Sunday, December 2, 2018

Imperialism, ultra-imperialism and the rise of China by Hua Shi

Democracy and Class Struggle thanks Mike of Serve the People Australia for translating this article by Hua Shi - Red Salute Comrade.

We would also draw comrades attention to this work published in Philippines on Lenin's Imperialism in 21st Century here and particularly recommend the article by Pao-yu Ching .

We also note similarities in the Hua Shi contribution published here to that of Fred Engst in Lenin's Imperialism in the 21st Century.

Starting with the data of the world's top 500 companies (i.e. the Fortune 500 – trans.), this paper analyzes the distribution and characteristics of monopoly capital in the capitalist world today, and summarizes some evidence of the rise of Chinese capital. Then it analyzes how imperialism exploits the surplus value of the working class, through money, the monopoly of finance, science and technology and resources plunder of the world's wealth through unequal exchanges, and then demonstrates the relationship between overproduction and the imperialist crisis, and analyzes the various contradictions in the capitalist world, especially imperialist contradictions outside the labor-management contradiction, the contradictions between these, and the contradiction between developing countries and imperialism

This paper studies the rise of Chinese capital from the perspective of monopoly capital, especially some basic attributes and characteristics of state-owned capital groups, and the data shows that state-owned capital groups are the world's largest collection of financial and industrial capitals, with the highest monopoly and the greatest strength.

We analyse the characteristics and trends of the contradictions between China and the United States based on the basic logic that capital groups either expand or die, and that the future development of state-owned capital groups will inevitably come into more and more serious conflicts with the existing imperialist system led by the United States.

Table of Contents


I. The current situation of global monopoly capital
2. several channels for imperialism to plunder the world's wealth: monetary and financial, technology and resource monopoly

3. Some basic contradictions and crises in the current imperialist world
(1) Class contradictions between labour and capital
(2) Hegemonic conflict between imperialist countries
(3) Imperialist hegemony gives the people of developing countries the space to use contradictions
(4) The economic foundation of imperialism: the escalation of monopoly and the crisis of overproduction
(5) Ecological crisis and resource depletion and imperialism

4. Is it Leninism or ultra-imperialism?
(1) The new characteristics of global imperialism dominated by US imperialism
(2) The resurrection of ultra-imperialism
(3) Criticism of the world system theory
(4) US imperialism never buys accounts of ultra-imperialism.

5. The rise of the new empire will inevitably challenge the pattern of the world powers led by the US
(1) The international status of the Celestial Kingdom
(2) The characteristics of state-owned capital
(3) Economic strength of state-owned capital groups
(4) The challenge of Chinese capital to US imperialism
(V) Case: Chinese capital in Africa
(6) Lessons from history

6. The conclusion 


The financial crisis sweeping the world in 2008 marked the bursting of the “prosperity” bubble and the crisis of the world capitalist economy. The rupture of this bubble was the result of a crisis of overproduction in the world imperialist system led by the US imperialists trying to overcome the fundamentals of the capitalist system. In addition to “quantitative easing”, the only way they had to overcome this crisis was by further blowing the capital bubble and transferring it to the crisis.

In the past nine years, under the strong focus of almost zero interest rates and government deficits (such as the US deficit having more than doubled from 60% of GDP), the economic growth of the developed countries has been unsustainable. So what other means do they have to deal with the next economic crisis ,that will surely come?

The world pattern since the 2008 economic crisis has also undergone significant changes. The judgments and differences of the parties are significant for the essence of this change.

For example, in recent years, China has engaged in large-scale reclamation of islands in the South China Sea, built roads in disputed areas on the Sino-Indian border, built a military base in Djibouti in the Middle East, and taken control, under 99-year lease agreements, of Gwadar Port in Pakistan and Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka in exchange for debts incurred by those countries, etc. Are these legitimate actions to defend and restore sovereignty? Or are they imperialist tactics that pave the way for hegemony?

Was the implementation of mixed ownership designed to lead to further privatization, enabling Western multinationals to invade, occupy and trample on China's territory, or to strengthen the leverage of state-owned capital, so that it can control greater capital so that it can better compete with the West, competing with it for markets and resources around the world?

Is the recent surge in workers’ troubles, strikes, movements etc., that have erupted from time to time the result of manipulation by hostile forces abroad, or is it the manifestation of intensified domestic class contradictions?

Will the "Chinese Dream"  accelerate the colonization of China, or is it progress an "ideal" towards the “ideal” of imperialism?

In addition to some nationalist "leftists" who are engaging in alarmist yells about China's colonization, China's rise has become a largely undisputed consensus at home and abroad. Even the Philippine government, which has always followed the US imperialism, has seen a change in the world's pattern, recognizing that the time has come to use China and the United States to gain economic development opportunities.

With the establishment of the AIIB, the “Belt and Road” strategy has clearly challenged the existing world imperialist system. Those who screamed about China’s colonization had to change their tone.

So, will the rising China become a big country moving towards imperialism?

It is important to be concerned about the challenges that will be encountered. Among the self-proclaimed "leftist" this is quite a controversial issue. So, what is the significance of dealing with this problem?

This issue involves the nature of the current Chinese society and involves the positions, principles, and policies that the Chinese working class and the world proletariat should hold in the contradiction between China and the imperialist system headed by the US. This is a major problem of principle.

To correctly understand the current situation, we need to answer the following questions:

What is imperialism?

Is Lenin still correct in saying that "imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism?" In other words, does the new feature of imperialism, that is, the globalization of capital replace Lenin's theory?

If Lenin’s theory that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism” is correct, then is imperialism under state monopoly capitalism the last gasp of a capitalism in decline?

Is the rising state-owned capital group a counter-hegemonic force with a socialist nature or a backbone of hegemony?

Do the earlier Soviet-American struggles for hegemony in the arms race, agency wars, and over spheres of influence have implications for future Sino-US confrontations?

To answer such questions, we must sort out some of the basic facts of current world capitalism on the one hand, and on the other hand, we need a theoretical framework to analyze these basic facts. This is because we are in the era of big data, and every day there is a huge amount of information that impacts our vision. If we don't want to be overwhelmed by information, we must have a sober theoretical framework to analyze this information.

To this end, we will first sort out some basic facts of the current capitalist world, analyze some basic contradictions in the era of imperialism, and then conduct some discussions on how to analyze the theoretical frameworks needed for these facts and contradictions, in order to lay a foundation for the final analysis of the relationshipbetween the rising China and today's imperialist system.

I. The current situation of global monopoly capital

We may wish to analyze the imperialist system dominated by monopoly capital in the world today, starting with the world's top 500 monopoly capitals.

From Table 1, of the top 500 countries in the world, United States assets accounted for about 30%, Germany, Britain, France and other Western European countries accounted for 27%, China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan which accounted for a small proportion) accounted for 23%, Japan’s only accounted for 10%. The rest of the total is only 10%. Of course, this asset share does not reflect the international influence of a country's capital. Most of China’s assets are within the country, while the assets of other established imperialisms are mostly abroad. 

According to the distinction between finance, industry and services, that is, in Table 2[1], China's industry, in addition to profits (taken away by finance), has been leading in all other indicators (for many years).

In addition to the data of the world's top 500 companies, China's rise is also very obvious in terms of other indicators. China's steel production, power generation, automobile production, high-speed rail mileage, patent applications, and the numbers enrolled in higher education are among the highest in the world (of course, due to the large population, the per capita indicators are still far behind). Militarily, China is the third exporter of the world's arms after the United States and Russia. In contrast, India is a country that relies on arms purchases to implement regional expansionism.

Let us discuss how the world monopoly capital represented by the world's top 500 is such a strong accumulation of wealth.

Second, there are several channels for imperialism to plunder the world's wealth: monetary and financial, technology and resource monopoly.

In the imperialist system, the relationship between the imperialist country and other countries is the former's relationship of pursuing hegemony, plundering and exploiting the latter, just as the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the working class in capitalist society is the former oppressing, ruling and exploiting the latter. The relationship is the same. But the relationship between oppression and exploitation between classes is through the possession by the bourgeoisie of the means of production, the value created by the unit of labour time (such as one year) and the value difference of the labour power per unit of time (such as one year), that is, the surplus value. To achieve this, therefore, wage labour does not need to violate the principle of equivalent exchange. [1]

In contrast, the relationship between rule and exploitation between countries within the imperialist system is very different, and the main thing is not achieved through the principle of equivalent exchange. If the exchange between countries is equivalent, there will be no imperialism.

Then, through what channels has the globalized imperialist system achieved the relationship of domination, plunder and exploitation after the abolition of the old colonial system?

In summary, there are the following major categories: currency hegemony, financial hegemony, technology and resource monopoly. All of these are not equivalent exchanges.

1. Currency hegemony: The highest profit rate should be regarded as US dollar hegemony (it can directly plunder resources from other countries by printing money), and its cost is almost zero. However, its profit margin is limited, and the United States cannot rely on printing banknotes to survive without limit.

2. Financial hegemony: The financial hegemony represented by the Wall Street financial oligarchy and the World Bank and other international organizations can't match the US dollar hegemony, but it is similar to usury, and the rolling interest rates put pressure on many Asian, African and Latin American countries. They have to use a lot of exports to pay off debts, and on the other hand have to use new loans to pay off old debts, so imperialism’s profits are very large. There is no mention of the principle of equivalence exchange here, only plunder.

