In his Preface to the first German edition of Capital, Vol I (first-published in 1867), Marx wrote:
"And even when a society has got upon the right track for the discovery of the natural laws of its movement — and it is the ultimate aim of this work to lay bare the economic law of motion of modern society — it can neither clear by bold leaps, nor remove by legal enactments, the obstacles offered by the successive phases of its normal development. But it can shorten and lessen the birth-pangs." [Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. I: The Productionsprocess of Capitals, International Publishers [NY: 1967], page 10, bold-faced emphasis added by Anonymous].
From the very first sentence of this, his very first published, systematic exposition of his critique of political economy, namely, «Zur Kritik der politischen Oekonomie», as well as, in abundance, in his letters and unpublished writings [especially the Grundrisse], Marx described his planned, '''systematic-dialectical''' structure and deployment of this critique, as follows:
"I examine the system of bourgeois economy in the following order: capital, landed property, wage labour, the State, foreign trade, world market." [Karl Marx, A Contribution To The Critique of Political Economy , Preface, International Publishers [NY: 1972], page 19, bold-faced emphasis added by Anonymous], also noting that "The entire material lies before me in the form of monographs, which were written not for publication but for self-clarification at widely separated periods; their remoulding into an integrated whole according to the plan I have indicated will depend upon circumstances."
In the event, Marx lived to complete only the first parts of the first book, on capital.
The global social movement which his work, in part, inspired, has not engaged the systematic continuation or completion of this work.
Consequently, key aspects of modern society as a totality have been neglected, or under-theorized, in the Marxian movement, partly because Marx appears to have neglected them when, in actuality, their systematic unfoldment was to have been addressed in the works never completed — as repeated references to those later works throughout the four extant volumes of Capital attest.
In particular, the political moment of the Marxian critique of political-economy, especially in its unity with the other moments, has been under-theorized in the Marxian tradition subsequent to Marx, partly due to the [still] missing systematic-dialectical development of the theory of the State.
The economic moment has been over-stressed, partly due to its appropriate stress within the systematic-dialectical development of the first, merely introductory part of Marx's critique — the «buch» on Capital — to the point where some — even some Marxians — believe that Marxian theory is "the economic theory of history", whereas, in fact, it is 'the historical theory of economics', with "economy" grasped as an aspect of the history of the 'allo-development' coupled with the '''self-development''' of human-species self-reproductive praxis — indeed, it is an historical theory of all aspects of the human-species social totality:
"We know only a single science, the science of history. One can look at history from two sides and divide it into the history of nature and the history of men. The two sides are, however, inseparable; the history of nature and the history of men are dependent on each other so long as men exist. The history of nature, so-called natural science, does not concern us here; but we will have to examine the history of men, since almost the whole of ideology amounts either to a distorted interpretation of history, or to a complete abstraction from it. Ideology itself is only one of the aspects of this history." [Karl Marx, Frederick Engels; The German Ideology, Progress Publishers (Moscow: 1968);, page 28; emphasis added by Anonymous; part of a section which was "crossed out in the manuscript", per the editor, S. Ryazanskaya].
However, realizing that his plan for the systematic unfoldment of his immanent critique of the bourgeois-ideological science of political economy could not be actualized by him in the time he had left, Marx built in, even to volume one of Capital, some chapters, and some other, 'sub-chapteral' contents, which, while they maintained the — appropriately for that stage of the systematic-dialectical, categorial progression — more limitedly "economic" focus of the Capital volumes as a whole, were not fully prepared-for in the systematic development to that stage, and which, in part, anticipated the later stages of that categorial progression, which would have been native to the later «buchs».
In particular, Chapter 32 of volume I of Capital — the second to last chapter of that volume as a whole — entitled "Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation", is a case in point.
The operation that the «Kapitals»-system is, and that it applies externally, to its surrounding pre-capitalist hinterland [as it converts that hinterland into new socio-geographical increments to itself, to its own geographical domain], as it does also internally, to its own already-converted internal terrain, is one of expropriation — expropriation of small-holder peasant producers on the land and of self-employed urban artisans, etc., to form/expand the wage-worker class; expropriation of smaller capitals by larger, etc.
«Kapital» is also an operation of the '''bursting-asunder''' of all barriers to the quanto-qualitative advance of human-social self-productivity [of the "social productive forces", cf. Marx, Grundrisse].
As the «Kapital»-conversion of the pre-capital hinterland nears completion, as the «Kapitals»-system comes to surround the last remnants of what once surrounded it, we move toward that moment, and that historical extremity, in which the «Kapitals»-system will 'surround' and confront only itself worldwide.
This approaching [temporally-extended] historical moment means that the operations which that system hitherto applied to the predecessor social formations that 'environmented' it in the past, the operations of "expropriation" and of '''barrier-dissolution''', will be applied to the «Kapitals»-system itself and to the «Kapital»-relation-of-production itself, as a whole, by the «Kapitals»-system and by the «Kapital»-relation itself, as its own only remaining human-social environment.
