Global Hegemony in Our Time: The Rise of China

David Harvey interviewed by Haris Golemis for the Transform!Europe 2020 Yearbook

This article is part of the Transform!Europe 2020 Yearbook.

Haris Golemis: Entering the second decade of the 21st century, it looks as if the struggle for global hegemony is a game between three players: the US, Russia, and China. The European Union not only has failed to develop into a world power but is even at risk of dismantlement, especially after Brexit. However, a significant part of the rivalry amongst the three challengers has to do with Europe. First, in terms of aggressive geopolitics that involves US and Russia: in the Ukraine and the Crimea, in the Balkans (the expansion of NATO in North Macedonia, the Serbia-Kosovo border change, Turkey’s purchase of the S400 Russian missile system, etc). Second, in the economic field where China is recently playing a very important role in the framework of its Belt and Road Initiative. Here, what comes spontaneously to my mind is the acquisition of the big former state-owned Greek Port of Piraeus by the China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco), investments in public utilities and land in many countries of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, China’s aggressive trade policy mainly in the electronics sector (with Huawei considered a ‘security threat’ for the US), and possibly other cases which escape me now. Would you describe this situation as a clash of imperialisms?

David Harvey: Let me begin with Russia, which I don’t see in the same way as I see China. I think Russia is in a condition where it can create a lot of mischief in world politics and do a little damage. Of course, it is an oil exporting state, it has the oil curse, and because of this it may have some very limited global economic interests, but I actually don’t see it as a big challenger for hegemony in the way that I see that China is.

There is, by the way, a very interesting, probably well-known, story about China and Russia that refers to the beginning of the financial crisis. At that time three big institutions in the United States, the two housing centres, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were the storehouse of all mortgages in the US, and AIG, the company that insured all these mortgages, were threatened with bankruptcy. But everybody understood that they would be guaranteed by the US state, particularly Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and in fact this is what happened.

The US state and private institutions were pumping up the bond market making sure they wouldn’t go bankrupt. There was a dual political angle to this: the two biggest holders of the bonds of the two big housing centres were China and Russia. Then, at a certain point Russia apparently approached China and said ‘Let’s sell all of our bonds and crash that market’. The Chinese government refused.

The reason for this refusal was that China was already suffering a lot from the collapse of the US consumer market and the move that the Russians were proposing would have crashed this market even further. Russia, on the other hand, wasn’t selling anything to the US consumer market, so it didn’t care about the consequences of the damage to the US economy that their proposal would entail.

The other thing was that if the market was crashed the turmoil would have spread to the US treasury market – which again was, and still is, heavily invested by the Chinese. This story illustrates the point that China has interests that are connected to the global economy in far more ways than Russia. Russia will play around on the edges of NATO causing some difficulties to it with interventions like those in Syria and the Ukraine.

Personally, I don’t see a Russian strategy to destroy the North Atlantic Alliance really succeeding, even though Donald Trump is doing his best to support it. I don’t like NATO. I can even hope that Trump succeeds in some ways, but I think that it is still the centre of imperialist military power, and how this is deployed is very much a kind of European-US collaboration. Of course it is really difficult right now, but if Trump is a temporary phenomenon – and I believe he is – and the mainstream of US military and other American institutions continue to be pro-NATO, they will try to bring the EuroAtlantic Partnership back.

So, Europe is not powerless. I think that even in the event of a break-up of the European Union and a disappearance of the euro, with a stable NATO as a central military instrument, the power of the First World will stay intact.

HG: So do you count Europe as a complement to the US?

DH: I think with NATO the US and the EU are complements, and jointly they are the West. The US situation is very interesting. Back in the 1970s, the US could handle a big crisis on its own and could effectively do what it wanted to do, but since the 1980s it realised that economically it could not go it alone. So when the crisis hit, in 2008, the US took the initiative to call a meeting first of the G7, and then of the G20. In doing this it managed to mobilise all the pro-capitalist forces throughout the world for the stabilisation of the world economy. However, in these meetings Obama was essentially isolated, and the US was not in a position to impose its will; the Germans said ‘no, we are not going to do this’, the Brazilians said ‘no, we are not going to do that’, etc.

