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Table of Contents
                            Contents
List of Tables
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Part I: Theories of Imperialism as a Periodization and Interpretation of Capitalism: Some Open Theoretical Questions
	1 Classical Theories of Imperialism: A New Interpretation of Capitalist Rule, Expansionism, Capital Export, the Periodization and the ‘Decline’ of Capitalism
	2 Post-World War II ‘Metropolis-Periphery’ Theories of Imperialism
	3 Theories of Imperialism as Alternatives to Classical and Centre–Periphery Approaches
Part II: Theories of Imperialism vis-à-vis Marx’s Critique of Political Economy
	4 The State as a Vehicle of both Capitalist Expansionism and Decolonization: Historical Evidence and Theoretical Questions
	5 Capitalist Mode of Production and Social Formation: Conclusions Concerning the Organization of Capitalist Power
	6 Capitalist Mode of Production and Monopolies
	7 Is Imperialism the Latest Stage of Capitalism? Reflections on the Question of Periodization of Capitalism and Stages of Capitalist Development
Part III: National Territory and International Space: Internationalization of Capital, Financialization and Imperialist Chain
	8 Internationalization of Capital
	9 Financialization: Market Discipline or Capital Discipline?
	10 The ‘Global’ Level and the Concept of Imperialist Chain
Epilogue: Rethinking Imperialism and Capitalist Rule
Notes
References
Index
	A
	B
	C
	D
	E
	F
	G
	H
	I
	K
	L
	M
	N
	P
	S
	U
	W
                        
Document Text Contents
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Rethinking Imperialism

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Capitalist Mode of Production and Monopolies 119

may very well be forfeited as a result of technical innovations intro-
duced by its competitors.6

6.6 Social capital and average profit

It follows from the above that monopoly profit cannot be the pre-
dominant characteristic of the CMP. The predominance of the tendency
towards equalization of the general rate of profit is the social condition
that ensures the self-organization of individual capitals into a ruling
capitalist class: ‘The various different capitals here are in the position of
shareholders in a joint-stock company. […] This is the form in which
capital becomes conscious of itself as a social power, in which every capi-
talist participates in proportion to his share in the total social capital’
(Marx 1991: 258, 297).

To recapitulate: Marx’s theory proceeds on the assumption that
free competition is a structural feature of capitalist relations, one not
susceptible of abolition. It is only with the evolution of free competi-
tion, not with its phasing out, that there can be any association with
the development of capitalism. Social capital is not the sum of the
individual capitals. It is the social predominance of capitalist relations,
adequately secured and elaborated through the equalizing processes of
free capitalist competition. On this point Marx is unequivocal:

Capital arrives at this equalisation [of the general rate of profit] to a
greater or lesser extent, according to how advanced capitalist develop-
ment is in a given national society: i.e. the more the conditions in the
country in question are adapted to the capitalist mode of production.

(ibid.: 297)

Contrary to Marx’s theory, Hilferding and the other ‘classical’ Marxist
writers on imperialism formulated their approach on the basis of the
supposed antithesis between free competition and monopoly, a view
which became the central tenet of all theories of ‘monopoly capital-
ism’. Our main argument in this chapter is that this thesis evokes an
empirically verifiable phenomenon, the tendency towards concentra-
tion and centralization of capital and the establishment of very large
corporations, but gives no sign of being able to comprehend this phe-
nomenon in accordance with Marx’s theoretical system as developed
in Capital. It does not take into account that while monopoly pertains,
according to Marx’s theoretical system, to the category of individual
capital – denoting an enterprise which on account of its peculiar

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120 Rethinking Imperialism: A Study of Capitalist Rule

position in the capitalist production process earns higher-than-average
profit – free competition relates exclusively to the category of social
capital and is the pre-eminent condition for integration of all individual
capitals into social capital.

6.7 Individual vs. collective capitalist

We shall close this chapter by putting forward some basic conclusions
to serve as an introduction to the arguments to be presented in the next
chapters.7

(1) We have seen that alongside the individual capitalist, sometimes in
an antagonistic relationship with him, stands the collective capital-
ist, the idealized personification of social capital. Capitalist competi-
tion and the consequent tendency towards a uniform rate of profit
is not just a formal prerequisite to the movement of individual
capitals, as occurs, for example, in the analyses of Classical Political
Economy. On the contrary, it corresponds to a structural process
that imposes the terms for the existence and functioning of indi-
vidual capitals. Capitalist competition in the final analysis reflects
the totality of laws regulating the coexistence of individual capitals
and their merger in social capital.

(2) The concept of the collective capitalist points to the unity of the
bourgeois class and so to the capitalist state, whose ultimate purpose
is to secure the long-term strategic interest of the bourgeoisie. This
form of political unity can only be the final result of a complex
interplay of contradictions, always structurally determined. As we
already argued, the state is subsequently permeated through and
through by the class struggle.

Within the framework of a social formation there can be no conception
of individual capital without it being an element of social capital. This
means that irrespective of the formal ‘legal’ owner (shareholder), every
individual capital is necessarily stamped with strategies of exploitation
corresponding to the class-struggle and history of a specific social forma-
tion. The functions of the individual capitalist, the decisions that he/she
is required to ‘take’, are in the final analysis derivable from the dynamics
of capital as a social relation and not from some psychological or insti-
tutional characteristics which a particular ‘group’ of people is supposed
to possess.

