Historian Andrey Fursov spoke about the nature of capitalism and what the world expects in the nearest future on the air of the YouTube channel “And the Gram stroke”.
“The 30 years that have passed since the destruction of the Soviet Union have ended. These years were actually the beginning of the crisis of the capitalist system.
I remember when I spoke at Columbia University in 1990, one of our emigrants very joyfully said: “Don’t you think the bell is ringing on communism?” To which I replied to this person with lines from John Donne, which Hemingway used as an epigraph: “Don’t ask who the bell tolls, he calls you.”
The destruction of communism marked the beginning of the destruction of the capitalist system. What is a communist system? It was a systemic anti-capitalism. It was a weak link.
Please note: in 1917, Russia collapsed as a weak link in such semi-capitalism, it was a structural crisis of the capitalist system, but now it is systemic, terminal. And, of course, the weak link, the socialist camp, broke.
For some 10-15 years, this solved the problems of the West. In the last three years of Clinton’s reign, the United States had a budget surplus, this happened for the first time in 30 years. And this was the result of a robbery by the West, above all, by the United States of America, the former socialist camp and, above all, Russia.
But, as the ancient Romans said: Nihil dat fortuna mancipio – «fate gives nothing forever.»
The crisis was postponed for 15 years, and in 2008 he shied away so that little seemed, and he was flooded with money. Moreover, for three to four years, it was flooded with an amount of about 2.3 – 3 trillion dollars.
So: in the month of the so-called Covid-19 crisis, in total China, the USA and the European Union have already poured $ 5 trillion to save the system. But in fact, this emission completely destroys the capitalist system.
We are now fixated on the coronavirus in the same way as in the USSR in the 1980s, we were fixated on perestroika, and at that time there was a global perestroika. What Gorbachev and his comrades did was an element of global restructuring.
The same thing is happening now. The most serious global restructuring of world processes. Moreover, Russia and the EU are weak links. The main events unfold, naturally, in the USA.
As for the sustainability of capitalism as a system. Capitalism took shape around the middle of the 18th century. And before our eyes he dies.
A stable system was the ancient slave system, it lasted one and a half thousand years.
Feudalism was not a stable system; it was a very dynamic system. In contrast to the figures of the Enlightenment and the Renaissance, feudalism, in the Marxist language, was an absolutely revolutionary mode of production.
But the most stable were Asian systems – caste Indian and clan Chinese.
But capitalism lasted 2, 5 centuries and is already breathing in the air.
Money, as you know, has five functions. Already in the 1970s, half of these functions, more precisely, three, that is, most, no longer functioned. What we today call habitually money is not money.
To slap 5 trillion dollars in 4 months is not money. Money is something else.
As for the goods. As you know, a product is determined by the labor invested in it. Time labor and spent materials. And that also doesn’t work anymore.
In our Soviet Union, the study of capitalism ended in the mid-1950s, then they began to transfer Communists, leftists, neo-liberal punks like Popper and Hayek, but they did not study the realist capitalist system.
And only in the last ten years – moreover, it somehow coincided with the anniversary dates according to Marx, as the crisis worsened, they returned to the real study of capitalism.
Well, it’s on the principle that “the owl of Minerva flies out at dusk.” That is: capitalism is leaving and it is starting understand.
By the way, capitalism lasted for such a short period precisely because of its dynamism; it quickly ate its time. The capsystem was really fantastically dynamic.
But just like the ancient slave system, it was an extensively oriented system.
Expressed in the language of physics and cybernetics, capitalism as a system increased its organization by increasing entropy, that is, by destroying the environment.
And for the normal functioning of the capitalist system, a non-capitalist periphery was needed.
Each time the world rate of profit decreased, capitalism grabbed a piece from the non-capitalist zone and turned it into a capitalist periphery, that is, into a zone of cheap labor and cheap raw materials.
In 1991, the USSR collapsed and quasi-capitalism appeared in China, as a result of the efforts of Deng Xiaoping and the British financial aristocracy.
That’s it: the non-capitalist zone is over. Capitalism has nowhere to dump its contradictions.
Some say: well, excellent, capitalism will now turn from an extensive system into an intensive one, will grow inward and exploit its strata.
Partly it is. Since the mid-1970s, the middle layer and the top of the working class have been systematically destroyed in the capitalist system.
But the fact is that in the capitalist system there are capital constraints: this is the state, politics, education and civil society.
Please note that since the mid-1970s, all this has been destroyed or dismantled.
Capital existed before capitalism and will exist after it.
Capitalism is a complex institutional system that ensures capital expansion in space and limits it in its long-term interests.
Look what has happened since the mid-1970s, when commissioned by the tripartite commission, three people, including the famous Huntington, wrote the report “The Democracy Crisis”.
Since then, education has been dismantled, civil society has shrunk, the state has become a combination of an administrative system and show business.
Anglo-Saxons have a good term: fading away of nation state, meaning that the national state is melting before our eyes.
In short, all those institutions that limited capital have left. And capital eats society. But eating this society, it eats capitalism as well.
The fact is that in the current situation the paths of capital and capitalism have diverged.
Kaptal destroys capitalist society, this is a paradox – and creates something else.
By the way, Jacques Attali wrote about this in his book A Brief History of the Future. He is a shrewd person and, in addition, unlike scientists who work within the framework of professorial profane science and think that their theory is reality, Attali is a practical person.
He was the director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, he has advantages over a profession that lives, in general, to a large extent, in an invented world.
So, Attali said that the market and democracy are collapsing, and good. And in their place there is a global distribution economy, where the dominant layer controls the resources and behavior of people.
This is postcapitalism
Only he looks very, very unpleasant. Like any new system.
Capitalism, which arose after the destruction of feudalism and which was applauded by Marxists and liberals, was a social hell for 200 years.
The French historian Fernand Braudel even wrote on this subject: “Was it possible to break out of this social hell?” And he answered: «Alone, no.» People pulled out in packs.
Moreover, mainly on a criminal basis. And this criminal basis, by the way, became the basis of the new social system.
And this is what is happening now. Criminalization of the global economy. In this form, a fundamentally new economy is born.
Look at what the modern global economy is based on: the arms trade is 70% illegal, that is, criminal in nature; oil – by 30%; trade in gold and precious metals – also 70 percent illegal; by the way, prostitution and porn business, in which 4% of the world population are engaged, is the same. And finally, drug trafficking.
50% of world banks exist at the expense of lending to drug trafficking, because it provides liquidity. Moreover, as experts in drug trafficking say, there is a very clear division of labor.
So, for example, Anglo-American banks sponsor the heroin flow. The Vatican Bank and the associated banks of Scotland and Spain are cocaine, well, the Germans are artificial drugs.
In this form – in the form of crime – a fundamentally new society is born. And if a global catastrophe does not happen, for the first hundred years it will have the same criminal character as early capitalism. ”