Will a capitalist economy deliver?
Prices rose without a corresponding increase in wages, weakening the purchasing power of the consumer. The prices of sugar, cement, steel, hardware, wheat, vegetables, groceries, poultry, dairy products, meat and other products have skyrocketed.
A significant part of the population saw a messiah in Imran Khan who would have the panacea for all their ills. With a magic wand, he lowered the prices and would make the country a land of milk and honey. But due to the astronomical rise in prices, dreams seem to have been shattered. However, to alleviate these frustrations, the mafias have been accused.
Mafia, mafia, mafia! The sugar mafia, the wheat mafia, the steel mafia, the oil mafia, the qabza mafia, this mafia and this mafia are accused of making the life of the public miserable. The obvious question is, what is government for? Where is the governance?
In response, we have simple solutions – the prime minister’s portal, the bachat bazaar, the langars, the dastarkhwan, the Ehsaas program, and surprise raids in the bazaars.
Giving more hope, the Prime Minister predicted that the new year would be a year of economic growth for Pakistan. Expressing his satisfaction, he said the country is already moving in the right direction with increasing industrial production. The construction industry was already booming, which was reflected in the surge in cement sales in the country. The textile industry was “producing at full capacity for the first time in many years” to such an extent that it had caused a shortage of labor in the sector. “Our exports are increasing relative to our competitors, so Pakistan is moving in the right direction.” The wealth that will then be generated will be used to eradicate poverty.
This could be true to some extent. But will economic growth alone guarantee distributive justice? Will there be a concentration of wealth in a few Pakistani families?
The Prime Minister and his team are heard praising Ayub Khan’s 10-year period as the golden age of economic development, but without realizing that this was not the natural growth of the class market in the capitalist mode of production but it was just emergence. crony capitalism, raised on licenses, vouchers and subsidies at the expense of poor peasants.
The phenomenon of this unbridled capitalism was nourished by the philosophy of social utility of greed and spread to ordinary man. The principle of laissez-faire remained the engine where the invisible hand would take care of the working masses. But neither the trickle down ever happened, nor the invisible hand took care of the oppressed. Only greed exceeded all proportions.
During this period, the policy of encouraging industrial concentration had two dimensions. Initially, in 1968, up to 22 families were born, which controlled the finances. They controlled 66% of industrial assets as well as banks and insurance companies. In the second case, the policy has had a negative impact on East Pakistan. In a reckless pursuit of growth, in terms of resource allocation, the selective regions and families of West Pakistan have been favored. Where the yield was much higher than that of East Pakistan, where due to a relatively less developed economic infrastructure and relatively uncertain political conditions, the expected yields were also much lower. In this operating system, the bigger fish ate the smaller ones. As a result, class divisions and regional disparities have widened.
It is in the very nature of capitalism to develop. The personal interest of the individual and of the class, the multiplication and maximization of profit are the considerations. Capital has no emotion, value, or norm. The exploitation of labor in the form of produced surplus value, called profit, is only the goal.
To arrive at an objective analysis, one should not cite isolated examples and data, but compare these data on the basis of the economic life of the entire population. Unequal distribution of wealth and unequal development – summed up as modern monopoly capitalism over a larger landscape – prove that monopolies and cartel wars are absolutely inevitable in such an economic system, as long as private ownership of the means of production exists. .
The gigantic growth of industry and the remarkably rapid concentration of production in increasingly large enterprises are fundamental characteristics of capitalism. This transformation of competition into a monopoly is one of the most important – if not the most important – phenomena of the modern capitalist economy.
According to Karl Marx, free competition gives rise to the concentration of production which, in turn, leads to monopoly at a certain stage of development. Cartels are another form of monopoly that lay the foundation for all economic life.
The cartels agree on the conditions of sale, payment dates, etc. They share the markets. They fix the quantity of goods to be produced. They set the prices. They distribute the profits among different companies etc.
Marx, based on his theory of historical materialism, says: “The ideas of the ruling class are, in every age, the dominant ideas. These ideas are seen as reflections of class interests and are related to the power structure, which is identified with the class structure.
Based on the economic foundation of a given society, such things as laws, moral codes, beliefs, art, government forms, and theories of philosophy are all tuned to protect the interests of the elite. leader. In this phenomenon, the superstructure operates towards an end. It provides the ruling class of society with the justification and rationalization of its position.
With all of this discussion, it’s safe to assume that expecting a change for the better from a cartel-dominated operating system is like living in a fool’s paradise. A capitalist economy in its present form will never deliver to the people. The masses can get rid of this exploitation by organizing themselves into workers ‘and peasants’ parties, representing their interests.
Posted in The Express Tribune, May 19e, 2021.