Gianfranco Pala: Hundert Jahre Imperialismus. Produktionsnetze und Kontrollketten in der transnationalen Phase

Horst Heininger: Monopolkapital und staatsmonopolistische Regulierung heute. Zur Aktualität der Herforder Thesen

Domenico Losurdo: Imperialismus und historische Bilanz des Sozialismus

Hans Heinz Holz: Der verlorene Frieden. Zweiter Teil

Erich Buchholz: Imperialistisches Strafrecht?

Ulrich Huar: Kommunistische Parteien in Geschichte und Zukunft


Hans Heinz Holz / Dieter Kraft: Stoa und Gnosis


Eine Episode im Phasenwandel des Imperialismus


Die Idee der historischen Epoche


Gianfranco Pala: Imperialism remains the one category that allows us to clear a path both through recent fashionable talk on »globalisation« and »new economy«, and through slightly less recent talk on »geopolitics«, »neoliberalism«, »financialisation«, »postfordism« and whatever else has been introduced to weaken our capacity of analysis in the age of information technology. All that this talk can add is accidental, trivial, extrinsic and transitory. There is no doubt that circulation of surplus value - and of capital that generates it - is indispensable to the working of capital within the world market. But this can only rest on a prior production, which no circulation can in any way replace. The different functions of capital - which are fully integrated within its process of centralisation - remain in fact subordinated to the cycle of accumulation of centralised productive capital, without which all the other functions would not exist in the first place. The world market of capitals has been a well-defined reality at least since the end of the previous century; that is, since the end of the first long crisis, starting in 1870 and the concurrent transformation of competitive capitalism into imperialism of monopoly finance capital. By crisis, therefore, we mean a world market crisis. To put it with Marx, anarchy of social division of labour and despotism of division of labour in manufacture result one from the other. It is because of this that the tendency to neocorporatism aspires to triumph by way of a contradictory development. The antinomy between capitalist plan and anarchy is the root of the process of centralisation that leads transnational imperialism of monopoly finance capital to seek a maximum of rationality within the productive process as a whole. The broadest meaning of the concept of linkage (plant, chain, die, etc.) lies precisely in the strategic understanding of finance capital as a »merging« of industry and banking, production and circulation of capital, commodities and money. Thus, the »chain of value« discussed by Porter is chiefly a means to create a »competitive advantage« within the competition struggle; today such a struggle takes place in a unified capitalist world market. It is precisely this chain that crosses national borders and summons, both in a broad and in a strict sense, the strategic dies of control, production and circulation, which are in turn managed by the big corporations within the imperialist, transnational world market. The new imperialist organisation of labour is expressed in the new double flexibility of labour and machines, which is integrated by flexibility of wages. Accordingly, the impersonality of capitalist - in as far as production of capital is production of alien objective conditions - becomes a personality alien to the different forms of labour: i.e., capital. The economic forms of capital inform the social, political and institutional, forms, conforming the juridical and administrative status of these ones to the ever-changing requirements of conditions of production and hence to the private property of those conditions. To acquire a conscious understanding of this process as a whole - and hence of the political consequences of such a process in terms of recomposition of all social classes - does not entail a simplistic understanding of the banal dichotomy bourgeoisie/proletariat. On the contrary, during a phase such as the present one, in which class polarisation is becoming more and more evident, a proper examination of the recomposition of social classes requires an examination of the structuration and composition of the big industrial and finance bourgeoisie, first of all in relation to the other proprietary classes.

Horst Heininger: In the present development of capitalism the validity of the theory of state monopolistic capitalism proves on the new: the enormous fusion wave led in all economic sectors to a new level of monopolising and international monopoly-capitalistic concentration. It comes to European-wide large concerns, which indicate a higher competitive power in relation to the US companies. Shareholder value and market capitalisation attain also for the continental-European enterprises first-rate meaning. The modifications in the banking transaction in favor of the Investmentbanking and other financial innovations leads to a drastic structural change with the European major banks. Altogether the new level of monopolising means an ever stronger adjustment of the ›rheinischen‹ to the, ›anglo-saxon‹ type of development of capitalism. The neoliberale policy of the state forms a crucial prerequisite for further progressing of the monopolising

Domenico Losurdo: In our days the United States aims at transforming the entire into a free market, open to made in the USA goods, values and hegemonism. The advance of this free-market imperialism and human rights imperialism is accompanied by the embargo and by the war or by the threat of the embargo and the war. In such a situation, how must act a country that refers to socialism? According to the Communist Manifest, once victory has been achieved »the proletariat will use its political power in wrest, step by step, all the capital away from the bourgeoisie, to concentrate all the instruments of production into the hands of the State, i.e. the proletariat organised as the dominant class, and to increase, as quickly as possible, the size of the productive, forces.« Marx, who looked at the highest levels of capitalist development, did not see any contradiction between these two tasks. But, with the advance of globalisation, dominated by the USA, this contradiction shows itself clearly: a developing country radically nationalising the means of production world today close itself hermetically off from the capitalist market, remain out off from the most advanced technology and would certainly not be able to resolve the problem of the development of the productive forces. We can understand now the difficult choices that a country as the People’s Republic of China has to cope with.

