Hamid Moradei with a working class analysis of the current refugee crisis.
In the last two centuries, capitalism as a socio-economic system conquered geographical spaces, i.e. the market after market worldwide. It has broken into almost every pre-capitalist society on the planet and effectively installed capital-labour relation and consequently divided the human race in the abyss of deep class divisions. In creating capital-labour antagonism, it needed to produce massive labour supply, a proletarian class, workers to carry on pulling the Chariots of the Gods and capital: For devising and running the setup for the capital accumulation. In achieving its object, capitalism shaped and formed the proletariat from transforming human being to Migrant or refugee being.
In face of the undeniable facts, it is clear the ruling classes and its political elites inside and around the state machinery everywhere need to divert public opinion from its role in creating the current crisis. Ruling classes and capitalist media experts, in the West blame emerging large current refugee/migrant wave on ethnical, national, cultural, religious and political backwardness or background.
It is beyond intractability not to realize that 30 years of devastating war, either direct occupation of Afghanistan by the imperialist armies or their affiliated armed Islamist gangs (Mujaheddin, Taliban, Al-Qaeda ...) destroyed the region and killed the Afghan people. Who can deny the fact the US-NATO -imperialist network's expansionist strategy for redrawing the map of Meddle East culminated in war, occupation and destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria: This imperialist atrocity forced tens of millions of oppressed masses of the Middle East to escape. They left their home, village and cities to become homeless, forced displacement and finally registered as statistics at the UNHCR.
A Historical and Objective Background
Refugee/migrant crisis needs to be critically analysed in the framework of antagonism that defines and explains subjective and objective existence of existing world order: The embedded contradiction in the capital-labour relation: "the germ of the whole of the social antagonisms of today". (Engels)
While the form of capitalism has changed in various ways during the 150 years since those word were first written, Engels' claim remains true for contemporary capitalism.
Marx introduced a theory of value and surplus value to analyze the fundamental relation of capitalism. Based on that theory, he showed how capitalist profit originates as surplus value produced by labour but appropriated by capital. Appropriating surplus value is a kind of mechanical, or automatic, process when the capitalist system employs labour-power to create a value greater than the value of that labour-power.
Producing surplus value is the absolute law of the capitalist mode of production, that initiates the inherent mechanical and automatic process in capital-labour relation, deploying of the surplus-value as capital, or its reconversion into capital; socio-political mechanism and process restarts the capital accumulation.
The capitalist system reproduces itself uninterrupted: 'on the one side the capitalist, on the other the wage-labourer.' Capitalism is inherently an expanding system, for the capitalism must constantly accumulate and extend the capital to preserve it; Historically capitalist development/accumulation has taken different forms at different times and in different locations. That is, while still remaining capitalism, the capitalist mode of production has been associated with a significant variety of specific forms. This has been expressed in chapters 13-15 of volume I of Capital, Marx analyzes the successive stages of the capitalist production process, from simple cooperation to manufacturing and finally to modern industry. The development of capitalist industry produces concentration of banking, and this concentrated banking system is itself an important force in attaining the highest stage of capitalist concentration in cartels and trusts; Finance capital develops with developing the joint-stock company and reaches its peak with the monopolization of industry.
The expansionism process eventually occurs on a worldwide basis, because capitalism must push its mode of production into every nook and cranny of the globe: The age of imperialist mode of operation constitutes main function for entire system as world-wide phenomena. The final stage of development in capitalist mode of production characterized by finance capitalism's dominant role over the world market: The underlying barbarism hidden under surface of civilization is exhibited through wars and destruction of entire social fabric when ever capitalism applies generic solution to its inherent crisis. Crises and wars are genuine constant categorical variables in the final stage of capitalist mode of production, i.e. decaying capitalist civilization.
The core-periphery relation logics that the struggles between capitalist powers for control of periphery are still working in the multiple spheres of globalized capital, including ‘free market’ building of Neoliberalism; global capitalism and the related 'free market' did not replace terror and horror of The Cold War era with peaceful globalization: Empirical evidences are clearly against such hallucinations connected to ruling classes ideology. Generation before and after the fall of USSR imperialist block experienced free integration of markets that required certain level of militaristic and political violence: Ex-Yugoslavia and current Ukraine war are exemplary for free-market integration just in Europe.
The surplus labour population on world scale
Thus, capitalist law of production embedded in the core-periphery system dominates imperialistically the geopolitics and strategic flow of raw materials as a central trading commodity for large part of capitalist periphery. Within this framework, capital-labour relation constitutes socio-economic, military and political processes that are designed to determine the international relations and outlook. Thus, We can textualize and conceptualize current crisis of capitalist world and expression it is taking in the form of current mass refugee/migrant disaster.
The capitalist core-periphery relation is a derivative of generic capital accumulation process in a global model for existing world order. The synergy between the centre and the periphery fundamentally defines capital-labour relation and proletarian-class notion as a unitary phenomenon in socio-economic analysis, and thus avoid notions that proletariat is only an class-reductionism.
However, the labour division of labour supply reflected in imperialistic division of labour market: On account of higher organic composition of capital and higher technology concentrated in the centre, the proletarian class is divided to North/South, color-line, Muslim/non-Muslim .... on ideological basis. On the account of process of capital accumulation, the rise of reserve army takes an exploitive character in the periphery sector of capitalist system. As a function of capitalist system of production the periphery zone produces large volume of labour intensive labour-supply/labourer compare for reproduction of labour supply in the centre.
