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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Lenin and Trump

Here's a centenary we missed:

"In order for capitalism to generate greater profits than the home market can yield, the merging of banks and industrial cartels produces finance capitalism—the exportation and investment of capital to countries with underdeveloped economies. In turn, such financial behaviour leads to the division of the world among monopolist business companies and the great powers. Moreover, in the course of colonizing undeveloped countries, business and government eventually will engage in geopolitical conflict over the economic exploitation of large portions of the geographic world and its populaces. Therefore, imperialism is the highest (advanced) stage of capitalism, requiring monopolies (of labour and natural-resource exploitation) and the exportation of finance capital (rather than goods) to sustain colonialism, which is an integral function of said economic model. Furthermore, in the capitalist homeland, the super-profits yielded by the colonial exploitation of a people and their economy permit businessmen to bribe native politicians, labour leaders and the labour aristocracy (upper stratum of the working class) to politically thwart worker revolt (labour strike)."

- Summary in Wikipedia of Lenin's 1917 book, "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism."

It is easy to draw parallels between this description and the current state of "crony capitalist" globalism, political "bubble", media manipulation etc.

After Franklin Roosevelt became President in 1933, he made himself so hated by the American Establishment that they changed the Constitution to prevent anyone else serving more than two terms. Yet many argue that he saved capitalism, in a country that was - under severe economic stress - beginning to look at the imagined advantages of socialism.

I wouldn't say that President Trump has anything like the sophistication of FDR and modern American politicians - especially not the suave patter and extensive political connections - but his objective of repatriating work and capital to the USA is a similar attempt to shore up the system.

While the world - as represented by the mainstream news media - was fussing about statues of dead white men and "who shot John" among the warring hooligans in Charlottesville and elsewhere, NAFTA renegotiations are under way - did that feature on the TV news?

Interestingly, the longest-serving woman in Congress - and a Democrat to boot - agrees with Trump:

"The US economy and global corporations can surely benefit from international trade agreements, but that is not enough. Our trade negotiators’ top priority must be the US worker and promoting fair rather than just free trade."

- Marcy Kaptur, in the UK's Guardian newspaper on Thursday (24.08.2017)

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