Contribution of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB)

Contribuition of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) - Edmilson Costa*   

The on going globalization taking place in almost every part of the world is a concrete part of reality and has producing a group of mutations in every sector of mankind’s social life. These changes are, therefore, strongly marking global policy, global economy, the labor area and the cultural traditions in every part of the planet, influenced by means of communication or by financial-economic power of global corporations, rather financial or productive ones.    As we agree with it or not, globalization is an ordinary fact that fulfills our reality, since the tooth paste that we use, the clothes we wear, the canned food we eat, the computer we use, the TV show we watch, the bank where we receive our salary or do business with, the internet we surf, among thousands of other aspects of our daily lives. So, globalization is a typical phenomenon of contemporary capitalism. It differs from mercantilism, industrial revolution and the monopoly period, by the group of new phenomena that it brings among itself.    For the transformations that it provoques within the capitalist system, globalization can be considered a qualitative new step in the capitalist way of production, a phase in which capitalism has completed its historical growth, with productive and financial internationalization, a period in which burghership from central States started to extract in a generic way value from outside its national borders and a moment in which capitalism has globally unified the capital cycle. From globalization on economic crises, those that were asymmetric between countries before it, started to become international symmetric capital crises.


    The internationalization of production that started in the mid-fifties was the starting point for the economy globalization. In producing internationally, in a standard way, in every part of the world, the great capital begin to have the possibility to use the best means available worldwide, in terms of raw material, labor force, in the case of peripheric countries, credit facilitation, among other things, which permitted it to recover its profit rates and reconfigure the world’s productive system. With productive globalization emerge new areas of production, such as information technologies and the internet, microelectronics, robotics, genetic engineering, biotechnology, new materials, artificial intelligence elements, nanotechnology, which characteristics represent a third industrial revolution. While this new industry structures its development, old production areas typical from the second industrial revolution, such as metal-mechanics, chemistry, plastic etc, go loosing importance in face of globalization.
    Productive globalization is controlled by transnational corporations. By economic power and influence that they do to countries and governments, transnational corporations act like an advance regiment of the great capital, organizing its interests and its global action. The weight of these big corporations is as such that many of them owns an income bigger than the national income of many nations.
    For example, the seven largest transnational corporations have a sales income bigger than China’s national income, the highest population on Earth; General Motors has a business volume bigger than the 48 Least Developed countries together (Tussaint, 2001). These corporations control the smash majority of technological innovations (95% of scientific research and development is made in OECD countries) and only the commerce between headquarters and affiliates represent 40% of global commerce (UNCTAD, 2000).


    If the changes in the productive field can be considered extraordinary, it’s in the financial field that globalization is most developed. Fake capital followed the path of transnational corporations and also reached to internationalize its business. It overcame national laws, structured a global currency market (Eurodollars) in the sixties and the seventies, opened affiliates worldwide and started to operate in a global scale, in a process that represented the international currency plow privatization. However, today’s financial globalization only defined its framework with the deregulation of bank activities, the capital flow liberalization and the emergency of high interest rates as regulating factors of global economy, during the Reagan’s, in the United states, and Tatcher’s, in England, government periods.
    With this new conjuncture fake capital gained total freedom to develop, specially because new economic agents – pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies – came aggressively into the market, even taking from traditional banks the leadership in financial operations. In an environment completely deregulated, economic agents created an impressive variety of “new” financial products, specially the so called derivatives, financial operations derivated from a financial operation with real actives, which business volume represents, nowadays, around two thirds of speculative investments. The more business grow in financial orbit, the more financial agents increment speculative flexibility and creativity, in a frenesi that have transformed the financial sphere in the privileged locus of the dynamics of modern capitalism.
    Anchored by information technology, financial market begin to have the possibility of “valueing” money 24 hours a day, by just adjusting its applications to the time frame of various countries. Any investor can, today, negotiate in the Chicago’s financial market in the morning, in Brazil in the afternoon, and in Hong Kong at night. Which is, fake capital broke the barriers of time and space in continuing auto-adding itself and started to have a degree of auto-determination ever saw in the history of capitalism. Just to have an idea of the dimension of business in the financial field, every day US$ 1,8 trillion dollars are negotiated, sum much higher that all business in the productive orbit put together. And specialists arithmetic’s (Richard, 2000) estimate that, in 1997, were already circulating in the financial sphere, US$53 trillion, almost twice the global total income.
    This immense mass of financial resources acts today, as mentioned by the Financial Times (Chesnais, 1986), as politics, jury and judge of global economic activities. It has the capacity of revert governmental policies, Central Banks’ decisions and even the destiny of the global working market. This because financial globalization imposes its logic to the business group and imprisoned one by one every economic agent, specially productive corporations, the State and its budget. Today, most of the profits of productive enterprises come from financial speculation, while an on growing part of the State’s budget is destined to pay for interest of the intern public debt, one of the main instruments that feed global speculation.


    However, the group of main changes operated in the society were only possible because, by the late 70’s, occurred a qualitative change in the composition of the dominant classes in central States, afterwards by the elections of president Reagan in the United States and the Prime Minister Tatcher in England. The old elite bond to the Monopoly State Capitalism, which power were consolidated by the 1930’s and, specially after the Second World war, were replaced in the power center of the Imperial Triad by a new block of more aggressive and more reacting social forces.
    These forces commanded politically and economically all other sectors of burghership and imposed a new global order, based on neoliberalism, as a form of socio-economic organization of the society and the rentism as a private instrument of accumulation. This new dominant block leads the globalization process and is today in the center of world power, reaching to configure the world on its own image and applying a sort of historical class revenge against the working class.