As an unique expression of expansion in capitalist activity and capital accumulation, urbanization (and subsequent urban population growth), particularly in the periphery, has contributed to the expansion of urban slums and shantytowns. This rapid increase in urban slums points to a surplus portion of the working population that is a permanent surplus (superfluous) population with little or no possibility of ever being exploited by capital.
'This outcast proletariat—perhaps 1.5 billion people today, 2.5 billion by 2030—is the fastest growing and most novel social class on the planet. By and large, the urban informal working class is not a labour reserve army in the nineteenth-century sense: a backlog of strike breakers during booms; to be expelled during busts; then reabsorbed again in the next expansion. On the contrary, this is a mass of humanity structurally and biologically redundant to global accumulation and the corporate matrix.' (1)
However, this labour reserve army in the non-nineteenth-century sense is a socio-economic axioms as an imperialist centre-periphery one: the roots and explanation of surplus population are in Marxist definition of capital accumulation:
'But in fact, it is capitalistic accumulation itself that constantly produces, and produces in the direct ratio of its own energy and extent, a relatively redundant population of labourers, i.e., a population of greater extent than suffices for the average needs of the self-expansion of capital, and therefore a surplus population.
The greater the social wealth, the functioning capital, the extent and energy of its growth, and, therefore, also the absolute mass of the proletariat and the productiveness of its labour, the greater is the industrial reserve army. The same causes which develop the expansive power of capital, develop also the labour power at its disposal. The relative mass of the industrial reserve army increases therefore with the potential energy of wealth. But the greater this reserve army in proportion to the active labour army, the greater is the mass of a consolidated surplus population, whose misery is in inverse ratio to its torment of labour. The more extensive, finally, the lazarus layers of the working class, and the industrial reserve army, the greater is official pauperism. This is the absolute general law of capitalist accumulation. ' (2)
Mapping this general law of capitalistic production historically to objective reality of a world divided between geographical labour sectors/zones, helps us to understand the massive surplus labour population that is moving around the globe. A huge mass of destitute and deprived surplus labour/population lives in shades of capitalistic production cycle with ever entering into the cycle of commodity production for extraction of surplus value; An overproduction of human-being as labour commodity.
The mass reserve/surplus labour/population is logical aggregate of the process of capital accumulation and the uneven development and reproduction of capitalistic production of social reproduction adopted on a global scale; Uneven development of capitalist production set based on the process of capitalist development and accumulation: The division of the world during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries into advanced and backward countries, into colonial powers and colonies, arose from the dynamism of capitalist relations. This division represents the primary aspect of uneven development on a world scale.
In this context, the mass migration phenomena, mainly from periphery to centre, appears to function as a destabilizing force for capitalist world as whole. Considering technological development in production forces and limits of capitalism as global closed system, the absence of sources and capacity for absorbing the historic mass surplus labour population is evident based on official unemployment statistics on global level. In addition, what global capital produces as a mass surplus labour population through the world-wide fragmentation of labour market related to capital accumulation is running parallel to the insensitive imperialist wars and clashes.
Tragedy of 60 Million Refugee/Migrant
'Wars, conflict and persecution have forced more people than at any other time since records began to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere, according to a new report from the UN refugee agency': 60 million people in the movement today. In the not too distant future and as the world/war becomes increasingly global, mass refugee/migrant waves in the Middle East, North Africa and other periphery parts of the world will move towards the centre, the Western world in search for a better life. The shock wave of millions of people in movement is far beyond the limits of capitalism as a totality to integrate such a large mass of surplus population into the system of capital re-production.
Thus, a wave of refugee/migrant started to move toward Europe, Germany-Scandinavia, from a newly established route that goes through primary smuggling route of Western Balkans (Turkey-Greece- Balkans-Hungary-Austrian border lines). Most of refugee/migrant are from war-torn Syria and other parts of the Meddle East, a territory inverted after decades of imperialist war, destruction and destabilization of the political/state power along with entire social fabric. The Afghanistan war with Russia and Americas involvement was the starting shot for beginning of a new dark period of war, occupation, destruction and devastation in the region.
US-NATO-imperialist network initiated the Syrian civil war in 2011 by arming and supporting the Syrian opposition (free Syrian Army!!!). The intention was and is to remove Assad regime connected to Russian imperialist network. The imperialist rivalry between America and Russia set in motion the war that continues to expand and metastasize to this day: The US-NATO network created different Islamist groups, including the IS, in the Syria-Iraq territory to commit total destruction of Syrian civil society and social fabric in order to replace Assad regime and cut off Russia's influence in the Meddle East.
The atrocity of imposed civil war on Syrian population is historically unseen; Half of country's 20 million population displaced or refugee, who are leaving in refuge camps in Turkey, Jordanian, Lebanon. 'Most alarmingly, however, it showed that over half of the world's refugees are children.' (UNHCR)
As the refugee/migrant influx continued through the Balkans- Hungary route, the European media mobilized, devoting almost all their frenzy coverage to the event. Along with media the state/political power apparatuses were well organised around ' Refugee Crisis'. Pillars of capitalist ruling class' power, the political elite from right to left plus witchcraft of media machinery, rage over Refugee issue triggered finally their ideological orgasm when the ruling part of the West European political establishment with Germany and Sweden (humanitarian superpower) (3) at the forefront stated through Margot Wallström, Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs to the CNN: ' Humanity Trumps all.'