Furthermore, since 2000 the economic growth in China has been so spectacular that now in terms of purchasing power parity China is the largest economy in the world, bigger than the United States. So, you are dealing now with a macro-power and this power has been extended in two ways. First, through the flow of Chinese surplus capital across the world and the establishing of bridgeheads like ports in Greece, Myanmar and Pakistan, plus other investments in East Africa and Latin America. This is an interesting moment where China is becoming a serious challenger in terms of the export of capital. Since, as Lenin pointed out a long time ago, capital export is one of the signs of imperialist activities, you can say that the Chinese are moving into imperialist type strategies. The second way China extends its global economic power is through its exports of high technology products to the markets of the West. China is now way ahead in many areas. You mentioned Huawei, a company that hardly existed fifteen years ago, but now it’s got by far the best technological mix for the 5G technologies. The US is trying to hold it back on security grounds, but many European countries are now seeing that this is a bogus argument the US is making for economic reasons.

HG: Regarding investments in Latin America, I would like your view particularly in terms of Ecuador, which you know well, having collaborated with Centro Nacional de Estrategia para el Derecho al Territorio (National Strategy Centre for the Right to Territory – CENEDET) in Quito, in 2014. 

DH: Yes, there are huge investments there. China almost dominates Ecuador, following Rafael Correa’s choice to try getting out of the US corner. In fact that was a choice between two imperialisms. I don’t know if this was a good idea, but we can discuss it later.

HG: Could we say that China exerts a policy friendly to the Third World? The late Samir Amin, a fervent anti-imperialist as we know, in an interview in the 2018 transform yearbook, was really supportive of China’s international economic policy, arguing that in its foreign aid and loans it doesn’t impose conditionalities, as the IMF, the World Bank, and some other major Western countries do. 

DH: Well, be careful about that. I don’t think that experience on the ground in Africa supports Amin’s position. My own general impression is that Chinese investments are seen in many parts of Africa as another kind of imperialism. I think the way China is engaged in what we call land grabbing, i.e., getting resources and land in Africa, is widespread, and you can say that this is a kind of colonial practice. 

In Latin America I would say that probably the attitude is a bit closer to what Amin says. China has surplus capital that can be used for projects that Latin American states cannot fund themselves. So there is some sort of partnership. However, this partnership can turn sour very easily, and to a degree I would say that Chinese activity in Ecuador was not proven anywhere near as beneficial as the Ecuadorians had hoped. There was a hydroelectric project, a huge dam, that was built, but it was badly built. There were also other problems and conflicts. 

For example, the Chinese brought their own workers into a country that has surplus labour, and there were a lot of tensions around that issue. Furthermore, when the oil price fell Ecuador had to borrow money from China and in return it had to give it access to the country’s mineral resources. These resources were often in indigenous lands, and the Ecuadorian government had to send the military there to displace indigenous populations in order to make way for the Chinese mining. 

There’s a tale being told which is not so benevolent. We must note that the Chinese export of capital follows a known pattern. In Japan in the 1960s, South Korea at the end of the 70s, and Taiwan around 1982 there was initially a capital surplus which for a while was absorbed in the national economy, and then fled outwards. China had almost no direct foreign investment going out in 2000, but now there is an irreversible flood of this, both private and state sponsored. 

Privately, a lot of middle class Chinese are trying to get assets out of the country and so they are buying property in Melbourne, Vancouver, London or Athens. I don’t know the long-term impact of this wave of Chinese private and public capital trying to secure an economic base somewhere in the world, but what I would say is that China poses a serious problem to US hegemony right now economically, and it’s beginning to do so a little bit militarily, which also includes its space strategy. 

There is a lot of the space surveillance capacity that is coming out of artificial intelligence, and China is probably way ahead in this area. The US is going crazy about the stealing of intellectual property rights. My view is that they decided to stop that ten years too late, and the Chinese have basically stolen everything they really need, so that now they’ve got their own innovation stream. I don’t think the US is really going to be able to stop the push. China is also way ahead in some other areas, like renewable energy, science and technology etc, some of which are also supporting its military capacity. 

At the same time, the Chinese have been operating in areas where the US is not militarily very able to do anything. In Central Asia, for example, China is heavily involved in building new cities on the Silk Road, trying to consolidate the train routes to Europe, like the one between Chongqing and Duisburg in Germany. I don’t see what the US can really do about that. They can’t do much. 

HG: Your view is that the conflict for world hegemony is between China and the US. However, in order to prevail at the global level contenders have first to gain hegemony within their own states. According to Gramsci, this can be attained through both persuasion and coercion. What does that mean for labour and democracy? 

