Economic Material Basis of Existential Crisis
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Existential crisis is not a form of economical or financial crisis. It is the crisis of the capitalist order which has become contradictory to its own existential conditions after completing its mission of developing material forces of production and creating a world market accordingly as its historical duty.
It is already known that capitalism is an order of crises. cyclical crises (overproduction crises) are not only a layout of capitalism's all internal contradictions, but also an element of its healthy mechanism, an internal regulator. They are one of its motive internal laws which moves it forward even though towards the end of itself. So, why does a situation of any crisis gain a meaning as an existential crisis for capitalism? It had succeeded to overcome all the troubles brought by each of great cyclical crisis though they also brought big troubles to bourgeoisie with both its economic and political consequences. What is more is that these kinds of periods of big periodical crises became a sort of a source for regeneration (although again towards its own end). So, why does today's crisis mean a different situation than others?
Isn't this today's situation which we define as existential crisis only a much heavier version of the classical periodical (cyclical) crises? What is the economic material basis, situation or level which separates today's situation from capitalism's internal crises, and makes it an external one; a crisis residing between capitalism and the progress of the history, rather than being within capitalism?


Crises of Capitalism
The main contradiction of capitalism is the contradiction between the social character of production and the private character of the ownership of the means of production. Capitalism has no other option but to advance through increasingly socializing the production in order to accumulate more private property in fewer hands. And this main contradiction takes capitalism to completing its own historical function as much as it develops. All the internal laws of capitalism function antagonistically on top of this main contradiction and make it deepened. That is why capitalism always bears various types of financial and economical crises, it develops with crises.


Financial Crises
Including the pre-capitalist periods, there is always possibility of financial crisis in all the periods in which the money continues to exist either in the forms of commodity-money or nominal-money. Possibility of crisis appears at the same time with the appearance of commodity (as the producers and users get independent from each other, whereas the market appears as the meeting point of them) and the circulation of commodity through money bears the possibility of crisis since the beginning. Financial crises gain a special quality in capitalism. However, until accumulation with monetary tools becomes dominant over the accumulation with production of surplus value, the real stagger of financial crisis does not emerge in the mechanism of capitalism. In the stage of imperialist globalization, accumulation with monetary tools has become dominant because technical innovation of production has strengthened the tendency of profit rate to fall and for this reason, profitability of investments for producing surplus value has decreased. Effect of financial crises has also increased correspondingly. The fact that accumulation with financial tools gets ahead of accumulation with producing surplus value, means both the expansion of intervention opportunities to the cycle of crisis with financial tools, and the strengthening of the possibility of serious bottlenecks and crises to trigger a financial crisis. The intervention opportunity of the possibilities of smaller crises returns to the capitalist class as a triggering risk of possibilities of bigger, denser and more centralized crises.


Economical Crises
Economic crisis (overproduction crisis) is a basic law of the capitalist order, an internal element of it. On total social base, the capital invested to production (regeneration of fixed capital through physical and mental degeneration by extracting its full value to the total product has a cyclical quality corresponding to a full cycle of itself. The crisis of 1825 was an expression, that manufacture stage of capitalism was over and transition to modern machinery industrial production had become primary. With this crisis, the capital starts its cycle and once it started that, it has to continue this cyclical motion.
Until the stage of imperialist globalization, economic crises were in the form of classical periodical (cyclical) cycles: depression - recession - recovery - expansion. The general logic of economic crises is devaluation of capital through capital destruction (bankruptcies) in the period of crisis, cheapening of investment capital to create a basis for new investments and emerging of conditions for the next recovery.
In the stage of imperialist globalization (since 1970's), on the other hand, capital accumulation model is characterized by two basic changes. One is capital's heading to the speculative field with an increasing rate, 'accumulation with financial tools'. And the other one is internationalization of production process in all of its stages. This situation causes mainly two consequences in the cycle of crisis: a) increase of the effect of financial processes over the economic crisis, b) blurring of period through acceleration and flexibilization of capital cycle.
How this happens is like that: together with the dominance of accumulation with financial tools, the intervention opportunity to the possibility of crisis with financial tools contains the opportunity of directing both the problems due to overproduction in intermediate stages of production (overproduction of intermediate products) and the consumption through various types of consumer credits (the most striking example of this is housing credits, which the limitation of this intervention was obvious in the crisis of 2008.) And this prevented the accumulation of overproduction at specific times to cause crises. It strengthened the possibility to delay the crises for specific periods. On the other hand, periodical mechanism broke down even more. Just as delaying the crisis means the accumulation of crisis (concretely, just as it fermented a very severe financial crisis in 2008), it spread the facts of the crises out to the crisis times and spread the facts of non-crisis times in the crisis times. That is because overproduction is always relative; it means producing more than to be sold, not producing more than to be consumed. It is resulted from the existent relations of production and the order of capital and it is inevitable. Suppression of its self-expression in an outbursting way during specific periods even strengthened the poverty whose character became independent from crises, rather than preventing it. Relative and absolute impoverishment became faster and chronic. Above all, this means the possibility of heavier overproduction crisis.
Internationalization of production is, on the other hand, the other factor that caused the cycle of crisis to change radically. In the end, the production cycle and the full cycle of capital got speed, whereas the realization time of profit shortened. Moreover, the expansion of world market through integration, and the physical integration of production, 'the factory', with the market by the expansion and fusion of the factory in the same way, provided a flexible order of production-stocking-circulation and prevented the accumulation of crises and local 'overproduction' bottleneck. This also caused the facts of the non-crisis times to spread into the crises times and vice versa.
What is essential in this table is that the stages, especially the crisis stage, are still distinguishable, but the recovery stage isn't. This actually means the elimination of recovery stage, the decrease of the growth data and the spread of the facts of non-crisis times into the crisis times, etc.. On the other hand, this situation is not a result of the disappearance of contradictions which cause the crises, on contrary, it is because the contradictions increased so much that they caused the cycles to lose their meanings. It created an accumulation from which the contradictions can explode violently and instead of a typical periodical crisis, an extreme 2008 crisis came up. This was the crisis of imperialist globalization and an expression of the existential crisis.
This period of break down in the crisis cycle were interpreted by some others saying that capitalism had finally found a solution for its crises. Yet, the issue was exactly the opposite: capitalism has fallen from strength and health to sustain a proper cycle.
Essentially, we are talking about the accumulation level and model of capital (the shrinkage of the conditions for capital centralization and capital destruction) that reach to a limit where it can no longer carry periodical crises. The amount of capital in question of a crisis is so much that destruction of capital has become impossible and like so, the updated industrial production to complete the classical cycle has got weaker. Until the stage of imperialist globalization, like a clockwork machine, we see these crisis elements: the economic crises for capitalism to clear its guts from time to time with a regular proper cycle. The financial crises whose regulative side stands out during the formation of average profit and whose destructive sides are less traumatic in terms of a complete cycle, but generally more effective with respect to single capitalists and single sectors. The Big, special periodical cyclical crises which emerge in the times of qualitative changes bringing big transformations into being on its own development course of capitalism.
But, after a certain stage, these cut-offs which can be seen at the beginning as a reflex of a unexpired machine who protects itself from high voltage (it also causes increasing abrasion and at the same time, a sign of fragility) become the reminders of the period of a broken machine when it cuts off all the time and will never function with full productivity again and it is about to be thrown into junk.
As the cycle of periodical crisis becomes indistinct, different types of crises merge into each other. As their interaction increases, the whole mechanism starts to seem like a crisis image within this existential crisis.
What is standing at the center of this table is this fact: excessive capital surplus is becoming chronic and the cycle is exceeding outside the stage of crisis; and on contrary, unemployment is also becoming chronic and the cycle is exceeding outside the stage of crisis. These acute ruptures between labor and capital which emerge in the periods of financial crises could be prevented through devaluation of capital, cheapening of investment capital and appearance of new investment fields all due to capital destruction and therefore through absorbing the relative over-population by employing. The main change with respect to capital cycle, is related to the removal of this opportunity. And hence, it is the essence of existential crisis, like we will explain below.


