After the dissolution of USSR and the fall of the existent socialism, ideologies have been faded or complied with reality, while the capitalist system evolves gradually as a lonely and dominant economic paradigm of humanity. The element of globalism and the dynamics of an international class beyond borders, are conceptions that have been emerged for the first time in global history through the Communist Manifesto (1848). However, Marx couldn’t predict that his idea of a Transnational Class will be unwillingly introducing a new philosophy to the future capitalists in their means of maximising their wealth. Moreover as McGrew and Lewis (2013) argue with a collection of examples that globalisation has largely led to political, environmental, security and economic issues becoming interconnected.
Before and during the cold war period, the notion of globalism was interlinked with Marxism vis a vis the nation-state with Capitalism. During the 19th century, Marx has composed a whole revolutionary theory based on the united struggle of the global working class, for the sake of the working class, to overthrow capitalism. This is illustrated in the slogan ‘’ Workers of all nations, unite’’.
In the 21st Century, the capitalist system has been evolved by the rebranding of the transnational conception of Marx into a neoliberal paradigm. Today the elements of globalism and transnationalism are constituent pillars of the contemporary structure of capitalism. The rise of a Transnational Capitalist Class has been developed as the wealthiest part of the global population (Robinson 2004). The economic interests of the new class are increasingly globally linked than national and emphasises in a certain lifestyle of consumerist and competitive rhetoric and practice. Economic policies of international institutions, organisations, agencies and forums are encouraging globalisation to produce economic growth.
A neoliberal subjectivity has emerged the normalisation of the logics of individualism and entrepreneurialism, equating individual freedom with self-interested choices, making individuals responsible for their own well-being, and redefining citizens as consumers and clients. Margaret Thatcher’s epic quote that “there is no alternative”, seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. For instance even the privatisation of the basic industries, as a part of the Thatcherite “free-market” policies of the 1980s and 1990s signalled the final run-down of these industries” (Tomaney, 2006). Foreign investors or Transnational Capitalists have invested all over the world in major industries, especially through the model of privatisation.
State and Economy:
When it comes on the state level, there are different impacts of globalisation of production. Developing and less developed countries with lower costs, different working and civil rights are exploited through globalisation to work in huge industries. The developing countries have been an cheaper alternative to the Transnational Capitalist Class (Warde, 1990). Strong well-fare states benefit and grow more powerful, confirming the darwinistic roots of humanity. The Transnational Capitalist Class can be seen as a weakening factor of the state powers in transition to the local economy, especially for developing countries. However the states can benefit from the TCC by reforming and changing the country into a capital friendly regime. Moreover transnational capital is a means of sharing development such as technology, communication, products, knowledge and technocracy.
Tourism globalisation also helped economically small communities and countries to develop further.
Marxist followers argue that Transnational Capitalism is socially and economically resupplied by the creation of more wealth, which leads ‘’ the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer’’. They argue that transnational Capitalism makes circumstances extremely difficult for poor people to shift a class. Although, the enrichment chances of the contemporary capitalist system are much more , because they are not exclusively based on national property like the age of feudalism, which led to the traditional capitalist system. Today the Transnational Capitalism concept is incarnated in the development of the international business or the stock market, which gives the opportunity to lower classes to produce wealth, if they target correctly.
Critics of transnational capitalist approaches, argue that workers are exploited even more in the world today. However beyond the bad side of exploitation of labour, that consists the exception of the rule, there is the bright example – the rule, which is the chance of having a job with a decent wage. As Adam Smith highlights, greater efficiencies of production of goods and services are achieved through the breakdown of tasks in the process of production. Transnationalism is a way to achieve ‘efficiency’ and also to maximise profit and enable growth.
Globalisation and transnationalism, as trends of Neoliberalism are epochal changes (Robinson 2004). The global spread of the Transnational Capitalist Class has dominated a new era of production which desecrated the conception of Karl Marx. The tragic irony is that even the grave of Marx in Highgate cemetery has been exploited as a touristic spot, that you need to pay for viewing it. It’s a fact beyond any reasonable doubt, that Capitalism has managed to be once again the the great winner, through the exploitation of global means for the maximisation of profits into a new transnational reality.
But in the end of the day wealth is not an anathema. Anathema is unemployment and famine.
By Pantelis Poetis
1) Marx, Karl et al. The Communist Manifesto, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1998.
2) William I. Robinson ‘The Transnational State’ A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class and State in a Transnational World (Johns Hopkins 2004) Chapter 3.
3) David Harvey (2007) A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford University Press) Chapter
4) Samir Amin (2000) Capitalism in the Age of Globalisation (Zed Books)
5) William I. Robinson (2004) ‘Global Class Formation and the Rise of a Transnational Capital Class’, A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class and State in a Transnational World (Johns Hopkins), pp. 33 – 84.
6) Tomaney, J., 2006, September. North East England: a brief economic history. In Annual North East Regional Intelligence Partnership (NERIP) Annual Conference.
7) McGrew, A.G. and Lewis, P. eds., 2013. Global politics: globalization and the nation-state. John Wiley & Sons.
8) Warde, A (1990) The Future of Work in J.Anderson and M.Ricci “Society and Social Science: A Reader” Milton Keynes
9) Image 1: http://neoliberalismeducation.pbworks.com/f/1329155150/charles_hope-thatcher_tina.jpg
11)Image 2: universidadefalada.com.br/o-que-e-marxismo-marx-vida-biografia-mp3.html