This statement of plying the game for humanity and human right is of course a natural and ideological move that is expected from agents of the capitalist state. However, this moment denotes the climax of all hypocrisy and double moral of the ruling classes and their political elites, on the issue of refugee/migrant crisis:
- The political elites of ruling classes in the Western Europe as well as other regions, that are organised in and around the state/political power are well informed about the catastrophic situation officially broadcasted descriptive by the UN/UNHCR; after all UN's organizational philosophy is cleaning up the mess/barbarism after capitalist/imperialist state/political powers make in the course of their power struggle to rule over and run the human communities and consequently their natural environment.
- The atrocity against human being and nature that is caused by the NATO imperialist network in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libyan and now in Syria is beyond any consolation. For a long time the West have turned a blind eye to the human tragedies suffered by refugees. They talk about the refugee crisis as if it were a new phenomenon, but it is not true. The states who designed and applied the wars in the Meddle East and Libya had generic idea about the destabilising outcome of NATO-network geopolitical strategy against its imperialist rival, Russia and China.
- The mask of humanity is suppose to function as cover up military scenario that is going to finalize Assad' regime fate and change the history and map of Syria as it has been recognised since 1921. Chancellor Merkel's theatrical show on the number strain refugee that can enter Germany yearly should be considered as a 'Big Lie' she should have inherited this from Joseph Goebbels. The media has keep quit about Syrian regimes difficulties in maintaining manpower for its military forces; During a televised speech allows President al-Assad that the army has been weakened; - We have a shortage of troops, he says (4)
The refugee crisis and political power play of NATO-network
The ruling political and ideological elite in West around the NATO-network releasing smoke screen to proceed for implanting a diplomatic and military action to dismantle the Syrian state: The refugee crisis which is actual and real is used probably in this context to justify eventual total chaos that will take place when the Syrian social fabric is completely destroyed after al-Assad's regime removal by Islamist forces that are in turn created, armed and applied by NATO imperialist network. Libyan experience is illuminative for Syrian masses to understand what the Islamist barbarism( the IS, al-nusra and all other gangs of Islamists which constitute Syrian oppositions) has in store for new Syrian territory and what is to be expected from such loose military gangs who are experienced in mass murder, chilled rapist ... . (5)
It seems US and its imperialist network with mini imperialist such Saudi-Arabia, Turkey ... from the region are anxious to complete the blood bath in Syria so the NATO- US network can concentrate on other on going or potential imperialistic projects; Ukraine, Georgia, Iran, Asia-Pacific strategy ... . The imperialist operation of American capital feels no limits at the moment for war crimes committed since the end of the Cold War. The Financial and economic coercion will force the US to a position where there is no limit to return. Therefore, it is true that recent refugee/migrant issue ( Balkan-route) can only be understood properly if one takes an international perspective and puts it in the context of imperialism and the mechanisms that are creating and reproducing a mass refugee/migrant flow towards the centre of capitalist world: reproduction of the global surplus proletariat, which aggregates by intensity of prevailing war and chaos caused by imperialist power play in the periphery and the Meddle East.
The refugee/migrant perspective
Aside from frenzy ideological propaganda of the ruling capitalist elite in using the refugee/migrant crisis for other military or political agenda, it is a false myth that capitalism wants free or unchecked refugee/migrant flow. For the left of capital(Leftist) the purpose would be to "increase the reserve army" of the unemployed, thereby compressing wages and conditions. The right of Capital with headed by Merkel are not against controlled flow of refugee/migrant. However, the whole European capitalist class in following their family members (America, Canada, Australia ...) prefer illegal migration for obvious socio-economic interest; the labour power of illegal or semi illegal proletariat remains cheaper on the 'free' labour market.
As a fundamental law of economic history, - That capitalism never have been able to content economic coercion. That is, with the 'free' worker who must sell his/her labour at a market. Because capitalism in centre-periphery relation develops unevenly, there are always sectors of production that must rely on various forms of outside-economic coercion to pressure 'their' workers enough ( super exploitation). Thus, the socio-political aspect can function as a coherent mechanism for breaking the proletarian class identity by racial, ethnic, religious and gender lines.
In this regard, the dominant Neoliberalist ideology and political direction is a system of highly regulated immigration policy. Contrary to general belief, Neoliberalism and free market which leads to illegal immigration, "crimmigration". Which in turn creates a part of the international working class that is subject to extreme exploitation. A section of proletariat which carries labouring-supply for a large part of the agricultural, service sectors in industry and low-productivity sectors of industry in the USA, Southern Europe, England, France. The phenomenon, illegal immigration "crimmigration, is spreading in today's increasingly precarious labour markets in the core of capital. Countries which have so far been the most highly productive sectors of the economy such as Sweden and Germany, have so far mainly coped with legal or semi-legal immigrants from Eastern Europe, or by outsourcing their industry to low-wage countries. But even in these countries there are sectors of the economy that have an interest in mass importing super exploitable illegal immigrant labour: This is only achievable if legal immigration is severely limited.
Thus, Germany and Scandinavia need perhaps more than rest of the core country to 'welcome' officially refugee/migrant. They never mean free migration which logically outcompete the economic function of a real illegal refugee/migrant labour sector; the illegal employment and the underground economy in general.