DH: Obviously the labour question is always central in the West from a left perspective, and it should be. However, my own feeling is that it is not being very well approached by the left. There is a tendency to say ‘Well, all labour is precarious. The trade unions are no longer as powerful as they used to be in the past’. 

HG: We, in the transform! Yearbook, don’t agree with this view. In fact, in our last edition we had three articles referring to the importance of trade unions and to some big and successful struggles they recently organised both in the US and in Europe. 

DH: That’s good. In China now there is a vast workforce that could turn into a strong working-class movement. Over the last thirty or forty years, there has been a huge transfer of a big part of the peasant population from the countryside into the cities. I don’t have the exact figures, but the people who moved were certainly above 500 million. 

There was and still is a big distinction between these migrant workers and the traditional registered working class which already lived in the cities, a kind of dual citizenship situation where the former have not been given full civil rights, for example in terms of access to education. When some time ago I talked to some of them they denied that they were working class. ‘We are not workers’, they said, ‘We are the migrants’. 

Now, this is changing, and they are beginning to see themselves as workers. They are undergoing a transformation from ‘class in itself’ to ‘class for itself’, according to Marx’s distinction. The other thing that is very peculiar about China is the degree of decentralisation that exists in a highly centralised economy. Because of this there is a tendency for class struggle to be bottled up in neighbourhoods. 

So, the idea that there is a mass class struggle in China is completely fractured by the fact that almost every city – even local branches of the Communist Party – has its own way of doing things. Workers, when they are in a struggle, don’t fight against the central government but against the local politicians who they basically see as corrupt, as doing capital’s bidding. If you ask them what they think about the central government they say ‘it is on our side’. So, class struggle in a sense doesn’t go global right now in China, but one can see elements of this beginning to creep in, mainly because students have recently tried to build an alliance with a number of the workers’ movements. 

Some of the Marxist Studies groups in Universities are now actually going down to Southern China to support workers’ movements there. The central government is getting very nervous about this, and local authorities arrest them and throw them in jail. There’s a lot of turmoil on the ground. 

HG: When you say central government, you mean the Communist Party? 

DH: The Communist Party, yes. Now, I think that what is going to happen in terms of this class struggle that is emerging in China will be determinative for world history, because this country is the workshop of the world. One thing that’s beginning to happen in many parts of Southern China is that wages have gone up during the last ten years by about threefold, and at the same time workers’ rights are becoming an issue. Due to the labour situation big capital is now going offshore to Thailand and Cambodia. Another issue is that because of its low fertility rate China is expected to face a very serious demographic problem with a very rapidly ageing population. It’s a very interesting sort of dynamic going on now in China, and one of the reasons I think we should concentrate on this is because what happens there is going to have a huge impact on what happens everywhere else in the globe. Am I optimistic about it? I don’t know. But there are things going on there. 

HG: You said that Chinese big capital is going offshore. Could this create problems for the country’s economy? 

DH: To begin with, we must be aware that some of the big corporations operating in China are foreign. Foxconn, for example, is Taiwanese and has branches in Africa already, while it is setting up one even in Wisconsin. Shenzen in China is a Foxconn city with hundreds of thousands of workers, some say 400,000, some others 250,000. This factory system produces about 60% of all electronic products in the world. Terry Gou, its founder and Chairman, resigned from his position in June 2019 in order to run for the 2020 Taiwanese presidential elections. 

It is very difficult for the Chinese government to deal with this issue, especially in a situation where the US treats China as a kind of terrorist country. If it does not comply with Foxconn’s will, the company can stop producing in China and transfer its production facilities to, say, Thailand. 

The problem is that a relocation of the factory to Thailand or another country will create a big employment problem in China, something that officials of the Communist Party want to avoid at any cost due to the political situation. On top of people demonstrating for political reasons, they don’t want to have surplus labour wandering around with nowhere to go and nothing to do. 

There is a revolutionary tradition in China, as Giovanni Arrighi was always pointing out. And one of the reasons that the government launched this huge investment project in 2008 was to mop up surplus labour and put everybody to work as fast as possible. In fact, they did a fantastic job in this field. 

