Modern Capitalism – The Marxist View: Part 3

 

Treachery!! Предательство!!

The feared “Soviet” secret service, the KGB, was always controlled by the the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency of the USA). As such, the CIA — KGB played an insidious and decisive role in the destruction of the Soviet Union.

The KGB’s successor in conspiracy, the “Russian” secret service FSB (ФСБ — Федеральная служба «безопасности» России) is likewise controlled by the CIA.

Among the manifold CIA – FSB tasks in stifling Arnold Lockshin is to block almost all commentaries sent in response to my material on the internet.

Arnold Lockshin, political exile from the USA living in Russia

ФСБ — Федеральная служба «безопасности» России — по приказу своего секретного постоянного хозяина — американского ЦРУ блокирует почти все отправленные мне комментарии.

И это далеко не всё.

Арнольд Локшин, Политэмигранта из США

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Increasing surplus value. It is in the capitalists’ interest to increase the amount of surplus value that they expropriate. More surplus value equals more profits. Hiring more workers is one option, but that is not always the best solution. The capitalist must after all realize his capital – that is, sell whatever products his workers produce. If there is no or a limited market for his goods, then hiring more workers will diminish, not increase, profits. In fact, capitalists generally aim to reduce their work force relative to the production of the same amount or even more goods.

Work harder. There are other ways to increase surplus value. The first is to compel workers to work harder, thus producing more in a given working day. The greater the labor productivity, the more goods are produced for the same quantity of hours worked.

Work longer. Another approach to maximizing profits is to extend the working day with no increase in pay. If workers can be made to work 10, 11 or 12 hours a day without any increase in pay, it is obvious that the capitalist thereby accrues additional surplus value. The working class throughout the world has fought bitter struggles to reduce the length of the working day to 8 hours. However, with the weakening of the communist and workers’ movements throughout the world, the capitalists are increasing infringing on workers’ rights. Agricultural and other workers in the many “Third world” countries are required to work from sun up to sun down.

Moreover, more than one member of a family often are required to work to make ends meet. The vile practice of child-labor remains a major and ugly phenomenon, especially in the most impoverished countries. Actual slavery remains a reality in many countries, as “civilized” modern-day capitalism marches on.

Revolutionizing the means of production. Competition forces capitalists to continually seek new ways of producing more at lower cost. Investment in more efficient equipment is a prime means of doing exactly that and thus provides a powerful impetus for modernizing and revolutionizing the means of production. Naturally, there are negative considerations to be weighed as well: will the cost of the new equipment be so high that higher efficiency will be offset by lower overall profit? What if there is no market for the extra goods produced, which must be sold to make up for in the investment in new production facilities? These and other negative consideration not infrequently restrict new investment. But the main trend is for the capitalist class as a whole to progressively revolutionize the means of production, that is, to invest more fixed capital relative to variable capital (wages) and to force workers to produce more.

A glaring paradox, or contradiction, is inherent in capitalism. Wage-labor is the unique source of surplus value and thus profits. Yet capitalists constantly strive to lower the ratio of their capital spent on the work force by spending proportionally more on new and more powerful equipment. In so doing, they simultaneously tend to restrict the source of their profit – wage labor!

Profit, interest and rent. Often an individual capitalist or even a corporation does not have enough liquid cash to supply all its capital needs. Banks and other financial institutions, which have amassed dominating economic power, lend businesses money and in return extract a portion of the profit in the form of interest. Where businesses rent facilities, some of their profit is likewise shared with the owners of the land and/or buildings. All of these different forms of profit arise from surplus value which is produced by and then expropriated from the working class.

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