infrastructure, business parks, residential and other real estate.
The result is the planet of the Slums, the growing agglomeration in the slums, shantytowns, shantytowns and slums of urban areas. " The current cities of monopolistic globalization, instead of being made of glass and steel as predicted by previous generations of town planners, are mostly built with raw brick, straw, recycled plastic, cement blocks and wood from scrap Instead of cities of light that rise to the sky, much of the urban world of the twenty-first century squats in misery, surrounded by pollution, excrement and rot.” (Mike Davis)
While only 6% of the population of the city of the developed countries lives in slums, 78.2% of the inhabitants of the cities in the less developed countries live in this type of informal slums, this is equivalent to one third of the global urban population.
In Ethiopia, 99.4% of the urban population lives in slums, in Chad also 99.4%, in Afghanistan 98.5% and in Nepal 92%. Bombay, with 12 to 14 million squatters, is the world capital of slums, followed by Mexico City and Dhaka with 10 and 12 million each. Lagos, Cairo, Karachi, Kinshasa-Brazzaville, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Delhi have from 7 to 10 million each.
Uberización: Expropriation / appropriation of the internet and the contributions of the so-called collaborative economy
En la actualidad los grandes monopolios de internet se dedican a la apropiación y acumulación en masa de activos de conocimiento controlando los vectores de información, es decir, los medios a través de los cuales tienen que pasar la información y los productos creativos, para que puedan realizar su valor de intercambio. Internet se ha convertido en una verdadera bomba de aspiración y apropiación acelerada de los comunales generados por millones de internautas por parte de unas pocas empresas monopolistas que encabezan el ranking de las bolsas de valores del globo.
Nowadays, the big internet monopolies are dedicated to the appropriation and mass accumulation of knowledge assets controlling the vectors of information, that is, the means through which information and creative products have to pass, so that they can realize their exchange value. Internet has become a real aspiration pump and of the communal generated by millions of Internet users appropriated by a few monopolistic companies that head the ranking of the stock exchanges of the globe.
Amazon, Uber, Google, etc., have been specifically designed to appropriate the innumerable networks of communal cooperation and reciprocity that the digital era allows and generate amazon-minijobs , uber-contracts and in general e-contracts of all kinds of garbage to profit by exploiting its suppliers and their increasingly precarious lumpen-employees.
Primitive socialist accumulation?
Roberto Bolaño (2666): “.... Los dos ejecutivos mexicanos se agacharon y observaron las marcas que la muerta tenía en el cuello. Luego se levantaron y miraron la hora. La ambulancia está tardando, dijo uno de ellos. Ya mero llega, dijo el policía. Bueno, dijo uno de los ejecutivos, usted se encarga de todo, ¿verdad? El policía dijo sí, cómo no, y se guardó el par de billetes que le tendió el otro en el bolsillo de su pantalón reglamentario. Esa noche la muerta la pasó en un nicho refrigerado del hospital de Santa Teresa y al día siguiente uno de los ayudantes del forense le realizó la autopsia. Había sido estrangulada. Había sido violada. Por ambos conductos, anotó el ayudante del forense. Y estaba embarazada de cinco meses.”
Preobrazhensky (1926): “Primitive socialist accumulation is the accumulation by the state of material resources, mostly or in part, from sources outside the complex of the state economy. This accumulation must play an extremely important role in a backward peasant country, accelerating to a great extent the arrival of the moment when the technical and scientific reconstruction of the state economy begins and when this economy finally reaches the purely economic superiority over capitalism.".
“If the primary resource of primitive capitalist accumulation is the colonies, the only "external resource" of the Soviet state is the "non-socialist" village. Therefore, the state must appropriate the surplus product of the peasant to accumulate capital for industrialization and the rapid transition to socialism”.
The controversy over capitalism in Russia and the debate over Soviet industrialization (1920-1929)
At the end of the 19th century the Russian Social Democrats argued with the Narodniki of Alexander Herzen and N.G. Chernyshevsky on the suitability of traditional communalism of the Russian peasant village (which incorporated values of communal control over greed and individual competition and that considered land as a social utility) as the basis for the construction of socialism.
Faced with the penetration of foreign monopolies, they proposed a state program of sustainable rural and artisanal development.
These approaches were fiercely opposed by the orthodox Marxists, Georgi Plehanov and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Lenin argued that the Russian village was a well of superstition and backwardness and in his book " The development of capitalism in Russia </ i>" (1889) claimed that the ruin of artisanal and peasant production, and the consequent proletarianization of the Russian masses would create the internal market necessary for self-sustained capitalist development.
He argued that capitalist development was historically necessary in Russia so that in the future it could be passed on to socialism. In What to Do </ i>? (1902) warned that the Russian proletarians (in minority against the peasants) should not be encouraged to fight for a communist society. (Lenin, Collected Works, vol 5 (Moscow, 1960-70)).
The debate on Soviet industrialization 1920-1929
The "War Communism" 1918- March 1921 (nationalization of companies and resources, forced labor and prohibition of strikes, centralized control of production, requisitioning and rationing), imitated Germany's war economy during the 1GM. In March 1921 the system drastically changed direction and the NEP (new economic policy) was inaugurated based on a partial return to market mechanisms during which the peasants were encouraged to sell their surpluses in the market. These surpluses could be exported to acquire goods necessary for industrialization so that agriculture and industry would grow in a homogeneous and balanced way (N. Bukharin).
However, the debate on the need for rapid industrialization was rising, especially after 1924. The then Bolshevik left wing, headed by Trotsky, advocated a rapid path of industrialization. The theorist of this fast track was Evgeny Preobrazhensky. In his book "L The New Economy </ i>" (1926) he proposed to put into operation a new form of primitive accumulation, which he called primitive socialist accumulation.