So, if Foxconn suddenly decides not to produce in China anymore, or go to artificial intelligence and automation, there will be a reduction of its labour force by 400,000. Actually, in China, it employs 1.5 million people now. If it automates its production and reduces that number to half a million people, the government has to find a way to absorb a million people into the labour force. How is it going to do that? The future of labour in China is very tense right now. 

HG: In this clash of imperialisms, how important is the issue of ideology? The US’ ideology is essentially the capitalist ‘American Dream’, coupled with the nationalist slogan ‘America first’, which is not only a Trump priority. What about the Communist Party in China? I don’t think that it is playing the nationalist card, since nationalism is not part of Chinese culture. Am I right? 

DH: This is very hard to tell. You listen to a speech by Xi on the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birthday and you feel that they are dedicated to the tradition which starts with Marx and goes through Lenin and Mao and Deng Xiaoping. Most people in the West don’t take this seriously, but I think that there is a very serious element in this, related to the commitment of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to eliminate poverty. 

In 1980, the World Bank estimated that something like 740 million people in China were living in conditions of absolute poverty. Now this figure is down to about 60 million people. So over the last thirty or forty years, the CPC managed to get over 700 million people out of poverty. This is an astonishing performance. And Xi is now saying that poverty will be eliminated by 2020. Since most of existing poverty is in residual rural areas, the CPC is sending around 600,000 students and 100,000 party officials there to help people upgrade their skills and their possibilities. Here is an economy which is expert in producing poverty, and there is Xi saying that they are going to eliminate it. You have to take them very seriously when they say things like this. They don’t mess around. 

It is true that the system is very authoritarian and no democracy whatsoever exists, but they say that they are too busy trying to develop their country and eliminate poverty to take any notice of all this ‘democratic nonsense’, and that anyway what we in the West call democracy is in fact the democracy of the power of money, of class privilege and so on. Obviously, the Chinese system has got problems of corruption and Xi is trying to eliminate it. He is trying to return the whole party and governmental apparatus to a kind of Confucian ethics, in which public officials are ethically bound not to scam the system. There is a real attempt going on and I do take it ideologically seriously. 

Having joined the global economy they know that they have to obey the laws of motion of capital and the coercive laws of competition which force them to do certain things. For them that’s the price for getting what they want. So when Deng came to power he looked over the situation and based his policy on Marx’s phrase that the world of freedom begins when the world of necessity is left behind. There were over 700 million people living under conditions of chronic necessity that had to be addressed through a rise in the productivity of labour. 

Well, the CPC had tried to do that by letting a ‘Hundred Flowers Bloom’ and the Cultural Revolution, but it didn’t work. So, they decided to follow another approach knowing that it would cost them something, but once they could get this increased productivity – which they’ve got now – they could use it for the wellbeing of the people. Xi is saying that now they have the possibility of actually getting rid of poverty in the countryside. 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a president in the United States saying that the country is going to absolutely get rid of all poverty in two years, and that he intended to mobilise all resources of society to do that? Summing up, I want to say that for all these reasons you cannot count China out. In the way they see it, they are actually providing a path towards the socialist future. In fact, they say they want to be fully socialist by 2050. 

HG: Do they say that their goal is socialism? 

DH: Yes, they say that they are fully socialists. They define socialism firstly as harmony with the environment. They know that they have to solve the environmental problems and that’s why they are way ahead with renewable energy. They also want to have social harmony, which means that they want to abolish class contradictions. They know that they have incredible social inequality right now, and that they have to do something about that. To serve their objectives they have a long-term plan. Now, their big problem is how they situate themselves in relation to the rest of the world. 

Recently, there has been a literature coming out saying that the Chinese are increasingly claiming they are not a nation, but a civilisation, the centre of civilised values. This has the result that they are trying to ‘re-educate’ all China’s Muslims including the Uyghurs, who are the majority of Muslims, by putting them in vast urban camps. I don’t know how this whole thing is going to work out, but I do dislike very much this imprisonment and ‘re-education’ which obviously is not going to go down well in China’s relationships with Islam. 

The party has also revitalised Buddhism, and when once I asked them why Buddhism they answered because it is not terribly political compared with all other religions. So they build temples around encouraging a Buddhist cultural revival, while at the same time they are being repressive towards Islam and Christianity and the like. This is one of the things in China which I find very problematic, and so I am not supporting the view that they are on a clear path. What I am saying is that we should pay very much attention to what’s happening there because we are going to be defined by it, whether we like it or not, and we ought to think of ways to respond creatively and constructively to what they are doing. 