With regard to the 'expropriation operator' that is capital, this would mean an expropriation of [the] capital-immanent expropriation [operation] itself:
"What does the primitive accumulation of capital, i.e., its historical genesis, resolve itself into? In so far as it is not immediate transformation of slaves and serfs into wage-labourers, and therefore a mere change of form, it only means the expropriation of the immediate producers, i.e., the dissolution of private property based on the labour of its owner. ... as soon as the capitalist mode of production stands on its own feet... the further expropriation of private proprietors takes a new form. That which is now to be expropriated is no longer the labourer working for himself, but the capitalist exploiting many labourers. This expropriation is accomplished by the action of the immanent laws of capitalistic production itself, by the centralisation of capital. One capitalist always kills many. Hand in hand with this centralisation, or this expropriation of many capitalists by few, develops, on an ever-increasing scale, the cooperative form of the labour-process, the conscious technical application of science, the methodical cultivation of the soil, the transformation of the instruments of labour into instruments of labour only usable in common [the 'objective socialization' of the means of production, still pending their '[inter-]subjective, memetic, phenomic socialization', in the form of the conscious creation, by the human species-for-itself, of a truly human, truly social, '''socialist''', '''associationist''' society; the global, and global-market-subsuming, society of the democratically "associated producers" — Anonymous], the economising of all means of production by their use as the means of production of combined, socialised labour, the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world-market, and, with this, the international character of the capitalist régime. ... The monopoly of capital becomes a fetter upon the mode of production, which has sprung up and flourished along with, and under it. Centralisation of the means of production and socialisation of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. This integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated." [Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Chapter 32, "Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation", International Publishers, [NY: 1967], pages 761-764, emphasis added by Anonymous]
Marx foresaw, in the Grundrisse, that, in this 'self-environment' and 'self-surroundment' of the «Kapitals»-system, it would find, in its own nature, a barrier to the further development of the social forces of expanding human-societal self-[re-]production, and act upon itself accordingly, unstoppably, whatever to the contrary its partisans and beneficiaries might wish:
"... capital has pushed beyond national boundaries and prejudices, beyond the deification of nature and the inherited, self-sufficient satisfaction of existing needs confined within well-defined bounds, and the reproduction of the traditional way of life. It is destructive of all this, and permanently revolutionary, tearing down all obstacles that impede the development of the productive forces, the expansion of needs, the diversity of production and the exploitation and exchange of natural and intellectual forces. But because capital sets up any such boundary as a limitation and is thus ideally over and beyond it, it does not in any way follow that it has really surmounted it, and since any such limitation contradicts its vocation, capitalist production moves in contradictions, which are constantly overcome, only to be, again, constantly re-established [and, on an ever-larger 'meta-fractal' scale — Anonymous]. Still more so. The universality towards which it is perpetually driving finds limitations in its own nature, which, at a certain stage of its development will make it appear as itself the greatest barrier to this tendency, leading thus to its own self-destruction." [David McLellan, The Grundrisse [ed: implied "by"] Karl Marx, Harper & Row [NY: 1971], pages 94-95].
Vastly more needs to be said about the historical "dynamics" — and 'meta-dynamics' — of the "lawful" state-space/control-space "trajectory" of the «Kapitals»-system as a "dynamical system", and also as a self-terminating, tendentially self-transcending 'meta-dynamical system'; about its "attractors", about its "repellors" and "separatrices", about its "basins of attractions", and about its [self-]"bifurcations" in the "state-space" and "control-space" of its self-development, as well as about the "mechanisms" and 'organisms' of its eventual, tendential 'meta-finite self-conversion/self-bifurcation self-singularity'/self-explosion, as especially about the immanent tendency of accumulating capital-value to de-value itself, through the action of its newer portions upon its older portions, and of the resulting tendency of the rate of capital value self-accumulation to decelerate itself, due to the "techno-depreciation", or "moral depreciation", that results from the pursuit of [transient] "super-profits" via the [unconscious] pursuit of relative surplus-value, ALL as expressions of "the growth of the productive forces" — the self-growth of the human-society-expanding-self-re-productive forces within capital. However, the above-excerpted intimations must suffice for the present purpose.
Capital accumulation, as Marx's work so superlatively demonstrates, is not adequately conceived as a merely quantitative increase in the capital-value extant.
Inextricably interconnected with this tendential quantitative increase in capital-value, are a whole series of qualitative changes, including (1) the tendential rise in the ratio of constant capital to variable capital, (2) and with it, of the technical composition of "constant capital" — and of "variable capital", (3) the increasing incarnation/embodiment/materialization of the capital-relation itself as fixed capital develops into an "automatic system of machinery" [Karl Marx, Grundrisse], during the "real domination"/decadent phase of capital accumulation, and (4) the trends of the consolidation, concentration, and centralization of capital-value ownership as predicted in the quote from Capital above, which quote sets forth the '''historical law/tendency of motion''' of capital accumulation.
The quote above, from volume I of Capital, which seeks to lay bare, with full explicitude, only the economic aspect of "the law of motion of modern society", still emphasizes primarily the economic dynamics and 'meta-dynamics' of these predicted ultimate tendencies of the historical capital-value accumulation-process.
Yet these passages are already pregnant with, and almost ready to give birth to, explicit political-economic implications, just below their surface.
We hold that the "immiseration" — the horror that Marx had in mind, and that moved him in his work — as the concomitant of the accumulation of capital, was not just the '''economic immiseration''' of humanity in its vast majority, but, at the very least, '''political-economic immiseration''', and, in truth, much more: '''socio-political-economic immiseration''; still more, total human immiseration.
The '''political''' moment of '''political-economic immiseration''' includes that of the nightmarish, omni-genocidal atrocities and enormities of the totalitarian, private/state-capitalist-hybrid, police-state terror-torture regime that the core of global capitalist society is destined to become — absent the majoritarian revolution to complete the movement of the human species towards full democracy that ascendant phase capitalism at first resumed, and continued, but then, in its present 're-descendence', is aborting.
