13 June 2006

The Wolf Report Returns to Ecuador

On his blog "The Wolf Report: Nonconfidential analysis for the anti-investor", S. Artesian has posted his ninth essay in a series entitled, "The Importance of Being Ecuador". Artesian's brilliance lies in his ability to make sense of important historical transformations while at the same time situating those transformations with respect to the basic struggle - the fundamental tenet of any Marxist analysis - between labor and capital. Here, we often veer away from such an analysis, but Artesian never does. A brief piece from the essay:
Capital in Ecuador, in the Andean countries, is not just an intrusion into the conquest economies, not simply a product of the world market, but simultaneously an extrusion of the conquest economies. Capital develops as an internal concession, enclave capitalism.

The limitations to capital internationally and within the enclave converge. While the growth of the means of production requires ever greater access to "free" wage labor, overproduction demands ever greater restrictions on that labor, ever more contained, confined, and controlled islands of capitalist production and value extraction. Overproduction makes capital incapable of fulfilling the whispered promise of "development."

The expansion precipitated by the exploration, discovery, and development of petroleum reserves in the Oriente came to fruition with the decline in the rate of profit, the rate of return, that coursed through capitalism in 1970, 1971, 1972. Actually investment and development acted as producers of that decline.

These sharp, concise, paragraphs demonstrate the nuanced Marxist perspective Artesian brings to the table. And for that reason, for the invaluable punctuation of current events with full-frontal Marxist analysis, I strongly encourage everyone to visit The Wolf at the Door.

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