"Over a hundred years since the beginning of modern imperialism, the former colonial world is still prevented from joining the club of imperialist powers. The gap between rich and poor countries is not narrowing but growing. China is usually presented as challenging the dominance of the United States and other rich countries. However, imperialist domination over the most sophisticated aspects of the labour process gives the rich countries and their corporations control over the global labour process as a whole – including in China. Third World producers are forced to specialise in the opposite types of work – in relatively simple and low-end labour, for which major price markups and large profits are rarely possible. This is the kernel of unequal exchange in world trade. The imperialist system develops two types of capital – monopoly and non-monopoly capital – and two types of societies – rich, monopoly, imperialist societies and poor, non-monopoly, ‘Third World’ societies. China’s ascendance to become the most powerful Third World country in no way threatens to topple continuing imperialist dominance. Most contemporary Marxist writing has not been focused on global income polarisation and imperialist exploitation of the poor countries. For this reason, it has been unable to explain how exactly the same countries continuously reproduce their dominance. However, the actual conditions of the neoliberal world economy have made explicit how this happens through the labour process itself. In doing so it has also shown how Marx’s labour theory of value can be concretely applied to the conditions of monopoly capital today.
‘assets’ (i.e. financial paper) certainly constitutes an important aspect of imperialist monopolistic advantage today. But that has long been the case. How exactly finance, conceived as a separate section of capital, can exert control over non-financial capital (which such a formulation must assume) remains a mystery. In overlooking unequal exchange in trade based on
The neoliberal period reconfirmed the global polarisation inherent in the imperialist system. It also made the basic mechanism of Third World exploitation – unequal exchange – explicit and hence easier to explain and demonstrate. It has shown Lenin’s theory of monopoly finance capital is a basically accurate application, not negation, of Marx’s labour theory of value. For
dictates the size of monopoly profit. This is the Marxist labour theory of unequal exchange. The case of Google versus Samsung via Motorola In 2014 Samsung produced the handsets for 81 per cent of the Android segment of the global mobile-phone market. Google, being the producer of Android, provided the operating system for 100 per cent of these. A great synergy on
the Second World War, the balance was financed by high growth rates and global unequal exchange so that democratic and welfare policies were able to alleviate the impact of inequalities (legal protection of minorities, progressive taxation, action against poverty, increasing social spending, etc.). However, this same balance cannot go on in the successive phase of capitalist development, and as Marshall already signalled in the early 1970s: This malfunctioning of the system of legitimate inequality is probably the most deeply-rooted threat to the viability of the
monopolistic manner. It is the monopolistic unequal exchange brought about on this basis that simply explains the apparent paradox that firms can raise profits by downsizing their operations. Polarisation and hierarchical specialisation among capitals ‘Globalisation’ of production processes is hardly new. As Lenin observed
No struggle for social justice that lacks a grounded understanding of how wealth is accumulated within society, and by whom, is ever likely to make more than a marginal dent in the status quo. Much work has been done over the years by academics and activists to illuminate the broad processes of wealth extraction. But a constantly watchful eye is essential if new forms of financial extraction are to be blocked, short-circuited, deflected or unsettled. So when the World Bank and other well-known enablers of wealth extraction start to organise to promote greater private-sector involvement in ‘infrastructure’, for example through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), alarm bells should start to ring. How are roads, bridges, hospitals, ports and railways being eyed up by finance? What bevels and polishes the lens through which they are viewed? How is infrastructure being transformed into an ‘asset class’ that will yield the returns now demanded by investors? Why now? What does the reconfiguration of infrastructure tell us about the vulnerabilities of capital? The challenge is not only to understand the mechanisms through which infrastructure is being reconfigured to extract wealth: equally important is to think through how activists might best respond. What oppositional strategies genuinely unsettle elite power instead of making it stronger?
In this broad sweep, Mayo explores dominant European discourses of higher education, in the contexts of different globalisations and neoliberalism, and examines its extension to a specific region. It explores alternatives in thinking and practice including those at the grassroots, also providing a situationally grounded project of university–community engagement. Signposts for further directions for higher education lifelong learning, with a social justice purpose, are provided.
attract to itself a disproportionate share of global investment, contribute a disproportionate share of global labour, suffer a disproportionate unequal exchange of value and was able to develop, on that basis, a capitalist class that was disproportionately prosperous and powerful compared to other Third World capitalist classes. However as non-monopoly capital, its position is always
Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China ( New York , Monthly Review , 2012 ), p. 16 . 12 Foster et al., ‘The Global Reserve Army’; M. Itoh, ‘Unequal Exchange Reconsidered in Our Age of Globalization’ [talk presented at the