technology and politics

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By BRUNO MACHADO*

Technological advancement and labor productivity are objective conditions for the implementation and success of socialism in Brazil

The overcoming of capitalism and the hegemony of socialism in the world depends on objective and subjective conditions for the success of socialism over capitalism in material reality. The objective conditions can be summarized as the advance of labor productivity to the point where the reduction of the share of human labor in the value composition of commodities is so low in proportion to the share of value embodied by automation that capitalism becomes unfeasible.

In other words, the profit margin of capital (exploitation rate of human labor) would be reduced to the point of cyclical crises of capitalism becoming more frequent and lasting, making capitalism socially unfeasible, since the instability of the capitalist cycles that are founded in the rate of surplus value would become an obstacle to the continued increase in labor productivity in the economy. However, such a condition of reducing the rate of surplus value also depends on the defeat of imperialism in the geopolitical sphere, since imperialism and its search for cheap labor and natural resources counterbalance the reduction of surplus value caused by technological progress at the national level. When such objective conditions are a reality, capitalism will be an impediment to the progress of labor productivity in the same way that feudalism was centuries ago.

On the other hand, technological progress, such as the advancement of artificial intelligence and quantum computing, which raises the productivity of labor and, therefore, reduces the rate of exploitation of labor (although it does not reduce the exploitation of labor at the absolute level). ) also brings closer the technical capacity of planning the economy, which will eliminate the need for the capitalist market price system, forming a new type of market and new ways of setting prices based on labor productivity and no longer on profit.

The Soviet Union and its accelerated economic growth and advance in labor productivity demonstrated the potential of a planned economy, however, the lack of objective conditions for the success of socialism (global labor productivity was not high enough for effective planning of the economy) and the relentless geopolitical force of US imperialism defeated the Soviet model of society.

Currently, countries like China and even some Nordic countries like Norway already demonstrate the ability to plan the economy within the productive sector of the economy. In Norway, for example, 70% of the capital in the productive sector of the economy (which does not include commerce and services) belongs to public funds. In China, the level of economic planning is even greater and more complex, even though it has not ruled out the need for the capitalist market price system. Especially because overcoming the capitalist price system, which is based on the pursuit of increasing profit and not increasing labor productivity, depends on the hegemony of socialism over capitalism, a process that will take decades or centuries to be achieved.

Contrary to what Marx imagined, the socialist revolutions of the XNUMXth century took place in peripheral countries of global capitalism, not in central countries, this happened because labor exploitation is more intense in peripheral countries, in addition to the fact that peripheral economies are more unstable and experience economic crises more frequently and for longer duration than core countries. Because they have less military and economic capacity than the central countries, such socialist countries were defeated by imperialism and survive with extreme difficulty and live in a constant state of war.

Thus, it is inevitable that a constant state of war generates authoritarian governments such as the Chinese government and, to some extent, the governments of Cuba and Korea. Only a country that undergoes an increase in labor productivity and has economic and military power to face an imperialist siege will be able to expand socialism around the world until this social system becomes hegemonic on the planet. There is, on the part of socialists, an expectation that China will fulfill this role in the next two centuries.

Brazil's role in this century is to resume its process of economic development, begun in the Vargas bourgeois revolution in the 1930s and interrupted by the Military Dictatorship. However, unlike the situation of 1930, today in Brazil there is no nationalist bourgeoisie, which places the task of promoting capitalist economic development in Brazil on left-wing parties, whether socialist or not. From an international point of view, it is up to Brazil to side with the geopolitical forces that seek to remove the US hegemony in the world, both from an economic and military point of view.

Such a change of direction in Brazilian politics will depend not only on electoral victories but on a strong politicization of the Brazilian population, so that they actively participate in national politics with protests, strikes and civil disobedience, while having a level of class consciousness that make sure that it does not fall into the social engineering of the national bourgeoisie through the performance of the oligopolistic media (controlled by the agro and the banks), and into the traps of hybrid war of imperialism, such as Lava Jato.

If socialist revolutions cause an economic and military siege in peripheral socialist countries, it is to be expected that the implementation of national development projects will also cause a milder level of siege from the center on such a peripheral country that “got out of line”. However, the decades of duration of the last Brazilian economic development project demonstrates Brazil's strength in resisting internal pressures from the bourgeoisie and external pressures from imperialism. Even though imperialism caused the suicide of Getúlio Vargas, due to the creation of Petrobras, and the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff due to the pre-salt layer, we have the capacity to promote the development of Brazil's economic structure in four or five decades, even that after that period, this project is defeated and the liberal agenda is resumed that would divert social-developmentalism back to neoliberalism or, with luck, to social-liberalism.

Thus, if the politicization of the working class is a subjective condition both for Brazilian developmentalism and for democratic socialism in the country, while technological advancement and labor productivity are objective conditions for the implementation and success of socialism in Brazil. If we succeed in resuming social developmentalism in the XNUMXst century in Brazil, we can dream of a socialist Brazil for the XNUMXnd century.

*Bruno Machado is an engineer.

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