Grasped not just economically, put political-economically, there is an accumulation of human, social misery that accompanies the accumulation of capital that is not just economic misery: it is 'political misery', the 'political misery' of police-state, totalitarian torture-terror, as well.
Grasped political-economically, the "law" of capital accumulation is also a "law" of the accumulation of the potential for, and of the motive for, totalitarian rule of the rest of society within the capitalist ruling class.
Grasped in its '''political''' moment, the "accumulation of capital" is also the accumulation of political power in the hands of the class of capital.
The "concentration of capital" is also the concentration of political power in the hands of the personifications of capital.
The "centralization of capital" is also the centralization of political power in the hands of the class that rules capitalist society, and through which the value-imperatives of capital itself rules that society.
The "consolidation of capital" is also the dictatorial consolidation of state power — of dictatorial power over and through the capitalist state — in the hands of capital, "representative political democracy" notwithstanding.
The "consolidation of capital" means that "representative political democracy" will be increasingly hollowed out; increasingly reduced to nothing more than a sham and a facade, as the ever more frayed "velvet glove" covering up the "iron hand", but through which that "iron hand" — and, with it, the formerly "invisible hand" of the "law" of capital — becomes, increasingly, all too visible, as state-capitalist, totalitarian dictatorship.
In summary, the political-economic accumulation, concentration, centralization, and consolidation of capital-value ownership has, as its concomitant and ineluctable political accompaniment, the '''accumulation, concentration, centralization, and consolidation''' of vicious, despotic, tyrannical, mass-murderous political power — within the capital-based ruling class; the bourgeoisie, and within its servant-bureaucracies — over the rest of global, human-species society.
These implications amount to a prediction of the phenomenon of — what has come to be called, originally by non-Marxians and, often, by anti-Marxians — totalitarianism as a theoretical category of the critique of political economy, and as a core content of the predicted political-economic "immiseration" of the lives of the majorities of the human populations of late/decadent capitalist, or global-market, society, including especially within the core nations of the world-market system of capitals.
This is the context within which, in the Marxian tradition, so-called "conspiracy theories" should be judged.
Groups within human society are continually attempting "conspiracies" of all kinds — as anyone experienced in the political life, of, e.g., opposition movements, including "Marxist" organizations, corporate life, or even family life can attest.
Perhaps, almost invariably, these "conspiracies" fail to produce the full results intended by the conspirators.
In modern, commodity/money/capital-centered society, the potential degree of success of "conspiracies" is profoundly conditioned by the class position of the "conspirators", and by the changing, developing convergence of dynamics and conditions created by the praxis of the global human species as an '''exchange-value valuing''', '''exchange-value-centered/-pre-occupied" species — dynamics and conditions which Marx summed up under the phrase "the law of value".
The core of the failure of the majority of the post-WWI "Marxist" "Left" — its advocacy of the Stalinist "Soviet" Union as an exemplar and realization of "socialism" — is also its wholesale abandonment of democracy — of the extension of democracy, beyond the representative, political-only "democracy" of ascendant-phase capital-centered society, to encompass political-economic democracy.
Yet that political-economic democracy is the only way to save any semblance of even political democracy — and to save humanity itself — from the core and global, multi-genocidal degeneration immanent in decadent phase capitalist society, a degeneration into a hybrid, private/state-capitalist totalitarian, "Hell-on-Earth" nightmare, far more horrific than even its Stalinist and Hitlerist precursors.
Today's remnant Stalinoids, Lenino-Stalinoids, and Lenino-Trotskyoids [the latter, the would-be successors of the original Stalinoids, successors who would trick humanity yet a second time into falling for their state-bureaucratic, totalitarian, world-wide concentration camp of state-capitalism, One Big Gulag] — indeed, all Leninoids — reject the concept of "state capitalism" out-of-hand.
Big surprise, no?
Some do so on the grounds that, without the competition of capitals to enforce, as a seemingly external compulsion upon individual capitals, the immanent capitalist "law of value", there can be no capitalism.
If the state owns all capital — if there is only one capital, if there are no longer many capitals, constraining one another to obey the "law of value", which alone defines capital as capital, and constrains it to continue to "be" capital — then there cannot be any capital at all, even if the appearance of wage-labor, with workers selling their labor-power to the state in exchange for money-wages and/or for money-salaries, persists.
They have a point, but, in this argument, they also reveal their self-vitiating, self-confinement within "national socialist" horizons.
The world of humanity does not consist of but a single nation-state.
No single nation-state, but only the world market, is the true totality-of-reference for the system of capitals, and "Capitalist production does not exist at all without foreign commerce" [Marx, Capital, Vol. II, page 470.].
A "pure", idealized" model of state-capitalism would involve the completion of conglomeration, of the "mergers and acquisitions" movement, within a given nation-state, a final "buy-out", "hostile take-over" or not, by the state itself, creating a "national super-corporation", managed by the state bureaucracy, on behalf of, and subordinate to, at least initially, the dominant faction of the legacy bourgeoisie of private-capitalist hyper-plutocrats.
Each such "single capital", consolidated on a national scale, to the extent that it lacked the potential for total autarky, would still import from, and export to, the world market, competing with other national and multi-national private capitals, as well as, perhaps, with other 'nation-[al]ized' capitals, or state-capitals, other 'national super-corporations', on both imports and exports, and something for capital-profitability and 'power-profitability' unified, through international trade and, alternately, through inter-national, inter-capitalist war. Rather reminiscent of the world-system envisioned by George Orwell in his seminal, novel analysis of the totalitarian degeneration of human society, Nineteen Eighty-Four, in which the totalitarian, meta-national formations of the permanently-militarized societies of Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia are ever at war — no?!
