by [email protected] and HC123
January 13, 2005
The 1025 million of imperialism is the total of the populations of the following countries:
The list should also include various tiny countries such as Malta, Andorra, and Liechtenstein, but it does not make much difference to include those. They wouldn't affect the figures very much anyway.
Some of the smaller countries on the above list are also questionable as imperialists for not having multinational corporate monopolies and the finance stage of capitalism. Some such as New Zealand may be extensions or enclaves set up by other imperialists. They seem to be allowed the privileges of imperialism without having their own national reduplication of all imperialist institutions. The situation in Greece is also not straightforward.
We do not regard the various little Middle Eastern kingdoms as imperialist, because they're merely selling off resources (oil) and not exporting capital under the dominance of domestic finance capital as Lenin said was true of imperialism. On the other hand, many of the populations in these Arab oil countries are bourgeoisified.
Eventually they'll meet the fate of Nauru, which has tapped out its phosphate reserves and cannot produce food or much of anything else. These kingdoms do, however, exploit foreign workers and, in the case of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), even a part of the indigenous population (some people born in the UAE are denied citizenship because of their origins and are therefore stateless).
For a first stab at the question, it would be quite accurate to consider the 1025 million to be the world's exploiters. The vast bulk of the world's exploiters are found in the countries listed above and we should not let nit-pickers distort that basic truth for the benefit of an imperialist chauvinist agenda.
Of the countries above, Russia with its 140 million people is the one that has a definite majority of exploited people. Hence, we might be off 100 million people in making that generalization just by lumping in Russia. In addition there are those who are in the imperialist countries illegally by imperialist law and thus do not enjoy the wage conditions for the normal exploiter-citizen.
On the other side of the ledger, where we have missed 100 million exploiters is the 2% of the 5 billion in the Third World that serves as imperialist-lackey-exploiters. There are also the non-imperialist Arab exploiters.
When we consider the additions and deductions from the ledger, the point remains that 1 billion exploiters remains a very good approximation of the global enemy class. Even if we made a mistake and included 10% of the Third World as exploiters, we would only have 1.5 billion exploiters against 5 billion exploited people instead of 1 billion versus 5.5 billion. Such an adjustment shows that no matter what the vast majority of exploiters come from the imperialist countries.
Many are familiar with the kind of access to the means of production which produces a situation where the income of "150 million Latin Americans--that is, around 33 percent of the population--is under $2 a day."(2) However, this focus on the bottom can also distort the global picture.
If we count the top 10% of the Third World as all exploiters, we will be including some poor people. For example, in oil-rich former Soviet republic Azerbaijan, to get into the top 10% of the population income-wise, one needs $72 per month.(3) That's not to say there are not some very rich people in Azerbaijan, only that the top 10% does not include all very rich people. In many countries there are 1 or 2 or 3% working for corporations as professionals making good money. Finding good paying jobs and businesses to aid even 10% of the population of a country proves to be difficult in this imperialist-dominated world.
What is missing from most people's picture is actually the top 10%--the people with access to the means of production that guarantees them income in the top 10% of the world. According to United Nations statistics made available by the The Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA), the imperialist countries excluding Russia in 1999 supplied 85% of the people in the top 10% of the world by income.(4)
What is more, if we take a minimum wage earner in the united $tates working 2000 hours a year, that persyn would be in the top 10% of most countries in the world. That would be true in Africa, Asia and the ex-Soviet Union. The only region in the world where the Amerikan minimum wage earner would not be in the top 10% is Latin America, and even there, the entry into the top 10% averaged under $13,000 a year in 1999.(4)
Less than 9% of the imperialist country populations in 1999 were not in the top 20% of the world by income--the kind of people MIM has emphasized are lumpen and abused non-citizens. In fact, someone who makes it into the bottom 11 percentile (89th percentile) of the imperialist countries is higher than the 10th percentile of Africa and Asia by income. When MIM follows Lenin saying that imperialist countries are bought off in their entirety, we stand on the facts. Without exception, the organizations opposing the MIM line are chauvinist scum hiding the warped economic situation created by imperialism.
Our critics including all the so-called Marxist organizations in the imperialist countries except the handful affiliated/friendly with MIM say that the 90% of the imperialist countries' population is exploited. Let's be clear what these running dogs of the exploiters mean: It's not just that they are letting off the hook the 46% of the imperialist country population in the world's top 10% but not in the imperialist country top 10%. They are letting off the hook 69.6% of the world's top 10%.
The Third World languishes under the weight of a heavy load of imperialist parasites, almost 30% of which come from the United $tates. It will be interesting to watch the demographics in coming years. Most European countries, including the non-imperialist ones, will decline in population in the coming decades. So will Japan. The United $tates, however, will continue to grow, largely from immigration, to surpass 400 million by 2050. Excluding Russia and using the UN's projections for 2050, there will be a total of 978.3 million in the aforementioned countries. That represents a decline in the relative imperialist population, from 13.7% of the world today to 11.0% forty-five years hence. On the other hand, the United $tates will be a larger fraction of the imperialist world excluding Russia, going from 33.9% in 2004 to 41.8% of the imperialist population in 2050.
This is also important for understanding the future of the dynamics of exploitation. To say that the Third World has 10% exploiters is to equate their economic condition with that of the imperialists--a mistake made by the vast majority of organizations calling themselves "Marxist" in the imperialist countries. Some are still stuck in 1848 and others of these organizations are conscious exploiter representatives.
1. Source for data: http://esa.un.org/unpp/
4. http://www.eclac.cl/povertystatistcs/documentos/dikhanov.pdf This paper saved here.