Hans Heinz Holz: Whilst the world wide public opinion after 1945 was dominated by the vision of a peaceful world order, and the Statute of the International Military Court of Nuremberg promised a new period of international law, the economic structures of imperialism were restituted and began developing in an even more dangerous and acute form than before. The prohibition of warfare and war preparation did not actually determine the policy of the big powers. After the downfall of the socialist system in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe the rivalry and tension between the three main powers - USA, Europe and Japan - increases in a murderous competition to gain bigger shares of the world market. The threat of war is not at all banned and the means of warfare get more and more destructive A new political paradigm is wanted, it depends, however, on the reality of a new type of society

Erich Buchholz: Especially the German penal law of the 20th century is - as the »penal law of imperialism« - not only a continuation of the so-called classic penal law, but also its negation. The classic penal law was characterised by the principle of legality (nulla poena sine lege) and of punishment only on account of a criminal act (not of the personality of the offender and his mind) and the proportionality of criminal offences and penalties. The penal law of imperialism removes from these principles - a changing like a negation of classic penal law. The removal is naturally publicly not admitted. It occurs secretly and hidden, nearly invisible in different forms and different ways, for example by elevating the role of the judge over the written law; by legal doctrines, that allow the judge a more subjective judgement, or by means of accentuating the importance of the personality and his mind by judging and determining the punishment.

Ulrich Huar: Also today the evaluation and valuation of the »party new type« are still located in the centre of the discussion. In order to be able to give an appropriate estimate, we have to deal historically with party history Because in the »party new type« the experiences and realisations of 350 years of international party history. were contained. The view into history shows that there is a continuity of Marx to Lenin in the party understanding. Only with giving up the Lenin’s standards it finally comes to the revisionism and thus to the destabilisation and to the dissolution of the Marxist party. Today is the question whether it will give again a revolutionary or only a party of social reforms.


Das vorliegende Heft 16 von TOPOS ist die thematische Fortsetzung von Heft 15. Erwies sich im Rückblick das 20. Jahrhundert als eine »Kriegswelt«, als welche es auch endete, so beginnt das 21. Jahrhundert mit einer geradezu explosionsartigen Expansion der Kräfte des Imperialismus. Unter dem beschönigenden Titel »Globalisierung« wird die sprunghafte Akkumulation des Kapitals, die Kapitalvermehrung ohne entsprechende Gütervermehrung durch Fusionen und Übernahmen, die zunehmende Konzentration wirtschaftlicher Macht beschrieben. Hatte das erste Heft von TOPOS 1993 thematisiert, daß mit der Herstellung eines einheitlichen kapitalistischen Weltmarkts, zu dem es nach der Niederlage der sozialistischen Gesellschaften keine ökonomische Alternative mehr gab, zum erstenmal Weltgeschichte (und nicht Geschichte von Nationen und Regionen) realisiert wurde - so zeigt sich nun mit aller Deutlichkeit das Gesicht dieser Epoche der Weltgeschichte, in die wir eingetreten sind.

Als Topos 16 konzipiert wurde, war der Ausgang der Präsidentenwahl in den USA und gar die Farce der Stimmenauszählung noch nicht vorhersehbare. Jetzt, bei Abschluß der Herstellung dieses Heftes, sind die ersten Stellungnahmen der designierten Bush-Administration bekannt; sie zeigen, daß der Staat, der für sich die Welthegemonie beansprucht, von den führenden Vertretern des militärisch-industriellen Komplexes und der Erdölkonzerne regiert wird, daß ein erster Programmpunkt die Aufrüstung ist und daß rücksichtslos die sogenannten »nationalen Interessen« der USA durchgesetzt werden sollen. Konflikte mit den anderen imperialistischen Mächten sind vorhersehbar.

Die Welt ist unfriedlich und wird noch unfriedlicher werden. Die Symptome dieser Entwicklung bestätigen, natürlich unter veränderten Umständen im einzelnen, die grundsätzlichen Analysen des Kapitalismus und Imperialismus von Marx und Lenin. Die Feststellung der Symptome und ihre Bewertung ist Sache tagespolitischer Beobachtungen. Eine begründete Einschätzung, die zu eigener Urteilsbildung, Stellungnahme und zu Handlungsentscheidungen führen kann, muß darüber hinaus die allgemeinen Tendenzen der historischen Entwicklungsphase, in der wir uns befinden, und deren Bewegungsgesetze herausarbeiten.

Zu dieser Aufgabe wollen die verschiedenen Aufsätze dieses Heftes einen Beitrag leisten. Den Veranstaltern der Berliner Imperialismus-Konferenz, die von den Redaktionen der Zeitschriften »Offensiv« und »Rotfuchs« organisiert wurde, danken wir, daß sie uns den Vortrag von Prof. Ulrich Huar zum Vorabdruck zur Verfügung gestellt haben. Die im Archivteil abgedruckten Auszüge aus einer bisher unveröffentlichten Diskussion des Jahres 1967 zwischen Persönlichkeiten des politischen Lebens aus der BRD und der Sowjetunion mag auch als ein Hinweis darauf gelesen werden, wie Symptome des Alltags - in diesem Falle der Beginn der sogenannten »neuen Ostpolitik« der BRD - die dahinter liegenden bestimmenden Tendenzen zu verschleiern vermögen. Inzwischen ist ja klar geworden und wird auch offen zugegeben, daß die »neue Ostpolitik« die Intention des Kalten Krieges auf Zerstörung des sozialistischen Gesellschaftssystems nicht beendete sondern nur in eine neue, effizientere Strategie überführte. Für eine kritische Theoriebildung kann es nützlich sein, die Einschätzungen von damals mit dem Wissen von heute zu vergleichen. ...

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