Modern capitalist production is no longer carried on in tens of thousands of small businesses employing three or four workers. Where such enterprises continue to exist, their influence and effect on economic life are negligible. Their place has been taken, by huge corporations employing tens or even hundreds of thousands of workers at one time across the world.
The idea that monopolies can be eliminated and replaced by free-market competition among numerous small-scale independent producers, is an idle dream which can never become a living reality. Multinational monopolies are not the creation of “evil men” which can be undone by “good men.” It is an inevitable and inescapable product of capitalist development. The capitalist class itself has become largely divorced from production.
They have become shareholders, owners of stocks and bonds with the actual work of management and superintendence, which is necessary and valuable in any society, is no longer done by the capitalist or owner of industry. It is performed by hired executives. They are simply highly skilled workers in the profession of organising production, albeit often rewarded in share options and sharing in the profits and dividends.
Capitalist production means the accumulation of capital and production for the market. Capitalism is a world system. It has created a world market. It has brought the entire world under its complete domination. But capitalism is divided into a number of more or less independent national powers. It is among them that the struggle for world control goes on fiercely. It is a struggle frightful in its consequences. The economic competition among the various nation-states is exceedingly sharp. It becomes sharper when the capitalists of every country seek new markets abroad or protect existing spheres of influence from encroachment by other nations. No capitalist class can possibly rest content with the markets it already has. Capital accumulation is always the goal for investors.
Profits made by the neo-colonial exploitation of developing and undeveloped countries are extraordinarily high. Foreign workers are employed and are made to toil incredibly long hours at incredibly low wages. In many cases, of sweat-shops, are outright slaves. Secondly, they are a rich source of raw materials which may be obtained cheaply with little concern for the workers and the environment. These resources are obtained from the indigenous ruling class rulers by corruption and bribery, and if necessary simply seized and kept by force. Wealth is sucked out of these vulnerable countries, depriving them of any independence regardless of the blood spilt in various national liberation struggles.
Once the world is divided, and there were no more defenceless nations and peoples that can be controlled, occupied, dominated and exploited, the bigger stronger nations can only expand their share of the world market by cutting the share of some other power. And as the iron law of capitalism is that you must expand or stagnate and die, the stage becomes set for military conflicts. For a period, it is possible to confine the rivalries to mere economic warfare and trade wars. But the point is reached where, such economic pressure for one side, is not enough, or sufficiently menacing. The economic struggle turns into a military confrontation. That is the origin of modern wars. The cause of wars are fto caputure lucrative areas of capital investment and trade expansion. Working people fight them, die and get maimed in them. The capitalist always wins them.
Naturally if the plain and simple truth about the reason for wars were told it would be impossible to recruit or garner support for them. That is why the capitalist media keep filling the heads of the people with propaganda and poisonous ideas so that they are willing to kill and be killed. Patriotism and nationalism are imbued into the minds of every citizen from birth. Foreigners are depicted as possible and potential foes who must be defended against. Social spending must be cut for the welfare services to ensure adequate budgets are directed towards acquiring weaponry from the armament industries.
Capitalism is not production for use. All the statesmen, all the industrialists, all the bankers, all the politicians and economists of capitalism, are unable to make capitalism serve the needs of the people. For capitalism, war functions excellently. Money flows like water. There are undreamed-of profits.
Capitalism stands self-condemned. Its usefulness of the past is now long gone. If it is allowed to continue, the world will only plunge deeper into suffering and destruction.