Special Periodical Crises (Big Cyclical Crises) and the Renovation of the Capital Accumulation Model
Some of the periodical crises are characterized by the reaching of capital accumulation level in a given period to the size which makes some qualitative changes both possible and compulsory. In such periods, features defined as possibility or tendency up to that day, become laws. Inclusive political developments triggered by the sharpening of contradictions rooted from there (wars, revolutions, big mass movements and uprisings...) deepens the depression. Together with the bottleneck of specific accumulation model of capital (by reaching the limits of accumulation under those conditions and by requiring other conditions to move forward), they violently come in view by integrating with the large scale political consequences or by being effected by those. It is certain that there can no longer be a way to move forward in the same line in such periods. Which line will be followed, by the way, is decided by effects of political processes as much as the laws of capitalist order. (For example, whether the inevitability of wars between imperialists and revolutionary wars can meet with the politic subjects of the wars; whether the existence of these politic subjects can meet with the victory of wars, etc.)
Since these big cyclical crises bring and requires the leaping advancement of capital accumulation under the updated conditions, it is also characterized with large scale renovation of production model (organization of production and production technology). For this reason, each of them has accelerated the decaying of capitalism by giving rise to the result of working of the declination tendency of profit rates in a leaping way in total of the process.
Therefore, it will be beneficial to say a few words about the differences of today's existential crisis with the big cyclical crises which burst out in previous periods and opened new paths for capitalist order with a conclusive renovation.
The crisis of 1873-76 was one of those big cyclical crises. The source of the bottleneck (the obstacle against the advancement of capital accumulation) was free competition. Free competition had completed its motive mission running for a certain stage in which the capital accumulation with centralization was ahead. It had become not a motivation but an obstacle against a more advanced accumulation which obligatorily included the accumulation via centralization. The quantitative level of capital accumulation had reached the quality where it could absorb and had to absorb more raw material, more labor force with more developed production tools (which means more developed means of production as a whole). The existent accumulation model was not enough. To absorb such scale of production forces, higher amounts of capital needed to be collected in each hands. Liquidation of free competition in order to centralize the capital more (monopoly) and widening to non-capitalistic fields through exporting capital in order to get more centralization (imperialist colonization) had become a must. This crisis became the starting process of the stage of imperialism.

  • More than half of the total wealth is in the hand of the richest 1% population since 2015.
  • The wealth of world's richest 8 families (426 billion dollars) equals to the total wealth of world's poorest 50% population.
  • The wealth of poorest 50% has never gone above the 1,5% since 2000. Between the same years, the wealth of richest 1% has never gone below 46% and always been in rise.
  • According to this, the world's poorest 50% owns less than the quarter of 1% of the world's wealth in total.
  • Between the years of 1988-2011, annual income of the world's poorest 10% showed an increase less than 3 dollars, while the income if the richest 1% increased more than 182 times.
  • For the year 2015, the rate of total assets of world's poorest 50% was estimated 0,7%, but this rate became 0,2% in reality.
  • This number did not show any increase also for 2016.
  • This number was realized as -0,4% for the poorest 10% (negative wealth due to debts)
  • 70% of the poorest 50% lives in the low income countries.
  • The poorest 10% of the world population earns less than 1,90 dollars per day and this income is below the limit of extreme poorness.
  • There happened a 7,3% regression in the land ownership of the poorest 20% between the years 1990-2000.
  • 59% of the agreements about lands between these years were executed in the extent of land expropriation of peoples.
  • In Latin America where the distribution of lands is the most uneven, 1% within the whole farms holds more fertile lands in hand than the other 99%.
  • Source: Oxfam report of 2017

The crisis of 1929-33 was also that kind of a crisis. The bottleneck was caused by getting the impossibleness of the evolutionary progress of accumulation based on capital export due to monopolistic competition. After the re-division of world market with the 1st re-division war, the law of uneven development had brought out a new table of uneven distribution of colonies, competition among imperialists had sharpened, accumulation via capital export had entered into a bottleneck. The capital was forced to obtain a leap through both becoming preponderant at the re-division and an internal deepening, but not expanding outwards under the current division conditions. To clear its path, a) the issue of re-division came into question, b) these pushed the capital to a centralization leap for an intensification leap. There occurred a need for collective capitalist ownership to be developed through monopolization with leaps in the forms of relatively big trustifications. What is more important, is that there also occurred a need for bourgeois state as collective capitalist to be developed by undertaking big investments. This financial obligation had found its meaning in various forms of political programs of bourgeoisie (developing monopolistic state capitalism which was embodied with the Keynesian model or fascist politic programs inside, programs of war for re-division of colonies or programs of reconstruction of colonies outside).
There was a very basic politic factor which deepened the crisis, accelerated the process forward and pushed the transformation of the capital accumulation model into a specific form during this period. As the expansion of the market had been limited due to the victory of the October revolution, increasing the absolute surplus value exploitation in order to develop the current markets in depth had also been limited again due to political conditions (revolution threat). Freedom struggles regarding opening the fields, which had not been ruled by the capitalist relations yet, to capitalist exploitation and the risk of full detachment of those from the capitalist system came into question. The real unconditional development ability and possibility of the productive forces were embodied in the name of October revolution.
Under these conditions, capital accumulation could only proceed through two contradicting, but unified channels, and it did. Decaying side of this proceeding were re-division of colonies appropriate to the current distribution of the capital accumulation, overcoming the geographical limitation of the market through defeating socialism militarily and developing fascism and an imperialist re-division war in order to suppress the revolutionary struggles.
The war option did neither become a mean of such re-division of colonies, nor expand the market geographically; it rather resulted in even narrowing it (new revolutions).
Under these conditions, bourgeoisie's collective voluntary intervention came up in the fields of economics, military and politics. Leaving the political goals and results aside, economically, it meant the following: collective capitalist (monopolist state) had to intervene in the situation for more centralization and intensification. Economically, this also covered overtaking the large scale investment needs in the name of whole capitalist class and this was the productive side, the productive channel of the proceeding.
There was no time for accumulation based on capital export to progress globally with an evolutionary way. Capital had to quicken its own decaying speed. It had to unify and upsurge its forces against the socialist forces by centralization and intensification.
When it comes to 1974, accumulation model based on capital export reached its limits. Domestic markets could no longer expand with the current conditions.
The source of the bottleneck this time, was basically the division of the market. The level of the capital accumulation was too big to have new conditions to develop the productive forces on national bases. Domestic markets had grown up to their own borders. The current centralization and intensification of the capital made the intervention of state to economy as a collective capitalist unnecessary. Single capitalists became available to do these on their own, bourgeois state became a redundant competitor. The current accumulation model was once more not enough to move forward.
This level also brought progressing through two contradicting, but unified channels whose decaying side again was dominant. The productive side of the progress was the development of a production system which was socialized enough to carry all stages of production to an international level and create an integrated world market. The non-productive, the decaying side, on the other hand, was the expansion of excessive capital surplus and getting of accumulation with financial tools ahead (profit through usurpation, not through productivity).
When it comes to 2008, this time, a situation different than all previous big cyclical crises was in expression. The bottleneck was ultimately related to the limitations in the context of "capitalizing the non-capitalistic relations" in all previous processes. This time, there were non-capitalistic obstacles causing the accumulation model to choke.
Today, what is causing the accumulation model to choke is just the level of current accumulation itself. The capital can not jump to a higher accumulation model not because of being unable to centralize or intensify enough, but because of over-intensifying and over-centralizing. It is not carrying out more advanced technologies, the production models which develop the labor productivity not because of insufficient centralization and intensification or lack of accumulation. It is not carrying out these because it is not interested due to excessive accumulation even though there is no indirect relation in between. As expressed in the crises of 1930 and 1974, since the stage of imperialism, since the dominance of the financial capital, the capital accumulation has been developing in the direction of decaying. However, today, the decaying is the basic side, but the development has become an auxiliary and deficient feature.
As follows, the saying "the real obstacle of capitalist production is the capital" has no longer been an insight, a tendency, but become an actual reality, an actual law. The 2008 financial crisis was a crisis symbolizing and expressing that imperialistic world capitalist system has been in an existential crisis for a while. We can find all the data about this existential in the 2008 crisis, but we can not identify its existence only with this crisis. So, we will discuss it in a separate context as existential crisis.