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Index 247

empire 6, 20, 33, 70–1, 79–80, 56–7,
94, 96, 98, 100, 110, 186–92,
197, 199, 216, 219–20n,
226n, 234n

extra- profit 150, 155–9, 164

financial markets 168, 170, 179–82,
194, 231n

financialization 5, 52, 145, 156,
168–9, 230n

foreign direct investment (FDI) 149,
150, 151–2, 157, 159, 160,
161–2, 229n

Foucault, M. 76, 234n
Frank, A. G. 42–4, 47, 49, 50, 52,

220n, 227n

globalization 9, 30, 52, 79 ,80–1,
184–6, 189, 197, 205, 210

Hardt, M. 186–7, 190–5, 208
Harvey, D. 70–8, 169, 188, 223n
Hilferding, R. 1, 2, 9, 12–3, 20–2, 25,

61–3, 66, 68, 112–9, 143, 211,
218n, 225–6n, 231n

historicism 4, 6, 67, 76–7, 83, 107,
122, 131, 134–7, 184–6, 193,
212, 227n, 228n

Hobson, J. 2, 9–12, 21–7, 60, 64, 72,
75, 112, 136, 192, 212, 217n,
219n

human rights 207–9

Imperialist Chain 5, 6, 17–20, 32,
81, 103, 121, 138, 184, 195–9,
201–5, 208, 215–6, 221n,
232n, 234n

industrial revolution 65, 125–9, 204
internationalization of capital 3, 5,

19, 29, 30, 32, 154, 159, 161,
165–6, 173, 188, 192, 200,
232n

Kautsky, K. 3, 13, 80–2, 192, 214,
221–2n

Keynes, J. M. 9, 10, 167–9, 176, 178,
180, 183, 212, 217n

Lenin, V. I. 1, 2, 9, 11, 13–4, 17–28,
31–2, 61, 63, 66, 68, 75, 81,
121, 124–6, 135, 140, 153,
196–7, 211, 214–5, 218n,
221–2n, 228–9n, 233

Luxemburg, R. 1, 2, 9, 13–18, 25–8,
47, 72–3, 134–5, 186–7, 221n

Marx, K. 2–6, 15, 24, 29, 41, 49,
55, 59, 66, 69, 73, 78, 92–5,
99–103, 108–9, 112–9, 122,
124–7, 132, 134, 136, 139–40,
142–3, 172, 176–8, 181, 189,
194–6, 199, 211–2, 217–8,
221–31n

Milios, J. 1, 12, 13, 23, 26–7, 38,
101, 113, 150, 163, 174,
218n, 222n, 227–8n,
231n, 234n

mode of production 13, 41, 43, 46,
49, 93, 104–5, 116, 124, 130,
137, 141, 186, 194, 224–7n,

capitalist (CMP), 3–6, 13–4, 24,
26, 43, 45, 48, 91–5, 103–8,
115–6, 119, 122–3, 129, 131,
133, 139–143, 147–8, 152,
195, 197, 203, 215, 219–22n,
225–6n

pre- capitalist 43, 104, 106, 123–6,
141–2, 199, 200, 204,

non- capitalist 36, 41, 46, 106, 140,
186, 202, 217n

Mommsen, W. J. 56–8, 65, 67, 85–8,
99, 221–2n

monopolies 2, 4, 9, 12–4, 20–5,
31–2, 53–4, 63, 112, 115, 117,
122, 128, 130, 212

artificial 117–8, 128
natural 117–8

monopoly capitalism 4, 10, 13–4,
22–3, 30–1, 41–2, 66–7, 91,
112, 117, 119, 122, 129, 130,
199, 221n, 226n

Negri, A. 186–7, 190–3, 208, 232n
neoliberalism 5, 74, 173, 176, 182–3,

205, 208, 215, 226n, 231n
New World Order 206, 209

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Page 257

248 Index

Panitch, L. 82–3, 193, 223n, 231n
Political Economy 1, 191

Classical 113–4, 120, 228n
critique of 3, 6, 23, 30, 40, 92, 211
development, of 33, 142
international 107

Poulantzas, N. 76, 104, 111, 122,
130, 133, 214, 222–3n

production relations 16, 18, 24, 37,
39–41, 49, 92, 103–9, 124,
129–33, 137–8, 141–3, 148,
172, 177–8, 186, 214, 225n,
229n

profit rate 28–9, 38, 150, 154, 157–9,
164–9, 196, 218n

average or general 24, 29, 38,
116–9, 155, 158, 165–6, 218n

falling tendency of 42
tendency towards equalization

of 115–7, 164–6, 179–80
uniform 116, 120, 150, 157,

164–5, 179

Schumpeter, J. A. 3, 54, 59, 62–70,
76, 83–5, 87, 117, 143, 168,
213, 221n, 222n, 226n

simple commodity production 141,
226n

Smith, A. 63–4, 167, 191, 198, 225n,
234n

social capital 4–6, 15, 82–3, 92, 101,
106, 114–120, 128, 142–3, 147,
153–4, 156–7, 163, 165, 192–6,
198–200, 214–6, 223n

ultra- imperialism 60–1, 80–1,
214, 222n

underconsumption 2, 9–11, 13,
24–8, 59, 72, 136, 199, 187,
212, 217–8n, 221n, 228n

underdevelopment 3, 34–7,
40–3, 46–7, 50–1, 138–9,
141, 143, 147–9, 153, 164–5,
220n

unequal exchange 3, 5, 34, 37–41,
47–8, 52, 74, 85, 149, 150,
164–5, 213, 219n, 220n

Wallerstein, I. 42–5, 47, 49, 52,
219–20n

Weber, M. 3, 54–9, 62, 65–9, 70–1,
75, 77, 84–7, 117, 198, 213,
221n

Willoughby, J. 52, 86–8, 221n
Wood, E. M. 69, 78–9, 80, 83, 188,

223n

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