Saturday, November 1, 2008

Que es el capitalismo

¿Cuál es capitalismo?

El capitalismo de la palabra es absolutamente de uso general ahora describir el sistema social en el cual ahora vivimos. También se asume a menudo que ha existido, si no por siempre, entonces para la mayor parte de la historia de la humanidad. De hecho, el capitalismo es relativamente un nuevo sistema social. 1

¿Pero qué hace exactamente medio del “capitalismo”?
División de clase

El capitalismo es el sistema social que ahora existe en todos los países del mundo. Bajo este sistema, los medios para producir y distribuir las mercancías (la tierra, las fábricas, la tecnología, el sistema de transporte etc) son poseídos por una pequeña minoría de gente. Referimos a este grupo de personas como la clase capitalista. La mayoría de gente debe vender su capacidad de trabajar a cambio de un jornal o un sueldo (quién referimos como la clase obrera.)

La clase obrera se paga para producir los bienes y servicios que entonces se venden para un beneficio. El beneficio es ganado por la clase capitalista porque pueden hacer más venta del dinero qué hemos producido que nosotros cuestan para comprar en el mercado de trabajo. En este sentido, la clase obrera es explotada por la clase capitalista. Los capitalistas vivos de los beneficios que obtienen de explotar la clase obrera mientras que reinvierten algunos de sus beneficios para la acumulación posterior de abundancia.

Esto es lo que significamos cuando decimos que hay dos clases en sociedad. Es una demanda basada sobre simples hechos sobre la sociedad que vivimos adentro hoy. Esta división de clase es la característica esencial del capitalismo. Puede ser popular hablar (generalmente vago) sobre las otras “clases” que existen por ejemplo la “clase media”, pero es las dos clases definidas aquí que son la llave al capitalismo de comprensión.

Puede no estar exactamente claro que clasifican a alguna gente relativamente rica están adentro. Pero no hay ambigüedad sobre el estado de la gran mayoría de la población del mundo. Los miembros de la clase capitalista saben ciertamente quién son. Y la mayoría de los miembros de la clase obrera saben que necesitan trabajar para un jornal o un sueldo para ganar un vivo (o sea dependiente sobre alguien que lo hace, o depender de ventajas del estado.)
El motivo de beneficio

En capitalismo, el motivo para producir bienes y servicios es venderlos para un beneficio, para no satisfacer las necesidades de la gente. Los productos de la producción capitalista tienen que encontrar a un comprador, por supuesto, solamente éste es solamente fortuito a la puntería principal de lograr un beneficio, de la terminación para arriba con más dinero que fue invertido originalmente. Esto no es una teoría que hemos pensado encima de solamente un hecho que usted puede confirmar fácilmente para se leyendo la prensa financiera. La producción es comenzada no por qué consumidores se preparan para pagar satisfacer sus necesidades pero por lo que calculan los capitalistas puede ser vendido en un beneficio. Esas mercancías pueden satisfacer necesidades humanas pero esas necesidades no serán cubiertas si la gente no tiene suficiente dinero.

El motivo de beneficio no es apenas el resultado de la avaricia a nombre de capitalistas individuales. No tienen una opción sobre ella. La necesidad de lograr un beneficio se impone ante capitalistas como condición de no perder sus inversiones y su posición como capitalistas. La competición con otros capitalistas los fuerza para reinvertir tanto de sus beneficios como pueden permitirse mantener sus medios y métodos de producción hasta la fecha.

Pues usted verá, sostenemos que es la división de clase y el motivo de beneficio del capitalismo que está en la raíz la mayor parte de de los problemas del mundo hoy, del hambre a la guerra, a la enajenación y al crimen. Cada aspecto de nuestras vidas se subordina a los excesos peores de la impulsión para lograr beneficio. En sociedad capitalista, nuestras necesidades verdaderas vendrán solamente nunca un segundo pobre a los requisitos del beneficio.
¿Capitalismo = mercado libre?