HG: Some people say that the Chinese consider themselves not a nation but a civilisation. Does this mean that they have the same orientation as Islam, that is, do they want their civilisation to prevail in the world? And at another level do they have a systemic global hegemonic plan, as the US state and its ruling classes have for exporting their capitalist model? Mainly in Mao’s period, but also later, hegemony was a bad word for them, and I remember that in my student years in the 1970s Maoist groups were furious against US and Russian hegemony. And recently, Xi said that China ‘will never pursue hegemony’. So, do they have the will to spread their civilisation? 

D.H.: Speaking personally I hope not, but I can see an element of that. I am not an expert to talk on this issue, but I get a sense that there is something of that sort. One of the things that is happening right now is a big campaign to curb Western influence in the universities in China. I don’t know whether that applies to me also or not. 

HG: Do you mean they are against Western influence in all fields, including radical left thinking? 

DH: That’s right. 

HG: But if they still believe in Marx, as you said, how can they exclude people like you? 

DH: Well, possibly because my reading of Marx may not necessarily be their own. Furthermore, at the universities you can talk Marx only in a few departments, like those of philosophy. As you probably know, most economic and business departments in China teach neoclassical economics. You can understand why. In order to work with the financial institutions, they have to speak the language. And they must also learn how to play the game with the World Bank, the Bank for International Settlements, the WTO, etc. Somewhere down the line in their agenda is also the wish to make their own currency the world currency. They have set up the Shanghai Gold Exchange now, and they are accumulating gold aspiring to a return of the Gold Standard. How they are going to be in terms of the global economy is one of the things that is coming out in Africa, where there is a lot of response on the ground to challenge Chinese corporate activity. The response is negative in terms of the social relations of domination that the Chinese are exercising. An example is the copper-cobalt belt in Zambia, where the biggest mining companies are Chinese and Indian. Some other time we should speak also about India which, although not a world power, is a very interesting country with a massive population. Generally, what is happening in all of South Asia – in China, in India but also in Indonesia – is important for global developments. 

HG: Recently, there has been great unrest directed against the local representatives of the Chinese government. Do you think that Deng Xiaoping’s principle of ‘one country, two systems’ is in danger? 

DH: I am very nervous about Hong Kong. To begin with, although I have some sympathy with the protests, almost certainly western interests are heavily invested in supporting them. These are not anti-capitalist struggles at all, but animated by the protection of bourgeois rights. I am also scared that China might go in militarily as it did in Tiananmen Square, and that would be disastrous. But we are in an era where Modi takes Kashmir, Putin takes Crimea and some of the rest of Ukraine, and Netanyahu talks of annexing much of the West Bank – and nobody stops anyone. I hope the Chinese will be patient, even as it is clear that the ‘one nation two systems’ is unlikely to last too long. 

HG: I am convinced of how important the social situation in China is for the world as a whole. But what about the situation in the US and Europe and the class struggle there? 

DH: Regarding the situation in the Western world, I believe that what the left should do is to examine what the proletariat is in our day and then try to organise it. To see what I mean, I will give you an example. As you probably know, last year Trump closed down the US federal government for almost a month in order, as he claimed, to save money for the construction of a wall at the border with Mexico, which the Congress was unwilling to fund. But suddenly he opened it up again, and many wondered why this happened. 

Why didn’t Trump keep his ‘lock-out’ going? I’ll tell you why. Because one day before he took this decision three airports in the United States were closing down, because a lot of air traffic controllers who had been working without money couldn’t make it anymore. So, suddenly Trump realised that if all of the airports in the United States closed down for another four days the whole economy would have gone. 

HG: Are you saying that he was frightened by the power of organised labour? 

DH: Yes, exactly. And we have seen the power of airport workers also in another instance. It was after 9/11, when all airplanes stopped flying out of fear of terrorist acts. Within three days George Bush was coming on television asking people to get back on the planes because the economy was going to collapse. Another case is connected with the eruption of a volcano in Iceland in 2010. I don’t know if you remember this. 

HG: Yes, it was when the volcanic ash spread across all European skies. 

