lundi 26 juin 2000, par Maison Populaire de Genève
In 1917, in his seminal work on imperialism, Lenin proclaimed “the final victory of finance capital.” Decades later, in 1994, eminent American Marxist Paul Sweezy, expounding the worldwide ascendancy of finance capital, traced the full realization of its ultimate triumph into the 1980s and 1990s. By the “victory of finance capital” both men meant the international domination of a mode of accumulation which is, to a large degree, divorced from production paving way for a decaying parasitism with inherent destructiveness. Here, within the framework of intra- and inter-capital relationships, strategic choices are determined by the financial oligopoly due to the pivotal place it occupies in the hierarchical structure, and in the decision-making process, of the capitalist economy.
Between the first and the present stages of the dominance of finance capital (between Lenin’s “final victory” and Sweezy’s “ultimate triumph”) there lies the changed patterns of internationalization of capital and international division of labor, changed correlation of forces on the world scale, different modes of concentration, centralization and accumulation processes, technological breakthroughs, all sorts of armed conflicts, divergent world orders, etc., i.e., the entire history of imperialism to date. In the first phase of this process, financial capital began dominating industrial capital, albeit at a level of subordination to industrial production. In the course of the twentieth century it moved to a stage where its dissociation from production for human need reached such a point that, today, it “inevitably becomes speculative capital geared solely to its own self-expansion.” So, as Sweezy wrote, “What happened a hundred years ago set the stage...but fell short of that outcome.”
"Written in 1995, this article was later distributed in "Geneva Alternative Summit 2000" which was organized by various NGO’s as an alternative to the UN Special Session "Geneva 2000-The Next Step In Social Development." It was distributed on behalf of “ Cenevre Halkevi “(Maison Populaire de Geneve) "