Such an un-hybridized, "pure type" is unlikely to emerge in actual human history.
What did emerge, but only in two territories vast enough, in land area, in resources, and in population, to have some potential for autarky — the vast territory of Russia and the vast territory of China — was proto-state-capitalism, never developed enough, in their "Department II", consumer goods making industries, to have much in the way of competitive consumer goods exports to the world-market, throughout the entire Stalinist period, but having sufficient autarkic potential to partially "secede", for a while, from the world market, as a geographically gargantuan "command economy", similar, in some ways, to the non-market, intercontinental command economies that prevail inside today's "multi-national"/"trans-national" private super-corporations, formations of private, and privatized, 'Corporate Stalinism'.
This Stalinist "proto-state-capitalism/autarky" hybrid thus emerged in lands at the "semi-periphery" of the capitalist core, peripheral societies whose home-grown, later-to-emerge private capitalist classes were stunted, crippled, and crushed, in their development, between the earlier-to-emerge, already strong, and aggressively imperial/colonial private capitalist classes of the capitalist core, on one flank, and the still-unconquered, crypto-feudal «Ancien Regime» of their home-terrain on the other flank.
These private capitalist 'dwarf-classes' were consequently too weakened to lead a classical, capitalist revolution against their ruling monarchies/landed aristocracies/war lords.
Instead, in the social collapse of the aftermath of inter-capitalist World War, a state-bureaucratic dictatorship was formed out of the victorious «coup d'état» of the crypto-Jacobin, pseudo-Marxian insurrectionary parties — parties which had, predictably, perverted Marxian theory into an ideology justifying the dictatorial rule of for a new, would-be ruling-class — out of the working-class pseudo-victory of these parties of would-be/belated bourgeois social revolutionaries, stranded in predominantly peasant societies but with no effective, emergent private-capitalist class. These pseudo-Marxians thus prefigured the final, desperate resort to the state — to state-capitalism — still-to-come in the core regions of world capital: the core regions of the world-market system-of-capitals.
These crypto-Jacobin insurrectionists created proto-state-capitalism, but called it "socialism".
In the end, the dynamics of these statist regimes proved to be a mere historical-transient, a transient trajectory, just another, new, and novel state-space trajectory, leading from one or another pre-capitalist state of society to the capitalist state of society; just another pathway to the attractor of capitalism, a trajectory of return from quasi-autarky to the world market, that only, initially seemed to veer away from capitalism and its world-market, but never achieved social-evolutionary "escape-velocity" from the capital-relation-attractor; constituting, indeed, just a new form of the hyper-violent "primitive accumulation" of capital itself, accomplished, this time, not by the classical enclosure movements' collusion of landed property and incipient industrial capital, but by the state-bureaucracy, substituting for an absent/eliminated/moratlly-weakened landed aristocracy and bourgeoisie.
Perhaps no clearer — more prescient, more condensed — description of the political-economic self-movement, within core capitalism, toward state-capitalism, by way of "joint-stock company" capitalism, or 'corporation capitalism', has ever been written, than that which was written by Frederick Engels himself — publishing thoughts which, we conjecture, overall, he and Marx shared — in Anti-Duhring (first published in 1878):
"It is this pressure of the productive forces, in their mighty up-growth, against their character as capital, increasingly compelling the recognition of their social character, which forces the capitalist class itself more and more to treat them as social productive forces, in so far as this is at all possible within the framework of capitalist relations. Both the period of industrial boom, with its unlimited credit inflation, and the crisis itself through the collapse of great capitalist establishments, urge forward towards that form of the socialization of huge masses of means of production which we find in the various kinds of joint-stock companies. Many of these means of production are from the outset so colossal that, like the railways, they exclude all other forms of capitalist exploitation. At a certain stage of development even this form no longer suffices; the official representative of capitalist society, the state, is constrained to take over their management. This necessity of conversion into state property makes itself evident first in the big institutions for communication: the postal service, telegraphs and railways. If the crises revealed the incapacity of the bourgeoisie any longer to control the modern productive forces, the conversion of the great organizations for production and communication into joint-stock companies and state property shows that, for this purpose the bourgeoisie can be dispensed with. All the social functions of the capitalists are now carried out by salaried employees. The capitalist has no longer any social activity save the pocketing of revenues, the clipping of coupons and gambling on the Stock Exchange, where the different capitalists fleece each other of their capital. Just as at first the capitalist mode of production displaced the workers, so now it displaces the capitalists, relegating them, just as it did the workers, to the superfluous population, even if in the first instance not to the industrial reserve army. But neither the conversion into joint-stock companies nor into state property deprives the productive forces of their character as capital. In the case of joint-stock companies this is obvious. And the modern state, too, is only the organization with which bourgeois society provides itself in order to maintain the general external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against encroachments either by the workers or by individual capitalists. The modern state, whatever its form, is an essentially capitalist machine; it is the state of the capitalists, the ideal collective body of all capitalists. The more productive forces it takes over as its property, the more it becomes the real collective body of all the capitalists, the more citizens it exploits. The workers remain wage-earners, proletarians. The capitalist relationship is not abolished; it is rather pushed to an extreme. But at this extreme it is transformed into its opposite. State ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but it contains within itself the formal means, the key to the solution." [Frederick Engels, Herr Eugen Duhring's Revolution in Science, International Publishers [NY: 1966], pages 303-304, emphasis added by Anonymous].