    In this sense, globalization represents a new phase of capitalism, a period in which this means of production reaches its total matureness and turn itself in a complete global system. Untill the previous period to globalization, capitalism was complete in relation to only two variables from circulation orbit – global commerce and capitals exportation. But, in expanding globalization to the productive and financial spheres, as well as to other sectors of social life, the system globally unified the capital cycle, closing with this a process begun with the British revolution of 1640 (Costa, 2002).
    In historical terms, globalization is a phenomenon of our time, an unique singularity of capitalism built on since the second half of the 20th Century. It differs from the first and the second industrial revolutions because is already born without the possibility of the full development of productive forces and fulfill its desires completely, due to structural limitations of capitalism in this period of History. Globalization embodied radical technological innovations that allowed productive forces a huge development, but the global productive system does not have the conditions to develop itself completely due to its own contradictions and, specially, to global insufficiency of aggregated demand.
    In the very moment that capitalism has the best potential conditions to develop its productive forces, it’s exactly in this moment in which it is limited by the aggregated global demand. The new technologies, the productive and managemental reestructuration cuff the system in an web of contradictions that express themselves clearly in the fact that every single unit of living work spared represent a field of political and economic difficulties, with the aggravation that, while in the first and second industrial revolutions people tried to solve the problem of aggregated demand, respectively, by reducing working hours and the enlargement of the services sector, globalization emerges in the moment when there are no more sectors to fulfill neither capitalists are willing to reduce working hours. It rebounds, in a complete way, the original contradiction of the system, that expresses itself between the social character of production and the private appropriation of  its results.
    Must be highlighted that imperialism theorists wrote that this phase of capitalism would be a sort of entering room to socialism. I seems that there were a certain optimism in this forecasting, once in that time monopolized capitalism was only in its beginning of its international maturing process, and wasn’t, therefore, in full conditions for dialectic transformations. Only now, with globalization, capitalism closes the cycle of its historical development. In this perspective, we can say that now we are much closer from a radical transformation in the capitalism way of production than we were in the beginning of the 20th Century.
    As every thing in nature follows the dialectic law, we can say that the capitalist system had its effective development with the industrial revolution, passed through a superior phase with the emergency of monopolies and completely matured with contemporary globalization. Therefore, once it has fulfilled its historical role of international developer of productive forces and the circulation orbit, it tends to suffer profound transformations that will change its quality as a way of production, as happened with other socio-economic formations before it.
    Its appearing globalized splendor hides a set of original contradictions that reproduce themselves in now amplified bases due to globalization. Therefore, to understand the globalization phenomenon and the possible transformations of a system now complete we must also look to the fact that a transformation qualitatively new only could be effective if it is done from the heart of the system, where the class struggle has the conditions to pulse more intensively.
    It is very true that the silly bonds will continue to fulfill an essential role to the general weakness of the capital, as a global form of domination. But the profound crises only will be able to configure a terminal statute when reaches the power center, the heart of the imperial triad. In other words: the capitalism general crisis  only will be mature when reaches the United States of America, the European Union and Japan (Costa, 2000).
    With globalization, we can say that the system comes closer to a limit of material reproduction, having in mind that if capitalism would completely develop its productive potential, there would be a global crisis of super production. This contradiction explains the finacialization phenomenon of richness that presents itself nowadays as the functional opposite of the incapacity of the system to develop its productive forces. That is, exciding capitals, avoided of reproduce themselves in the productive sphere, will search, now, a escape route to the front of financial orbit, as this could liberate them from the Judgment Day to the reality of the Value Law.
    “In this new desperate adventure, speculative capital carries with itself all other capital sectors to the speculation logic and, with that, deeps the capitalism general crisis, once that, in long terms, it is impossible the reproduction of capital without obey the Value Law. The creation of richness in the financial orbit is an adventure without future, a mirage capable of taking for a moment part of the capitalists to delusion, blinding the global site of future. However, as much this model is profound, the more the possibility of a general system crises grow”(Costa, 2000).
    In the political point of view, despite de defeat of the first experience of socialism, the capitalist system didn’t transform itself in a reference to mankind neither destroyed the perspective to the construction of a society without classes. There is the real possibility that the crisis originated from the failure of neoliberalism opens a new and prodigious global revolutionary situation, where the question of socialism reappears with a bigger vitality than the one that appears with the monopolies in the beginning of the 20th Century, only that now the socialist forces will be free from the deformations and detours that occurred in the recent socialist past.
    Beyond that, for more paradoxal that would appear, globalization is building the bases for an abundant society, once the development of productive forces will accelerate extraordinarily work productivity. However, as we all know, the capitalist system has no compromise with social progress and, therefore, won’t be able to satisfy the material needs of the population. Even then, these sophisticated productive forces will give the objective elements to the society of abundant goods and services. If we achieve the structural transformations of capitalism in parallel of the system global crisis, we would already possess the material bases for the construction of a communist society.

*EDMILSON COSTA is PhD in Economy by the Campinas University – UNICAMP, with a post-doctoral degree by the Human Sciences and Philosophy Institute (UNICAMP) and is the Author of Imperialismo (1986), A Política Salarial no Brasil (1997), Um Projeto para o Brasil (1998). He is member of the Central Committee and the Commission of National Policy of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB).

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