The Existential Crisis
The existential crisis is the name of the reality that capitalism is heading towards the last limits of its inner tendencies, towards the quantity limits where a qualitative change can only happen by transforming into its opposite.
Detachment of Labor and Capital From Each Other
We have already mentioned that excessive capital surplus and mass unemployment throughout the stage of imperialist globalization became accelerated and chronic.
Inability to destruct capital through bankruptcy, war, etc. (at a meaningful amount regarding today's capital accumulation level) and the fail of crises in this regard, have become characteristic during the whole stage of imperialist globalization. It is no coincidence that the trademark of the 2008 crisis was saving the big monopolies from bankruptcies by nationalizing the debts. It was announcing that this tendency has become a basic feature from now on.
Chronic mass unemployment stands at the opposite pole of this reality. Proletariat is expanding in amount. However, during this expansion of the proletariat, the increasing speed of the unemployed ones is starting to exceed the increasing speed of the number of the employed ones.
Yet the whole deal of capitalism is just to ensure the free laborer and the capital owner to meet and to constantly find more profitable ways for this meeting in favor of the capitalist!
On one side, there is excess capital and on the other side, there is the chronic excess labor force. So, this situation has no longer been an acute situation as an internal element of the mechanism of capitalist production relations which bursts out during the periodical crises. Labor and capital is in a phase of detachment, not temporary, but systematically. And the whole objective basis, all the internal lawfulness now serve for deepening this situation. The power of influence of all the tendencies working opposite to this situation have weakened (foreign trade due to integration of world market and reaching its limits; devaluation of the capital due to reaching its own limits through distortion of periodical crises; increase of absolute surplus value exploitation due to coming to the limits of slavery labor, etc.)
In summary, meeting of labor with capital (the main condition for the capitalist production) does not secure the maximum profit (the main goal of the capitalist production). Existential conditions of the capitalist production have become in a state that it cannot realize its existential goal, and this situation is chronic.
Chronic mass unemployment, which means that an ever-growing proportion of the labor force is never able to meet with the labor conditions, thus with the capital, is forming one of the limitations of the development of capital accumulation through increasing the absolute surplus value. Its weakening, as a reverse law balancing the declination tendency of profit rates, deepens the decaying of capital.
There is also a limit for increasing the relative surplus value. So, if you push the surplus labor towards 6 hours of a worker who is working for 12 hours, then towards 11 hours, and then towards 11 hours and 45 minutes, you will get closer to zero line regarding the necessary labor. Developing the productivity of labor increases the relative surplus value so limitlessly that the production of surplus value advances to the limit where it turns into its opposite and disappears. Constantly increasing the relative surplus value also gives birth to a declination tendency of profit rates which is gradually getting closer to the zero line. This declination tendency of profit rates is alarming for single capitalists and in the end for the whole capitalist class.
In regard to the labor of slavery, the whole labor is the surplus labor and the whole labor is the necessary labor. Such that, the condition for surviving is its surplus labor. Its whole surplus labor is the necessary labor for its survival. Straining the necessary labor to the zero line means straining the free laborer to the labor of slavery limit.
On contrary, excessive increase of the labor productivity is heading towards the limit of robotic production, which means, this time, towards the limit in which the surplus value is zeroed by being made absolute and the machine can deliver only and only its own value to the product.
The fact that the free laborer works for his/her own account in some part of the workday and for a capitalist, who he/she chooses freely in the market, in some other part of the workday (the distinction between the necessary and the surplus labor) is the main difference of capitalism from the previous production relations. As the capitalist production develops, the difference becomes distinctive. However as the development progresses in the direction deepening the decaying, we can see that historical development opportunity has lost correspondingly and searchings opposite to historical development has become the dominant tendency.
This 'turning into its own opposite' limit is expressed in the form of accumulation of conditions in which the 'free laborer' will either be a laborer and not free (the limit of slavery labor), or be free but not a laborer (being free to sell the labor power but inability to find a place to sell it). This situation draws the lines of development of capital accumulation. The tendency of shifting the industrial investments from technology intensive fields to labor intensive fields becomes a sign of vacillation of capital accumulation as hitting and crashing into these lines.
Opportunity to Develop the Market - Capitalization of the Non-capitalistic Relations
We have summarized which bottleneck points were overcome, which tendencies turned into laws and which quantities turned into a new quality and their roles in each of the fundamental qualitative jump periods during the progress of capitalist order.
What is the reason behind the bottleneck of capital accumulation today? In which forms can the development be from now on? Are there possibilities to find an answer to this within the capitalism's own lawfulness? This is the question with respect to the existential crisis.
All the bases for it to move forward are not qualitative but quantitative and only cause the crisis to blow more. Let's look at the possible development bases within its own internal lawfulness.
What is the situation for the market regarding its expansion opportunity? Today, there is no piece of land left in the world outside the capitalist exploitation (as in the pre-capitalist or socialist forms). A restriction of capital movement due to national borders is out of question. And there isn't any obstruction in front of the development of capital centralization (each monopoly 'smaller' than the monopolist world bourgeoisie, each corporation is either integrated with the monopolist bourgeoisie or there is nothing to stop them from drifting into bankruptcy; monopolist world bourgeoisie as the ruling class of the stage of imperialist globalization is actually sovereign over the whole world market, etc.)
Then, there is only one possible way for the market to expand (to progress outwardly): to complete the process of financial-economical colonization (integration of regions which were not outside capitalism but unable to be integrated into the process of imperialist globalization). Although monopolist world bourgeoisie has overcome the confronting obstacles here (bourgeoisies historically representing a more backward position by resisting against changing or applying more backward development models as they see the crisis as a chance; struggles of working class and the oppressed historically representing a more progressive position) without getting a heavy damage, this is not a qualitative change. Without a doubt, the opportunity to move forward from here is important (but it is not easy in this crisis situation and in the case of failure, there will be drastic political consequences in the forms of revolutionary waves ), however it will not be a support of a new qualitative jump, a financial upsurge move.
Such that, even though the contradictions between the imperialists get sharper and it goes forward along with the realities and the possibilities of regional wars, a 'war for re-division of the colonies' with the meaning in the past periods is not a contemporary renewal opportunity. As colonization has advanced up to the form of financial-economic colonization, as all the regions of the world have opened to the world monopolies for indirect exploitation, how can 're-division' have a revival meaning 'from the standpoint of people' but not from the eyes of single or group of bourgeoisie? At this quantitative level of socialization of production, the ones, who may be interested in whether the regions to be redivided will be its own market or not, can be financial-economic colonies at most, who are dreaming of becoming imperialist itself. Imperialist monopolist world bourgeoisie, on the other hand, has grown so much that interest to its childhood toy, 'own market', does not even cross through its mind. The only thing which can be removed about the nations is the obstacles in front of the circulation of labor force commodity, which removing these means destroying the opportunities of increasing the absolute surplus value exploitation which has already been restricted.
One step forward from the financial-economic colony can be historically a few steps backward at most, a medieval style empire order, which is by the way, a non-capitalistic relation form anymore.