3. Resource monopoly: Multinational companies can obtain excess profits by monopolizing resources such as oil (or by controlling oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia) and ore. This excess profit is realized through non-equivalent exchange. But the scale of profit from relying on this old colonial resource monopoly method is still limited.

4. Technology monopoly: The plunder of wealth here is also achieved through unequal exchanges other than surplus value. Labor theory of value recognizes that a commodity has only one value, and that is not a high value if labour efficiency is low. But the exchange of goods, especially the exchange of goods between different countries, is much more complicated. Developed countries use high-tech “capital-intensive” products to exchange “labor-intensive” products in less developed countries. The exchange here is not equivalent, that is, the developed countries use products containing less socially necessary labour time to obtain products that contain a large amount of socially necessary labour time in other countries. This is the main form of surplus value transfer in international trade [2]. For example, China used to exchange hundreds of millions of pairs of pants for an Airbus 380. Similarly, American agricultural products are “capital-intensive”. An ordinary American farmer produces agricultural products such as thousands of tons of corn a year,  which is exported to Mexico, which will cause dozens and hundreds of local farmers to go bankrupt. They are forced to work in export processing zones, and the textiles, electronics and other products produced are sold to the United States at low cost. As a result, a product with one year of labour in the United States can be exchanged for dozens of products in Mexico from hundreds of labourers for one year. On the contrary, the exchange of goods between developed countries is basically an equivalent exchange, because both sides have their own technology and expertise, and the units of labour time of exchanged products is not much different.

Since the last channel of this unequal exchange has a misleading misunderstanding of the influence of the working class in developed countries, we need to further elaborate on this. According to the Marxist point of view, this unequal exchange greatly reduces the cost of labor in developed countries, maintains the profit rate of capital in developed countries, and effectively offsets the tendency for the rate of profit to fall that follows from the increase in the organic composition of capital (Marx's argument in Capital) 3]. This contrasts with the following assertion: "The 'New Deal' after 1945 essentially made the working class in Western developed countries share part of the world's surplus value through conditions of political cooperation with capitalism" [4]. If this is the case, then the material basis for the working class of the world will not exist. In fact, with the advancement of capitalist globalization, the real wages of the working class in developed countries are steadily declining. This is because the average wage of the working class in any country, no matter how big the gap, whether it is developed or developing, is basically the cost of the reproduction of the working class in the country, that is, raising children and raising the elderly. And the cost of a small size of food, clothing, housing, education, health, etc.

Without a monopoly on technology, the less developed countries will soon acquire any new technology (imitation is much faster than innovation, so the leap-forward advantage of the newcomer is strong, like Soviet aid to China in the same year [5]), the exchange of goods between countries tends to be equivalent exchange. This is why imperialism is trying to prevent the underdeveloped countries from mastering new technologies.

The relationship between the channels through which imperialism plunders the world's wealth is fundamentally technological, and resources are the characteristics of the old-fashioned empire. With these two, there will be finance, and with financials, there will be currency hegemony.

Once the dollar, the euro, the pound, and the yen can be used as reserve currencies, they can print the money to obtain the wealth of those countries that use their currency as a reserve currency. Other imperialists besides the Eurozone and Japan, such as Canada or Australia, cannot enjoy the currency hegemony that can plunder the wealth of other countries by simply printing money, but finance, resources and technology are more or less enjoyed by others.

Through the above analysis, what is China's position in these channels? What is the difference between it and other developing countries such as South Korea, India and Brazil?

1. Although the IMF has approved the reserve status of the renminbi, except for a few countries Southeast Asia where the renminbi is in common use, China has not yet been able to obtain much of the currency hegemony dividend, but it is working hard to realize the internationalization of its own currency and realize the same for the future. The groundwork is being laid for the currency hegemony of the Euro and the Yen. South Korea, India and Brazil are unlikely to have any hope in this regard.

2. China still can't talk about financial hegemony it at present, at least not very openly. Not many Asian and African countries have swallowed the bait yet. However, the establishment of the AIIB has laid a solid beginning for this development. Information about South Korea, India and Brazil has not yet been collected, except that they are not comparable to China, and others are hard to say.

3. In terms of resource monopoly, China seems to be the main victim at present. It is working hard to change this situation, and is working hard to buy and control resources around the world. South Korea does not have much resources. India and Brazil are controlled by multinational companies. However, information from which to draw conclusions about this is insufficient at present.

4. The technology monopoly is being broken by China. Although China can't exchange the same price with developed countries in terms of import and export trade, because its control over the market and technology is not comparable to that of developed countries, this situation is changing rapidly. China’s external equipment exports have been able to generate huge profits, such as equipment and arms exports like high-speed rail. The exchange of goods between China and the developed countries is increasingly an equivalent exchange, and thus the exchange of goods between China and the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America is increasingly unequal exchange. South Korea can enjoy some unequal exchange profits in this respect, although India and Brazil cannot. Details are for further study are rquired.

It can be seen that compared with South Korea, India and Brazil, China is a country with an imperialist posture. At least it is in a transition from quantitative change to qualitative change

3. Some basic contradictions and crises in the current imperialist world

In order to understand imperialism, we must understand its inner contradictions and the resulting law of operation. The following are some of the most fundamental contradictions of capitalism. The first is the contradiction between labour and capital, the second is the contradiction between imperialist countries, and the third is the contradiction between imperialism and developing countries. The crisis of overproduction caused by socialized production and private ownership of the means of production is not only the driving force for capitalism to move toward imperialism, but also exacerbates the contradictions between the imperialist countries. The contradiction between labour and capital within countries can also be revealed more deeply from the crisis of overproduction.

(1) Class contradictions between labour and capital

This is the most basic and sharpest contradiction in capitalist society. It is manifested in the fact that all regimes in today’s world use the country’s violent means (police and army) for maintaining capitalism and responding to their people’s resistance to private ownership.  In the era of imperialism, domestic class contradictions and international imperialism interact and are inseparable. On the one hand, the imperialist country must ease the class contradictions in its own country by means of passing the crisis onto others. On the other hand, it must defend its profits from foreign investment by suppressing the working class outside the empire, and rely on cheap imports to further suppress the resistance of the domestic working class. Because the contradiction between labour and capital is familiar to everyone, we are not going to much discuss it much here.

(2) Hegemonic conflict between the imperialist countries

The first is the contradiction between the powers led by the United States and Russia. The concentrated expression of this contradiction is the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 and the increasingly fierce Syrian crisis. Russia has sent its only aircraft carrier to its only military base in the Middle East to defend itself and this has a growing momentum. Counter-terrorism is an excuse for both sides, and refugees are the result of the struggle for hegemony between the United States and Russia.

The second is the contradiction between the United States and the European Union. The establishment of the euro zone and the formation of Airbus are the manifestations of the contradiction between the EU and US imperialism. The EU's sovereign debt crisis has also exposed the contradictions within the EU. At the same time, the United States has used the internal contradictions within the EU to intensify the sovereign crisis and weaken the EU's challenge to the United States. Although Brexit is also a manifestation of a crisis for the EU, there is the possibility that the EU after the UK’s exit will be able to throw down a stronger challenge to the United States. This is why the United States opposes Brexit.

Then there is the contradiction between the United States and Japan. The latter has not yet become a normal country, and is completely controlled militarily by the United States.  In the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the United States forced Japan to accept the IMF's plan, and its investment in Southeast Asia suffered heavy losses.

The contradiction between the United States and China, the rising country, will be expanded upon later.

(3) The struggle for imperialist hegemony gives the people of developing countries the space to use contradictions

In addition to the class contradictions within the imperialist country and the contradictions between the imperialists, the so-called contradiction between developed and developing countries still exists, the so-called "South-North" contradiction. Its essence is the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed nation and people.

The reality is that one always divides into two. The emergence or rise of an emerging empire can indeed play a role in breaking the existing system of imperial monopoly, giving other third world countries room for choice, just like the Cold War period of the US-Soviet hegemony. The Philippines’ recent attempt to use China’s rise to free itself from US imperialism’s control is an example.

In contrast, the disintegration of the Soviet Union was a loss for the vast third world, creating a global pattern of neo-liberalism that the United States has maintained for more than 25 years.

In this sense, as long as other third world countries can clearly understand the nature of any emerging imperialism, they can effectively use the contradictions between the imperialists (just as the Chinese Communist Party effectively used the contradiction between the US and Japan during the War of Resistance instead of blindly advocating everything through the united front like Wang Ming), and the rise of China will help the people of other third world countries to get rid of the control of the existing imperialist system.

But the premise must be a clear understanding of imperialism, otherwise it is very dangerous. If there is no independent use of the contradictory positions between the imperialists, but reliance on one party to oppose the other, then ultimately liberation will not obtain be attained. It is worth remembering that when the rise of the United States a hundred years ago broke the monopoly of the British Empire on which “the sun never sets”, the US  also temporarily "won the hearts of the people."

(4) The economic foundation of imperialism: the escalation of monopoly and the crisis of overproduction

Some leftists mistakenly believe that: “Under the conditions of state intervention, the traditional economic crisis in the form of overproduction no longer constitutes a major threat to the capitalist economy, and its damage is significantly reduced.” [6] In their view, Rather, “energy, resources, and environmental issues are the biggest constraints on the revival of capitalism.”[7]

Historical facts have repeatedly proven that the root cause of the capitalist economic crisis is the excess of production, rather than other causes such as resource crisis or ecological crisis.

