Concentration of capital - Warlaam Tcherkesoff

cover of concentration of capital

"A Marxian fallacy". Freedom Press pamphlet published 1911 - and largely disproved by subsequent events.

Submitted by Fozzie on October 21, 2023

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westartfromhere

9 months ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on October 22, 2023

It is evident, therefore, that the number of small capitalists, far from diminishing, is rapidly increasing. Where, then, has the action of this metaphysical German law of the expropriation of the greater number of capitalists by the smaller managed to hide itself? How does it happen that a law, acting, as Marx said, "with the absolute certainty of the metamorphoses of Nature," shows itself in real life by results of exactly the opposite sort?

Concentration of capital, Warlaam Tcherkesoff

Composition of the 2022 business population

The UK private sector comprises largely of non-employing businesses and small employers, as shown in Table A. SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) account for 99.9% of the business population. At the start of 2022:

- there were estimated to be 5.5 million UK private sector businesses
- 1.4 million of these had employees and 4.1 million had no employees
- therefore, 74% of businesses did not employ anyone aside from the owner(s)
- there were 5.47 million small businesses (with 0 to 49 employees), 99.2% of the total business population
- there were 35,900 medium-sized businesses (with 50 to 249 employees), 0.7% of the total business population
- a further 7,700 businesses were large businesses (with 250 or more employees), 0.1% of the total business population

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/business-population-estimates-2022

These figures do not refute the fact, not theory, that greater capital is concentrated in fewer hands. In 2022, in the UK, 74% of small businesses did not employ anyone other than the owner. If no one's labour is being exploited than the owner is not a capitalist. Of the private sector businesses that do have employees, what relevance does the number of these businesses relative to large capitals have to the class struggle? None that I can see. Employees of small capitals are just as likely, if not more, to have enmity towards their employer than those of large capitals.

My question is why is this codswallop still being added to the library of libcom.org?

Fozzie

9 months ago

Submitted by Fozzie on October 22, 2023

Because it gives us insight into the anarchist movement of 1911.

Fozzie

9 months ago

Submitted by Fozzie on October 22, 2023

For the avoidance of doubt I think it would be unwise for comrades in 2023 to base their analysis solely on this one pamphlet.

westartfromhere

9 months ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on October 22, 2023

This pamphlet directly contradicts economic reality in 2023, as in 1911. If untruth helps some to analyse the political economy that they are subject to than I suppose this text has some use.