Opportunity to Deepen the Market - Progress of Monopolization
Opportunities to progress in depth in the current market is also extremely limited. This seems like a contradiction at first. While there are lots of wide regions which are bound to the imperialist world system but still in a backward level of capitalist development, why can't the opportunity for deepening the world market be an exit point and why does it become a sign of the closeness to the limits where it turns into its opposite?
Deepening of the integrated world market means the progress of monopolization even more.
Monopolization is progressing through two ways. One is towards the absorption of the monopoly indirectly by destructing all small producers. And two is towards keeping small producers alive and binding them to the monopoly. In the first one, the progress (in which we have to assume that 'progress in depth' inevitably corresponds to progress of absolute monopolization) means the liquidation of the second one at the same rate, which is the form of monopolization based on the productions chains.
However, today, the basis which the whole world bourgeoisie stands on, is the system of production chains. And if we want to mention about a maneuver field, a concession opportunity for capitalism, the only field would be actually the realization of the current monopolization in such form. Because this form pulls the constant capital down to the minimum required level for the world monopoly to produce with such a great scale. Thus, by also pulling the technical component of the capital down, it balances the declination tendency of profit rates and makes the technological renovation still available through creating the basis where the surplus profit can still be realized.
Unless the production chains mechanism as today's monopolization form functions as a mechanism to leak additional profit from the producer at the lower phases of the chain towards world monopolies, in other words, if all the capital investment controlled by a world monopoly is realized by this monopoly indirectly, the profit rate will fall largely from the rate of today.
The same system is also the main condition for national borders to function as the outer walls of the cheap labor force pools. It is the order, in which the tendency of production capital heading towards labor intensive fields, not towards technology intensive fields, that this opposite historical tendency, which is a sign of existential crisis, can be sustainable with.
Then, although the tendency towards absolute, 'pure' monopolization continues functioning inevitably (speculative capital, capital usurpation via plundering -usurpation of surplus value- is even enough by itself for this tendency to develop), the dominant one for the world monopolies is the other one, which is the tendency to develop conditions for cheap purchase from sub-producers instead of monopolization to keep the profit rates high. And this means keeping the capitalists at the lower phases of the production chain alive.
Such that, when looking from this standpoint, there is a limit of turning into its own opposite, where the monopolies are the obstacles themselves as much as they are the real propellers of the monopolization. As much as they starve, monopolies do also fear from monopolization. Within the tendencies working in the same and opposite directions, the effective power of the tendencies slowing the monopolization has increased because of the monopolies themselves.


Opportunity to Renew the Technical Basis of Production
Monopolization based on the production chains as the system to increase the additional profit functions as follows. A capitalist is not voluntary to use a new technology as long as it lowers the profit rates, no matter how much it increases the exploitation of surplus value. The propellant power of renovation of technical basis of production is the law of competition and the possibility to obtain surplus value which provides superiority in this competition. In today's conditions, the possibility of surplus value through renewing the technical basis of production requires the progress of monopolization via absolute forms, an accumulation model which extremely decreases the profit rates. However it does not attempt to this. Technological renovation opportunities do not get into usage unless it becomes compulsory due to exacerbation of the competition. In this situation, the tendency to keep the additional profit in hand with the current monopolistic model is ahead of the tendency to keep it in hand through a big scale technological renovation. Technological renovation comes into use indirectly from the production chains. As a result, the content of the technological renovation gets weaker and its speed in terms of coming into use decreases.
Competition among the biggest monopolies also obliges the technological renovation for them. They respond to this obligation by keeping the channels open to overcome this on the basis of international division of labor and by this way, the first solution in the competition among the biggest monopolies is not the technological renovation, but the expanding of economical and political conditions to get an advantageous position in benefiting from the international division of labor.
Besides, the need for technological renovation is partially revolving considering the fierce competition (for the sake of being a sub-contractor firm) among the producers at the lower phases of the chain. Their first move is the exploitation of cheap labor under the wildest conditions. But the competition is pushing the ones at these lower phases for technological renovation. So, technological renovation comes into agenda of the ones at the upper phases not directly, but through wandering all the way from these lower phases indirectly. Of course, a meaningful renovation in regard to capitalist production demands the centralized and intensified capital accumulated in the hands of the ones at the upper phases.
We have said that without the possibility of surplus profit, technological renovation cannot draw enough interest for the capitalist. Yet, the level of monopolization provides a long term basis for leaking additional profit from the lower phases of the production chain. Then, technological renovation which causes the monopolization to get deeper draws less and less attention of the capitalist as it monopolizes more and more. Its tendency heads towards buying cheap raw material, cheap intermediate products and cheap labor force. This is how it is for each single world monopolies and because of that, for the world economy as well.
The world monopolies, which are sovereign over the world economy, that means they are in a decisive position for a conclusive renovation of the world economy, are the least interested ones for a conclusive renovation.
When looking from this angle, the general tendency of the monopolist world bourgeoisie is in the direction strengthening the factors decelerating the absolute monopolization speed. Monopolization tendency is getting closer to the limit where it will turn into its opposite.
The capital cannot progress without constantly renewing the technological basis of production and constantly developing the productive forces. But the basis of this is fact depends on developing production for the sake of developing capital. This equation does not work in the other way as such developing capital in order to develop production. Since the development of production methods is not a goal but an instrument, as the instrument develops, it tends to develop beyond the limit of 'for capital development'. The goal enters into a conflict with the instrument. Today, this conflict, together with the formation of the integrated world market, has matured completely. The question of the development of productive forces stands not as leaning to the capital limit, but as a sheer issue.


Opportunity for Accumulation with Monetary Tools and Its Limits
There are also limitations for the accumulation with monetary tools which means the flow of capital into the speculation field. Since the surplus value, which is usurped via speculation and change hands, is obtained from industrial production, shrinkage and restrictions in this field also become the limitation for the accumulation through speculation. Such that, surpass of this kind of accumulation causes the capital accumulation to get closer to its opposite and to appear like a historically more backward kind, 'accumulation as wealth'.
Capital Destruction and Exodus of Capital Backwards
OK, if the roads in depth and in width open to the dead-ends and the forward direction is congested, is it a solution to escape backward? "The Backward Exodus" is a given fact within capitalist system in terms of a progressing opportunity. Each of the periodical crisis is a backward exodus in order to move forward. However, the situation on this matter is also different than yesterday. Not only the roads of a backward exodus are congested, but also they are not a progressing opportunity anymore.
Materializing a meaningful destruction of capital cannot happen without heavily damaging the system in terms of political and economical consequences. It also cannot happen without putting the rulers of the system (monopolist world bourgeoisie) under an actual risk. Even if it happens, it will not be an opportunity for capitalist order for a historical progress. Each capital destruction brings more centralization and intensification along. It works for something to move forward. But the question is: more centralization and intensification for what? Of course, as a last evaluation, each bourgeoisie considers its own account and the answer will be: for maximum profit (for the maximum profit of 'x' bourgeoisie). It can be considered like this. World bourgeoisie will act according to this mentality. But this is only quantitative. As a whole, what are the results from the viewpoint of the society, as a feature of the system? Yesterday, more centralization and intensification meant the ability to carry more technological renovation and/or renovation of organization of production (a production organization which requires a larger scale of capital investment). However, in today's situation, we have already seen that the current level of the accumulation is the main reason to make such a renovation impossible.


In lieu of Conclusion
Transformation of capital into its own obstacle unveils an existential crisis. In this crisis, every step forward will rebound back since it gets close to its own opposite. While each capitalist is looking for ways to increase their profit and is looking either ahead or back to do that, they will have to start back after crashing and burning at the objective limits of capitalism; yet they will not give up searching. In total, class of the capitalists is in between the devil and the deep blue sea in this crisis. The proceeding direction is not the direction from which a more advanced capital accumulation can give rise a new quality. Therefore, until the conditions of capitalist production will reach its own end with a political revolution led by the working class, the portrait of the bourgeoisie will be economical, political and ideological exitlessness, conflict and repression.