This is because the purpose of capitalist production is for profit. But only when the total output of social production is greater than the total consumption of the working class, that is, when there is surplus, these surpluses can be transformed into the profits of the bourgeoisie as a whole (there is no need to consider bourgeois luxury consumption, fixed depreciation of capital and the need to maintain the capitalist state machine, etc., because these can be seen as discounts on output In other words, the products produced by all workers add up to more than the products that all workers buy, leaving the rest of the bosses. The greater the difference between the output of workers and the consumption of workers, the greater the surplus, the greater the overall profit. When the surplus is turned into an investment that expands reproduction, the economy grows.

Although value is created in production, it must be achieved through exchange. Therefore, the surplus products of each capital group can only be converted into profits when they are purchased by other capital groups to become an investment in expanding reproduction. This is a necessary condition for the conversion of surplus products to profits, that is, capital appreciation. Otherwise, those surplus products are a bunch of goods that cannot be sold. However, the expansion of production scale will make the possibility of a crisis of overproduction in the future more serious. Once multiple capital groups lose confidence in the future conversion of surplus products to profits, that is, the loss of confidence in the expansion of the capacity bubble, the economic crisis will be inevitable. This is the origin of the overproduction crisis from a macro perspective.

Many people think that the economic crisis of capitalism is caused by the lack of consumption of the people, but this is not right. Since ancient times, most of humanity has under-consumed, whereas overproduction is a phenomenon unique to capitalism. The cyclical economic crisis of capitalism is not caused by the decline in consumption, but because the growth of output exceeds the growth of consumption, and often the first surplus is the industrial products used for investment rather than consumer goods. Therefore, the so-called under-consumption seems to be a two-way aspect of over-production, but it is not. Overproduction is absolute (because the surplus is not consumer goods), and the lack of consumption is relative. Overproduction is the cause, and insufficient consumption is the result. This can be seen clearly in an economic cycle: first, the decline in investment due to the cooling of investment prospects, then the backlog of industrial products, the decline in profits, the overcapacity of production, the unemployment of workers and the drop in consumption.

If the capitalist system can coordinate the proportional growth of output and consumption in a planned and proportionate manner, it is possible to avoid a crisis of overproduction (like the Soviet Union after Khrushchev took office and the planned economy period before its disintegration). But capitalism is generally not a single group of state monopoly capitals (the disintegration of the Soviet Union shows that the monopoly capitalism of a single group is unstable capitalism). Unless there are special needs (such as wartime), the bourgeoisie generally does not automatically coordinate each other's production, and the expansion of a single capital group's production generally does not directly cause excess product. Conversely, capital groups that use large-scale expansion of new technologies will often reduce the cost and price of their unit products, thus making the products of the relatively under-expanded capital group more competitive and becoming surplus products. The latter. This is the result of competition between capital groups. Therefore, from a micro perspective, overproduction in a single industry is a means of competition between capital groups.

However, the “rational” micro-behaviour of a single capital group within the industry has become the “irrational” macro-action of capitalism as a whole. In order to survive, each individual capital group is desperately expanding its production scale [iii], thus causing the expansion of capitalist overall production scale. But this overall expansion will only have an overall surplus growth of the bourgeoisie when it is higher than the overall consumption of the working class. Once the overall surplus cannot be converted into an investment that expands reproduction, the crisis of overproduction will erupt. This is the fundamental contradiction between the sociality of capitalist production and the anarchy of production, and the root of the capitalist crisis.

The way to alleviate the crisis of overcapacity is to digest excess capacity by exploring new markets (such as discovering the New World or pulling China into the world capitalist system), or alleviating overcapacity through the elimination of the original fixed capital through new technologies (such as movies were almost eliminated for a while because of TV, the mobile phone almost eliminated the landline, the digital camera basically eliminated the film camera, and the car and the aircraft basically eliminated the train in the United States, etc.).

Otherwise, to save capitalism, you must destroy excess capacity! Natural disasters can directly destroy production capacity and thus alleviate overproduction. War is another channel to destroy excess capacity (Japan and Germany after World War II were in ruins). When enough capacity is destroyed by war or natural disasters, output and the market are back to equilibrium, creating a good environment for new investment.

Without new markets, new technologies, natural disasters or wars, excess capacity can only be solved through serious economic crises. The weaker capital group has to go bankrupt during the economic crisis, which makes it possible to eliminate a large amount of surplus capital and restore the balance between production capacity and the market.

Unlike the expansion of the feudal empire based on simple greed, one of the causes of capitalist imperialism is to alleviate domestic overproduction. The feudal kingdom based on small production can survive without expansion, but modern imperialism based on market economy is either expanding or dying. Therefore, it must develop its own market through dumping in and plundering of the colonies, obtain new resources, and alleviate the overproduction of domestic production (for example Japan’s vigorous development of mining and dumping of industrial products in China a hundred years ago), and thus imperialism is the inevitable trend of the development of capitalism (the development of late imperialism shifted from the export of commodities to the export of capital). The neo-colonialism of the United States was the first to pass on the domestic overproduction crisis by creating new investment opportunities and dumping its own surplus products through manipulation of other countries ' politics and economics (markets).

The globalization of capitalism has further opened up the market and temporarily eased the crisis of overcapacity in the imperialist world. (China’s accession to the global capitalist system, which began in the mid-1970s, and taking the oil crisis as representative of an overall crisis trend without any significant relief through to  the mid-1980s enabled the postponement of crisis until 2008). The result is an endless world-wideovercapacity! If there is no major new technology in the near future to open up new markets or forcibly eliminate a large amount of old fixed capital (if a new chemical material can completely replace steel, or a new technology makes the cost of photovoltaic products extremely cheap, almost completely replacing oil, natural gas and coal, then these new technologies will largely eliminate the old fixed assets like the steel or energy industries), then the excess  overcapacity will only be destroyed through a deeper economic crisis,  thus restoring the balance between capacity and market.

However, capitals of all countries hope to alleviate their overcapacity by destroying the production capacity of their competitors' capital, so the contradiction between them becomes more and more acute. War is the concentrated expression of the capitalist crisis in the era of imperialism.

(5) Ecological crisis and resource depletion and imperialism

Although global warming and the ecological crisis are getting more and more serious, the Marxist-Leninists have to treat this problem in two ways. On the one hand, it has aroused the resistance of the global people to the capitalist mode of production, and has intensified the inherent contradictions of capitalism, especially the struggle for resources between the imperialist countries, but it also provides new investment opportunities to save the capitalist side. Compared with the contradictions that cannot be overcome under the various capitalist crises listed above, capitalism has the potential to overcome the ecological crisis.

For example, the peasant uprisings in ancient China were often associated with natural disasters, but on the other hand, the potato famine in Ireland in the 19th century and the black plague in Europe in the same period did not seem to have a serious impact on the system. This is because the exhaustion of resources itself appeared to be a contradiction between man and nature, not a contradiction between people, and thus did not directly threaten capitalism. For the same reason, the great earthquakes in Japan in previous years did not enhance the Japanese people's demands for socialism.

The depletion of resources will of course threaten the survival of those capital groups that rely on monopoly resources, but their competitors will find it a blessing in disguise and profit from their misfortune. The limitations of natural rubber have driven the development of synthetic rubber, the depletion of petroleum resources has promoted the use of solar, and so on. Therefore, the exhaustion of resources does not threaten the development of capitalism, but it may promote innovation in science and technology and create new investment opportunities. The hydraulic splitting technology that emerged in 2008 has greatly increased the production of shale oil and natural steam in the United States. The frenzied expansion of China's wind power, photovoltaic and other industries and the current severe crisis of over-production are precisely because the ecological crisis has not yet arrived on time. Just as the British Economist magazine said more than a decade ago: the end of the Stone Age was not because humans couldn't find stones, and the end of the oil age will be far ahead of the exhaustion of oil resources. [9]

We must once again emphasize here that capitalism is not afraid of the scarcity of resources, but the excess of production. Unless the battle between imperialist powers destroys capitalism, the ecological crisis has the potential to save rather than bury capitalism. At present, the Chinese government is taking advantage of the opportunity created by the ecological crisis to force some high-energy, high-pollution enterprises to close, in order to alleviate the crisis of overproduction in many industries.

4. Is Leninism or ultra-imperialism?

Faced with various contradictions and crises in the imperialist world, the question before the revolutionaries and progressives is how to recognize and effectively fight imperialism.

(1) The new characteristics of global imperialism dominated by US imperialism

After the Second World War, especially after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the form of imperialism changed. The neo-colonial imperialist system headed by US imperialism replaced the old colonialism under which previous empires divided the world according to their strength. Based on this new situation, today's Lenin would not apply his definition of a hundred years ago to analyse the system of today's global imperialism.

Because only by knowing the fundamental laws of a thing can we correctly predict the development trend of this thing, so we must study several different forms of imperialism after the birth of capitalism:

The early imperialism developed from free competition to industrial monopoly, and then led to the emergence of financial monopoly. Lenin studied this form of imperialism a hundred years ago.

After the Second World War, neo-colonialism saw the escalation of monopoly, that is, from domestic and colonial monopoly to globalization, to the monopoly of the monopoly capital of the United States with nuclear deterrence as the anchor.

State monopoly capitalism is a high degree of integration between monopoly capital and state power, so as to ease the domestic class struggle such as through the "New Deal" in the United States or the "welfare state" in Europe, and on the other hand using such international institutions as the IMF and the World Bank to regulate the interaction between the monopoly groups. This is an important feature of the neo-colonial period.

