Neoliberal polarisation of capital
in Imperialism and the development myth
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Neoliberal monopoly-dominated ‘free trade’ represented a more advanced form of domination and exploitation compared with earlier eras. Many of the most profitable corporations specialised in particular labour processes within an overall world division of labour. Almost all specialised in one type of labour: sophisticated labour. While the separation of capital into monopoly and non-monopoly groupings predates the neoliberal period, during it, production processes were more vigorously divided into two opposite labour types – what we might call ‘ordinary’ and ‘sophisticated’ labour. Independent firms were tasked with carrying out separate stages of the production process even for a single product, sometimes thousands of kilometres apart. The two types of labour stand in contrast to each other technically and, flowing from this, in terms of the income they can generate. Simple labour processes are more easily replicable, while sophisticated labour is far less so. Simple labour processes therefore cannot, by definition, be monopolised as such. Sophisticated labour, also by definition, always possesses a monopolistic characteristic, as such, to one degree or another. Non-monopoly firms are assigned, or left to compete for, simple and well-known labour processes. Through these they can gain only non-monopoly profits. The monopolies control high-end, specialised and scientific labour. On this basis they can gain the high, monopoly profits that investment in such labour processes also demands.

Imperialism and the development myth

How rich countries dominate in the twenty-first century

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