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The Role of Capitalism in the War in Ukraine

Ukraine, per se, is not the issue. It is tragically a war-ravaged pawn in a much larger conflict.

To the motives for war in human history, capitalism added another: profit.


There's a degree of general speak in the article that leaves out some important historic details, but as a whole it generally explains the within the capitalist nature. Written by Richard Wolff who's work I've use here quite often is an American Marxian economist. You can find a lot of his work >>>> [] His economic updates and comparisons of socialism to capitalism are quite informative.

{Capitalism means enterprises run by small groups of people—employers—who preside over large groups—hired employees. Employers are driven to maximize profits: the excess of the value added by hired workers over the wages paid to them. Employers are likewise driven to sell outputs at the highest price the market will bear and buy inputs (including workers’ time) at the lowest possible market price.

expansion, inside every capitalist nation, inevitably overflows its boundaries. Capitalist enterprises seek, find, and develop foreign sources of food, raw materials, workers, and markets. As competition becomes global, competing capitalist enterprises seek help from their nation's governments to expand. Politicians quickly learn that companies in their nations that lose in global competition will blame those politicians for insufficient support. Meanwhile, companies that win in the global competition will reward such politicians for their help. The social result of this is that capitalism entails national competition alongside enterprise competition.}

Marx called the above the exploitation of the worker. Overflow of boundaries refers to capitalism eventually running out of ways to produce profits. This leads to what is normally referred to as colonialism and wars that often come with it. Essentially a fascist structure, generally it was re-branded as fascism with purpose as it predominantly told hold in the early 20th century to differentiate between it and capitalism. Another course of action is to begin buying up public domain to force taxation and or toll pricing. Charging for what should already be considered theirs to use for the benefit of that society. The latter is the social disorder of one region/state, buying off a company with tax payer funds to move their production to theirs. Rather than a organizing a strategic means of production towards equal distribution of work accordingly to local resources.

This was a highlight found as the covid virus hit us. Our production means failed to be properly prepared to fight the virus as resources either quickly ran out or equipment was inefficient. Manufacturing unprepared to change to produce needed products, and or equipment efficiently provided with proper matching parts to operate. This is of course was due to the lack of social concern which allowed the virus to spread anyways. It should have been dead long ago. The only reason we are still facing infections and deaths is because our western governments failed to take the capitalist structure out of the equation. As a worldwide democratic socialist structure, I'll argue it would have been possible to kill it off following the Chinese method within 2 months at worse. However, within a working class democracy in the work place the high death rates could have been more highly avoided. Manufacturing equally distributed by resources from state to state can provide various benefits to society. Transportation cost, degradation of environment, less work hours, etc.

{For example, in the 17th and 18th centuries, wars helped British capitalism to build a global empire. In the 19th century, more wars punctuated the completion and consolidation of that empire. Empire growth had itself stimulated all manner of challenges and competition, eventuating in more wars. For example, as capitalism took root and grew in Britain’s American colony, colonial enterprises eventually encountered obstacles (limited markets, taxes, and limited access to inputs). These obstacles eventually grew into a conflict between them and their colony’s leaders, on one side, and Britain’s capitalists and King George III, on the other.

The 19th century saw countless efforts by other nations to compete with, challenge, undermine, or reduce Britain’s empire. Competitive capitalist enterprises engendered competitive colonialism and many wars. The United States and Germany grew into the major national competitors for Britain. Wars punctuated the growth of capitalism across the 19th century, within the United States and Germany, as well as elsewhere across the globe. As capitalist enterprises combined, centralized, and grew—resulting from the competition among them—so too did many nations consolidate into fewer numbers of nations. Wars became larger too, culminating in the devastating first of the two world wars.}

Basically what he's suggesting is that war is always the answer for the survival of capitalism, above and as he goes on. Today this capitalist system is merely a globalized union of authoritarian governments on a geostrategic agenda for its ruling class structure that owns the entire apparatus. Exploiting the world citizenship and planet at all cost to hold on to their wealth and power.