Engels is still not fully explicit here as to the difference between the "state property" relation — 'state capital' and 'state wage labor', or wage labor for the state — and the subsequent "solution to the conflict", i.e., "social ownership"; 'social property' — the new property-relations, or social relations of production, of "association", or of "the associated producers" [Marx].
Nor does Engels seem, here, to foresee the horrific lived nightmare of police-state mass torture, mass rape, and mass-murder to which the absolute power of the monopoly-state — unchecked and unbalanced by any countervailing power — was to lead, in Stalin's Russia, in Hitler's Germany, in Mao's China, and beyond, e.g., in all of the psychopathically-vicious "Third World" police-state dictatorships imposed worldwide by the power of the core plutocracy, and also, tendentially, today, in the U.S. and U.K. core of the world-market system of capitals.
But why were these proto-state-capitalist, 'pure-bureaucratic' formations so viciously totalitarian, whereas ascendant phase core private capitalism was the champion of at least representative, political democracy and, at least ideally — although so often honored in the breach — of civil liberty?
Because the power-to-rule, and the property, of a state-bureaucratic ruling class is totally and instantly vulnerable to purely-political assault.
A pure state-bureaucratic ruling class has only a tenuous hold on the means of production, a kind of politically-mediated, collective ownership, rather than any private or individual, e.g., 'familially'-inheritable ownership claim.
If such a ruling class is deposed politically, it is deposed totally.
If it loses an election — loses its hold on the state — it immediately forfeits all [collective] ownership claims, all hold on the means of production, the basis of all of its socio-political-economic power.
Hence, such a ruling class will not tolerate — is mortally threatened by — political competition, or even by mere political dissent.
A private capitalist ruling-class retains private ownership of the core property, the core means of social production, that found its hold on socio-economic power, even should a hostile party accede to merely political power, e.g., through electoral victory, despite all of the incessant, enveloping ideology-inculcation by the big-capital-monopolized mass media.
No ruling class, successful as such, for long, will consent to social conventions or institutional arrangements which put its rule, its power, in continual mortal peril.
A private capitalist ruling class can — at least during the ascendant phase of capital accumulation — afford, and even gain from, the institution of representative political democracy and civil liberty.
A pure-bureaucratic ruling class cannot.
The presently-emerging motive to totalitarianism of the core capitalist ruling plutocracy is different than were the motives to totalitarianism of the proto-state-capitalist bureaucratic ruling classes of "Communist" Russia and China.
Nevertheless, both motives come down, in the end, to the motive to maintain social-dictatorial power at any and all human cost, no matter how horrific.
Backward, semi-peripheral, Stalinist, 'bourgeoisie-less' or 'pure-bureaucratic' proto-state-capitalism, conditioned by the absence of a strong private capitalist class to drive industrialization, was a 'disfigured prefigurement' of the desperate resort to the state that belongs to the lawful, ultimate destiny of advanced, core capitalism in its historical extremity.
Therefore also the manner of the overthrow of those proto-state-capitalist totalitarian formations gives us our first, albeit also disfigured, glimpse of — and a prototype for — the mode of overthrow that we should expect/predict for the full-blown-totalitarian, hybrid private-/state-capitalism, that is presently emerging in the capitalist core.
The revolutionary transition into Stalinist proto-state-capitalism was full of all of the Jacobinoid, barricaded-streets mass violence, assassination, «coup d'état», civil war, and secret police reprisal and atrocity that is associated with the capitalist revolutions of the England of Cromwell and of the France of The Reign of Terror.
That catastrophic carnage is a hallmark of those kinds of social revolutions which displace the despotic rule over, and cannibalization of, the rest of society by one privileged minority, but which replace it with the same kinds of depredations by another, new privileged minority — e.g., proto-industrialist private capitalists, or proto-state-capitalist Stalinist bureaucrats, replacing a monarchical landed aristocracy.
The overthrow of the Stalinist regime — of one of the most brutal, vicious, monstrous dictatorships in the entire history of humanity — throughout Russia and Eastern Europe, was accomplished with astonishingly little violence.
Popular consciousness, popular will, popular intension — prepared by decades of illegal, secret, «samizdat» circulation of gradual consensus-building news and views in the context of an absolute state-monopoly upon the official means of mass communication — simply ceased to consent any longer to Stalinist rule, making this manifest in mass demonstrations so vast and so obviously majoritarian that the forces of the secret police simply did not dare to immediately intervene, out of mortal fear for their own, beastly lives.
Marxian theory, purged of Stalinoid ideology, accounts well for the social dynamics and for the social '''meta-dynamics''' of this social-revolutionary overthrow of Stalinism [please see, for example, David Schweickart, Against Capitalism, pages 345-348].
The massive violence came afterward, as the 'Meta-Nazi'-orchestrated hired liars of the University of Chicago, and other "neo-liberal" operatives, imposed Weimar-like "social shock therapy" upon the Russian people, and unleashed the mafia upon civil society, to punish the Russian people for daring to choose democracy, and to "make an example of them" for all the world to see, to discourage any other oppressed societies from making any more such bids for freedom.