The globalization of production and the control of industrial capital by financial capital represented by US dollar hegemony are other new features that require special attention.

The highest form of state capitalism is absolute control through the machinery of state of the leadership of a country's party, government, military, enterprises, and business, and to combine the great heights of financial and industrial capital as the ultimate national capitalism.

According to these new features, at least two theoretical frameworks, leftist and progressives, can be used to analyse contemporary imperialism. These two methods will produce completely opposite guidelines, routes and strategies.

Lenin’s imperialist theory used the rise of monopoly capitalism as a driving force for imperialism. Since the basic laws or logic of capitalist accumulation is to either expand or die, the infinite accumulation of such capital inevitably leads to monopoly capitalism, no matter how "free" the competition begins. Fighting for hegemony is the "DNA" that characterises the essential nature of capitalism. The power of a monopoly capital group to shape the world depends on its ability to combine capital through leverage or alliance.

A hundred years of history proves that Lenin’s arguments about imperialism and war are correct. This is because Lenin caught the basic law of the operation of capitalism. Therefore, to understand imperialism, the unit we use to analyse the problem should be the most basic functional unit of capitalism, that is, a single capital group, such as an enterprise, a group company, a multinational company, a syndicate, a trust, a cartel or a consortium, etc., that is a functional unit of monopoly capital, as well as the national armed forces serving these capital groups. It is impossible to recognize imperialism by ignoring the power of monopoly capital!

The most fashionable alternative to the current Leninist analytical framework is the modern version of Kautsky's ultra-imperialism, the world system theory. It evades the economic, political, and ultimately military forces that each monopoly capital group can incite in the process of dividing the world into “core,” “semi-peripheral,” and “peripheral” processes.

For example, there is the view that the contradictions between world powers and empires can be reconciled by global organizations such as the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO, so Lenin's theory of imperialism is outdated. [10m

Another similar view is based on the mutual penetration and interdependence of capital groups under the conditions of globalization, with "I have you, you have me" as the basis, and believing that the world powers must maintain the "big picture" of the global capitalist order. Fierce conflict between imperialisms is impossible.

Look at the paradigm of this ultra-imperialism:

The core sector of Chinese capitalism is export manufacturing. Although China's capitalist economy is very large, non-productive sectors such as real estate and finance also account for a considerable proportion, and the scale of infrastructure investment is also large. But these sectors either serve export manufacturing or are attached to export manufacturing. If China's export manufacturing industry declines, other parts of Chinese capitalism will soon decline.

China's export manufacturing industry relies not only on the US and European markets, but also on energy and raw materials imported abroad. Although these energy and raw materials are not from the United States, Chinese capitalism objectively relies on the US imperialist air and sea forces to ensure political stability in the Middle East, Africa and other places, as well as maritime traffic safety in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The huge political and economic dependence of the Chinese capitalist export manufacturing industry on the US imperialists has determined that the Chinese bourgeoisie is willing to act as a "responsible big country" under the "G2" system. The Chinese bourgeoisie is powerless, unwilling, and does not dare to challenge the hegemony of the US.

In this sense, the fundamental interests of the Chinese and American bourgeoisie are not only conflict-free, but also highly consistent. This has determined that not only will there be no war between China and the United States, there will not even be war between China and the servant countries of the United States (such as Japan) nor will any armed conflict break out.

In our time, the decline of US imperialism has neither, nor will it cause a war between similar major capitalist countries. The decline of US imperialist hegemony is mainly reflected in the fact that the ability of the United States to regulate and manage the common interests of world capitalism has greatly declined. Therefore, the US imperialists can no longer effectively help capitalist countries to get rid of the world economic crisis and no longer effectively suppress countries. The people’s resistance and various threats to the world’s capitalist order (such as Islamic fundamentalist political forces in the Middle East and North Korea’s nuclear threat) are certainly less able to effectively cope with the growing world environmental crisis. However, this decline of the US imperialism did not seriously deepen the contradictions between the major capitalist countries, especially the contradictions between the Chinese and American bourgeoisie. (Boldface is added by the author) [11]

People can't help but ask which planet the author came from? The mistake of this ultra-imperialism is that they only see the consistency of the interests of the bourgeoisie in the maintenance of the capitalist system, and they cannot see the battle between the monopoly groups. They seem to forget that the nature of the bourgeoisie is competition, monopoly, hegemony! In addition to domestic repression of the working class and foreign competition for hegemony, what other common interests does the bourgeoisie have? On the surface, the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and other international organizations are the platforms for the global bourgeois "democracy" to govern international affairs. In fact, the parties’ right to speak in these international organizations is distributed according to their respective military and economic strength.

Therefore, the author saw that “the core sector of Chinese capitalism is export manufacturing” and saw that “China’s export manufacturing industry not only relies on the US and European markets, but also relies on imported energy and raw materials”, and also saw "If China's export manufacturing industry declines, other parts of China's capitalism will soon decline," but he does not see that the further expansion of China's capital core will inevitably compete with Western powers for market and compete for resources.

One of the reasons may be that these people regard China's export manufacturing industry as a kind of private export manufacturing industry that is similar to Foxconn's, processing great quantities and serving multinational companies. They do not see the growth of China’s domestic enterprises, such as state-owned enterprises represented by high-speed rail and private equipment monopolies such as Sanyi Heavy Industry, under the pressure of severe overproduction, and in order to survive, paying more and more attention to exports and having to use the "going out" strategy to overcome their domestic plight as "the core of Chinese capitalism."

This erroneous argument may stem from a version of the world system theory. It particularly emphasises (in fact, merely describes) the role of the international "division of labour" within the world capitalist system, but (except for the repetition of the "core and periphery" analysis) does not explain what  is the basis of this "division of labour” or why this phenomenon of the "division of labour" has emerged, nor what are the laws of movement  and change in the "division of labour. In the eyes of the world systemists, the international "division of labour" is relatively solidified, not easily interchangeable. In the current global capitalist division of labour, Chinese capitalism specializes in manufacturing production. [12], thus the theorist believes this is evidence that Chinese capitalism cannot move toward the "core." This is a theory that completely reverses causality. The theorist does not see that the monopoly power is the driving force behind the "division of labor", so he does not understand that monopoly is the essence, and that "division of labour" is only a phenomenon, and the international "division of labour" is dominated by monopoly capital relying on economic, political and even military strength to determine the basic facts of this competition.

If the export manufacturing industry, which is the core sector of China's capitalism, is indeed a private export manufacturing industry serving multinational corporations, then the “Belt and Road” is superfluous, and the AIIB lacks credibility. Therefore, these people do not understand the reasons for the authorities to push the "Belt and Road" strategy, cannot recognize the significance of China's launch of the AIIB, and do not see that  the post-monopoly capital group must challenge the logic of the existing world order. The challenge has become a reality. The AIIB is the only international financial organization in which the United States has not only no veto power, but not even voting rights.

Later, "Chinese capitalism objectively relies on the US imperialist air and sea forces to guarantee political stability in the Middle East, Africa and other places, as well as maritime traffic safety in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific." This free-riding behaviour does meet the actual situation of the past two decades. But China is becoming more and more intolerable of the existing world imperialist order. Although China is the largest importer of many resources in the world (such as iron ore, oil, etc.), it does not have much pricing power. What kind of price will China buy at? At the same time, it is also an exporter of various commodities in the world, but does not have much pricing power. It has been repeatedly subjected to anti-dumping sanctions, and its prices have dropped.

Therefore, it is totally untrue to say that "the Chinese bourgeoisie is neither powerful, unwilling, and doesn’t even dare to challenge the hegemony of the US." The rapid growth of warships “under the dumplings”[2], the investment in aircraft carriers, aerospace and other armaments, the preparation of overseas bases and concessions, the implementation of the “Belt and Road”, the establishment of the AIIB, and the large-scale island planting in the South China Sea shows that China’s ability and courage to challenge the hegemony of the US is increasing, not to mention its willingness.

It is precisely because of these challenges that the strategic deployment of the United States "returning to the Asia-Pacific" is achieved, rather than promoting the so-called "G2" system dominated by the United States and China and the United States jointly "governing" the world with China. The latter is entirely the wishful thinking of a group of Chinese scholars. The United States cannot agree with the "G2" system.

From this, it can be seen that: "The fundamental interests of the Chinese and American bourgeoisie are not only conflict-free, but also highly consistent" is a subjective inference that completely disregards the facts and is idealism.

According to this theory of ultra-imperialism: "Not only will there be no war between China and the United States, but even armed conflict will not break out." Yes, under the threat of nuclear weapons, direct conflicts will not easily break out, but alternative wars in places like South Sudan and Myanmar, and the increasingly fierce arms races such as aerospace and navigation, will continue as competition for spheres of influence of their so-called "core interests." With the rise of China, what is the possibility that it will not take the road of “holding a sword to do business”?

More than a hundred years ago, Kautsky believed that it was possible to contain the war of hegemony between the empires through peaceful means in order to safeguard the global interests of capitalism. His ultra-imperialism was thrown into the rubbish bin of history by the reality of the two world wars. However, when the struggle for hegemony between the imperialists became more and more fierce, the ghost of Kautsky's ultra-imperialism came back to life in the form of the theory of the world system. However, even Wallerstein, the main theoretician of the system theory, did not dare to conclude that there would be no war between the empires. These people misread the world history after World War II and thought that because there was no world war for more than 70 years it proved that it is possible for the imperialists to peacefully coexist through peaceful means under international institutions. They clearly saw the "decline of the hegemony of the US imperialists", but they could not see the hegemonic struggle between the imperialists that the inevitable decline of the US imperialism must bring!