 

 

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Economic Material Basis of Existential Crisis
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Existential crisis is not a form of economical or financial crisis. It is the crisis of the capitalist order which has become contradictory to its own existential conditions after completing its mission of developing material forces of production and creating a world market accordingly as its historical duty.
It is already known that capitalism is an order of crises. cyclical crises (overproduction crises) are not only a layout of capitalism's all internal contradictions, but also an element of its healthy mechanism, an internal regulator. They are one of its motive internal laws which moves it forward even though towards the end of itself. So, why does a situation of any crisis gain a meaning as an existential crisis for capitalism? It had succeeded to overcome all the troubles brought by each of great cyclical crisis though they also brought big troubles to bourgeoisie with both its economic and political consequences. What is more is that these kinds of periods of big periodical crises became a sort of a source for regeneration (although again towards its own end). So, why does today's crisis mean a different situation than others?
Isn't this today's situation which we define as existential crisis only a much heavier version of the classical periodical (cyclical) crises? What is the economic material basis, situation or level which separates today's situation from capitalism's internal crises, and makes it an external one; a crisis residing between capitalism and the progress of the history, rather than being within capitalism?


Crises of Capitalism
The main contradiction of capitalism is the contradiction between the social character of production and the private character of the ownership of the means of production. Capitalism has no other option but to advance through increasingly socializing the production in order to accumulate more private property in fewer hands. And this main contradiction takes capitalism to completing its own historical function as much as it develops. All the internal laws of capitalism function antagonistically on top of this main contradiction and make it deepened. That is why capitalism always bears various types of financial and economical crises, it develops with crises.


Financial Crises
Including the pre-capitalist periods, there is always possibility of financial crisis in all the periods in which the money continues to exist either in the forms of commodity-money or nominal-money. Possibility of crisis appears at the same time with the appearance of commodity (as the producers and users get independent from each other, whereas the market appears as the meeting point of them) and the circulation of commodity through money bears the possibility of crisis since the beginning. Financial crises gain a special quality in capitalism. However, until accumulation with monetary tools becomes dominant over the accumulation with production of surplus value, the real stagger of financial crisis does not emerge in the mechanism of capitalism. In the stage of imperialist globalization, accumulation with monetary tools has become dominant because technical innovation of production has strengthened the tendency of profit rate to fall and for this reason, profitability of investments for producing surplus value has decreased. Effect of financial crises has also increased correspondingly. The fact that accumulation with financial tools gets ahead of accumulation with producing surplus value, means both the expansion of intervention opportunities to the cycle of crisis with financial tools, and the strengthening of the possibility of serious bottlenecks and crises to trigger a financial crisis. The intervention opportunity of the possibilities of smaller crises returns to the capitalist class as a triggering risk of possibilities of bigger, denser and more centralized crises.


Economical Crises
Economic crisis (overproduction crisis) is a basic law of the capitalist order, an internal element of it. On total social base, the capital invested to production (regeneration of fixed capital through physical and mental degeneration by extracting its full value to the total product has a cyclical quality corresponding to a full cycle of itself. The crisis of 1825 was an expression, that manufacture stage of capitalism was over and transition to modern machinery industrial production had become primary. With this crisis, the capital starts its cycle and once it started that, it has to continue this cyclical motion.
Until the stage of imperialist globalization, economic crises were in the form of classical periodical (cyclical) cycles: depression - recession - recovery - expansion. The general logic of economic crises is devaluation of capital through capital destruction (bankruptcies) in the period of crisis, cheapening of investment capital to create a basis for new investments and emerging of conditions for the next recovery.
In the stage of imperialist globalization (since 1970's), on the other hand, capital accumulation model is characterized by two basic changes. One is capital's heading to the speculative field with an increasing rate, 'accumulation with financial tools'. And the other one is internationalization of production process in all of its stages. This situation causes mainly two consequences in the cycle of crisis: a) increase of the effect of financial processes over the economic crisis, b) blurring of period through acceleration and flexibilization of capital cycle.
How this happens is like that: together with the dominance of accumulation with financial tools, the intervention opportunity to the possibility of crisis with financial tools contains the opportunity of directing both the problems due to overproduction in intermediate stages of production (overproduction of intermediate products) and the consumption through various types of consumer credits (the most striking example of this is housing credits, which the limitation of this intervention was obvious in the crisis of 2008.) And this prevented the accumulation of overproduction at specific times to cause crises. It strengthened the possibility to delay the crises for specific periods. On the other hand, periodical mechanism broke down even more. Just as delaying the crisis means the accumulation of crisis (concretely, just as it fermented a very severe financial crisis in 2008), it spread the facts of the crises out to the crisis times and spread the facts of non-crisis times in the crisis times. That is because overproduction is always relative; it means producing more than to be sold, not producing more than to be consumed. It is resulted from the existent relations of production and the order of capital and it is inevitable. Suppression of its self-expression in an outbursting way during specific periods even strengthened the poverty whose character became independent from crises, rather than preventing it. Relative and absolute impoverishment became faster and chronic. Above all, this means the possibility of heavier overproduction crisis.
Internationalization of production is, on the other hand, the other factor that caused the cycle of crisis to change radically. In the end, the production cycle and the full cycle of capital got speed, whereas the realization time of profit shortened. Moreover, the expansion of world market through integration, and the physical integration of production, 'the factory', with the market by the expansion and fusion of the factory in the same way, provided a flexible order of production-stocking-circulation and prevented the accumulation of crises and local 'overproduction' bottleneck. This also caused the facts of the non-crisis times to spread into the crises times and vice versa.
What is essential in this table is that the stages, especially the crisis stage, are still distinguishable, but the recovery stage isn't. This actually means the elimination of recovery stage, the decrease of the growth data and the spread of the facts of non-crisis times into the crisis times, etc.. On the other hand, this situation is not a result of the disappearance of contradictions which cause the crises, on contrary, it is because the contradictions increased so much that they caused the cycles to lose their meanings. It created an accumulation from which the contradictions can explode violently and instead of a typical periodical crisis, an extreme 2008 crisis came up. This was the crisis of imperialist globalization and an expression of the existential crisis.
This period of break down in the crisis cycle were interpreted by some others saying that capitalism had finally found a solution for its crises. Yet, the issue was exactly the opposite: capitalism has fallen from strength and health to sustain a proper cycle.
Essentially, we are talking about the accumulation level and model of capital (the shrinkage of the conditions for capital centralization and capital destruction) that reach to a limit where it can no longer carry periodical crises. The amount of capital in question of a crisis is so much that destruction of capital has become impossible and like so, the updated industrial production to complete the classical cycle has got weaker. Until the stage of imperialist globalization, like a clockwork machine, we see these crisis elements: the economic crises for capitalism to clear its guts from time to time with a regular proper cycle. The financial crises whose regulative side stands out during the formation of average profit and whose destructive sides are less traumatic in terms of a complete cycle, but generally more effective with respect to single capitalists and single sectors. The Big, special periodical cyclical crises which emerge in the times of qualitative changes bringing big transformations into being on its own development course of capitalism.
But, after a certain stage, these cut-offs which can be seen at the beginning as a reflex of a unexpired machine who protects itself from high voltage (it also causes increasing abrasion and at the same time, a sign of fragility) become the reminders of the period of a broken machine when it cuts off all the time and will never function with full productivity again and it is about to be thrown into junk.
As the cycle of periodical crisis becomes indistinct, different types of crises merge into each other. As their interaction increases, the whole mechanism starts to seem like a crisis image within this existential crisis.
What is standing at the center of this table is this fact: excessive capital surplus is becoming chronic and the cycle is exceeding outside the stage of crisis; and on contrary, unemployment is also becoming chronic and the cycle is exceeding outside the stage of crisis. These acute ruptures between labor and capital which emerge in the periods of financial crises could be prevented through devaluation of capital, cheapening of investment capital and appearance of new investment fields all due to capital destruction and therefore through absorbing the relative over-population by employing. The main change with respect to capital cycle, is related to the removal of this opportunity. And hence, it is the essence of existential crisis, like we will explain below.