The manner of overthrow of the racialist, apartheid terror-regime in South Africa — an already partially industrially-developed capitalist nation-state — may have similar lessons, we believe, for the popular but [relatively] mass-non-violent mode of overthrow of core, hybrid private-capitalist/state-capitalist totalitarianism.
Capitalist insurrectionary means lead to capitalist ends.
Lenino-Jacobinoid insurrectionary/terrorist conspiracies and cults of "guerilla" violence, are suited only, at most, to create Stalinist, proto-state-capitalist, bourgeoisie-substitutionist, totalitarian regimes.
Those residing in the capitalist core, who wish to catalyze the genuine social revolution that leads to political-economic democracy, need to look elsewhere, to other means, and to scrutinize the «samizdat» processes which prepared the ground for majoritarian, mass-non-violent social transformation in the Stalinist, proto-state-capitalist formations of Russia and Eastern Europe, for clues to a successful social-revolutionary praxis of their own.
The truly Marxian currents, including truly "associated producers" currents — "soviets-based", or workers'-councils-based, direct-democratic, economic-democratic currents of socialist-communist theory and praxis — were crushed, increasingly, after World War I, between the double opposition of the wealthy and murderous private capitalists and Fascist totalitarians, on the one side, and the wealthy and murderous Stalinist proto-state-capitalist totalitarians on the other, which could not even tolerate the pseudo-opposition of Trotskyoid Leninism.
Consequently, no large-scale 'Socialist Renaissance', no rebirth of genuine, true and liberatory Marxian theory and practice, was possible before the apparent total defeat of that theory as ideologically expropriated and misrepresented, respectively, by the core capitalist and semi-peripheral Stalinist ruling classes alike; i.e., before the collapse of the Stalinist societies in Russia and its peripheries.
But that 'Socialist Renaissance' is still only in its barest beginnings today.
Throughout the "Soviet" period, the bulk of the "Marxian" movement had utterly discredited itself in the eyes of the working classes of the world, by prostituting itself to, advertising for, and advocating for a system of social despotism and privation — Stalinist '''national socialism''' [or '''socialism in one nation''']; a despotism even more vicious than, temporarily at least, the private capitalist despotism from which those classes already suffered.
This capitulation and complicity in that world-historical crime was typically signaled by statements such as the following: "Some open, and some covert, enemies of the U.S.S.R. claim that a new exploiting class has arisen there. They pretend to see in the officials of the Soviet system, and the variations in incomes, a new exploiting class. Yet it is admitted that this new "class" does not own the means of production, that the means of production are socialized, that no one can start a business, as in America, for instance, and hire and exploit wage workers for profit." [which means only that the Stalinist state-bureaucracy is a '''jealous god''' — jealously guarding its monopoly on capital-ownership, and on wage-worker exploitation, brooking no competition, to its role of sole national capitalist, from any other entity].
But could Marxian theory, noting the "uneven", 'concentric' pattern of global capitalist self-development and geographical self-deployment, have anticipated the likelihood of this disastrous detour in its destiny?
How does the emergence and historical presence of a Marxian movement as a powerful, objective force in human history change the equations which embody the Marxian theory of the self-evolution-to-self-revolution, or ruin, of capitalist civilization?
In particular, what is predicted by Marxian theory itself as to the reaction of the capitalist ruling classes — the reaction of the dominant faction of the capitalist plutocracy — to that emergence of Marxian theory/practice which is also at least implicitly 'pre-dicted', or 'post-dicted', by Marxian theory itself, and what are the predicted consequences, by and for Marxian theory, and for its own practice and strategy, of that reaction?
We will, hereinafter, refer to the dominant faction of the capitalist plutocracy by the name 'The Meta-Nazis'.
Consider, for starters, that the 'Meta-Nazis' have always been able to avail themselves of the best minds that money can buy.
The divide-and-conquer dis-information that the 'Meta-Nazi's' hired liars dish out for public consumption — for consumption by the majority, producing population — is not the same content as that which these intellectual prostitutes tell their masters behind closed doors.
Suppose a dominant faction of the capitalist plutocracy — the faction that we have named the 'Meta-Nazis' — were to conclude that Marx was right?
Suppose that faction concluded that Marx was essentially right, in that the continued growth of the "productive forces", i.e., of human-social self-productivity; the continued advancement of science, technology, and the technical composition of capital, motivated via the competitive-capitalist pursuit of transient relative surplus-value super-profits, with the concomitant increases in the technical composition of labor, in working-class education-levels, skill-levels, wages-levels, standards of living, health, and disposable time, would, at length, produce a world ungovernable by them; a world no longer susceptible to their "invisible" tyranny'; a world in which their "perks", their lives of "privilege" — their lives of pillage, torture, rape, and mass murder — would no longer be possible or tolerated; a world in which continued, accelerating scientific/technological advancement would 'techno-depreciate' the accumulated capital-value of their hyper-concentrated fixed-capital assets, the foundation of their socio-politico-economic power [e.g., consider the impact of the invention of 'water-burning' fusion power reactors on the capital-value of the capitalist plutocracy's petroleum properties].
Would they then come to believe that the continued growth of the social forces of production is their greatest enemy?
Would they, globally, but secretly, declare war on the continued growth of the social forces of production, and of the global interdependency of the world market which inherently accompanies it, in favor of "[re-]localism"?
Would they then embark upon a massively-funded, global ideological and physical campaign of reversing the growth of the productive forces?
Of proclaiming "An Era of Diminished Expectations"?
