Search This Blog

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Bukharin: Immigration


"If the international movement of commodities expresses the 'mutation
process' in the socioeconomic world organism then the international
movement of the populations expresses mainly the redistribution of the
main factor of economic life, the labour power. Just as within the
framework of the 'national economy' the redistribution of the labour
power among the various production branches is regulated by the scales
of wages which tend to one level, so in the framework of world
economy the process of equalising the various wage scales is taking
place with the aid of migration. The gigantic reservoir of the
capitalist New World absorbs the 'superfluous population of Europe and
Asia, from the pauperised peasants who are being driven out of
agriculture to the 'reserve army' of the unemployed in the cities.
Thus there is being created on a world scale a correspondence between
the supply and demand of 'hands' in proportion necessary for capital.
An idea of the quantitative side of the process may be gleaned from
the following figures:

Number of Immigrants Entering United States:
1904 812,870
1905 1,026,499
1906 1,100,735
1907 1,285,349
1914 1,218,480

Number of Foreigners in Germany
1880 276,057
1900 778,737
1910 1,259,873

In 1912, 711,446 emigrated from Italy, 467,762 from England and
Ireland, 176,567 from Spain (1911), 127,747 from Russia etc. To this
number of final emigrants ie of workers who relinquish their fatherland
forever and look for a new country, must be added a number of
emigrants of a temporary and seasonal character. Russian and Polish
workers immigrate into Germany for agricultural work (the so-called
Sachsengangerei etc). These ebbs and flows of labour power already
from one of the phenomena of the world labour market.

Corresponding to the movement of labour power as one of the poles of
capitalist relations is the movement of capital as another pole. As in
the former case the movement is regulated by the law of the
equalisation of the rates of profit. The movement of capital which
from the point of view of the capital exporting country is usually
called capital export, has acquired an unrivalled importance in modern
economic life so that some economists (like Sartorius von
Walterhausen) define modern capitalism as export capitalsm
(p39-40) My underlining

"In the same way as the international movement of commoditites brings
the local and 'national' prices to the one and only level of world
prices, in the same way as migration tends to bring the nationally
different wage scales for hired workers to one level, so the movement
of captial tends to bring the 'national' rates of profit to one level,
which tendency expresses nothing but one of the most general laws of
the capitalist mode of production on a world scale.

Within the framework of world economy the concentration tendencies of
capitalist development assume the same organisational forms as are
manifest within the framework of 'national economy' - namely there
come more strikingly to the foreground tendencies towards limiting
free competition by means of forming monopoly enterprises." P.46 My

Finally in dedication to the globalists who believe in a globalist
conflict free world future where the transnationals dominate all and
sundry using the twin tools of exporting capital and importing labour,
a re-hash of Kautsky's ultra-imperialism, ie globalism with a human
face, written by Lenin in his introduction to Bukharins book.

"Can one however deny that in the abstract a new face of capitalism to
follow imperialism - namely a phase of ultra-imperialism - is
thinkable? No. In the abstract one can think of such a phase. In
practice, however he who denies the sharp tasks of today in the name
of dreams about soft tasks of the future becomes an opportunist.
Theoretically it means to fail to base oneself on the developments now
going on in real life, to detach oneself from them in the name of
dreams. There is no doubt that the development is going in the
direction of a single world trust that will swallow up all enterprises
and states without exception. But the development in this direction is
proceeding under such stress, with such tempo with such
contradictions conflicts and convulsions - not only economical, but
also political national etc etc - that before a single world trust
will be reached, before the respective national finance capitals will
have formed a world union of 'ultra-imperialism', imperialism will
inevitably explode and capitalism will turn into its opposite.
December 1915

No comments:

Post a Comment