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5. Fixed capital (c), surplus-labor (s) and variable capital (v) (12 )

If we break down the working-day in the imperialist countries as Marx did, we can clarify MIM's position. In Marx's day, before capitalism in the advanced countries proceeded into its decadent phase, there were transfers of value from the pre-capitalist modes of production and oppressed nations generally to the home country of capitalism. One need only recall the existence of slavery and colonialism prior to imperialism of the later 1800s and since.

Those denying Lenin's theory of imperialism as capitalism's decadent phase also deny that a change occurred in capital accumulation. In the early stages of capitalism, the surplus-labor of slavery went to accumulation and luxury consumption of the ruling class for the simple reason that capitalism was still on the upswing. The transfer of value from oppressed nations and slavery went to expansion of the capitalist mode of production. More capital meant more workers were hired.

Under imperialism compared with earlier capitalism, the utilization of surplus-value including that gathered in connection to pre-capitalist modes of production changes. Capital as a social relation bumps up against its upper limit in the home country. Given political impetus by inter-imperialist war, what used to go to accumulation starts to show up in the wages of imperialist country workers and exaggerated military spending. Instead of having more and more workers to hire locally, the imperialists bump up against the limits and see that their borders are closed through alliance with the labor aristocracy. The free market for labor-power in the imperialist country is eliminated. Hence, following Marx and Lenin, we distinguish between two things 1) a strict free market case spoken of by Marx to illustrate that exploitation does not depend on "unequal exchange" as the bourgeoisie calls it. 2) The case where there is super-exploitation and interaction with pre-capitalist modes of production.

a) Free market case, early capitalism

work-day = necessary labor time (v) + surplus labor time (s)
necessary labor time (v) = wages

b) Imperialist case

i) oppressed nations

oppressed nation work-day = necessary labor time + surplus labor time (s)
necessary labor time - wages = superprofit
superprofit + profit + wages = work-day

ii) oppressor nations

wages = necessary labor time + superprofits
work-day = necessary labor time + surplus labor time
superprofits added to wages GREATER THAN surplus labor time(13 )
wages GREATER THAN work-day

There are other ways to express the above situation of imperialism. If a multinational corporation makes a deal with its Third World lackeys, then it can buy the pineapples cheap and give them to the oppressor nation workers at a price which amounts to a transfer of value to oppressor nation workers through the means of super-exploitation. This occurs through cheapening the necessities of life in the imperialist countries and thereby lowering necessary labor time and increasing "s" locally. However, not all the benefits have to go to the "s" of the bourgeoisie, if wages do not always go down when the commodities of life get cheaper--as is the usual case in the imperialist countries. Contrariwise, in the Third World, wages are held down by force and so those workers do not see the benefits of the cheapening of the necessities of life which are simply exported to the imperialist countries--especially in the many one-crop economies.

What is happening is a transfer of "s" from the oppressed nations to oppressor nation workers, who obtain wages beyond what is necessary for their reproduction. These workers take up luxury consumption with their wages. In the imperialist countries this happens to such an extent that many workers manage to buy their monopoly capitalist corporations, as some airlines, car-rental and grocery chain stores are in the United $tates.

The dogmatist chauvinists believe Marx only wrote about free market conditions in early capitalism and they reject our description of imperialism. They simply did not read Marx very carefully for the situation of no free market.

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