Of proclaiming that "Small Is Beautiful" — especially in the form of drastically reduced, 'medievally' "small", standards of living; of "austerity", and of a draconianly "small" share in social wealth for the producing majority?
Of proclaiming "Limits to Growth", and arguing for "Zero" [i.e., Negative] Economic Growth", and especially for "Zero [i.e., Negative] Population Growth"?
Of attacking science, technology, and the very idea of progress as "bad for the biosphere"?
Would they concoct a "Global Warming" hysteria to "justify" a hyperinflation of their oil prices and a catastrophic contraction in majority living standards — a global depression, of catastrophically-contracting social reproduction?
Would they therefore also contrive to reverse the growth of human population, which is, itself, the central moment of the growth of the productive forces, and which is the necessary support of the growth of the human social forces of production in its other moments, concocting a "People are Pollution" ideology to get the public to "look the other way" as they commit stealth genocide throughout the "Third World", through engineered famines, Black-Ops-orchestrated, arms-exports-fueled civil wars and civil strife, genomically-engineered "designer diseases" like AIDS, etc., etc.?
Would they fund the creation of the new, replacement "antagonistic cooperation" of "fundamentalist" pseudo-Christian, theocratic totalitarian, anti-feminist movements in the core, with "fundamentalist", pseudo-Islamic theocratic totalitarian anti-feminist movements [e.g., via the Wahhabist Madrasahs, funded by the oil money of the Saudi Arabian branch of the global "Dictatorship of Petroleum"] in the periphery, so as to reflate the Military-Industrial Complex and massive deficit spending for "defense" after the collapse of the former system of "antagonistic cooperation"; the collapse of the formerly "defense"-spending-justifying Stalinist "opposition"?
Would they then — as the next stage in their game-plan — utilize the staged antagonism between the two to "justify" the roll-back of civil liberties, the de facto repeal of representative-democratic constitutions, and dis-assembly of democratic institutions, and the assembly of the infrastructure of totalitarianism [e.g., the KGB-modeled "Department of Homeland Security"], ostensively to "fight foreign fundamentalist terrorism", but really to be directed domestically, against the people of the advanced, core-capitalist countries, when the time came, according to their '''timetable to totalitarianism''', for a more open totalitarian state-terrorization of those core societies, as a key component of the Meta-Nazi's imposition of contracted social reproduction/productive forces contraction world-wide?
If so, then all of these "War On Terror" machinations within the U.S. are but cover and preparation for a "War on America", and, in truth, for a global "War on Humanity".
All of these machinations are cover for the new, second, global "Great Depression" that the 'Meta-Nazis' have been preparing to unleash upon the peoples of the world.
The last global "Great Depression" that the 'Meta-Nazis' arranged, in the 1930s, in the first debut of their — by now tried and true — '''bubble engineering''' technique, failed to bring about the global 'fascistization' that they had intended.
Hitler, the Meta-Nazis' erstwhile servant-despot, who they had so lavishly financed into power, with the help of the progenitors of the Bush family, among others, turned into a '''Franken-dictator''', turn-coat turning against them, his masters in the West.
Hitler's intent was to replace his masters with himself, to seize the totality of global social power for himself alone [thus, Hitler's temporary peace pact with Stalin, to put off the inevitable eventual Hitler-Stalin showdown until later — until Hitler had first dispatched his Meta-Nazi former masters in the U.K. and in the U.S.].
This, their "betrayal" by Hitler, aborted the Meta-Nazis' plan — for a global totalitarianism under their sole control — the last time around.
The Meta-Nazis were forced to ally with Russian Stalinism, and to permit the Rooseveltean, "New Deal" concessions to the U. S. producing class, in order to enlist those two forces — which they had earlier targeted, in the former case, for elimination, and, in the latter case, for totalitarian subjugation, at best — i.e., in order to harness them to save the Meta-Nazis asses from Hitler's global oslaught.
But now, with both Hitlerism and Stalinism out of the way, the Meta-Nazis "at last" feel ready to try again!
The new Meta-Nazi-engineered global asset prices "bubble", now in the process of "bursting" globally, is designed, this time, to undo the Rooseveltean/Social-Democratic concessions throughout the advanced capitalist core, to discredit what is left there of "national democratic institutions", and to achieve, on their second try, the global victory of 'Meta-Nazism' — to which the Meta-Nazis publicly refer by euphemisms such as "The New World Order".
Why do the 'Biggest of the Big" 'Meta-Nazi' foundations invest millions of dollars every year in the "Small is Beautiful", "anti-population", "population control", and "People are Pollution" propaganda?
Were the 'Meta-Nazis' really worried about global human population growth per se, they would just institute a global "Marshall Plan" for the entire Third World, and accelerate the emergence of industrial capitalism, money economy, and rising living standards there; that is, accelerate the onset of the "Demographic Transition".
Instead, they have only — and at length, after the failure of their protracted resistance — allowed such industrial development to be sustained mainly in Asia — especially in China, and, to a lesser extent [owing to their greater control there], in India — where their power to resist that economic development was broken. Other Asian "outbreaks" of industrialization — in Japan, in the "Asian Tigers", etc., have already been largely torpedoed and 'carpet-baggered' [bought-out by agents of the 'Meta-Nazi's for pennies on the dollar], by the Meta-Nazi's usual 'bubble-engineering', 'reverse money-laundering' techniques. However, the proto-rival that the Meta-Nazis perceive in their present "ally of convenience" — the emerging, hybrid state-/private-capitalist ruling class of China — is already slated for destruction in the 'Meta-Nazis' upcoming sequel, '''Global Mega-Depression / World War III''': their attempted re-play, with a vengeance, of their failed, 1930s Global Depression/global 'fascist-ization', that the Meta-Nazis have long been fabricating, and "fine-tuning", and to which they are now adding the finishing touches.