Special Periodical Crises (Big Cyclical Crises) and the Renovation of the Capital Accumulation Model
Some of the periodical crises are characterized by the reaching of capital accumulation level in a given period to the size which makes some qualitative changes both possible and compulsory. In such periods, features defined as possibility or tendency up to that day, become laws. Inclusive political developments triggered by the sharpening of contradictions rooted from there (wars, revolutions, big mass movements and uprisings...) deepens the depression. Together with the bottleneck of specific accumulation model of capital (by reaching the limits of accumulation under those conditions and by requiring other conditions to move forward), they violently come in view by integrating with the large scale political consequences or by being effected by those. It is certain that there can no longer be a way to move forward in the same line in such periods. Which line will be followed, by the way, is decided by effects of political processes as much as the laws of capitalist order. (For example, whether the inevitability of wars between imperialists and revolutionary wars can meet with the politic subjects of the wars; whether the existence of these politic subjects can meet with the victory of wars, etc.)
Since these big cyclical crises bring and requires the leaping advancement of capital accumulation under the updated conditions, it is also characterized with large scale renovation of production model (organization of production and production technology). For this reason, each of them has accelerated the decaying of capitalism by giving rise to the result of working of the declination tendency of profit rates in a leaping way in total of the process.
Therefore, it will be beneficial to say a few words about the differences of today's existential crisis with the big cyclical crises which burst out in previous periods and opened new paths for capitalist order with a conclusive renovation.
The crisis of 1873-76 was one of those big cyclical crises. The source of the bottleneck (the obstacle against the advancement of capital accumulation) was free competition. Free competition had completed its motive mission running for a certain stage in which the capital accumulation with centralization was ahead. It had become not a motivation but an obstacle against a more advanced accumulation which obligatorily included the accumulation via centralization. The quantitative level of capital accumulation had reached the quality where it could absorb and had to absorb more raw material, more labor force with more developed production tools (which means more developed means of production as a whole). The existent accumulation model was not enough. To absorb such scale of production forces, higher amounts of capital needed to be collected in each hands. Liquidation of free competition in order to centralize the capital more (monopoly) and widening to non-capitalistic fields through exporting capital in order to get more centralization (imperialist colonization) had become a must. This crisis became the starting process of the stage of imperialism.

  • More than half of the total wealth is in the hand of the richest 1% population since 2015.
  • The wealth of world's richest 8 families (426 billion dollars) equals to the total wealth of world's poorest 50% population.
  • The wealth of poorest 50% has never gone above the 1,5% since 2000. Between the same years, the wealth of richest 1% has never gone below 46% and always been in rise.
  • According to this, the world's poorest 50% owns less than the quarter of 1% of the world's wealth in total.
  • Between the years of 1988-2011, annual income of the world's poorest 10% showed an increase less than 3 dollars, while the income if the richest 1% increased more than 182 times.
  • For the year 2015, the rate of total assets of world's poorest 50% was estimated 0,7%, but this rate became 0,2% in reality.
  • This number did not show any increase also for 2016.
  • This number was realized as -0,4% for the poorest 10% (negative wealth due to debts)
  • 70% of the poorest 50% lives in the low income countries.
  • The poorest 10% of the world population earns less than 1,90 dollars per day and this income is below the limit of extreme poorness.
  • There happened a 7,3% regression in the land ownership of the poorest 20% between the years 1990-2000.
  • 59% of the agreements about lands between these years were executed in the extent of land expropriation of peoples.
  • In Latin America where the distribution of lands is the most uneven, 1% within the whole farms holds more fertile lands in hand than the other 99%.
  • Source: Oxfam report of 2017

The crisis of 1929-33 was also that kind of a crisis. The bottleneck was caused by getting the impossibleness of the evolutionary progress of accumulation based on capital export due to monopolistic competition. After the re-division of world market with the 1st re-division war, the law of uneven development had brought out a new table of uneven distribution of colonies, competition among imperialists had sharpened, accumulation via capital export had entered into a bottleneck. The capital was forced to obtain a leap through both becoming preponderant at the re-division and an internal deepening, but not expanding outwards under the current division conditions. To clear its path, a) the issue of re-division came into question, b) these pushed the capital to a centralization leap for an intensification leap. There occurred a need for collective capitalist ownership to be developed through monopolization with leaps in the forms of relatively big trustifications. What is more important, is that there also occurred a need for bourgeois state as collective capitalist to be developed by undertaking big investments. This financial obligation had found its meaning in various forms of political programs of bourgeoisie (developing monopolistic state capitalism which was embodied with the Keynesian model or fascist politic programs inside, programs of war for re-division of colonies or programs of reconstruction of colonies outside).
There was a very basic politic factor which deepened the crisis, accelerated the process forward and pushed the transformation of the capital accumulation model into a specific form during this period. As the expansion of the market had been limited due to the victory of the October revolution, increasing the absolute surplus value exploitation in order to develop the current markets in depth had also been limited again due to political conditions (revolution threat). Freedom struggles regarding opening the fields, which had not been ruled by the capitalist relations yet, to capitalist exploitation and the risk of full detachment of those from the capitalist system came into question. The real unconditional development ability and possibility of the productive forces were embodied in the name of October revolution.
Under these conditions, capital accumulation could only proceed through two contradicting, but unified channels, and it did. Decaying side of this proceeding were re-division of colonies appropriate to the current distribution of the capital accumulation, overcoming the geographical limitation of the market through defeating socialism militarily and developing fascism and an imperialist re-division war in order to suppress the revolutionary struggles.
The war option did neither become a mean of such re-division of colonies, nor expand the market geographically; it rather resulted in even narrowing it (new revolutions).
Under these conditions, bourgeoisie's collective voluntary intervention came up in the fields of economics, military and politics. Leaving the political goals and results aside, economically, it meant the following: collective capitalist (monopolist state) had to intervene in the situation for more centralization and intensification. Economically, this also covered overtaking the large scale investment needs in the name of whole capitalist class and this was the productive side, the productive channel of the proceeding.
There was no time for accumulation based on capital export to progress globally with an evolutionary way. Capital had to quicken its own decaying speed. It had to unify and upsurge its forces against the socialist forces by centralization and intensification.
When it comes to 1974, accumulation model based on capital export reached its limits. Domestic markets could no longer expand with the current conditions.
The source of the bottleneck this time, was basically the division of the market. The level of the capital accumulation was too big to have new conditions to develop the productive forces on national bases. Domestic markets had grown up to their own borders. The current centralization and intensification of the capital made the intervention of state to economy as a collective capitalist unnecessary. Single capitalists became available to do these on their own, bourgeois state became a redundant competitor. The current accumulation model was once more not enough to move forward.
This level also brought progressing through two contradicting, but unified channels whose decaying side again was dominant. The productive side of the progress was the development of a production system which was socialized enough to carry all stages of production to an international level and create an integrated world market. The non-productive, the decaying side, on the other hand, was the expansion of excessive capital surplus and getting of accumulation with financial tools ahead (profit through usurpation, not through productivity).
When it comes to 2008, this time, a situation different than all previous big cyclical crises was in expression. The bottleneck was ultimately related to the limitations in the context of "capitalizing the non-capitalistic relations" in all previous processes. This time, there were non-capitalistic obstacles causing the accumulation model to choke.
Today, what is causing the accumulation model to choke is just the level of current accumulation itself. The capital can not jump to a higher accumulation model not because of being unable to centralize or intensify enough, but because of over-intensifying and over-centralizing. It is not carrying out more advanced technologies, the production models which develop the labor productivity not because of insufficient centralization and intensification or lack of accumulation. It is not carrying out these because it is not interested due to excessive accumulation even though there is no indirect relation in between. As expressed in the crises of 1930 and 1974, since the stage of imperialism, since the dominance of the financial capital, the capital accumulation has been developing in the direction of decaying. However, today, the decaying is the basic side, but the development has become an auxiliary and deficient feature.
As follows, the saying "the real obstacle of capitalist production is the capital" has no longer been an insight, a tendency, but become an actual reality, an actual law. The 2008 financial crisis was a crisis symbolizing and expressing that imperialistic world capitalist system has been in an existential crisis for a while. We can find all the data about this existential in the 2008 crisis, but we can not identify its existence only with this crisis. So, we will discuss it in a separate context as existential crisis.


