Translated by Owen Richards
2. Crisis of global capitalism
Capitalist imperialism is formed, developed and realized through its contradictions, of which the most basic are between the social relations of production (legal forms of property) and the development of the material forces of labour (science and technology); the increasingly social forms of production and the individual private capitalist appropriation; the workers and the other exploited and oppressed social sectors and the bourgeoisie, the oligarchy and imperialism; imperialism and its super transnational monopoly corporations and the nation states and their independence and sovereignty; the extreme rationalisation of the units of production (reengineering and quality control) with the growing anarchy of production and society.
Most recently, during the hegemonic neoliberal phase of imperialist capitalism, these contradictions have sharpened to an extreme level.
This situation occurs, paradoxically, at a time in which we witness the greatest scientific and technological revolution that humanity has known and that no previous society could have imagined in such things as the discovery of the human genome, developments in artificial intelligence, information and communication technologies and the achievements in biotechnologies, to mention just some of the most important scientific and technological advances today, which have created a material basis to ascend to a superior social order but which, on the contrary, has only served to increase inequality and injustice. The consequence is an exceptional level of poverty that affects all the peoples of the world.
The system has had to become everyday more parasitic and pillaging and this is expressed in the growing contradiction between the preponderance of money and the market (exchange value) and the production of goods and services to meet real needs (use value), which increasingly means less possibility of satisfying these needs. This contradiction explains the tendency towards financial crises such as that which caused the latest crisis of capitalist imperialism, which just like all the crises of capitalism always ends up with a deeper exploitation of labour power, deterioration of working conditions and greater suffering for the the world's exploited peoples.
The voracious appetite of imperialism does not just affect humanity. It also affects nature. The irrational exploitation of nature by the big monopoly corporations has taken the planet and all its life forms to the brink of collapse. The reduction of the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, climate change and global warming, the contamination of waters and oceans, deforestation, are all symptoms of the approaching danger and the acceleration towards disaster.
This obviously unsustainable, dire situation has led to the establishment of mechanisms of absolute bourgeois ideological control, those which Marx so strongly denounced, as instruments to obscure the degradation of life and to try to legitimise capitalist imperialism, by debasing social consciousness through the use and exploitation of the communication networks based on the information and communications technologies, which have imposed a crazy level of alienation of social consciousness across the globe.
We witness the growing control of the dictatorship of the owners of the massive means of ideological diffusion that have greatly contributed to the debasement of social consciousness and the individualist paralysis of society, through their identification of human rationality with commercial rationality and the exacerbation of egoistic and possessive individualism in the context of an exaggerated commodity consumerism. The consequence is a social subject that constantly loses its spirituality, sensitivity, life purpose and sense of social belonging and that sinks in its deep instability.
The consequence of these processes is an extreme sharpening of the polarising character of capitalism: accumulation of wealth, property, production and privileges at one pole, and the concentration of misery, arduous labour, slavery, ignorance, brutalization and the moral degradation of the workers and the peoples of the world at the other. Behind this process develops the tendency that strives toward the elimination of the peripheral nation state and its sovereignty and the superiority of the hegemonic nation state, with the United States and its transnational organisations planning to re-colonise the planet under their control, with the strategy of the struggle against terrorism and narco-trafficking, within a process of a reordering in the struggle for world hegemony.
These are some of the current characteristics of capitalism's functioning that demonstrate the the sharpening of its contradictions and raise the urgent need for socialist revolution as the condition for the salvation of human life and the planet.