Back to Production: An Analysis of the Imperialist

Global Economy

Intan Suwandi

lipping through the pages of Harvard Business Review in the last few years, there seems to be some worries expressed by the cheerleaders of capital regarding the future of globalisation. In their eyes, there are obvious threats to global market capitalism. For example, the increasing trend of what they call “state capitalism” – as shown by the rising power of “emerging markets” like China, Russia, and Brazil – is deemed to provide serious obstacles to the welfare of Western multinational corporations. What is interesting is that these perspectives acknowledge the growing income and wealth inequalities – a phenomenon that, they are afraid, “makes a mockery of the idea that economic growth benefits all.” But what they are really afraid of is actually how these growing inequalities can lead to “populist politics” that would result in “harmful government interventions” including the “overregulations of market transactions, confiscation of property, and other abrogations of property rights”.

Debating whether or not this “guarded globalisation,” as Ian Bremmer calls it, is really happening is beyond the scope of this paper. But the worries are clear: capital wants to make sure that multinational corporations can engage in capital accumulation without significant disruptions. Several suggestions are given, ranging from the need for businesses to engage in collective action and become leaders in defending the market, to the strategic move of “holding hands” with local partners to ensure the success of foreign investments – especially in countries where “state capitalism” thrives. These examples can illustrate the never-ending quest for profiteering by global North capital in the capitalist world economy, by navigating their way to invest – either directly or indirectly – in the global South. This shows that, despite their relentless attention to the market, the focus lies on global capital’s effort to export capital through various means, including by outsourcing their production to the global South. Thus, if we want to critically evaluate “globalization,” we cannot merely see the transactions that happen in the marketplace. Instead, we have to go to where commodities are produced, or – as Marx famously said – to the hidden abode of production.



For a full read of this brief, click here or on the picture to download the pdf file.


   Site Map
   Contact us
HomeResourcesEconomic DataBack to Production
Bookmark and Share
Economic analysis relevant to True