(3) Criticism of the world system theory

In order to clarify the difference between Lenin's imperialism and ultra-imperialism more thoroughly, it is necessary for us to make a more systematic expression and criticism of the world system theory.

1. Introduction to the theory

After the Second World War, theorists of the world system such as Emmanuel Wallerstein and Samir Amin had a lot of analysis and writings on the history and status quo of world capitalism. They all followed the tradition of Marxism-Leninism more or less, but had in addition their own "small innovations." But facing the key issues of today, the devil was in the detail, and just as Kautsky and Lenin's "small differences" before the outbreak of war produced conclusions that are contrary to Marxism-Leninism, so will their "small innovations".

Since the work of world system theory is very large and cumbersome, we need a brief statement. At least on the red network[3] they describe it like this:

The world capitalist system originated in the European multinational economic system of the fifteenth century. In the sixteenth century, the North West Europe region rose to the core of the emerging world capitalist system. The formerly leading southern European region fell to a semi-peripheral region, while Eastern Europe fell to the periphery of the core region supplying raw materials and agricultural products. Through geographical expansion, the entire Americas had fallen to the periphery of the world capitalist system, providing a huge amount of precious metals, natural resources and immigration space for the emerging world capitalist system. In the nineteenth century, the world capitalist system became the first economic system in the history of mankind to cover the entire world.

In history, the core region is the centre of accumulation of the world capitalist system. By exploiting the vast peripheral and semi-peripheral areas, the core areas extract and accumulate excess surplus value for capital accumulation and maintain class compromise within the region (cultivating Lenin's “worker aristocracy”). Peripheral areas are the main areas that transfer surplus value to core areas. In the twentieth century, the semi-peripheral area was the main auxiliary accumulation center outside the core area, and it assumed the function of accepting the more outdated industries that were transferred from the core area. This auxiliary capital accumulation function has caused large-scale urbanization and proletarianization in the semi-peripheral areas, which has made the semi-peripheral areas become the most concentrated class contradictions and the most vulnerable capital accumulation structure within the scope of the world capitalist system. area. [13]

The explanation here is clearly a history of the expansion of the capitalist system in the world, but the world systemists must use the concept of "world capitalist system" to describe it. World System Theory’s "core and periphery" analytical framework intentionally or unintentionally confused the difference between the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the era of laissez-faire capitalism and the era of post-imperialism.

The world systemist said: "The process of the rise of the capitalist world system has a certain historical contingency and is the result of a series of special historical conditions. First, it has formed a situation in which multiple ethnic states confront each other and compete in Western Europe. Secondly, competition from Western European countries led to external expansion and successfully formed a world system cantered on Western European countries (later expanded to include North America, Oceania and Japan) to plunder and exploit the Americas, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Thirdly, the large-scale use of non-renewable resources (especially fossil fuels) is the main material basis for the continuous expansion and growth of world capital accumulation.

"The capitalist world system needs to be formed and developed, and the above three are indispensable."[14]

"The exploitation of the vast peripheral areas by the capitalist world system is one of the most basic conditions for the existence and development of the capitalist world system."

But this version of the world system theory is just wrong in these three core points of view.

2. Several fallacies of the theory

First, capitalism can expand globally, the most fundamental being the development of technology and productivity, rather than the so-called "historical contingency" of idealism and "the result of a combination of special historical conditions." As humans learned to produce more products with water or steam engines, capitalism was the inevitable result of the progress of human knowledge. This is the basic insight of historical materialism, one of the great discoveries of Marx that the world system theorists tried to refute.

Therefore, world system theorists tend to confuse two distinct historical periods of capitalism. The first is the period of free competition in capitalism. The confrontation between the capitalist countries at this moment is similar to the confrontation of the feudal dynasty. The second period was the emergence of monopoly capitalism and the empire's struggle for world hegemony. The debate between the feudal dynasties was based on greed, not on survival. The feudal kingdom of self-sufficient small producers can survive well without expansion. The competition based on capitalism will inevitably create monopoly. Monopoly will inevitably lead to the law of hegemony. After the emergence of monopoly capital, the struggle for survival of monopoly capital groups and their endless expansion leads to war between the imperialists. Either expansion or death is the law of movement of monopoly capital.

The analytical framework of world system theory therefore cannot distinguish the wars between the various nationalities before the First World War and the difference between the two world wars. All wars are the result of "multiple national states confronting each other and competing". The Roman Empire, Genghis Khan and the imperialism of the British Empire are treated equally. For example, Samir Amin believes that there is no qualitative difference between imperialism before and after the emergence of monopoly. [15]

Secondly, world systemists and Luxemburg[4] are wrong in thinking that there is no market and resources provided by “peripheral” countries, and that developed “centres” cannot accumulate capital and thus cannot survive [16]. For example, Wallerstein believes that capital accumulation is achieved through the “scarcity” of mainstream economics rather than Marx's labour value theory [17]. The theoretical significance of this error is that without any colony or the ability to extract super profits from capital exports, China cannot be transformed into imperialism.

In fact, the "core and periphery" opposition is only a favourable condition for capital accumulation, but it is not a necessary condition. First, the foreign investment and the profits obtained by the so-called "corel" countries are mainly from the "core" countries. For example, according to the latest 2014 data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) website, more than 90% of US foreign investment and profits come from the “core” OECD developed countries. [18] Of course, this data may greatly underestimate the excess profits obtained by developed countries through unequal exchanges, but the amount of investment data is relatively reliable. Second, for developed countries, because of the poverty of “peripheral” countries, the resources there are actually more important than the markets there. Even so, access to the resources of “peripheral” countries is not a necessary condition for the survival of capitalism in developed countries just as racial discrimination and gender discrimination are conducive to the accumulation of individual capital, but neither is a necessary condition for capitalist survival. The role of “peripheral” countries in the capitalist “system” is mainly that they are conducive to temporarily alleviating or postponing the economic crisis in “core” countries. Only in the sense that it is postponed rather than overcoming the economic crisis of “core” countries, “peripheral” countries are indispensable. In contrast, the necessary condition for capitalism to survive is the opposition between the two classes of labor and capital, and the acquisition of surplus value.

Even within a country, the emergence of monopoly will have excess profits. But this excess profit comes from plundering the surplus value of small and medium-sized capitals, rather than by more deeply depriving the working class of the surplus value they have created. For example, the early generation of rail traffic and oil monopoly in the United States was based on the premise of sacrificing the interests of other small and medium-sized capitals. Imperialism is only the inevitable result of the further development of monopoly capital, and its excess monopoly profits are also obtained by sacrificing the interests of the "peripheral" bourgeoisie.

Moreover, ecological constraints only stipulate the specific form of capitalist development. However, as mentioned before, what threatens capitalism is not the scarcity of resources, but overproduction.

3. Is it the "world capitalist system" or the "world imperialist system headed by the US imperialism"?

Although the starting point of the world system theory is obviously not to defend the world hegemony of US imperialism, the result is necessarily the same. The world's ecology and climate are undoubtedly an interrelated "system", but if world capitalism is also regarded as a "system" that transcends the state like an organism, then it is reasonable for US imperialism to dominate global capitalism. In fact, US imperialism also constantly emphasizes its indispensable and important role in maintaining the stability of the world capitalist system. Therefore, the world system theory condemns the "core" state's plunder of the "periphery" while providing a theoretical basis for US imperialist world hegemony.

Unlike Lenin’s theory of imperialism, which uses the decay and parasitism of monopoly to explain why  imperialism will fall, it draws on the imbalance of capitalist development, and at the same time explains the changes in the world pattern, the theory  of the “core and periphery” of the world system is only described, but there is no ability to explain why some countries will rise to "core" countries, and some will fall into "semi-peripheral" or "peripheral" countries. [19]

A world systemist asserts: "As a peripheral country in the world capitalist system, China cannot compete with Western core countries in the technological frontiers of world capitalism, and it is impossible to have some semi-peripheral countries with abundant natural resources. (For example, Middle Eastern oil exporters) compete in the export of natural resources. China’s only “comparative advantage” in the world capitalist market is to rely on the industrial foundation left over from the Mao Zedong era to transform China’s huge workforce into a Chinese and foreign “cheap labour” exploited by capitalists and used to attract cross-border capital and thus achieve rapid growth in capital accumulation.”[20]

In the eyes of the world systemists, it is not only impossible for China to catch up with developed countries in terms of technology, it is even impossible for the past socialist camp: " As long as the basic movement of the world capitalist system does not change, this is a race that the socialist countries cannot win. The western imperialist countries monopolized the world's most advanced technology and imposed a technical blockade on socialist countries. The development of modern science and technology requires huge capital and high-tech talents. In some areas, the socialist countries cannot compete with Western imperialist countries in terms of capital and talent."[21]

As for what is the “basic movement law of the world capitalist system”, it is difficult to find other descriptions other than “the pursuit of unlimited accumulation of capital” [22]. In fact, this "law" does not require any cumbersome "world system" theory to decipher, it is the basic law of capitalism that Marx has already revealed.

But based on this law, the world systemists have come to the following conclusion: "The world capitalist system is essentially a minority of the core region which owns the labour of the majority in the semi-peripheral and peripheral areas. If the core region becomes a majority It is not a core region. China’s huge population and labour force determine that China will never be the core of the world capitalist system if it follows the current development model.” [23] Readers please note that “forever "It is a long time, and the population of nearly 1 billion people in developed countries such as the United States, Europe and Japan is not far from the "huge" population of China. Since at least 80% of the world's population is not yet Chinese, I wonder if any Chinese ruler will take care of such a high theory and stop his own pace toward the "core"?