The Existential Crisis
The existential crisis is the name of the reality that capitalism is heading towards the last limits of its inner tendencies, towards the quantity limits where a qualitative change can only happen by transforming into its opposite.
Detachment of Labor and Capital From Each Other
We have already mentioned that excessive capital surplus and mass unemployment throughout the stage of imperialist globalization became accelerated and chronic.
Inability to destruct capital through bankruptcy, war, etc. (at a meaningful amount regarding today's capital accumulation level) and the fail of crises in this regard, have become characteristic during the whole stage of imperialist globalization. It is no coincidence that the trademark of the 2008 crisis was saving the big monopolies from bankruptcies by nationalizing the debts. It was announcing that this tendency has become a basic feature from now on.
Chronic mass unemployment stands at the opposite pole of this reality. Proletariat is expanding in amount. However, during this expansion of the proletariat, the increasing speed of the unemployed ones is starting to exceed the increasing speed of the number of the employed ones.
Yet the whole deal of capitalism is just to ensure the free laborer and the capital owner to meet and to constantly find more profitable ways for this meeting in favor of the capitalist!
On one side, there is excess capital and on the other side, there is the chronic excess labor force. So, this situation has no longer been an acute situation as an internal element of the mechanism of capitalist production relations which bursts out during the periodical crises. Labor and capital is in a phase of detachment, not temporary, but systematically. And the whole objective basis, all the internal lawfulness now serve for deepening this situation. The power of influence of all the tendencies working opposite to this situation have weakened (foreign trade due to integration of world market and reaching its limits; devaluation of the capital due to reaching its own limits through distortion of periodical crises; increase of absolute surplus value exploitation due to coming to the limits of slavery labor, etc.)
In summary, meeting of labor with capital (the main condition for the capitalist production) does not secure the maximum profit (the main goal of the capitalist production). Existential conditions of the capitalist production have become in a state that it cannot realize its existential goal, and this situation is chronic.
Chronic mass unemployment, which means that an ever-growing proportion of the labor force is never able to meet with the labor conditions, thus with the capital, is forming one of the limitations of the development of capital accumulation through increasing the absolute surplus value. Its weakening, as a reverse law balancing the declination tendency of profit rates, deepens the decaying of capital.
There is also a limit for increasing the relative surplus value. So, if you push the surplus labor towards 6 hours of a worker who is working for 12 hours, then towards 11 hours, and then towards 11 hours and 45 minutes, you will get closer to zero line regarding the necessary labor. Developing the productivity of labor increases the relative surplus value so limitlessly that the production of surplus value advances to the limit where it turns into its opposite and disappears. Constantly increasing the relative surplus value also gives birth to a declination tendency of profit rates which is gradually getting closer to the zero line. This declination tendency of profit rates is alarming for single capitalists and in the end for the whole capitalist class.
In regard to the labor of slavery, the whole labor is the surplus labor and the whole labor is the necessary labor. Such that, the condition for surviving is its surplus labor. Its whole surplus labor is the necessary labor for its survival. Straining the necessary labor to the zero line means straining the free laborer to the labor of slavery limit.
On contrary, excessive increase of the labor productivity is heading towards the limit of robotic production, which means, this time, towards the limit in which the surplus value is zeroed by being made absolute and the machine can deliver only and only its own value to the product.
The fact that the free laborer works for his/her own account in some part of the workday and for a capitalist, who he/she chooses freely in the market, in some other part of the workday (the distinction between the necessary and the surplus labor) is the main difference of capitalism from the previous production relations. As the capitalist production develops, the difference becomes distinctive. However as the development progresses in the direction deepening the decaying, we can see that historical development opportunity has lost correspondingly and searchings opposite to historical development has become the dominant tendency.
This 'turning into its own opposite' limit is expressed in the form of accumulation of conditions in which the 'free laborer' will either be a laborer and not free (the limit of slavery labor), or be free but not a laborer (being free to sell the labor power but inability to find a place to sell it). This situation draws the lines of development of capital accumulation. The tendency of shifting the industrial investments from technology intensive fields to labor intensive fields becomes a sign of vacillation of capital accumulation as hitting and crashing into these lines.
Opportunity to Develop the Market - Capitalization of the Non-capitalistic Relations
We have summarized which bottleneck points were overcome, which tendencies turned into laws and which quantities turned into a new quality and their roles in each of the fundamental qualitative jump periods during the progress of capitalist order.
What is the reason behind the bottleneck of capital accumulation today? In which forms can the development be from now on? Are there possibilities to find an answer to this within the capitalism's own lawfulness? This is the question with respect to the existential crisis.
All the bases for it to move forward are not qualitative but quantitative and only cause the crisis to blow more. Let's look at the possible development bases within its own internal lawfulness.
What is the situation for the market regarding its expansion opportunity? Today, there is no piece of land left in the world outside the capitalist exploitation (as in the pre-capitalist or socialist forms). A restriction of capital movement due to national borders is out of question. And there isn't any obstruction in front of the development of capital centralization (each monopoly 'smaller' than the monopolist world bourgeoisie, each corporation is either integrated with the monopolist bourgeoisie or there is nothing to stop them from drifting into bankruptcy; monopolist world bourgeoisie as the ruling class of the stage of imperialist globalization is actually sovereign over the whole world market, etc.)
Then, there is only one possible way for the market to expand (to progress outwardly): to complete the process of financial-economical colonization (integration of regions which were not outside capitalism but unable to be integrated into the process of imperialist globalization). Although monopolist world bourgeoisie has overcome the confronting obstacles here (bourgeoisies historically representing a more backward position by resisting against changing or applying more backward development models as they see the crisis as a chance; struggles of working class and the oppressed historically representing a more progressive position) without getting a heavy damage, this is not a qualitative change. Without a doubt, the opportunity to move forward from here is important (but it is not easy in this crisis situation and in the case of failure, there will be drastic political consequences in the forms of revolutionary waves ), however it will not be a support of a new qualitative jump, a financial upsurge move.
Such that, even though the contradictions between the imperialists get sharper and it goes forward along with the realities and the possibilities of regional wars, a 'war for re-division of the colonies' with the meaning in the past periods is not a contemporary renewal opportunity. As colonization has advanced up to the form of financial-economic colonization, as all the regions of the world have opened to the world monopolies for indirect exploitation, how can 're-division' have a revival meaning 'from the standpoint of people' but not from the eyes of single or group of bourgeoisie? At this quantitative level of socialization of production, the ones, who may be interested in whether the regions to be redivided will be its own market or not, can be financial-economic colonies at most, who are dreaming of becoming imperialist itself. Imperialist monopolist world bourgeoisie, on the other hand, has grown so much that interest to its childhood toy, 'own market', does not even cross through its mind. The only thing which can be removed about the nations is the obstacles in front of the circulation of labor force commodity, which removing these means destroying the opportunities of increasing the absolute surplus value exploitation which has already been restricted.
One step forward from the financial-economic colony can be historically a few steps backward at most, a medieval style empire order, which is by the way, a non-capitalistic relation form anymore.


