Download Capital & Class. - 1991. - Issue 43 issue 43 by Conference of Socialist Economists PDF

By Conference of Socialist Economists

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Additional info for Capital & Class. - 1991. - Issue 43 issue 43

Sample text

Discussion of competition law in the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council in the postwar period made little headway, and it was only later that the issue, renamed ‘restrictive business practices’, became revived, in a different political forum, the UNCTAD. Both revolutionary and non-revolutionary socialists, therefore, have over the last century come to emphasise the political task of gaining national state power, to which task the strengthening of the social power of popular movements became secondary.

In this area as in many others, the rapid postwar process of international growth of capital began to create severe tensions. From the mid-1960s, there was an increasing international political awareness of the growing power of large TNCs, and the disjuncture between their centralised decisionmaking in the allocation of resources, as against the loose coordination of political regulation by an increasing multiplicity of states. This problem has two aspects. From the point of view of the TNC, its global operations are subject to political interventions by an increasing number of states, often from divergent perspectives.

Thus, Hilferding (the Austrian social democrat, later Finance Minister in Weimar Germany) argued that the development of large corporations, trusts and combinations, with the intermediation of the banks, entailed the emergence of ‘the enormous concentrated power of finance capital, in which all the partial forms of capital are brought together into a totality’, in which form ‘capital now appears as a unitary power which exercises sovereign sway over the life processes of society’ (Hilferding 1910/1981, 234-5).

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