DH: It was a huge economic disruption. You can kind of say that we should be organising human volcanoes for a disruption in the global economy. I am serious. I put it this way because I don’t understand why what is left of organised labour isn’t saying ‘We‘ve got to figure what we are doing, we’ve got to change everything we do, and our job is to mobilise that working class which has the power to stop the system’. Where is this located? The question is who is the new proletariat. Well, in the United States its basis is the blacks, Hispanics, and women. Obviously, one has to be sensitive to the racial and gender aspects, but what is important in this case is that this part of the population constitutes a huge class force which could be mobilised very easily. Airport workers are a very good place to start. You know, an airport is not only a shopping mall, it’s also a huge employment hub, with those who are working there being blacks, the Hispanic immigrants, and women, i.e., the new proletariat. If one could organise all of them, airports could close down and the US economy could actually stop functioning. So, if you asked me what kind of fantasy I have about class struggle in the West I would say that we can close the whole logistics system down. 

HG: No radical change in society can happen without radical left parties. And it seems that these parties all over the world don’t really believe that overcoming capitalism is possible. 

DH: What I am trying to say is that we need to think about where the power resides, who has that power to change society. Whether those who have it use it or not, or threaten to use it, and so on, is another question. If the left doesn’t believe in the transformation of society it’s because it doesn’t have in mind that actually there are these nodes of power within the system, which if mobilised can change it. We should be thinking about that. Coming back to my airports example, we should be discussing not only the unionisation of airport workers in various countries, but think also about the possibility of organising an international airport workers’ union. If we can close down some airports – New York, Chicago, LA in the US, Frankfurt, Heathrow, and Charles De Gaulle in Europe – the world economy would collapse. And this is something we haven’t really thought about. 

HG: Trump has imposed tariffs on a number of Chinese products exported to the US. What do you think the effects of this will be on the economies of the two countries? 

DH: In the short run there is no question that China is troubled by the US tariffs, in part because of the uncertainties at a time when they have internal problems of growth via indebtedness. No one knows what Trump will do next, and there are signs in the US that his political base is beginning to feel this is not in their interests. Reports are now circulating that as many as 300,000 jobs have been lost in the US as a result and the bankruptcies in agriculture are escalating. In the long run I think this plays into China’s hands because the Chinese are designing a shift (like Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan did before them) away from labour-intensive industrialisation (the drop in these kinds of exports that occurred in 2008-2009 has never been recuperated). They plan to move up the value chain to high tech and are doing so rapidly. The US is trying to block Huawei in 5G technologies, but how successfully remains to be seen. China will have a very different industrial structure in ten years or so, and Trump will not be able to touch it even if he is still around. 

HG: In view of all this could you say the future is not predictable? 

DH: Well, I think some things are. The crucial problem of the global economy today is the wish to have compound growth forever. What Trump says – that we must have a 4% compound growth over the next twenty years – is obviously insane, if one takes into account the concomitant results of such growth: the increase in certain aggregates like carbon emissions, the increase in extractivism, the speed with which China is demanding raw materials, and how iron mining companies in Brazil are cutting corners. The effects of all this on climate change are destructive, as one can see with the ghastly floods and the destruction of dams, etc. 

The situation right now seems to me to be headed towards a blockage of some kind, which can be very difficult to circumvent unless one can find nonmaterial modes of accumulation of capital. Of course, this is one of the things that is already happening with property rights and the extraction of rents from knowledge and other proprietary ways of organising the global economy. But then another problem arises. A lot of value circulates in monetary form amongst the upper classes, and hardly anything touches the wellbeing of the mass of the population. So we are going to see the deepening of class divisions. 

It is already becoming clear that the way the global economy is being organised cannot really meet the wants and needs and desires of the mass of the world population. It can’t be sustained by these fictitious forms of capital which circulates amongst capital elites and through the large corporations. Recently, both elites and big companies are beginning to see that they are not in a comfortable place, when even in the United States 50% of the population is saying that socialism is a good idea. 

The capitalist elites are kind of saying ‘Wow, we’ve got to do something, at least create a fiction that we are working for the interests of the world’s population rather than simply circulating fictitious capital amongst ourselves’. Well, everybody looks at the sequence ‘I am robbing this one, and they rob me, and then we create more fictitious capital by quantitative easing by the Central Bank’, and says ‘What’s that got to do with putting bread on my table and how is the quality of my daily life improved when the electricity system doesn’t work, and the transport system is a disaster?’In the future, we can expect new struggles and forms of resistance at the national and global levels.


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