Neo-liberalist Expansionism and Colonialized World

  February 18, 2021   Read time 2 min
Neo-liberalist Expansionism and Colonialized World
Expansionism in one sense defines the nature of neo-liberal capitalism. Accumulation of the capital created numerous problems across the world including financial crises and destruction of the natural environment and vital resources. It is only via understanding the essence of capitalism that we can come up with lasting solutions for our problems.

Neo-liberal globalization made possible a major extensive and intensive expansion of the system and unleashed a frenzied new worldwide round of accumulation that offset the 1970s crisis of declining profits and investment opportunities. It is the struggle among class and social forces that is causal to globalization. But the development of science and technology has recursive effects on social forces in struggle. The revolution in computer and information technology (CIT) and other technological advances helped emergent transnational capital to achieve major gains in productivity and to restructure, flexibilize, and shed labor worldwide. In the United States, for instance, worker productivity doubled from 1979 to 2012, while wages remained largely stagnant and even declined for a significant portion of wage earners. This, in turn, undercut wages and the social wage and facilitated a transfer of income to capital and to high-consumption sectors around the world that provided new market segments fueling growth. As globalization has advanced there has been a dual process in the subordination of global labor. One the one hand, a mass of humanity has been dispossessed, marginalized, and locked out of productive participation in the global economy. On the other hand, another mass of humanity has been incorporated or reincorporated into capitalist production under new, precarious, highly exploitative capital-labor arrangements. The global surplus population now involves as much of a third of humanity - those dispossessed from the means of production yet denied the possibility of meaningful wage work. This is central to the story of global capitalism and global crisis: a mass of humanity involving hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people who have been expropriated from the means of survival yet also expelled from capitalist production as global supernumeraries or surplus labor, relegated to scraping by in a "planet of slums" and subject to all-pervasive and ever-more sophisticated and repressive social control systems. Crisis provides transnational capital with the opportunity to accelerate this process of forcing greater productivity out of fewer workers. The largest employers in the United States "have emerged from the economy's harrowing downturn loaded with cash thanks to deep cost-cutting that helped drive unemployment into double digits ... and [resulted in] huge gains in worker productivity," observed one report on the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. The ongoing rise in the organic composition of capital through investment in constant capital intended to increase the rate of exploitation and/or to undercut worker resistance eventually results in a qualitatively new situation in which value-generating technology makes the labor power of large swaths of the working class superfluous, a situation that goes beyond what is traditionally considered a Reserve Army of Labor, as I will discuss later.