German and Swedish approach: The Hunger Games
The main reason for the multiplication of the number of boat people and the number of dead in the Mediterranean is the worsening of Europe's paradoxical refugee policy. Countries such as Germany and Sweden are 'generous' with permanent residence permits to those who managed to get there, but they do not issue visa to refugees from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq, Somalia or Afghanistan to fly there. Through this clever "trick", the political elites in Germany and Sweden play with this hypocritical humanity mask through full collaboration of it's media machinery, and pretend to "give all Syrians protection". In this way, they do not need to receive tens of millions of potential refugees/migrant from refugee camps set up by the UN/UNHCR in the Meddle East.
Europe was formerly more restrictive against refugee/migrant issue, a refugee that had already received protection in Turkey had the opportunity to seek asylum in Greece and other peripheral countries on the way to the centre of capital, i.e. western and northern Europe. This adjustment is changed, so that refugee/migrant flow can move in right direction when it is required in globalization's footstep.
But refugee/migrant system has been reformed unofficially, as the border protection and control has been relaxed and asylum policy is modified, when it comes to the rules of first asylum application. This changed of 'asylum' tactic have been the lure to those refugee/migrant from the Meddle East and Africa, they take the chance or risk of the Western Balkans route, starting from Turkey ending in Hungarian border line to Europe. In truth, the heartless ruling political elite in Germany and Sweden created a smokescreen of humanistic rhetoric for a death lottery, with enticing refugee/migrant (60 million) first prizes; an entry ticket to the centre of capital. Of course, the smugglers ( underground human trafficking market) have responded to increasing demand and changed border controls with a massive logistic setup to respond Europe's and refugee/migrant demand through affordable and mass transportation with no safety requirement involved.
When and if a refugee/migrant gets in to the entry border point, in one piece , Hungary, next chapter in the hunger game begins, widely public humiliation and degradation through frenzy of 24 hours media coverage or by the government personals ( police, military ...). Through this ruthless game the ruling political elites, globally, set in motion this ruthless game for achieve their purposes; gaining economic ( cheap illegal labour force), political and military ( cover up for a military action in Syrian war and Turkey's state organised violence against Kurds ...) class interests.
Restructuring the Meddle East
History has a funny way of repeating itself; this old cliché applies just as much to all historic worldly phenomena as to wars, revolution, capitalism & imperialism.
The whole tragic event of the recent refugee/migrant crisis has taken another socio-political turn related to the religious affiliation of the refugees/migrants. The (far) right of capitalist political elite( equipped with racism as polito-ideological attribute) does not need much ideological articulation to capitalize on releasing wave of fear shock for Islamism and Islamist terrorism in the West and Europe. The left of capital on the other hand captures this schizophrenic brutal racism from political rival as a heavenly blessing to contaminate the whole question of class affiliation and social identity of the refugee/migrant masses that are entering into the society as a new sector of proletariat: The Proletarianization process for refugee/ migrant masses is what starts back in the home country; normally majority of refugee/migrant belongs to dispossessed masses or proletarian labour force in the home/periphery. So, they leave their land or emigrated in conjunction with wars, , socio-economic collapse, political instability. There are sections of petty bourgeoisie who are ruined, transformed and proletarianized in the home country or in the process of joining to refugee/migrant flow.
Of course, most of refugee/migrant masses do not think of themselves be part of proletarian class. This is logical when we consider, the proletariat necessarily gains its class identity and consciousness in the sphere of production and in the field of class struggle. Thus, until magical moment of awaking as a class, the proletarian mass, from centre to periphery of capital, is prone to ruling class's multiple ideological fetish; from liberalism to Islamism/Fascism.
In this context, the religion as a private matter/habit for the proletarian masses considered as a part everyday life; a romantic alienation. The religion in the form of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism ... in synergy with the commodity fetishism can be considered, using modern linguistic terms, as life style, private subject. But the history of last century in the Meddle East provides fundamental differentiation between Islam and Islamism; The latter is aggressive transformation of religion Islam from a traditional religious rituals or modern day life style to an ideological discourse and political ideology within the sphere of 'modern' capitalist social fabric.
The (Islamic) periphery
(Islamic) periphery zone/countries with the Medial East's centric geopolitical position stands out as the world's most volatile, combustible, and troubled region: Iran, IS, war in Syria-Iraq, Yemen, Kurdistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel.
At the end of World War I, the imperialist Allies, also known as the Entente Powers, re-divided the world-market among themselves: Historically and socio-economically, the international and regional map of (Islamic) periphery, Meddle East was drawn by imperialist European powers in the early 1900s. The victors of the 1st world war, the British and French state dissolved literally the decaying Ottoman Empire through carving up its dominated regions, specially the Arabic speaking territory. As a result , the geopolitical formation became the existing Meddle East and the regional result became countries as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Qatar, Kuwait, Israel /Palestine... .
Thus, the (Islamic) periphery in the Meddle East, North Africa is objective outcome of the geopolitical rivalry among imperialist powers as an internal dynamic of capitalist system of production; capital accumulation and expansionism, quest for markets and imperialistic influence. As a periphery of core capitalist system, the (Islamic) periphery has two major characteristic; a) chronic underdevelopment and b) substantially dependant and limited on/by the core of capitalist operational rate of accumulation process for its 'nation-state' functionality. As an underdeveloped and subordinated section in the capitalist world order, the periphery is deeply affected through the cyclical crisis in the centre.