Se asume extensamente que el capitalismo significa una economía de mercado libre. Pero es posible tener capitalismo sin un mercado libre. Los sistemas que existieron en la URSS y existen en China y Cuba demuestran esto. Llaman estas sociedades clase-divididas extensamente “socialista”. Un vistazo precipitado en qué de hecho existió allí revela que estos países eran simplemente “capitalista del estado”. En Rusia supuesto “socialista”, por ejemplo, todavía existió esclavitud del salario, producción de la materia, compra, venta e intercambio, con la producción ocurriendo solamente cuando era viable hacer tan. Rusia “socialista” continuó negociando según los dictados del capital internacional y, como cada otro capitalista, el estado, fue preparado para ir a la guerra a defender sus intereses económicos. El papel del estado soviético se convirtió simplemente para actuar como el funcionario del capital en la explotación del trabajo, de fijar las blancos para la producción y en gran parte de controlar del salario qué podría o no podría ser producida. Por lo tanto sentimos justificados en la afirmación de que tales países no tenían nada hacer con socialismo como lo definimos. De hecho, el socialismo como lo definimos no podría existir en un país solo-como capitalismo que debe ser un sistema global de sociedad.

Es también posible (por lo menos en teoría) tener una economía de mercado libre que no sea capitalista. Tal “economía de mercado” implicaría los granjeros, los artesanos y a los comerciantes cada uno que produce un producto particular que intercambiarían vía el medio del dinero. No habría productores independientes ventajosos y de la clase de la división-apenas que intercambian las mercancías para su beneficio mutuo. Pero es dudoso si ha existido tal economía nunca. El más cercano que pudo haber venido a él habría estado en algunos de los establecimientos coloniales tempranos en Norteamérica. Algunos verdes desean considerar una vuelta a esta clase de economía. No pensamos que es una alternativa viable para la sociedad moderna. Tal sistema casi inevitabilidad llevaría a la acumulación de capital y se beneficiaría haciendo- características definitivas de capitalismo. 2

1. Para una breve cuenta histórica de cómo el capitalismo entró en existencia hace uces par de años del ciento, vea Marx y el manifiesto comunista de Engels. ↩
2. Para más descripciones detalladas de cuáles es el capitalismo, vea de trabajo y el capital del salario de Marx, el valor de Marx, precio y beneficio, o la reproducción de Fredy Perlman de la vida de cada día. ↩

Palestina y sus problemas

Palestine and its problems

A new state has come into existence in Palestine, the Jewish State of Israel, and it has come into existence against the intentions of the British Labour Government. This Government which, to paraphrase Mae West, has climbed the ladder of power wrong by wrong, took its stand on the Balfour Declaration of 1917 guaranteeing the Jews a national home in Palestine, but it resisted what was bound to be the inevitable consequence of the carrying out of that declaration, the demand for an independent Jewish State. In 1936 the Arab landowners inspired a revolt against the continued immigration of Jews into Palestine, foreseeing a threat to their interests in the existence of the highly industrial and commercial community that was growing up in their midst. Since then Britain, which had secured a mandate over Palestine in 1922, has been exercising a virtual reign of terror. A significant commentary on this is the following statement contained in the News Chronicle:

"Palestine Government has ended its censorship, and yesterday's papers published their first uncensored editions for 12 years.-News Chronicle Correspondents, A.P., Reuter and B.U.P."

Within a few hours of the proclamation of the new Jewish State by its self-appointed Provisional Government, President Truman startled the world by publicly stating that America would recognise it. Commentators of Truman's action attributed it to a late attempt to capture the Jewish vote in the forthcoming presidential election. This is too thin. While in fact it may have this result there is far more behind the action than electioneering propaganda. Jews and Arabs in Palestine, like the Greeks, the Italians and the Jugo-slavs, are pawns in a much greater game which involves oil and the struggle between Russia and the Western Powers for economic domination. Why, for instance, has an allegedly democratic and anti-imperialist Labour Government in Britain supported the semi-feudal Arab landlords against the Jews, particularly when the leader of the Jewish nationalists, Ben Gurion, has proclaimed himself a social democrat and labour leader in sympathy with the outlook of the British Labour Party?

