WW3

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vicent
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Apr 1 2014 10:11
WW3

If I understood correctly, capitalism requires constant primitive accumulation 'externalising/looting' to compensate for its own self destructive dynamics, hence Rosa Luxemburg's 'Socialism or barbarism'. Does this mean states must increase their imperialism to survive? Which means a WW3 / nuclear holocoust is inevitable?

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boozemonarchy
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Apr 2 2014 15:25

I think dirty little wars with small countries, started by big states, has been shown to be the preferred course of action.

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Steven.
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Apr 1 2014 13:10

In short, no.

What evidence is there supporting it? Basically, none, and there is plenty of conflicting evidence (such as the massive amount of growth since 1945, with no further world wars etc).

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WordShaker
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Apr 1 2014 15:20
vicent wrote:
If I understood correctly, capitalism requires constant primitive accumulation 'externalising/looting' to compensate for its own self destructive dynamics, hence Rosa Luxemburg's 'Socialism or barbarism'. Does this mean states must increase their imperialism to survive? Which means a WW3 / nuclear holocoust is inevitable?

IIRC, Luxembourg's analysis, while quite useful in other areas, claimed that capitalism required this externalizing tendency because she saw no other way to absorb the capitalist surplus simply between capitalist consumption and working class consumption. She missed that capitalist investment i.e. claims on future profit also counted as demand/consumption, absorbing the surplus, and that the surplus did not have to be absorbed all at once. A short discussion on this can be located here, by Paul Mattick:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/mattick-paul/1978/luxemburg.htm

The "self-destructive dynamics" your talking about are more about the tendency of the rate of profit to fall caused by the necessity of continuous surplus value accumulation, which tends to have capitalists invest in cost-saving technology. What this leads to is on one hand a fall in the rate of profit--and total profit = total surplus-value--and on the other an increase in the costs of further investment and capital. Generally, crisis occurs when the fall in the rate of profit means that capitalists can no longer invest further in technology, which leads to a failure in surplus-value production, withdrawal of lending, that kind of thing. This, however, is a temporary condition: crisis tends to restore profitability by destroying old capitals by devaluation, physical destruction, etc. This reduces the cost of investment and restarts the cycle of surplus-value production.

This occurs just fine without the need for imperialism. Imperialism of all sorts occurs for political economic reasons, but WW3 is certainly not inevitable, at least not for reasons of primitive accumulation.

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cresspot
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Apr 1 2014 18:58
vicent wrote:
Does this mean states must increase their imperialism to survive?

We aren't making enough money. Increase the imperialism!

teh
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Apr 1 2014 21:15
Steven. wrote:
In short, no.

What evidence is there supporting it? Basically, none, and there is plenty of conflicting evidence (such as the massive amount of growth since 1945, with no further world wars etc).

But the destruction of WWII was a lot more significant than the one in WWI; It even led to the collapse of the colonial system. And after the collapse of the post war economic boom in the late 60's the situation has been gradually getting worse with each new crisis. How can they overcome this besides imperialism- which leads to wars-?

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Agent of the In...
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Apr 1 2014 22:42

Marxian economist Michael Roberts believes the next crisis will be large and deep enough to provide for sufficient capital destruction/devaluation to restore profitability. He says it might come around this year or 2015. It usually does so when mass profits fall.