Contemporary Political Economy and the Bolivarian Revolution


Certainly, critique of political economy is no more on the order of the day. In many of our reports of current world events, also in the analysis of the current situation in Venezuela, very seldom we grasp the inherent problems at their very roots. However, without its revolutionary tenets, it is well-nigh impossible to fathom the current global essence of the Bolivarian Revolution in Latin America.

In the same way that we thank archaic hieroglyphics for having originated the modern American language, similarly, we have to be grateful to Adam Smith's national economy which did generate the "invisible hand", the "good capitalism" of current, savage, corporate "neo-liberalism". CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL ECONOMY

Even more so, historic revolutionary gratitude to Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Bucharin, Kautsky, Hilferding and Mandel that today we can enjoy and bring "up-to-date" “obsolete” political economy and economic politics; thus, giving us the scientific, philosophic tools to analyse precisely the real, true, current grimace of contemporary global fascism: its impact on Venezuela, and why Venezuela permanently finds itself in the shadow of the hovering fascist Sword of Damocles, of a threatening coup d'etat.

Just to give an example, apart from predicting the current global barbarism already a century-and-a-half ago, in Capital Marx inter alia explained the tendential developmental laws of capitalism as follows:

  1. the concentration, monopolization and centralization of capital;
  2. the progressive proletarianization of the working population;
  3. the growth in the dualistic organic composition of constant and variable capital — the former gets more complex, computers, etc.; the latter alone produces surplus value, capital;
  4. the global tendency of the average rate of profit to decline;
  5. and, the global objective socialization of production.
Globally, the above "facts" stare at us in our very faces; here, it is not necessary to produce any statistics or concrete verification; "believe" it or not, historically, on all scores, thanks to the enlightenment of Hegelian philosophy, of British industrial revolutionary national economics, of French socialist politics and the peasant "Theology of Revolution" of Thomas Muenzer,  Marx got “A” grades, a place of honour in Science and of distinction in Philosophy. Any serious thinker could just check the "international division of labour", the world market, analyse the global exports and imports, see who produces over 80% of global goods, which type of labour contributes the lion's share, what are the figures of participation of Africa, Asia or Latin America, that is, scrutinize the economic and political power map, just study the about 14 families who control the world economy, and then evaluate the misery, poverty and health of over 5 billion (including those of Venezuela and Latin America) already obsolete, physical labour forces.

Urgently a study of history and class consciousness, of political economy, of the class struggle, of real, true Marxism, is necessary to accelerate the Bolivarian Revolution towards other invincible heights of emancipatory excellence. A virulent "class struggle", in reality, as Lula already indicated, a "class war" wages internationally, nationally, regionally and locally, yet we cover them up with ideological concepts like the "children of God", "Catholics", "human beings", the "people", the "sovereign", etc. Having understood and clarified the revolutionary implications of the above deliberations, only then, the Bolivarian Revolution gets its true transhistoric perspective and clear revolutionary "warpath", its objectives of legitimate self-defence. As such, we can unveil the violent perversion, capital criminality, reckless murder, heinous sabotage, pharasaic religious "golpismo", inhuman bestiality of the so-called "opposition" in Venezuela, of "democracy" in the USA and other metropolitan countries.

 Concerning Marx's "prediction" No. 1, Corporate America proves his "prophecy" to thevery hilt; with reference to No. 2, one must be as blind as an Orwellian zombie not to see the progressive, geometric growth of pauperization of more than 80% of the world's physical working population, especially in the Mideast, Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Oceania.

 To comprehend Nos. 3 & 5, a simple study of the relations of physical and intellectual labour, of social property and production today, will reveal what Marx in his wildest dreams could not have imagined, the mode of capitalist production has become a mode of destruction, of global, planetary destruction, leaving nothing to construct socialism or communism. No. 4, where are the good old days when the Dutch East India Company annually was still making 500% profits? These days, a corporation has to be happy if the world average rate is 10%; in any case, in Corporate America, with a trillion budget deficit and trillions of foreign debt and with a sick US $, suffering from chronic depreciating leprosy, profit-making itself is fading away.

Consequently, why the current "new wars" of the USA, the depression, recession, energy crisis, the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, the threats against Libya and North Korea, the invasion plans against Cuba and Venezuela, the planned conquest of Latin America?

In the USA, “at the macro level, figures show that since 1997 profits as a proportion of GDP have steadily declined.” (Nick  Beams, see his articles at: Also: “According to the US economist Fred Moseley, the rate of profit fell from 22 percent in the late 1940s to 12 percent in the mid-1970s - a decline of almost 50 percent.” Thus, the rate of decline of profits is at the same time the decline of capital accumulation, the demise of the system itself. (See: [Capital, Volume III, Marx, pp. 253-254]

 Hence, really, on what is the current US $ based? “With imports exceeding exports by about one third, the US has been running a balance of payments deficit of more than 4 percent of gross domestic product, requiring a foreign capital inflow of more than $1 billion a day to finance it.” (Beams)

 What is happening with the $US currency vis-a-vis the Euro? It takes on “Third World” dimensions, “long-time Australian economics analyst Max Walsh commented in an article in the Bulletin magazine of June 4 that while the US dollar was anywhere between 15 and 30 percent overvalued ....” (Beams).

 Of course, this all, including the corrupt Enron collapse, can only be understood “by examining it within the context of the historical development of the capitalist economy, in particular the post-World War II period.” (Beams). After enjoying a “boom”, in the last 25 years, starting with the global recession of 1974-75, profit rates are estimated to be around half what they were in the earlier period, living standards have remained stagnant or even declined and unemployment has been higher.” (Beams) The politico-economic-social essence, the Damocles Sword hovering above the fascist global system, he described as follows: “Under this system, production is not carried out to increase social wealth or meet social needs, but to expand capital through the accumulation of profit. This process takes place from capitalism’s birth until its death. The crucial issue, which determines its state of health in any period, is the rate at which this accumulation occurs.

That is, in the final analysis, the ‘breathing’ of the capitalist economy, the business cycle, expresses the rate at which this accumulation, indicated by the rate of profit, is taking place.” Concerning the tendential laws mentioned above, and the problems of manual and intellectual labour today, Beams explains: “this increase in the productivity of labour has a contradictory impact on the rate of profit. To the extent that increased labour productivity drives labour out of the process of production it tends to lessen the mass of surplus value and depress the profit rate. However, to the extent that increased labour productivity enables increased extraction of surplus value from those workers remaining in the production process, it tends to increase the mass of surplus value, leading to expanded capital accumulation.”

Finally, labour production, capitalist production is approximating its limits, its omega of concentration and expansion. The brutal subordination of the production of Croesusean wealth to the extraction of private profit has now reached such an advanced, corrupt state of decay that “democratic” electoral fraud and reckless deception have become its fascist global, militarized modus operandi. Examples of this progressive "democratic" decomposition are the fraudulent Florida elections that cast Bush into power, when "the loser took it all", the current fraudulent signatures of the Venezuelan "opposition" in the recall referendum against President Chávez, and, in all probability, it again will become the rule in the coming presidential elections in the USA itself.

User login


About Franz J.T. Lee

Personal Website

Currently, as Professor Titular, I am living in Mérida, Venezuela, lecturing at the University of The Andes, and in the Post-Graduate Department of Political Science. I am the Director of Investigation of the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Sociales de América Latina (CEPSAL), Co-Editor of its Revista de las Cienxias Políticas.