However, from the arbitrary carving of nations by the British and the French to the historical phase of decolonisation process, the region has always been in an unfinished process of building up and tearing down of national states. The period of Arab nationalism, Pan Arabism, from 1920s to the early 1970s marked the process of establishing the political power, centralised state, took different approach in relation how to involve Islam/Sharia in building the national state. The raising national state formations took different shape from Saudi-Arabia with the house of Saud (the biggest scam in the history of the mankind), with Sharia in the legal system to Turkey with civil law as basis of its legal system. The rest of the region containing Arabic speaking population and Islam as traditional religion adapted more or less a secular state version in , with or without explicit reference to separation of sharia and state, or to changing an existing relationship of Sharia/Mosque involvement in building up national states. The established secularist national states such Pahlavi Iran and Kemalist in Turkey imposed hard coded secularism in a top-down manner to expedite socio-economic development and social progress. In following the general tendency of operational mode, in processing the capital accumulation, through mechanisms of a state capitalist model of organising the social reproduction process.
Building of national state and combining it with the capital accumulation ( Banking system, trade system , infrastructure, superstructure ...) proved effective operational mechanism for restart cycles of capitalization: Construction of state capitalism in Russia (Stalinism), Germany (Nazism), ..., and nationalization process in the West during and after the World War II and Keynesianism determined the characteristic of the capitalist world system until the early 1970s. In this historical context, building of national state and state capitalism appeared to be the same socio-economic and political objective for new emerging nations including in the Meddle East.
However, the upstart ruling classes in the Meddle East ( Pahlavi in Iran, Kemalism in Turkey, Naserism/Pan-Arabism in Egypt ...) unaware of their peripheral bond to the centre in combination of producing and realizing the capital accumulation misjudged the socio-economic limits imposed on them by the capitalist system of production linked to development and 'progressiveness. ' to the capitalist centre. In the course of exited nationalist (state-building) period, 1920s-1970s, 'modernisation' was objective and reachable goal for the new capitalist classes in the region. However, the old and decaying over classes ( landowners, Bazaar-merchants ... ) and their historical and socio-political elites ( Islamic clergy) were not exited at all in front of the historic marching train of change: The decaying over classes reluctantly felt obliged adapting to this capitalist wind of accumulation, while their heart and mind was for Islam and Sharia as a point for orientation and identity against the Western/Kafir ('imperialist') influences/intruders.
Social question and raise of Islamist Ideology
In this historic and objective context, this simplistic view of the new geopolitical landscape was deeply problematic. The Centre-periphery capitalist expansionism along creating a new over class generated not only working class, the proletariat, but also a polarized and miserable large urbanised layer of population that could never integrated to capitalist cycle of production; huge surplus population. (2) The miserable objective conditions of people in the peripheries , consequently associate with imperialism at every stage of centre periphery development, and quite explicitly to the destructive effects of capitalism on entire periphery; people and nature.
In 1928, Hassan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), which began as a kind of youth club whose members preached, to anyone who would listen, about the need for moral reform in the Arab world. But, the polarization created by intrusion of capitalism in the archaic and decomposing world of ex-Ottoman dynasty (Sultan/ Caliph) facilitated onset and expansion of MB as an organisation and political and ideological system to reject capitalism, imperialism and all the secularist tendencies as result of capitalist and Western invasion.
Thus, The first Islamist organisation founded through a political and ideological platform of the MB. The foundation and Islamist platform of MB is simply, in the beginning an epilepsy reaction of decaying over classes remaining from pre- capitalist era. The treat imposed by capitalistic transformation of society that is eroding their socio-economic and political position and class interests. Moreover, British evaluate negative the running nationalist and nationalisation politics in the region against the interest of Empire.
Ironically, the MB as a reaction to imposed capitalistic 'modernity' on ex-Ottoman empire by imperialist dominance was essentially a 'modern' phenomena with its root deep in the dark soil of class society that it was eager to re-stabilise and maintain: Parallel to Fascistic reaction in the centre of capital to crisis and chaos, al-Banna strove to establish Islamic Caliphate on world scale; as Adolf Hitler's demagogue for ' 1000 jähriges reich' would provide hope for the embedded contradictions. Thus, Islamism as a platform took shape in confronting the capitalistic socio-economic and political total chaos through stabilising the social and political functioning of capital accumulation through the application of a totalitarian ideological regime of state functionality with Islamism/Sharia as guiding law. Islamism as a new ideological structure was just taking form in the belly of crisis, social chaos and war that shattered the whole region; the Meddle East.
Generally from beginning, Islamism in the shape of MB, Fedayeen of Islam ( Devotees of Islam, shia version of MB in Iran, seeds of later Khomeinism) and the Democrat Party in Turkey's 1950s, as political phenomena generated while capitalism and imperialist mapping in the Meddle East advancing in historic term. The different tendencies of raising Islamism moved and evolved in connection to different sections of ruling classes in periphery as well as in the centre of the capitalist world; (6) With religion/Islam as kernel in Islamist ideology, Islamism was capable to access an ocean of poor masses (surplus population) and at the same time dine and collaborate with any sections of the ruling classes inwards and outwards.
However, capitalism through the 2end world war managed in following Schumpeter's creative destruction to restart a fresh eye-catching accumulation of capital. (7) The Meddle East with all nationalist inspired modern state building received a breathing space to follow up some socio-economic and political changes in accordance with accumulation movement generically synchronised from imperialist dominance of the centre.
Counter action to the semi 'modernization'/capitalization is established and documented in the political literary in the Meddle East: From Afghanistan to Palestine – powerful governments in the West and their allies in the Middle East helped to create radical Islamic sects as a bulwark against secular nationalist parties or pan-Arabism, Kemalism, Pahalvei .... They gave the nod to, and in some instances funded and armed, Islamist movements that might challenge the claims of local anti-colonial, liberationist, or 'communistic' outfits.