The "Demographic Transition" is the massively population-growth decelerating response of human population growth rates to the emergence of a money-economy, with social-democratic, money-pension/retirement social insurance programs in place, where children cost money to raise, and no longer serve as a ready labor-force and as an "old age social security" surrogate, as they do in impoverished, rural, agricultural, "traditional" societies.
This "Demographic Transition" is, so far, the most powerful contraceptive device ever known to humankind!
The later stages of the contraceptive power of the "Demographic Transition" are already contributing to the "spontaneous" "achievement" of negative population growth rates in many advanced industrialized nations.
Moreover, it is not "concern for the biosphere" that motivates the 'Meta-Nazi's' to resist and subvert, at every turn, the economic development of the "Third World".
Contrary to the lies spread by the 'Meta-Nazi's' hired liars, prosperous, wealthy societies have a much greater capacity and track record of repairing and avoiding ecological damage than do desperately poor societies, as Julian Simon showed, before the 'Meta-Nazis' "disposed of" him.
The "Meta-Nazis' resist, subvert, and reverse the growth of the productive forces in the "Third World" because the 'Meta-Nazis' fear competitive capitalism; because they fear the rising levels of education of the producing majority that arise, as a rising "technical composition of labor" concomitant to the rising "technical composition of capital"; because they fear rising levels of economic prosperity and disposable time among the producing majority; because they fear the advancing science and technology which come with rising industrialization, prosperity, education, and disposable time for the producing majority; because they understand that the development of competitive capitalism leads beyond capitalism, and to the end of their power to rape and pillage humanity.
The "middle class" in modern, decadent-phase capitalist society is no longer the mercantile capitalist class of end-stage feudalism, nor, in majority, the remnant, still surviving, yet-to-be-expropriated "petty bourgeoisie" of ascendant-phase capitalism.
The "middle-class" of modern, decadent-phase capitalism is the labor-time-selling/-alienating, wage-labor [and "salaried"-labor] working-class, raised, in its living standards, as in its standards of knowledge and skill, from its early ascendant-phase hyper-privation, by the self-development of human praxis itself, as the capital-relation; by the rising relative-surplus-value productivity, and technical-composition/skill-composition, of accumulating capital-value itself — within fixed capital, within constant capital as a whole, and within variable capital.
The rise, and the increasing monetary and trans-monetary 'prosperization' of this "middle class" — the very working-class-incarnation of the growth of the productive forces — is seen, by the leading faction of the decadent-phase capitalist ruling-class — which ruling class is, by all accounts, already a "class-for-itself", even though the working class is not [yet] — as a mortal threat to its continued rule, and as its greatest, mortal enemy, targeted by that ruling class for total destruction worldwide.
Thus, these "arch capitalists" have become anti-capitalist, but in a very peculiar way!
Capitalist anti-capitalism is not the same as the potentially revolutionary and dialectical, «aufheben» anti-capitalism of the producing majority!
Finally, what would a Marxian theory predict that the ruling faction of the capitalist class would do, in the context of burgeoning life extension and genomic engineering technologies, emerging late within the decadent phase of the epoch of capital?
What will the 'Meta-Nazis' do, faced with the prospect of a marked extension of their life-spans, in the context of the danger to their "population control" plans, for the rest of us, should full knowledge of the power of this life extension technology reach the wider populace?
Given privileged access to technologies for the re-engineering of the human genome, will the 'Meta-Nazis' ultimately opt to replace the human race — themselves excluded — with a genetically-engineered, congenitally servile, designedly sub-human race of chimerismic slave drones, "chromosomically incapable" of revolt?
Will they incarnate, not only 'capitalist anti-capitalism', but 'human anti-humanism' in that sense?
Will they not then up the ante of their global "population control" program/pogrom, from "serial genocide" to comprehensive 'humanocide' — their "Final Solution to the Humanity Question"?
Thus, we hold that the fight for human liberty — and, indeed, the fight for any humane continuation of human life at all — is now a life-or-death struggle against the 'Meta-Nazis' — the dominant, pro-totalitarian, pro-genocide — in truth, 'pro-humanocide' — ruling faction of the core capitalist plutocracy.
The fight for human freedom is now the fight for political-economic democracy as the only way to preserve even any iota of political democracy, in the context of the hyper-accumulation and hyper-concentration of capital-ownership in the hands of the 'Meta-Nazis', including that of the capital of the oligopolized mass media of communication.
This hyper-concentration of capital ownership lends the 'Meta-Nazis' the financial capability to utterly prostitute the political-economic state, to "buy-out" the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches — lock, stock, and barrel — in the ultimate upshot of all of the decadent-phase waves of "mergers and acquisitions", and gives them the lobbying infrastructure to implement this capability, thereby circumventing and effectively abolishing the merely political checks and balances among those formerly politically countervailing branches and powers of an only superficially representative-democratic national state.
... In the U.K., CCTV is already in place in public space [though not — at least not yet — in the private space of every bedroom]....
The Orwellian nightmare of 1984 — and, indeed, in the world of reality beyond both visionary utopian dreams, and nightmares, something far worse than Orwell imagined in Nineteen Eighty-Four — is only a little bit behind schedule.