FEBRUARY 01, 2012
Why is it that the world is run by the law of value?
The UNDP Champagne Cup what is portrayed is world GDP in 5
categories. The 20% of the world (wealthy countries) that own 82.7
percent of the global GDP (the ones who get a sip of the champagne.
The last layer is absolute poverty UNDP doesnt want to say that its
1,000,000 people but that is the approximate number.
It portrays an image that is not representation of the reality. It is based on
the value of per capita GDP. It gives the idea that the rich and poor dont
really appear as a household.
The United Nations University released a different way of calculating
it revealed the richest 2% of adults own more than half of global household wealth, and 1% owns about 40%.
It showed that the top 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world wealth.
Law of value states: products, when they are commodities, possess value. This value is measurable and can be
measured by the quantity of abstract labour that is socially necessary to produce the commodity. It also shows
that this quantity is the sum of the quantity of labour is divided into direct and indirect labour that is transferred
and used in the process of production. The concept of commodity and the existence of the law of value are
Value is not only a category of the process of production, when for example, you would calculate price only.
The only condition for transformation is that should be possible to reduce concrete wage labour to a quantity of
abstract wage labour.
How is abstract labour working in society?
The transparent mode of exploitation (peasant obvious division of labour)
In the capitalist system the mode of exploitation is opaque. The worker (proletarian) sells his labour power but
seems to be selling his labour. He is paid for 8 hours of work, not just for the 4 that would be necessary.
Labour is the thing that can be quantified, and the labour power is your productive force used to do the work
(strength, mental capacity to the work, the efficiency).
FEBRUARY 3, 2012
The quantity of abstract labour socially necessary to produce commodities in feudal days it was measured
through the days the serf worked for his master vs. the days the serf works for himself.
In the modern capitalist economy, you are paid for 8 hours of work.
A commodity going through exchange capital, know how, commodities.
David Ricardo that every country had to belong to the international division of labour and specialize with the
invisible hand of the market and be rewarded.
There is competition between the capitalists and the necessity of expanding the manufacturers goods into
other areas to sell them (another way of competing and another way of rivalry between capitalists).
Unequal development= the costs of production are lower in certain place. So the proletariat in the north makes
more than the proletariat in the south.
Imperialism= there is not just the question of might, justice, etc.
Imperialism is the domination by one country of the political, economic, or cultural life of another country or
Between 1500 and 1800, European states won empires around the world. However, Europe had little influence
on the lives of the people in these conquered lands.
By the 1800s, Europe had gained considerable power. Encouraged by their new economic and military strength
(based on cultural disposition), Europeans embarked on a path of aggressive expansion that todays historians
call the new imperialism
This generated immense amount of wealth, crystalizing the industrial revolution.
Economic is also based on change in cultural values. Boer war: British found against the Afrikaners who settled in South Africa. After the discovery of the diamonds
British started enrolling men to fight against other areas.
Causes of Imperialism
Economic Interests: Political and Military Interests:
Manufacturers wanted to access natural Merchant ships and naval vessels needed bases
resources. around the world.
Manufacturers hoped for new markers factory Western leaders were motivated by nationalism.
Colonies offered a valuable outlet for Europes
Humanitarian Goals: Social Darwinism:
Many Westerners felt concern for the little The transposition of racism.
brothers overseas. Many westerners viewed European races as
Missionaries, doctors, and colonial officials superior to all others.
believed that they had a duty to spread Western They saw Imperial conquest as natures way of
civilization. improving the human species.
Acculturation is the process that assimilation will
In just a few decades, imperialist nationals gained control over most of the world. Western imperialism
succeeded for a number of reasons:
o While European nations had grown stronger in the 1800s, several older civilizations were in decline.
o European capitalist expansion strengthened them.
o Europeans had the advantages of strong economies, well organized governments, and powerful armies
o Mingling private capital and the state to create a complex and powerful synergy. (private interests
rallying the willingness of the state).
o Science was progressing at fast rates, boosted by interest capital.
o Europeans also had superior technology and medical knowledge.
Forms of Imperial Rule
COLONIES PROTECTORATES SPHERES OF INFLUENCE
The French practiced direct rule, In a protectorate, local A sphere of influence is an area in
sending officials to administer rulers were left in place but which an outside power claimed
their colonies. were expected to follow the exclusive investment or trading
The British practiced indirect rule,advice of European privileges. The United States
using local rulers to govern their survivors. A protectorate claimed Latin America as its sphere
colonies. cost less to run than a of influence at the end of the World
Spanish, Portuguese, and the colony and usually did not War.
French wanted to assimilate and require a large military
favoured elites who would presence.
abandon their culture and adopt
the colonial powers culture.
They all generated fierce resistance from the colonies and mixed feelings about whether or not it is possible to be
freed from this system.
The right of sovereignty and self-determination is contradictory to this entire system.
Americans lent 2% of their GDP in order to rebuild Europe (Marshall Plan)
American farmers had produced a surplus of goods in the agricultural and the manufacturing sector. They wanted to transform Europe
Needed new markets to sell their products
Needed raw materials for factories
Solution: foreign trade
Wanted to build up the American navy
Defending peacetime shipping lanes
Needed to establish naval bases in the pacific and Caribbean
U.S. became the 3 largest naval power
Socialism: an internal, bottom-up approach against capitalism. It was portrayed as the enemy because it rallies
all of the decolonizing areas (India, China, Latin America, Africa, etc.).
Americans started pushing more and more money into armament (the beginning of the arms race and the space
race)these were based on the idea that military might could fight the socialist/communist systems.
American superiority: some Americans combined the philosophy of Social Darwinism (survival of the fittest) with
Anti-imperialism: cost too much in military protection
Dominated peoples didnt have the same rights as American citizens (ex. Native America, Black people, Hispanic,
etc.) The Anglo-Saxon culture was the dominant culture and they thought they were the ones able to protect
the system. It was portrayed as freedom, liberty, and America as a strong guardian of free enterprise, the belief
in God, the belief in science and progress and respect for international law (not as Imperialism).
o 5% of wealth was from sugar plantations that were owned by Americans
o Labour was important from Japan and China so Hawa