So, is it today a "world capitalist system" or a "world imperialism system led by the US imperialism"? Is the contradiction in today's world described by the opposition of "core and periphery", or is it described by the opposition of "imperialism and the oppressed nations"?

The "core and periphery" theory is definitely "quantity" rather than "quality", or the framework for analysis is the "quantity" of the per capita GDP indicator (“core/periphery”), so it will hinder us from understanding the phenomenon, and looking at the essence and will then mislead us into ridiculousness. For example, judging from the appearance and whether it will fly, cockroaches "obviously" belong to the same type of non-flying species, while the flies and hummingbirds seem to belong to another species. Similarly, the world systemists completely ignored any fundamental changes before and after World War II in Japan’s monopoly capital structure, and ridiculously included the highly industrialized post-war Japan with the feudal kingdoms of the Middle East which have nothing except oil, as semi-peripheral countries. This is the result of simply summing up and summarizing a lot of phenomena. It can be seen that the world system theory only has some rhetoric similar to Marxism-Leninism on the outside, but it is a very incomplete Marxism-Leninism. It is a retrogression.

Because Marxism-Leninism is not only a complete victory in theory, but also the revolutionary practice represented by the October Revolution and the Chinese Revolution, and is almost a fatal blow to the capitalist world, the far-sighted members of the bourgeoisie spare no expense to support a large number of scholars studying Marxism-Leninism in order to find a arguments against it. This is one of the origins of modern revisionism in various forms of capitalist countries. The revolutionary nature of distortion, tampering, and castration of Marxism-Leninism is the "sacred" duty of these imperial literati. Our progressive scholars who teach in Western universities must be highly vigilant, otherwise it is easy to be transformed from a Marxist-Leninist into a “scholar who researches Marxism-Leninism”.

The world system theory shows some concessions that non-Marxist-Leninist scholars have to make to Marxism-Leninism. It is mixed with many idealistic ideas and metaphysical methods. It likes to talk about things, likes to summarize a lot of phenomena, and tries to explain the phenomenon by listing these phenomena, using a synonymous and repetitious word game, but it can't grasp the "DNA" of imperialism.

It is clear that today's "core" is basically imperialist countries, and the "periphery" is mainly the third world and the oppressed nations, but why should we use this seemingly objective vocabulary?

The bourgeois scholars like to use the "poverty, wealth" opposition to explain various social contradictions, and some even express great indignation at the height of difference between the rich and the poor, but they refuse to explain the difference between the rich and the poor with the class opposition of labour and capital at the root of it. The former is acceptable to the ruling class and often explains that the difference between the rich and the poor is caused by differences in diligence. The latter is Marxism-Leninism and is explained by the difference in the possession of means of production.

Similarly, the dichotomy between “core” and “periphery” is acceptable to the bourgeoisie of all countries in the world, and is attributed to the ability of the “core” to innovate and master technology. Therefore, the analysis method of world system theory is good at expressing indignation towards imperialism whilst avoiding the essence of imperialism. This analysis method and analysis of social class use family income to divide "rich people", "middle income" and "poor people" without any essential difference. "Center" = developed = rich; "peripheral" = underdeveloped = poor. Is there any more vulgar way than the seemingly high-level “core and periphery” approach acceptable to the ruling class? This is no more than a synonymous "the poor are poor because they have no money". Where is the wisdom in this?

This involves a philosophical issue, that is, "world system theory" emphasizes the unity of the capitalist world, while Lenin's "imperialism" emphasizes the contradictions between the imperialists. "World System Theory" is a modern version of the "two-combines into-one" theory that was criticized in the 1960s.

The materialist dialectics of Marxism-Leninism starts from the analysis of some basic contradictions of capitalist society and from the analysis of the basic laws of capital accumulation. These basic contradictions are the above analysis: 1) class contradictions between international and domestic labor, 2) contradictions between international monopoly capital and national bourgeoisie in developing countries, 3) the contradiction between the bourgeoisie of a country and the monopoly capital of various countries, etc.

The basic law or logic of capital accumulation is that capital either accumulates and expands, or dies, so the accumulation of capital must develop into monopoly capital. This is the essence of imperialism. Leaving the economic, political, and military power controlled by the monopoly capital of each country to be divided into the "centre", "semi-periphery" and "periphery", we involuntarily fall into idealism and metaphysics. The analytical method of Marxism-Leninism helps us to see the essence through the phenomenon and helps us to grasp the basic laws of capitalist development. At this point, we have seen the fatal mistakes of world system theory.

World system theorists, especially the originator of the theory, Wallerstein have repeatedly stressed that in studying the modern world, we must study the whole world as a complete system, rather than the country or region as the basic unit for us to analyse the capitalist world. This seemingly more comprehensive approach actually masks the essence of imperialism.

On the contrary, to understand imperialism, our unit of analysis, as previously stated, must be based on the most basic functional unit of capitalism, the capital group, and the national armed forces serving it. The power of a monopoly capital group to shape the world depends on its ability to integrate capital through leverage or alliance.

Therefore, the analysis of the "core and periphery" theory of the world system theory, which is cantered on the phenomenon of inductive phenomena, ignores and evades the power of monopoly capital groups, which does not help us to have a deeper understanding of imperialism.

(4) US imperialism has never bought ultra-imperialism.

The mistakes of world system theory or world system theorists are connected to the role of US imperialism in today's world imperialist system. Misled by the theory of the world system, they saw the role which the United States had played in the past as the self-appointed policeman of the world, and thought that the United States had not only "effectively suppressed the resistance of all peoples and all kinds of threats to the world's capitalist order", but was trying to "regulate and manage world capitalism" "Lei Feng-style" "to help capitalist countries get rid of the world economic crisis." In this kind of person's pen, the US imperialism became an outstanding leader of world capitalism! What a great pity the decline of US imperialism is for the word system theory!

In fact, the United States has never "helped" capitalist countries to get rid of the world economic crisis. Even the Marshall Plan after World War II was designed to overcome the overproduction of the United States itself and serve the US capital output. The United States has always been good at either transferring the crisis as it did in 2008 or creating a crisis like the 1997 Asia-Pacific financial crisis. The United States has never maintained "the common interests of world capitalism", but only seeks to safeguard its own interests (such as the decoupling of the dollar from gold in 1971) to determine what kind of world "order" to maintain. Trump’s “America First Theory” is the consistent code of conduct of the United States, but he has only said what he should not say publicly.

The bourgeois scholars deny that the existence of the state is the result of the irreconcilable class contradictions, repeatedly emphasizing the necessity of a state machine (military, police, court) that seems to be "neutral" to govern society. The world system theory also emphasizes the importance of the "central, core and periphery" world system for maintaining capitalist institutions and capital accumulation. But US imperialism does not safeguard the common interests of world capitalism, but rather the global interests of US monopoly capital. Only under the premise of not violating the global interests of the US imperialists, that is, the recognition of the US hegemony by the powers of other countries, especially after World War Two, and in order to avoid the end of the same, of US imperialism is often other developed countries. The European Union’s sovereign credit crisis after the outbreak of the economic crisis in 2008, and the economic weakness of Japan in the past 25 years were the consequences of the US transfer of the crisis.

The location of the US military in the world can explain the problem. The United States has military bases in more than 60 countries, and a military presence in more than 150 countries [24]. It is impossible to maintain the common interests of the global bourgeoisie. Otherwise, why is the US overseas garrison (see Figure 2) mainly concentrated in developed Western Europe and Japan? The military forces of the US imperialists that are all over the world and armed to the teeth are obviously not directed at the struggle of the working class of various countries against capitalism, but against the power of monopoly capital of countries that have the ability to challenge US hegemony.

The following Figure 2 and Figure 1 have one thing in common: the most concentrated location of the world's top 500 companies, and the most concentrated location of US troops outside the US. Without the threat from Russia and North Korea, the necessity of US troops in Western Europe and Japan will be seriously challenged by monopoly capital in Western Europe and Japan. The United States needs the enemy not only for its own military-industrial complex, but more importantly for dealing with other monopoly capital forces capable of challenging the US imperialism.

( 图二、美国的全球军事布局, )

5. The rise of a new empire will inevitably challenge the pattern of world power led by the US

(1) The international status of the Celestial Kingdom

First of all, in the military sphere, China enjoys complete sovereignty. Compared to the majority of G7 members of the European Union, Japan and other countries withU.S. troops, as well as those who do not have an independent industrial system, butcan only rely on the developed countries to provide arms to the backward countries,such as India, China's military sovereignty is comparable with Russia’s.

Backed by its military sovereignty, China also enjoys full sovereignty in politics, unlike the G7 and other developing countries that are politically constrained by the US.

With military and political sovereignty, China is only economically integrated into the world's capitalist system (such as the WTO).

(2) The characteristics of state-owned capital

What worries Western capital is not the rapid growth of China's private capital, but the strong expansion of state-owned capital. The difference between China's capital and other Fortune 500 companies listed above is that it is basically state-owned capital.

In contrast, the actual ownership of the state-owned enterprises in the Heavenly Kingdom belongs only to state-owned capital groups, not to the whole of the Chinese bourgeoisie. Private capital cannot effectively interfere with the operation of state-owned enterprises through "democratic" means. China's bureaucratic group is not a public servant of capital but a master of state-owned capital. It does not need to be accountable to anyone other than itself.