Ironically, the same capitalist mode that started up semi-'modernization' in the Meddle East led to establishment and success of Islamism as a response of (Islamic) periphery to capitalist 'modernity' and crisis. The socio-economic decline and chaos facilitated Islamism with necessary political tolls for accessing poverty stricken masses. Trough the political control over the large body of population, organised Islamists learned how to enter state machinery and from there how to change the political structure of the state to enforce totalitarian Islamic/sharia rules. Moreover, Islamism as an ideology for maintaining over class and under class social order in balance functions as an adoptable tool in the political structure of ruling classes to fragment proletarian masses across the dangerous path of religious line: This the holy Grail even for Islamism's political elites.
The “Golden Age” of Capitalism: From the late 1940s to the early 1970s
The state capitalist interventions and measures such as government macroeconomic intervention (Keynesianism), industrial regulation, social welfare spending, unions, etc surrounded economic sphere of entire social reproduction. Capitalist economies always pervade economic growth and followed by a period of economic contraction / recession (falling GDP, rising unemployment ...): Recessions interrupt the process of capital accumulation and economic growth; The expression of crisis in terms of economic measurements and performances.
The declining economic profitability in business cycle (capital accumulation) performance , just appeared on the horizon of the world-wide capitalist framework of economies, in the late 1960s: the prelude of crisis became subject and object of the post reconstruction period after the 2end world war, as a phase of economic restructuring began to take shape: In order to get the business cycle to twirl in front of the economic mirror the capitalist system introduced counter-acting tendencies against the falling rate of profit globally. The crisis/depression ushered in an era in which the state managerial apparatus included a relatively large government role in the most important industries and the sphere of social reproduction. The era of “regulated capitalism” had to change. The crisis of the 1970s ended this era and introduced another, characterized by a new framework in which the state/government role changed. The era of 'Neo-liberalism' began as a framework for restructuring the operational mode of capitalist system.
The crisis in early 1970s unleashed the early shape of “the free market economy” in the capitalist centre as starting point. The Western economies introduced political programs in the forms of Thatcherism and Reganomics for implementing restructuring process formulated around privatization and deregulation of state management in economic issues. Its imperialist counterpart, the Eastern economies ( USSR) applied Perestroika (economic restructuring) and Glasnost (openness) to reorganize the capital accumulation cycles a decade later. The Eastern state capitalist model with Russia in lead had been in a long economic crisis/stagnation, when Gorbachev began to introduce reforms in 1985. Contrary to designer of Perestroika and Glasnost, the restructuring intention of Stalinist (bankrupt) economies, initialized a outcome that led to a historic collapse of entire Eastern bloc structure; the poor economic durability of the USSR and US/Reagan's strategy broke up the entire system organized around the state-military centric model for capital accumulation. (8)
However, Islamic periphery as part of capitalist system bonded and limited by core's economic function and performance in the field of capital accumulation. In this regard, the Islamic periphery had to cope crisis stemmed from worldwide capital accumulation; the falling rate of profit globally since the early 1970s. The periphery's economic system functions capitalistically and synchronised to rhythms of capitalist law, i.e. worldwide obligation for processing the accumulation. However, the periphery system depends on financial and credit system outside it's domain of control or influences. The fundamental lack of financial capital mechanisms disable peripheral capital as an economic enterprise able to apply necessary reform program for restructuring a stagnated economy.
The expression of liberalization of market forces in the core started to address the very basic problems or challenges within the capitalist mode of production internationally and regionally: by attempting to keep up competitiveness and profitability. The economic outcome of conducting this kind of reform, resulted overall in downsizing and closures in traditional and service industries and move of constant capital/production to regions with cheap labour-power supply with granted higher exploitation rate.
However, the consequences of restructuring process in the core of capital became an open and chronic socio-economic crisis in the (Islamic) periphery, considering it's relation, subordination and role on the world market. It had to follow the general tendency within the capitalist world, e.g. de-industrialization and so called “free market” mechanisms in its own way; managing devastating effects for socio-economic stagnation, in the forms of law economic growth rate and height unemployment. The (Islamic) periphery naturally was deprived from the financial capitals backup mechanisms that would be available in the centre as financial banking and credit system. Thus, (Islamic) periphery was not capable with restructuring process in allocation or moving capital to new production/circulation procedure. Moreover, the state-organised capitalism in such as Iran, Turkey, Egypt suffered from technically advanced organic capital formations that was precondition for a forcible reform/ restructuring strategy: The table 1 over GDP growth rate gives a glimpse of detecting the 'geographical footprint' of economic crisis in the Meddle East.
Crisis and dysfunction in the Meddle East: From 1970s...
When centre of capital, Europe and Japan, rebuilt after the war, they could shrink in on America's technological and economic advantage. Gradually, however, decreased the opportunities for rapid expansion by just imitating the US as leading nation. The United States also suffered from economic growth problem. Partly because of the increased competition from Western countries and Japan. Partly because of the Vietnam war and its costs, which forced the US to abandon the Bretton Woods system. (9)
In contrast to the core countries, the (Islamic) periphery in the Meddle East did not have devices (capital) to dampen the negative effects by stimulating the economy. The governmental intervention was not enough to keep up production and employment through layers support, subsidies to vulnerable sectors - and increased element of labour-market work security laws (Welfare state related labour incitement). Although economic growth ceased, the public sector was built out of the increased rate. The public expenditure as a share of GDP increased. The result was a rapidly growing budget deficits and rising interest costs on government debt
The capital accumulation problem, which is technically integrated with the tendency of the rate of profit to fall has forced the capitalist world to implement measures and different structures since the early 1970s. In this regard, the financial crisis of 2007-2008 in the heart and centre of capitalist core, the US' financial system, can also be explained through the footpath of economic crisis that started the economic decline decades ago.
