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Interesting concepts from Nitzan and Bichler

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  • Interesting concepts from Nitzan and Bichler

    A pdf of letters exchanged between Shimshon Bichler, Jonathan Nitzan, and Joe Francis.

    Some concepts of interest:

    1) The theories of Giovanni Arrighi

    In particular the concept of hegemony first via material expansion, later via financial expansion. This is interesting due to the obvious parallels with the US vs. UK (World Wars era) and China vs. the US (today) - all under the concept of 'hegemonic transition theory':

    The underlying claim of hegemonic transition theory (Arrighi's as well as others) is that eventually the hegemon gets eviscerated for various reasons, and that this evisceration always drives the hegemon, consciously or unconsciously, toward the temporary 'solution' of financialization.
    2) Effects of devaluation on the parent society

    The correlation between the decline of the U.S. profit share and the exchange rate raises questions that could have significant theoretical implications. One possibility is that the devaluation of the dollar actually increased the power of big business within U.S. society. The external assets and income flows of the larger, more transnationalized corporations would have increased in value relative to those of smaller, more domestically-based companies, as well as to the wages of labour.
    3) The 'phase' of hegemonic transition dictates the type of imperialism

    Arrighi's narrative provides a bridge betwen the original theories of imperialism and the more recent theories of neo-imperialism and dependency. Raw materials and foreign markets are the priority during the material expansion, while capitalists look abroad for financial instruments to invest in during the financial expansion.
    4) What bankers want

    ...devaluation could have increased the power of U.S. big business over domestic society while simultaneously weakening it vis-a-vis foreign competitors.


    This raises the question of what the priorities of the U.S. bourgeoisie are: power within the United States or world power?
    Or in other words, why not screw over US society to gain more power/influence?

    Also a number of interesting graphs covering foreign ownership, income flows, etc etc.