However, in order to weigh the interests of various forces within the state-owned capital group, in order to prevent the parasitic and rent-seeking behaviours of the monopoly that will inevitably harm the overall interests of the group, the state-owned capital group consciously controls its own businesses and enterprises in various fields. They are split into several seemingly independent, mutually competitive companies in the market. There are PetroChina, Sinopec, etc. on the energy sources, and others such as Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines. There are five major banks in finance, including China Unicom, China Telecommunications and China Mobile.

But these companies are not completely independent. For the overall benefit of state-owned capital groups, these companies may be re-split or combined. For example, the railway equipment company was split into the China South Locomotive Co. and the China North Locomotive Co. more than ten years ago, and merged together in 2015 to “go out”. In addition, in order to better coordinate the relationship between the subsidiaries of the state-owned capital group, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission announced on July 20, 2015 the personnel adjustment of China Railway Construction, China Railway Group, China Iron and Steel, China Putian, by means of the company's top-ranking leadership rotation. This is not the first time there has been a similar adjustment. In order to prevent excessive competition between companies controlled by state-owned capital groups, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) issued an order on November 1, 2004, that the three major telecom operators, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom exchange leaders on the same day. Such adjustments are incredible between Western capital groups that are independent of each other.

In US, Europe, and Japanese imperialisms where private monopoly capital dominates, the party, government, military, enterprise, and business are relatively independent. The collapse of Wall Street’s investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008 is just one example. In contrast, at the beginning of the State Council in early July 2015, state-owned enterprises collectively rescued the market. It is very difficult to do in other capitalist countries. This is where the "characteristics" of capitalism are "characteristic".

(3) Economic strength of state-owned capital groups

People often overlook the fact that state-owned capital groups are the single-capital group with the highest monopoly and the greatest capital strength in the world today. Since China is on the rise, it is especially necessary to explore the nature of this capital group, to study its economic base in depth and to clearly explain its basic attributes. From the asset statement (Table 3) we can see that the monopoly of state-owned capital (measured by the amount of assets) has far exceeded any single capital group in the West.[5]


However, according to data released by the Ministry of Finance, as of the end of 2014, the total assets of state-owned (non-financial) enterprises were 102.1 trillion yuan, the total assets of central state-owned enterprises were 53.7 trillion yuan, and the total assets of local state-owned enterprises were 48.4 trillion yuan.

As can be seen from the above analysis, as far as a single listed company is concerned, the state-owned enterprises belong to the same equivalent level as the capital groups of the United States, Europe and Japan. However, the basic fact is that the status of independence between the US, Europe and Japan capital groups is completely different from China where all the top 500 state-owned enterprises are subsidiaries of the SASAC. Therefore, China’s economic strength integrating industrial and financial capital surpasses any single enterprise, company, group company, multinational company, syndicate, trust, cartel or consortium in Europe and America.

Under the guidance of Chinese state capitalism, state-owned capital groups directly control the absolute leadership of the country's party, government, military, enterprise, and business. It can directly mobilize the world's largest industrial capital, financial capital and state violence to serve its capital expansion.

The strength of the group is reflected in its dominant position in the manufacturing industry.[6]

In Table 4, except for high-tech, where there seems to be no state-owned enterprises, the other listed Chinese companies are basically state-owned enterprises. Although the gap between state-owned enterprises and Western multinational corporations is still very large in technology, based on the strong capital strength of state-owned enterprises, the gap between the two is rapidly being eliminated through the method of purchasing or saving money.

Due to the serious overproduction in recent years, state-owned capital is facing a strong “going out” pressure, and the proportion of overseas capital will continue to rise in the future. China is working hard to change the weakness of this capital that is too concentrated in the country. Therefore, in recent years, the growth trend of China's commodity and capital export has worried Western countries. China's export of capital output to Asia, Africa and the EU is typical, real capital export, and basically all are in  non-financial investments. Since 2015, China's foreign non-financial investment has exceeded the non-financial investment of foreign capital in China. [25]

Without seeing the role of state-owned capital groups in today's capitalist world, it cannot be seen that the central force leading China's capitalist rise is the state-owned capital group, and it cannot be understood why Chinese capital can rise, while others, such as India and Brazil, have no chance of rising.

Unless the state-owned capital group collapses itself, how likely is China not to compete with the world hegemons for hegemony? Can the objective law and internal logic of capitalist development be transferred by human will?

(4) The challenge of Chinese capital to the US imperialism

The relationship between China and the United States today is of course very different from the Cold War period in which the United States and the Soviet Union competed for hegemony, but this does not mean that China and the United States will not fight for hegemony. If China does not continue to develop well under the current imperialist system, it will certainly try to change this system. Compared with other developed countries, China is indeed independent, especially in military and political independence. In this respect, it far exceeds other developed countries. Its economic independence is also gradually increasing. In contrast, the United States firmly controls the military of other developed countries through NATO and other methods, and easily controls the politics of other developed countries through the United States military.

The term "hegemony" as used here refers to China's world hegemony that is challenging US imperialism. But this challenge obviously does not mean that China has now reached the same level as the United States, or has reached the point at which the Soviet Union challenged the United States.

Even so, China’s challenge to the hegemony of the US is different to the challenges of Japanese cars in the US market in the 1980s, the euro’s challenge to the dollar, and so on. Although they are all manifestation of inter-imperialist struggles for hegemony, because of the lack of military independence of Japan and the European Union, and the lack of political independence resulting from it, the United States through its political, economic and military advantages, by upsetting their plans, can limit their challenges to the United States to a manageable level.

This is the basic cause of the "disappearance of the American media's massive rendering of the Japanese threat theory in the 1980s”.

China's challenges are different. Because of China’s military independence, its political independence has been guaranteed, and its challenges are not easily restricted to the controllable scope of the United States. Therefore, the outcome of the "China threat theory" and the "Japan threat theory" will also be  totally different. This is the most worrying issue for US imperialism.

The United States should have the clearest view of who is threatening its hegemony. The United States has realized that it cannot use its economic ability to counter the growing influence of China in, for example, Africa. It has to rely more and more on its last hegemonic means: naked military hegemony to counter its opponent.

(V) Case: Chinese capital in Africa

The following data proves that Western concerns are not nonsense. Although China's direct investment (FDI) in sub-Saharan Africa (FDI) still accounts for only about 5% of all real foreign investment after rapid growth [26], the growth of China-Africa trade far exceeds the growth of investment.

The 2017 IMF study “A Rebalancing Act for China and Africa: The Effects of China’s Rebalancing on Sub-Saharan Africa’s Trade and Growth” states: “Advanced economies accounted for close to 90 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s exports in 1995, but 20 years later new partners, including Brazil, China, and India, account for more than 50 percent, with China accounting for about half of that." [27] The chart below shows that China has become (black) Africa's largest trading partner.

图三、撒哈拉以南非洲地区进出口贸易国分析(IMF 报告)

The report further states: “Chinese loans to sub-Saharan Africa—many of them financing public infrastructure projects—have risen rapidly, and China’s share of total external debt in sub-Saharan Africa has risen from less than 2 percent before 2005 to about 15 percent in 2012.” Meanwhile, “by 2013, about a quarter of China’s global engineering contracts are in the (black) African region."

The report also analyses the structure of trade, saying: “By 2014, China was the single largest source of sub-Saharan Africa’s imports. Fuel and metal and mineral products account for 70 percent of sub-Saharan African exports to China whereas the majority of sub-Saharan Africa’s imports from China are manufactured goods, followed by machinery”. This is typical of trade between Western powers and third world countries. Other Western scholars' research, such as the Brookings Institution's 2015 report, China's Direct Investment in Africa: Reality and Mythology, also shows that China's investment in Africa is not fundamentally different from that of Western powers. [28]

Unfortunately, some of our leftist academics, who are familiar with the situation in Africa, have deserted the analytical framework of Leninism on the need for the expansion of monopoly capital, and embraced the misleading view of the world system theory that "the relationship between China and Africa is neither colonialism nor neo-colonialism, but in the post-colonial global system, the relationship between a semi-peripheral economy and a peripheral economy.”[29]

However, as trade and investment grow, China is strengthening its military power in Africa. In addition to building military bases in Djibouti, in order to defend its oil investment in South Sudan and expand its influence in Africa, in the name of peacekeeping, China has dispatched armed forces for the first time to defend the safety of local oil fields.

As pointed out in the IMF report, “By diversifying trading partners, sub-Saharan Africa has reduced the volatility of its exports,” China’s capital is gradually breaking the monopoly of Western powers on Africa.

Although the Western powers clamouring about "China's promotion of neo-colonialism in Africa" is the robber logic of thieves shouting thieves, Western powers have a very sensitive sense of who is really threatening their interests, much stronger and faster than our nerds, intellectuals and outsiders. They are not afraid of a large number of small business hawkers from China, because there may be larger numbers of small business hawkers from India in Africa compared to those from China, but we have not heard of the condemnation of Indian neo-colonialism. They condemned the advance of China's big capital to into Africa according to the English saying "It takes one to know one", or in layman’s terms,a liar is the best at recognizing a liar.

Without these developments, it will not be possible to create a sense of panic and condemnation of China by Western powers. It has become clear that in the development of the international situation the United States is no longer worried in Africa about a challenge from Russia, Brazil or India, nor from any other established empire.