However, the long term devastating effect of financial crashes in then US is materially felt in the periphery as unemployment (surplus population) transforms to mass social question and there is no sign of economic growth on the horizon. The obvious consequence of crisis in the (Islamic) periphery manifested in a socio-political vector that had it's root cause in the early 1970s:
- The explosive increase in volume of surplus population/labour; permanent mass unemployment.
- Permanent economic crisis that produces a negligible economic average growth rate, GDP.
These as the magnitude and the direction of vector represents explosiveness of the socio-economic antagonism beneath political volcano in the periphery. It is in this context of a surrealistic environment of impotence, abandonment, confusion and lose of class solidarity and identity, the vulnerable masses become receivable for hypnosis of an delusive ideology; Islamism. The impact and negativity of an ideology in the socio-political context becomes immensely powerful when the 'opium of the people' placed in the kernel of an ideological and political plan: Islamism.
In the historical and material context, Islamism transforms religion/Islam to an ideology for obtaining political status and power to in maintaining the social structure; division of society to antagonistic classes. Islamism's initial opposition to 'imperialism/modernism' stems from quest for political/state power in struggling within the framework for class division of social fabric. However, Islamism is bearer of very characteristics of modern/capitalistic world; Ideological totalitarian mechanism for submission of masses to maintain the social reproduction through the capitalist accumulation rules. Parallel to fascistic ideology, in the center, developed and expanded in the 1920s, Islamism appeared in the same period, but it became political power factor when the capitalist world entered the crisis of the early 1970s.
Thus, existing social and economic context in the Meddle East provides the political fertile zone for raising Islamism through ballot box or military/force. When the traditional/'classical' political ideologies fail to maintain law and order, capital will move its historically darkest forces to keep the cycles of capital accumulation in running mode. As we have seen the expansion of nationalist (covered fascism) ideology around the world, Islamism expounds rapidly in the Meddle East, the land of God and oil ( action force in capitalist machinery), when a revolutionary class perspectives is absent and the fear of war, homelessness, hunger, death, and lack of future hope paves the ground for masses to be hypnotised with Islamism by romanticizing the semi- savage epoch of Islam's founder, Mohammed, back in 7th century.
Although, the historical and real objective context of refugee/migrant mass movement toward the centre/Europe contains a current antagonism in the of capitalist system; Surplus population in periphery that can not be integrated to the production system for cycles capital accumulation. The tragic destiny of this part of world proletariat (surplus/labour) is that their awkward social existence avails continually: Initially they are alienated trough dominant capital-labour relationship. Then, they re-alienated again by Islamist ideology, in search for better life than the existing one, by becoming canon feed for immediate death- Jihad- or slow death- ballot box. Finally, they are re-alienated by moving from periphery of capitalist world ( the Meddle East) to the new Islamic periphery zone established around suburbs or cities in metropolitan area in the core of capital.
The mass mobility of refugee/migrant (surplus labour) from (Islamic) periphery to the capitalist centre manifests irresolvable contradiction created in relation between capitalist core and its periphery: disintegrated mass surplus population in the cycle of production and capital accumulation. The lack of real economic future is the force behind the massive refugee/migrant influx to the core. As Charles Dickens narrated early capitalism's misery in the early 19th century England, capitalism on its own has succeeded in developing the same category of misery on world scale: Refugee/migrant are part of Ebenezer Scrooge's view on the 'overpopulation' issue.
The ruling classes know well that mass refugee/migrant flow plays a decisive role for processing of accumulations in the centre and periphery of capital: They are supplying source of cheap labour power in the labour market, including the underground sector. However, specific inhuman attribute of current refugee/migrant crisis is that the refugee phenomena transforms from a temporal till permanent issue. This is a price paid only by (Syrian) refugees when they lose all human aspirations by losing their means and their direction.
Tragically, the masses moving from the Meddle east, trapped in deadly ideology of Islamism due to missing subjective and objective link to production process on one hand, and they find irrationally 'peace of mind' and false identity in a world that rejects them in every social encounter on the other hand. Lack of revolutionary perspective, class solidarity and class struggles derives them toward anti-proletarian identity politic such as Islamism, in the course social re-alienation.
The refugee crisis demonstrates that as globalisation pervades the planet, periphery as a synonym for subalternity, also transcends geographical and ideological frontiers. However, there is no long-term or short term human solution to this capitalistic contradiction in the sphere of surplus population and economic dysfunction: Surplus labour/population produced beyond capacity of the capitalist mode of production to absorb it into the process of production.
In addition, the misery of social life in the Meddle East takes a logarithmic increase while capitalist control and dominance of the planet translated through an imperialistic militarism of US-Nato network to confront the rival network, Russia and China. Syrian War and displacement of half of its 20 million population shows barbarism in the nature of modern capitalist civilization. Tragically, the same imperialistic forces can utilize refugee issue for further imperialist achievements in both direction: Thus, the injustice of a war of aggression is criminal and responsible must answer the Syrian homeless and the history.