Currently the Europe countries are voicing of turning their backs on all forms of reducing fossil fuel emissions and returning to coal. To avoid buying energy from Russia, having resources shipped from abroad resulting in production of facilities to burn such resources which would indicate decades of use exacerbating emissions. Rather than end a war they created, they're more willing to fund and support it while exacerbating the death of the planet along with human lives. This also raises prices to already growing inflation rates on their societies along with taxes to provide the new facilities. As citizens we keep being exploited to pay for their wars.

{The United States then learned what the British had discovered earlier. Building and consolidating a capitalist empire provokes an endless succession of challengers. Among capitalist enterprises, competition’s losers’ employees move to work for the winners; the winners’ enterprises grow, and the loser’s decline. Winners’ growth often entails still greater profits and more competitive victories. That growth invites and promotes new competitors. Fended off for a while, eventually one or more new competitors discover how seriously to challenge the older dominant firm and displace it. Capitalist empires and their challengers exhibit parallel histories. As the competitive new enterprise destroys the old, the same happens with empires. That has been capitalism’s history, and that is what is now being seen in Ukraine.}

New competitors also feel the burdens of the above who eventually are forced out or sell out, expanding monopolies and price control.

{Britain, after the end of the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, won a century of global dominance. The United States after World War I did so too. Both empires provoked endless challenges. Nations large and small developed enterprises, industries, and political leaders who wanted to make changes or move in directions that differed from/challenged the U.S. global capitalist hegemony after World War I. For example, across Latin America, references to “manifest destiny” resulted in small wars to remove competing challenges in the region. Likewise, when Iran’s prime minister in the early 1950s, Mohammad Mosaddegh, or Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, showed signs of breaking away from the U.S. empire’s control, both were removed. The one repression attempt by the U.S. that failed was in Cuba. The United States then isolated and economically hobbled Cuba via sanctions and embargoes. Warfare could be economic as well as military. Ukraine is another example, but with a peculiarity: U.S. support for Ukraine is an effort to repress another country that challenges U.S. hegemony, namely Russia. And repressing Russia too is a peculiar indirect way to get at the greatest threat to the U.S. capitalist empire, namely China.}

India has also been put under staunch pressure by the US recently to denounce Russia and stop economic relations with them. With a population of nearly 1.4 billion people they provide a vast wealth of resources and in turn a vast market to sell in. India however has a long history of relations with Russia. And has a sense of socialism in many regions that go against the grain of western hegemony.

{Before World War II, U.S. wars against other communist challengers of its empire had not demonized them as “evil communists.” During World War II, the United States even allied with the USSR to jointly defeat the immediate challengers (Germany and Japan). But after 1945, that was the preferred ideological terminology used for the USSR to justify protecting the U.S. empire. Then, when the USSR and its hold on Eastern Europe collapsed in 1989/1990, the old terminology faded in favor of a new terminology, used to begin a new war on a new challenger: Islamic terrorism.}

{Meanwhile, the tragedy goes beyond Ukraine’s suffering. The entire world is caught up in the decline of one capitalist empire and the rise of yet another. Conflicts between the capitalist empires can occur anywhere where differences between them flare up.}

{Perhaps the greatest tragedy lies in not recognizing the responsibility of the capitalist system with its markets of competing enterprises run/dominated by the minorities we call employers. That system lies at the root of these historic repetitions. The minority employer class controls or is the leadership of the nations that have absorbed and reproduced the competition that capitalism entails. The majority employee class pays most of the costs on both sides (in dead, wounded, destroyed properties, refugee lives, and taxes). A different economic system not driven by a profit motive offers a deeper solution than any on offer at present. Perhaps the war in Ukraine can awaken an awareness of its capitalist roots and teach people to explore alternative systemic solutions. If so, this war and the resulting devastation from it could lead to an important turning point that eventually results in some positive outcomes in the future.}

William_Mary 8 Apr 15
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