The new socialist state, with no colonies to exploit, the only option left for rapid industrialization and catching up with the other imperialist powers, is the internal accumulation at the cost of robbery or forced expropriation of the non-socialist parties of the economy (peasants) based on fiscal policies and low monopsony prices by the state that resell agricultural production at high prices (monopoly) in the cities.
Stalin, defeated the Trotskyite faction, immediately assumed his ideas and plans of "primitive socialist accumulation" and in the winter of 1927-28 ordered the forced confiscation of the grain and went personally to the Urals to supervise the operation. In April 1929, the sixth congress of the CPSU approved the first five-year plan with a massive increase in industrial investment of 228% and sector production of 180% which implied the forced collectivization of the agricultural sector. At a conference in 1931, Stalin made his goal clear: " We are fifty or a hundred years behind the most advanced countries. We have to cut this distance in 10 years or we will be eliminated"
As we see, the primitive "socialist" accumulation is very close to the primitive "capitalist" accumulation. The aim is to destroy all forms of prior production or resistance to the system (small peasantry, communal lands and pastures, peasant communes, nomadic communities, etc.) and achieve high rates of accumulation from expropriated land and assets and the diversification of the forms of exploitation both pre-capitalist and "socialist" (Stakhanovites, war socialism, re-education through labor, etc.) criminalizing any kind of resistance and subjecting millions of citizens to forced labor (gulak).
Another aspect of primitive "socialist" accumulation is that, as in the case of capitalist accumulation, it is a mechanism for the creation of proletarians. Bifore Stalin it had been capitalism the most efficient system in the creation of the proletariat. Now it was the Soviet economy that created explicitly and massively proletariat.
From primitive socialist accumulation to primitive capitalist accumulation in a jiffy
Socialist forced labor camps : The work, according to official theory, was an integral part of prisoner reeducation. But the most obvious purpose of the labor camp was economic. The production of labor camps was large enough to figure as a separate factor in Soviet planning. The labor regime was strenuous, tiring and often dangerous. Workplaces were poorly ventilated and heated in winter. Clothing for outdoor workers was inadequate. The machinery was old and in disrepair. Failure to comply with the high production quotas was punished with lower food rations and the loss of the right to correspond or visit rights. Injuries were frequent, particularly in three uranium mining camps in Ukraine, where few prisoners survived their sentences. Poor diet and hard work often result in illness. Medical treatment in the labor camps was minimal and the prisoners rejected the operations due to the ineptitude of the medical personnel.
The socialist ideal was placed at the service of accumulation. With the forced collectivization and the consequent proletarization, the majority of the population was subjected to a sophisticated regime of "socialist" exploitation (primitive "socialist" accumulation).
The Gulak, the forced labor camps, the reeducation camps, the "socialist emulation", the Stakhanovism, the artificial state of permanent emergency, etc., replaced the law of value and the usufructs of the "socialist accumulation", after being enjoyed by a corrupt nomenklatura, would pass in their totality to private hands at the beginning of the 90s. in the process of capitalist primitive accumulation more meteoric of history.
A new class of owners, known as "oligarchs", formed quickly in the mid-1990s, from the distribution of state ownership among a handful of businessmen selected by the ill president Yeltsin and his entourage through a trumped auction . As a result, Mikhail Khodorkovsky obtained a 78 percent ownership stake in Yukos (worth $ 5 billion) for only $ 310 million, and Boris Berezovsky acquired the Sibneft company (worth $ 3 billion) for such only $ 100 million.
These controversial agreements in the framework of "share loans" provided the basis for the emergence of the majority of Russian multinationals and made their owners immensely wealthy.
In 2000, almost all of the immense primitive socialist Soviet accumulation resulting from decades of forced collectivization, forced proletarianisation, forced labor and gulak, had been transformed overnight into primitive capitalist accumulation in the hands of a few large private corporations. 70 large financial and industrial groups controlling 40% of Russian GDP.
In 1997, the last theoretician of primitive socialist accumulation wrote a book with the remarkable title "The State and Evolution". The author was Yegor Gaidar, the prime minister of Boris Yeltsin's government in 1992, economist and proponent of "shock therapy". The title of the book evoked the famous "The State and the Revolution" of Lenin and proposed a "peaceful" transition from socialism to capitalism through reforms and the so-called evolution of the State towards the market economy.
The book is full of quotations from Marx and Lenin to support the argument about the need for free market and shock therapy. The book analyzes and compares the dynamics of primitive accumulation in the Soviet Union and in the young post-Soviet Russia. He argues that primitive capitalist accumulation had already begun in the Soviet Union, when the elite of the nomenclature was secretly and illegally privatizing public property and state property and argues that the basis of primitive post-Soviet accumulation would be the capital accumulated by the nomenclature. .
China and its “socialism with Chinese characteristics”
In the Chinese case the primitive capitalist accumulation has been directed by the same supposed socialist regime. It has been the state of the communist party that has led and organized the expropriation and large-scale theft of the lands and natural resources of the Chinese people to hand them over to the capitalist multinationals in an orgy of enormous growth of destructive forces unparalleled in history.
It has been the communist bureaucracy together with experts in Western human resources, who have lumpen-proletarianized hundreds of millions of young peasants to turn them into undocumented workers in their own country, susceptible to unimaginable rates of exploitation, perverting and subverting the Maoist Hukou institution (who forbade peasants to settle in the cities) to adapt it to the unlimited greed of the multinationals.
It has been the corrupt communist bureaucracy that has created the enormous network of free zones throughout the territory that have allowed the large monopolistic corporations to improve the model factory complex Foxconn, the best exponent of monopolistic globalization.