As history and reality shows, ruling/over classes use in the regional and /or Metropolitan/centre (Islamic)periphery to recruit, mobilise the mass (surplus) labour for political and ideological object; Islamist groups/organisation exploits masses (militarily / democratically) as canon food to finalize political object or projects.
In this context, vicious Nationalist/Anti-Islamist/(Islam) political forces apply their contour argument on surplus population for submitting a social Darwinian world view on the social-demographic equation linked to non solubility of the massive refugee / migrants problem in the existing world order: The logic of nationalist power play is simple: Let the nature take its course, that implies barbaric mechanisms of elimination ( starvation, wars ...) should be considered as rain and thunderstorms relationship.
Table 1: GDP Growth Rates by Country Groups, 1961-1997
Group: OECD SSA LA ESEA SoAsia NAME
1961-1971 5.2 4.2 4.9 6.7 4.3 8.5
1971-1980 3.5 3.8 4.2 7.2 3.4 6.8
1981-1989 2.9 2.5 1.1 5.7 5.1 3.3
1990-1997 2.4 2.0 3.9 5.6 4.5 3.5
average 3.6 3.1 3.5 6.4 4.4 5.6
1997-2006 2.8 4.1 4.2 6.0* 5.9 3.6
Notes: *The World Bank predicts a GDP growth rate for East and South East Asia of 7.6 percent per annum, and per capita as 6.6. This has been reduced to 6.0 for GDP and 4.5 for GDP per capita for two reasons: 1) the collapse of ESEA growth rates in 1997 and 1998 makes 7.6 an impossible target; and 2) the implied rate of population increase (one percent per annum) is certainly too low. North Africa and Middle East group covers 1993-1997. China excluded from Asia groups: (Centre for Development Policy & Research (CDPR) School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)
OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development, developed countries) - Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.
SSA (Africa south of the Sahara) – All continental countries south of the Sahara except Eritrea, Djibouti, Namibia, South Africa, Somalia
LA (Latin America) – All Spanish-speaking countries (except Cuba) and Brazil. ESE - Asia (East & Southeast Asia) – Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand
SoAsia (South Asia) – Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan
NAME (North Africa & the Middle East) – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Oman, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia
Source: World Development Indicators, CD-ROM (1961-1995), United Nations (1998), & World Bank (1997).
The Marx-Engels reader, 1978
Globalization and Inequality: Neoliberalism’s Downward Spiral, John Raple,2004
http://www.unhcr.org/Worldwide displacement hits all-time high as war and persecution increase
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, a PDF format
Iran Between Two Revolutions, Ervand Abrahamian, 1982
Imperialism and unequal development, Samir Amin, 1997
1- Planet of Slums, MIKE DAVIS, 2006
2- Capital Volume I, 451 Chapter 25: Progress Publishers, Moscow, USSR
3- Part of Swedish ruling elite ( Ex-prim minister Reinfeldt from Conservative party, Nya Moderaterna) considered the country as a 'humanitarian superpower'. Thus, the Swedish mini imperialist image that arises in the heads of its ruling class in relation to the 'humanitarian superpower' connection should be described as a megalomaniac. Reinfeldt as Neolibralist propagated for open border for free refugee/migrant flow to Sweden: Of course the idea is easy access to cheap labour supply (legal and illegal).
4- Aftonbladet, 2015-07-27: www.aftonbladet.se/
5- This has further complicated the situation in Syria that can now be termed as a proxy war. The rebels are being supplied by Western powers using Qatar and Saudi Arabia as intermediaries while Russia continues to back the Assad regime. Now, the Syrians have finally employed the support of Kurds on its side of the border, to be used against Turkey, from where most of the interference in Syria is believed to be occurring. The shape of emerging alliances is represented by NATO, Turkey and GCC countries on the one side, while Russia, China, Iran and Syria on the other. This is somewhat similar to how during World War I and II, Muslim regions and colonies were either allying with the Central or the Etente and the Axis or the Allied powers respectively
6- MB's collabouration with British, Nazi-Germany, feudal landowners in the region is well documented.
Khomeinism finalized shia-clergy community's historic move to maintain capital accumulation through fascistic( similar to current IS) control of social reproduction. The clergy community's well establish link and support to parts of over classes were well established and documented prior to Islamist take over of the political/state power in 1979.
Ironically, Islamism's emergence in Turkey has its roots in Secularised and 'modern' state machinery back in 1950s; The Democratic Party devised through the state mechanism first steps for Islamization of schools. The result is the AKP in power and with mini Islamist/imperialist role in the region.
7- CAPITALISM, SOCIALISM AND DEMOCRACY, Joseph Schumpeter, 2003
8- How the Cold War Ended: Debating and Doing History, John Prados, 2011:
Reagan's strategy for winning the Cold War by undermining the Soviet economy: The strategy included a military buildup, exports control and the Strategic Defense Initiative to convince the Soviets that they couldn't keep up economically and technologically.
At the same time, the U.S. conspired with Saudi Arabia to drive down the price of the Soviet's chief export - oil. More than half of Soviet export earnings came from oil sales to the West. "As the price of oil dropped, their hard currency earnings plummeted, and that was a major economic blow," Herbert Meyer, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council.
9- It was a fixed exchange rate system where exchange rate of national currencies against the US dollar was set. The monetary system regulated the fixed exchange rates of member countries of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the period from 1945-1971.