 (vi) Lessons from history

China was once a poor country invaded and squeezed by imperialism, from the Opium War of 1840, and especially after the defeat of the 1894 Sino-Japanese war with Japan controlling the Korean peninsula.  However, with the industrial foundation of the Mao Zedong era and the unique conditions for the development of Chinese capitalism in the past 40 years, it is no longer a poor and backward agricultural country. With the rise of Chinese capital, China’s position in the world has shown a dramatic change.

There are many precedents for this dramatic change in history. The United States, once a British colony, had industrial output in the 1890s that surpassed the United Kingdom, and today China has surpassed the United States. In the 1900s, only 50% of the population in the United States was engaged in agriculture. The population of China engaged in agriculture has been less than 50% since 2000. More than a century ago, Britain had to deal with the rise of Germany on the one hand and the rising United States on the other. Today's US is also the same having to deal with the relatively strong EU and Japan on the one hand, and on the other hand having to deal with the rising China.

If we look at Chinese history from a more or less nationalistic perspective, we will be able to understand the “inequality” of Chinese capital abroad. However, if we proceed from Marxism-Leninism, and proceed from the standpoint of proletarian internationalism, and look at the issue from the perspective of class analysis, then is the rhetoric that defends the external expansion of the emerging empire still valid? Where de we stand?

One of our scholars said in a metaphysical sense that those who can make excess profits from foreign investment are imperialists. China's current foreign investment is an equivalent exchange, and it is not imperialism because it has not been able to obtain excess profits.

His other strange argument: Since the capital exported by China is purely the blood and sweat of the working people of China, and the assets of state-owned enterprises belong to the people, it is completely different in nature from the early export of capital by imperialism in general. China is not trying to alleviate overproduction, not trying to find resources and markets, but trying to accomplish strategic goals, both for the sake of survival and for the strategic purpose of improving productivity. [30]

What is the difference in the behaviour of this gentleman, screaming on behalf of Chinese capital about its injustice on the international stage, and the behaviour of the those “leftist workers’ leaders” of the Second International, Kautsky and Plekhanov, before the First World War?

At that time, the primitive capital accumulation of the British, American, French, and German imperialists was first obtained from the blood and sweat of the working people of their own country, and the state-owned enterprises of Britain, France, and Germany by way of Western "democracy", and compared to Chinese state-owned enterprises, had the appearance of “belonging more to the people of Britain, France and Germany”.

The nationalist sentiments of an oppressed country are progressive and even revolutionary (f they are under the leadership of the working class) in terms of its anti-imperialist nature. On the contrary, the nationalism of imperialism is reactionary because it is based on the oppression of other nations. There is not much indignation in China’s current nationalist anti-hegemony, and there is a lot of arrogance in its own hegemony. With the rise of Chinese capital, China is moving from progress to reaction.

Those who support the law of the jungle (i.e. imperialism) in international relations will likewise tolerate the oppression of the working class by capital in class relations.

Politically speaking, the motherland is a country that defends its rights. In today's capitalist globalization, although investment by monopoly capital is borderless, Huawei's overseas interests cannot rely on the US Fleet. Apple's global investment cannot rely on Chinese aircraft carriers. Therefore, the transnational monopoly oligopoly must rely on its own motherland to dare to invest in the world.

Sixth, the conclusion

Imperialism means war. However, our current reality is that the US imperialists have nuclear weapons that have been unleashed on the world several times. US imperialism will not lay down its knife and become a Buddha. It is dying. With the decline of US imperialism, the American people will pay a heavier price for the maintenance of the hegemonic status of US imperialism. This is a prerequisite for the awakening of the American people. Only the awakening of the American people can avoid the threat of nuclear weapons to human survival. However, only the anti-hegemonic struggle of the people of the world, like the North Korean and Vietnamese wars, rather than the struggle for hegemony between the imperialists, will promote the awakening of the American people. In the era of nuclear weapons, the only way for human beings to survive is to unite the world’s proletarians and oppressed people and jointly oppose all hegemony!

First draft in October 2016

Second draft, September 2017


[1] That is to say, although the value that the labour force can create is much higher than the value that must be consumed to maintain the survival of the labourer, that is, its wages, the capitalist buys not the value that labour power can create, but the labour of the worker itself. In this sense, wages represent the value of the labour force, not the value that the labour can create, just as the value of the cattle is determined by the cost of raising the cattle, not the work that the cattle can do. In the same way, the employment of labour does not need to violate the principle of equivalent exchange.

[2] Refer to Li Minqi, Zhang Yaozu, Xu Zhun, Qi Qi: The End of Capital - The Economics of the Masses in the 21st Century, Renmin University of China Press, 2016, list 6-2

[3] That is to say, living labour is organic, capital is materialized inorganic labour, value is created by living labour, and thus the more capital-intensive, the smaller the ratio of the value created by living labour to the total investment, and thus the profit rate is smaller.

[4] Li Minjun: “China and the Crisis of the 21st Century”, Pluto Press, 2015, Chapter 1

[5] In the 1950s, the Soviet Union’s 156 aid projects to China were unreserved technology transfers before the experts were withdrawn. It enabled China’s industrialization to occur in less than a decade or two of accumulation. Today, no one in the world's top 500 companies will assist developing countries through technology transfer unreservedly like the Soviet Union aided China or China in the Mao Zedong era assisted Asian, African and Latin American countries.

[6] Yuanhang No. 1: "Combining the Universal Principles of Marxism-Leninism with the Concrete Realities of the Chinese Revolution in the 21st Century", Red China Weekly, No. 1 (January 6, 2015)

[7] Cheng Guangsheng: “Current Situation and Socialist Revolution”, Red China Weekly, No. 33, 2015 (September 2, 2015)

[8] This is where financial capital comes into play. Capital groups that transfer more control to financial capital will have faster capital expansion until financial capital becomes the behind-the-scenes ruler of capitalism.



[11] Yuanhang No.1: "The Historical Destiny of the Chinese Proletariat" Red China Weekly, No. 8 (February 24, 2015)

[12] Li Minjun: Chapter 7 of "China and the Crisis of the 21st Century"

[13] Yuanhang No. 1: “Economic Crisis and Social Change (III)”, Red China Weekly, No. 32, 2015 (August 20, 2015)

[14] Marxism 100: "Lesson 4: Capitalist World System", Red China Network

[15] Samir Amin: Contemporary Imperialism, Monthly Review, July 2015


[16] Chen Qiren: "Negation and Affirmation of World System Theory", Current Affairs Press, 2004

[17] Immanuel Wallerstein: Historical Capitalism, Social Sciences Academic Press, 1999


[19] In the 40th section of "China's Rise", Liu Tao enumerates many phenomena that make the "core and peripheyl" theory very embarrassing. Http://

[20] Li Minjun: "Mixed Ownership" Reform and Class Struggle" Red China Weekly No. 44 (November 24, 2014)

[21] Yuanhang No.1: "21st Century and Communism", Red China Net, 2014-3-13,


[22] Marxism 100: "Lesson 5: Capitalist World System", Red China


[23] Li Minqi, Zhang Yaozu, Xu Zhun, Qi Wei: The End of Capital – The Economics of the Masses in the 21st Century, p. 182, published by Renmin University of China Press, March 2016.



[26] The data comes from the next footnote, and the UK Financial Times’ report “China is the largest source of FDI in Africa” which includes, for example, Huaxia Happiness Foundation Co., Ltd.’s willingness to invest $20 billion in real estate in North Africa (accounting for 22% of Africa’s FDI) which was not the actual amount of investment.

[27] IMF A Rebalancing Act for China and Africa: The Effects of China’s Rebalancing on Sub-Saharan Africa’s Trade and Growth



[29] Yan Hairong, Sha Bo Li, "China in Africa: Discourse and Reality", Part I: "China, Africa, the West and Colonialism", Social Science Literature Publishing House, May 1, 2017, summary see: literature&type=%25E6%258A%25A5%25E5%2591%258A

[30] Lu Hao: "Can the Greek left wing stand in line with China? Observer


[1] The column on the left identifies countries and regions: the US, Western Europe, China, Japan and “others”. The three main vertical columns are Finance, Industry and Services.  Within each pf these the five sub-headings are the number of people on the Forbes 500 rich list, the percentage of the same, the percentage of profit share, percentage of business turnover share and the percentage of capital asset share – Trans..
[2] “xia jiaozi” is a neologism meaning that naval construction is well funded, and on the other hand it seems to show that Chinese warships are actually cheaper than people think - Trans.
[3] A Chinese “red” website:
[4] Rosa Luxemburg’s theory of capital accumulation has some similarities with world systems theory – Trans.
[5] In this table, the four headings across the top read: non-financial industries, capital assets, banking and finance, and capital assets. On the left-hand side of the table, the section at the top is for US and EU companies while the section at the bottom is for Chinese state enterprises. The vertical column headed 排名 is the ranking, while the other two are for $US millions and lastly, trillions of Chinese yuan.  On the right-hand side of the table, the section at the top is for US, EU and Japanese corporations, while the section at the bottom is for Chinese banking and financial corporations. The remaining three vertical columns are the same as for the left-hand side – Trans.

[6] In this table, the column on the left lists the US, Western Europe, China, Japan and “others” whilst along the top the industries are grouped by the ranking on the list and the percentage of assets they represent within the Fortune 500: military aerospace, energy and chemicals, engineering and construction, materials, automobiles, high technology, communications, transport, and other manufacturing industries - Trans. 


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