I was sent this, an essay/review of Marini’s “Dialectics of Dependency”  by Andy Higgenbottom. I find it a tough read and one that requires a solid understanding of Capital, the Labour Theory of Value and surplus value, which I don’t have. Frankly this needs a reread, but I highlighted these, see below, notes for my diigo entry.

I say, as the summary, this is an essay by Andy Higgenbottom, the first paragraph is,

“The publication in English of Ruy Mauro Marini’s The Dialectics of Dependency, fifty years after its original release in Spanish, has been a long time coming. The work, which has now been released with an extensive introduction by Amanda Latimer, is among the most important contributions to Marxism in the second half of the twentieth century and is, if anything, even more relevant today. Marini’s thought was directed at the fight for socialism in Latin America. His pathbreaking analysis argued for the necessity of emancipating the working class through revolution and acting against, not in alliance with, the bourgeoisie. He analysed the state of capitalism in Latin America, with its distinct characteristics of underdevelopment and a different relationship to the world system of capitalism than Western Europe and the United States. Marini positioned his argument for socialism in the dependency paradigm, by which he understood that the capitalist underdevelopment of Latin America contributes to the development of the imperialist economies. The dependency relationship is expressed as the transfer of value from the poor, subordinated countries to the rich, dominating countries.”

The following paragraphs, come from the essay. Firstly,

Labour superexploitation conceptually captures the real condition of the working class in Latin America. It involves three elements: low wages, long hours, and intense work to the point of exhaustion. Above all, it is characterized by “the greater exploitation of the worker’s physical strength, as opposed to the exploitation resulting from increasing his productivity, and tends normally to be expressed in the fact that labour power is remunerated below its real value.”

The three methods of increasing surplus value that Marx considers in some detail separately and in combination, that is, increasing the duration of labour, the productivity of labour, and the intensity of labour, become, in Marini’s theorization, four methods of increasing surplus value, with the inclusion of remuneration below the value of labour power. Marx shows time and again that the drive of capital to increase surplus value, to go beyond a given degree of exploitation, includes reducing wages. But he does not give this theoretical expression the form of a given concept. It is this that the legacy of Marini’s breakthrough puts firmly back on the table.

Marx concentrated on England, the epicentre of capitalist development, it came to his successors to identify the means by which capitalism imposed its relations of production on the rest of the world, creating sources of raw materials for the capitalist economies.

The move to relative surplus value methods in England was made possible by large-scale labor superexploitation in Latin America (and in India, Africa, and so on).

We argue that the reduction of wages below the value of labour power is part of the general analysis of capital and must therefore be included at all relevant levels of abstraction, starting from the elaboration of surplus value. To relegate the experience of the oppressed sections of the working class to a lower level than that claimed for the working class as a whole is a political as well as theoretical mistake, which in the end can be used as a defence of its most privileged layers. It is a way of blunting Marini’s edge, a bridge into assimilation by Eurocentric Marxism, just at the moment when we need to build the bridge on different terms, effectively starting in the opposite direction and building on the new foundations laid by Marini. The Marxist labour theory of value has to catch up with the reality of structural divisions in the world working class or it will wither and die.

In summary, super-exploitation exists, it’s a new, or newly recognised form of capitalist appropriation of surplus value, it’s varied implementation around the world is part of capitalism and a means by which the English aristocracy of labour were bribed and the growth of the non-English proletariat suppressed. Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains but the definition of workers must be inclusive.

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