The Labour Government's blundering methods in Palestine are the offspring of attempts to harmonise conflicting policies. For years anti-imperialism has been a plank in the Labour Party's programme and the withdrawal from India, Burma, and Egypt (except the canal zone) is held up as an example of the implementation of this policy. But the Labour Government is also committed to the safeguarding of the British capitalists' commercial and industrial interests; this dictates an opposite policy. Torn between the two they have failed to satisfactorily accomplish either, disappointing their working class supporters and exasperating their capitalist directors. To protect capitalist interests they must take measures to conserve the monopoly of the oil interests and safeguard the supply lines of oil, a great and growing quantity of which comes from the Middle East. A glance at a map will reveal what has guided the blundering and hesitant steps of the Labour Government in Palestine and the adjacent territories.

There are two oil pipe lines from Iraq to the Mediterranean; one through Syria to the Coast, and the other through Transjordan to Haifa. Thus it is necessary to placate or force the ruling groups in each of these territories to favour the production and transport of oil on behalf of Western capitalists. As the Arabs form the majority of the population in these territories the Arab landowners and rulers have been the principal objects of placation, not only by the Labour Government but also by their predecessors, and millions of pounds have been spent, both directly as an annual tribute to Transjordan and Iraq and indirectly under various forms of bribery, to influence a favourable attitude to the oil interests. The final result of terrorism and bribery has been to unite the Jews and Arabs in at least one direction-antipathy to the Labour Government. But the problem does not end with the territories already mentioned. Iran and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company also come into the picture, in dangerous proximity to Russia.

So far we have only looked at a part of the picture. On Saturday, the 15th May, the Daily Express announced, with large headlines, Truman's recognition of the Jewish State. In the very same issue of that paper we read the following, under the headline "Shares Boom on Wall Street":

"New York, Friday.-Shares went up £250,000,000 today in the biggest day Wall Street has seen in years."

"Rises per share were as much as 35s. Experts think another boom market, due to rising profits and rearmament orders lies ahead."

Yes! The vultures are gathering again! What is America's interest in the Middle East and what does it portend? Why, for instance, was America so frantically concerned about the Italian elections, and why does it back British policy in Greece? In the main the immediate answer is the same as that which concerns Britain—and which finally decided the British Government to give up the Mandate in Palestine convinced that America would be forced to help carry the burden. The answer is Oil and Russian expansion; in other words Oil and Strategy. UNO, as usual, has been ignored where matters of fundamental importance to the leading powers are concerned.

Economic necessity has forced America to become a Mediterranean power to whom the future policy of Italy, Greece and the Middle East is a vital matter. The Commander of the US Mediterranean Fleet, Admiral Bieri, recently pointed out that the US Fleet intends to stay in the Mediterranean and "American forces will be allocated wherever there are American interests, in closest co-operation with the British." (Manchester Guardian, U.K., 10/9/1947). Modern mechanisation, both for industrial and for military purposes, has converted oil into priority number one. In spite of their own large oil reserves neither America nor Russia can meet their growing needs out of their own production. American oil interests are pressing into the Middle East and the safeguarding of the oil life line is of paramount importance. Russia has already shown its interest in Iranian oil, and it is trying to get a strategic foothold in the Mediterranean. The whole area from the oil fields of Iran, covering the coast of Palestine and the Mediterranean, is as much a matter of concern to American capitalists as to British. So far the British capitalists have borne the costs of maintaining the oil life line. What the British Government has now done is simply throw the ball to America, and America is compelled to take the pass.

The Palestine episode is thus another move in the strategical line-up of the two major imperialistic powers-America and Russia. Russia originally backed the Arabs-then they changed over to support of the Jews. Truman's quick response was obviously aimed at getting in first and forestalling Russia. Russia has since also announced its willingness to recognise the Jewish State, but this need not prevent them from also backing the Arabs. It may be that Russia will find that its imperialistic interests will be better served by backing the Arabs. If it comes to that conclusion it will have no difficulty in finding a pretext for doing so, and we shall witness another somersault in Russian foreign policy. As an imperialist power the Russian Government is not cluttered up or inhibited by any ideals relating to democracy or the self-determination of small nations, Its methods are essentially the same as those of the Western Governments but lacking in the finesse and polish of the latter.