Opportunity to Deepen the Market - Progress of Monopolization
Opportunities to progress in depth in the current market is also extremely limited. This seems like a contradiction at first. While there are lots of wide regions which are bound to the imperialist world system but still in a backward level of capitalist development, why can't the opportunity for deepening the world market be an exit point and why does it become a sign of the closeness to the limits where it turns into its opposite?
Deepening of the integrated world market means the progress of monopolization even more.
Monopolization is progressing through two ways. One is towards the absorption of the monopoly indirectly by destructing all small producers. And two is towards keeping small producers alive and binding them to the monopoly. In the first one, the progress (in which we have to assume that 'progress in depth' inevitably corresponds to progress of absolute monopolization) means the liquidation of the second one at the same rate, which is the form of monopolization based on the productions chains.
However, today, the basis which the whole world bourgeoisie stands on, is the system of production chains. And if we want to mention about a maneuver field, a concession opportunity for capitalism, the only field would be actually the realization of the current monopolization in such form. Because this form pulls the constant capital down to the minimum required level for the world monopoly to produce with such a great scale. Thus, by also pulling the technical component of the capital down, it balances the declination tendency of profit rates and makes the technological renovation still available through creating the basis where the surplus profit can still be realized.
Unless the production chains mechanism as today's monopolization form functions as a mechanism to leak additional profit from the producer at the lower phases of the chain towards world monopolies, in other words, if all the capital investment controlled by a world monopoly is realized by this monopoly indirectly, the profit rate will fall largely from the rate of today.
The same system is also the main condition for national borders to function as the outer walls of the cheap labor force pools. It is the order, in which the tendency of production capital heading towards labor intensive fields, not towards technology intensive fields, that this opposite historical tendency, which is a sign of existential crisis, can be sustainable with.
Then, although the tendency towards absolute, 'pure' monopolization continues functioning inevitably (speculative capital, capital usurpation via plundering -usurpation of surplus value- is even enough by itself for this tendency to develop), the dominant one for the world monopolies is the other one, which is the tendency to develop conditions for cheap purchase from sub-producers instead of monopolization to keep the profit rates high. And this means keeping the capitalists at the lower phases of the production chain alive.
Such that, when looking from this standpoint, there is a limit of turning into its own opposite, where the monopolies are the obstacles themselves as much as they are the real propellers of the monopolization. As much as they starve, monopolies do also fear from monopolization. Within the tendencies working in the same and opposite directions, the effective power of the tendencies slowing the monopolization has increased because of the monopolies themselves.


Opportunity to Renew the Technical Basis of Production
Monopolization based on the production chains as the system to increase the additional profit functions as follows. A capitalist is not voluntary to use a new technology as long as it lowers the profit rates, no matter how much it increases the exploitation of surplus value. The propellant power of renovation of technical basis of production is the law of competition and the possibility to obtain surplus value which provides superiority in this competition. In today's conditions, the possibility of surplus value through renewing the technical basis of production requires the progress of monopolization via absolute forms, an accumulation model which extremely decreases the profit rates. However it does not attempt to this. Technological renovation opportunities do not get into usage unless it becomes compulsory due to exacerbation of the competition. In this situation, the tendency to keep the additional profit in hand with the current monopolistic model is ahead of the tendency to keep it in hand through a big scale technological renovation. Technological renovation comes into use indirectly from the production chains. As a result, the content of the technological renovation gets weaker and its speed in terms of coming into use decreases.
Competition among the biggest monopolies also obliges the technological renovation for them. They respond to this obligation by keeping the channels open to overcome this on the basis of international division of labor and by this way, the first solution in the competition among the biggest monopolies is not the technological renovation, but the expanding of economical and political conditions to get an advantageous position in benefiting from the international division of labor.
Besides, the need for technological renovation is partially revolving considering the fierce competition (for the sake of being a sub-contractor firm) among the producers at the lower phases of the chain. Their first move is the exploitation of cheap labor under the wildest conditions. But the competition is pushing the ones at these lower phases for technological renovation. So, technological renovation comes into agenda of the ones at the upper phases not directly, but through wandering all the way from these lower phases indirectly. Of course, a meaningful renovation in regard to capitalist production demands the centralized and intensified capital accumulated in the hands of the ones at the upper phases.
We have said that without the possibility of surplus profit, technological renovation cannot draw enough interest for the capitalist. Yet, the level of monopolization provides a long term basis for leaking additional profit from the lower phases of the production chain. Then, technological renovation which causes the monopolization to get deeper draws less and less attention of the capitalist as it monopolizes more and more. Its tendency heads towards buying cheap raw material, cheap intermediate products and cheap labor force. This is how it is for each single world monopolies and because of that, for the world economy as well.
The world monopolies, which are sovereign over the world economy, that means they are in a decisive position for a conclusive renovation of the world economy, are the least interested ones for a conclusive renovation.
When looking from this angle, the general tendency of the monopolist world bourgeoisie is in the direction strengthening the factors decelerating the absolute monopolization speed. Monopolization tendency is getting closer to the limit where it will turn into its opposite.
The capital cannot progress without constantly renewing the technological basis of production and constantly developing the productive forces. But the basis of this is fact depends on developing production for the sake of developing capital. This equation does not work in the other way as such developing capital in order to develop production. Since the development of production methods is not a goal but an instrument, as the instrument develops, it tends to develop beyond the limit of 'for capital development'. The goal enters into a conflict with the instrument. Today, this conflict, together with the formation of the integrated world market, has matured completely. The question of the development of productive forces stands not as leaning to the capital limit, but as a sheer issue.


Opportunity for Accumulation with Monetary Tools and Its Limits
There are also limitations for the accumulation with monetary tools which means the flow of capital into the speculation field. Since the surplus value, which is usurped via speculation and change hands, is obtained from industrial production, shrinkage and restrictions in this field also become the limitation for the accumulation through speculation. Such that, surpass of this kind of accumulation causes the capital accumulation to get closer to its opposite and to appear like a historically more backward kind, 'accumulation as wealth'.
Capital Destruction and Exodus of Capital Backwards
OK, if the roads in depth and in width open to the dead-ends and the forward direction is congested, is it a solution to escape backward? "The Backward Exodus" is a given fact within capitalist system in terms of a progressing opportunity. Each of the periodical crisis is a backward exodus in order to move forward. However, the situation on this matter is also different than yesterday. Not only the roads of a backward exodus are congested, but also they are not a progressing opportunity anymore.
Materializing a meaningful destruction of capital cannot happen without heavily damaging the system in terms of political and economical consequences. It also cannot happen without putting the rulers of the system (monopolist world bourgeoisie) under an actual risk. Even if it happens, it will not be an opportunity for capitalist order for a historical progress. Each capital destruction brings more centralization and intensification along. It works for something to move forward. But the question is: more centralization and intensification for what? Of course, as a last evaluation, each bourgeoisie considers its own account and the answer will be: for maximum profit (for the maximum profit of 'x' bourgeoisie). It can be considered like this. World bourgeoisie will act according to this mentality. But this is only quantitative. As a whole, what are the results from the viewpoint of the society, as a feature of the system? Yesterday, more centralization and intensification meant the ability to carry more technological renovation and/or renovation of organization of production (a production organization which requires a larger scale of capital investment). However, in today's situation, we have already seen that the current level of the accumulation is the main reason to make such a renovation impossible.


In lieu of Conclusion
Transformation of capital into its own obstacle unveils an existential crisis. In this crisis, every step forward will rebound back since it gets close to its own opposite. While each capitalist is looking for ways to increase their profit and is looking either ahead or back to do that, they will have to start back after crashing and burning at the objective limits of capitalism; yet they will not give up searching. In total, class of the capitalists is in between the devil and the deep blue sea in this crisis. The proceeding direction is not the direction from which a more advanced capital accumulation can give rise a new quality. Therefore, until the conditions of capitalist production will reach its own end with a political revolution led by the working class, the portrait of the bourgeoisie will be economical, political and ideological exitlessness, conflict and repression.