Communist Party of Australia

We acknowledge the Sovereignty of the First Nations’ Peoples.


Journal of the Communist Party of Australia

ISSUE 68September 2018

Capitalism and its primary concepts

Neo-liberalism refers primarily to the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism. Those ideas include economic liberalization policies such as privatization, austerity, deregulation, free trade and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society. These market-based ideas and the policies they inspired constitute a paradigm shift away from the post-war Keynesian consensus which lasted from 1945 to 1980.

This is the definition of neo-liberalism in Wikipedia. Is it a thorough and acceptable definition? It has become the common term for explaining the economic changes since the counter revolution began in the 1980s. But is it the correct definition of capitalism?

In my view it gives a false explanation, because it doesn’t coincide with the general trends in capitalism. Understanding capitalism and imperialism means to reflect the actual development in the superstructure.

On the contrary neo-liberalism gives that the impression that opportunities are open, and it’s just a matter of using them. One of the main trends in the media is the topic of innovation. There is a lot of propaganda for this trend and many people make their own small companies in pursuit of the dreams the media pushes.

Unfortunately they come to realize that their idea will just be incorporated into a bigger firm, with better possibilities for commerce and trade. So these youngsters spent several years trying to realise their dream on false premises.

But it isn’t just a matter of cheating people, it is also a matter of giving scientific, correct explanations or correct concepts correlating with reality. The factual development in capitalism is concentration of capital and monopolization of industry. This was a trend already visible in Marx’s Capital.

So 150 years later we are still subject to misinformation and incorrect application of concepts. The correct terminology for modern capitalism is corporate capitalism in its supranational monopolistic phase or period (SMC). This gives the most relevant and factual information on the current place in the epoch of imperialism.

Another common concept used in many ways is globalisation. Is this the correct definition of capitalism in the 21st century? No, it isn’t.

Already Marx showed how capitalism was hunting profit all over the globe. So again, 150 years later this is not a satisfactory definition of the rise in internationalization of production and finance.

The correct definition is to combine supra state monopoly capitalism with the new phase of imperialism described above. This is not just playing a game with words and concepts. The bourgeois media avoids giving correct and scientific definitions in order to delude and falsify reality. After all, this is part of maintaining power over the masses.

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