Whether the turmoil in the Middle East will be contained or will involve a wider conflagration (as American investors appear to anticipate) no one can at the moment determine with certainty, but what can be said is that it brings nearer the inevitable clash between Russia and the West. Both Jews and Arabs are in a position to block the oil supply but they would only ruin themselves by attempting to do so. Therefore the question is will either of them be able to turn East or West successfully for assistance.

Within the tormented area of the struggle Arab and Jewish workers have already given evidence of where the chains rub them by the strikes that have taken place against Jewish, Arab and alien masters. These Jewish and Arab workers form the vast mass of the population of the territories involved; they are the poverty-stricken exploitable material without which neither the Jewish nor Arab capitalists and landowners, nor outside capitalists, would be able to reap their harvest of profit from those rich areas. Industrially and commercially Jewish capitalists have been the progressive force. They have brought highly developed Western methods to a backward area, and in places have made the desert bloom. But with Western methods they have brought Western forms of wage-slavery and expanded under cover of nationalist ideals.

Finally the personnel of the Provisional Government of Israel bears a striking likeness to the personnel of the British Labour Government. While this will not make for harmony between the two Governments it will provide another instance of how faithfully Labour Governments reflect capitalist interests.

Mas crimenes en el Medio Oriente

Editorial

More slaughter in the Middle East

Once again in the Middle East innocent workers are being killed and useful structures destroyed. The immediate cause was the capture in a raid from Lebanon of two Israeli soldiers but the ultimate isssue was, once again, who controls this oil-rich region: the US and its allies or various local elites?

All states are artificial and illegitimate but Israel is particularly so. Set up by colonists from Europe on the basis of fables recounted in a book supposedly emanating from a god, it has been armed and financed by the United States as its only reliable ally in the region. Over the years it has acted as America's gendarme there to deal with sections of the local Arab ruling classes who have sought to challenge US domination.

These sections, in their turn, have identified Israel for what it is and have sought to destroy it and have been able to win considerable popular support.

This is not to say that Israel is under direct US control. The rulers of Israel have their own agenda and can, and do, act independently of their protector. But that's a price the US has to pay to avoid sending its own troops to fight and die there.

The US would like some compromise solution between Israel and local Arab elites but in the meantime gives Israel a virtual free hand, only issuing ritual appeals to it to exercise restraint.

Hezbollah, the Shiite militia in Lebanon, is armed and financed by two states whose regime the US has vowed to change: Iran and Syria. It is entirely possible that the present crisis was deliberately provoked by Iran, which has ambitions to be the dominant regional power, as a means of bringing counter-pressure on the US in the diplomatic trial of strength going on over its nuclear programme, a means of showing that it too is not without bargaining counters. Israel, incidentally, is without doubt already a nuclear power, which shows up the US hypocrisy over the spread of nuclear weapons.

So, as a conflict over which states and ruling classes should dominate the region, no working class interest is involved except in so far as it is they who are its innocent victims and need the killing, maiming and destruction to stop.

Socialists are always spontaneously on the side of the oppressed against the oppressors and the massive use of overwhelming force by the state of Israel clearly exposes it as the oppressor. But just because we sympathise with the victims of Israeli oppression does not mean that we favour the solutions popular amongst them.

A Palestinian state would be a capitalist state. "Anti-imperialism" is the slogan of local elites who wish to dominate the region in place of the US, a situation which would still leave the mass of the population there exploited and oppressed with the eternal problem of finding enough money to buy the things they need to live.

Capitalism is a war-prone society with a built-in clash of interests between states over markets, sources of raw materials, trade routes and strategic points to protect these. In the Middle East the conflict is over oil, and strategic points to protect its supply and transport, which has already led to many wars there.

The only lasting way out is to get rid of capitalism and replace it by a world society
of common ownership and democratic control. On that basis, the resources of the
world, including oil, could be extracted and used for the benefit of all the people of the world.

Poverty and misery in the Middle East, as elsewhere, could be ended once and for all. The waste of arms and the horrors of war would disappear.

Socialism is, quite literally and without exaggeration, the hope of humanity.