The Three Types of Economic Exploitation

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"According to Karl Marx, the creation of surplus value is the source of economic exploitation. Capitalists convert the surplus value into money value and that is how they accumulate profit. After analysing the capitalist economy, Marx reasoned that all profit is exploitation because profit means the denial of the legitimate right of the working class to the wealth they produce. Consequently, profit is nothing but the exploitation of labour. Marx concluded that the creation of surplus value will stop only when economic exploitation ends.

All communist states, including the Soviet Union, China and Vietnam, have rejected Marxʼs theory of exploitation. According to these countries, the creation of surplus value in the economy is an indispensable part of nationalprosperity. In repudiation of Marxist ideas, profit is not considered exploitation. If Marx made the first attempt to analyse and define exploitation, then it must be said that his work is not free from defects. This is because Marx tried to interpret exploitation only from the economic point of view.

According to PROUT, economic exploitation involves the unrestricted plunder of the physical and psychic labour of a particular community together with the natural resources in their local area. In PROUTʼs view, exploitation is not confined to only economic exploitation, but includes psychic and spiritual exploitation as well.

Economic exploitation has various forms and includes colonial exploitation, imperialist exploitation and fascist exploitation. There are similarities and dissimilarities in both the principles and characters of these forms of exploitation."**

Let's examine each of these three forms of exploitation

1. Colonial Exploitation

In the first form of exploitation, colonialists first capture a region and then gain control of and monopolise the raw materials in that area. They acquire these raw materials at a greatly reduced costs, export them and  manufacture finished goods either back in their own country, or in colonnist owned and run factories where they exploit cheap labour of the depressed region. The finished products are then sold back to the colonial region at an exhorbatanat price. This completely destroys the local industry and manufacturing. Some examples of this include:-

  • Britain's East India Company destroting the silk, cotton, sugar, salt, machine parts and shipbuilding industries.
  • De Beers diamond mining in SouthWest Africa

2. Imperialist Exploitation

Here the exploiters exercise political and economic power power to exploit an allready colonised region. Political oppression is further used to stifle the local people's means of commerce and livelihood, and to threaten their very existence - particularly the local industrialists. Often local industries are adjusted or changed to best profit the imperial power - like for example changing local food crops to cash crops destined for foreign markets. This form of exploitation is characterised by the local industries being owned by outsiders who suck profits out of the region. Often larger regions are carved up into smaller and weaker separate regions in a divide and conquer process to deprive the local people's from owning or benefitting from local resources.

Examples of this include:-

  • Mughal Emperor Akhbar of India 400 years ago - with his demands on Bengal to supply soldiers and arms for his wars at great cost to the local Bengal population
  • Britsh Exploitation of India - where the explpoitation of the western area and the removal of local produce caused a famine killing 10 million in 1770
  • Russian exploitation of Ukraine and the Holodomor famine which killed nearly 4 million in 1932 - caused by Stalin wanting to punish the independent minded Ukrainians by driving them off their small farms and centralising all food stocks around Moscow.

3. Fasicst Exploitation

Fascism is characerised by far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism combined with dictatorial power, military force and strong suppression of opposition. To justify their foreign exploitation, the imperialists inject nationalist superiority into their own people and portray the exploitation of others as something rational and even constitutional and based on the nation's best interests. As soon as an imperialist power is transformed into a fascist power, it spreads out its tentacles to psychically and culturally oppress a vanquished people. Psychic exploitation is used to further the economic exploitation (called “psycho-economic exploitation”). At the start, the fascist exploiters select a weak community which inhabits a region rich in natural resources. The fascists socially and culturally uproot the victimized community by imposing a foreign language and culture on them and suppressing their own cultiral expressions. Because the local people cannot easily express their individual and collective feelings and sentiments in a foreign language, they develop a defeatist psychology and inferiority complex with respect to the exploiters. This defeatist psychology destroys the natural spiritedness and will to fight of the local people, and the fascists skillfully utilise this golden opportunity to further exploit the miserable victims. The primary interest of the fascist exploiters is to gradually suck the vitality of the local community so that they can pillage and plunder their natural resources, but if necessary they will even obliterate the local community from the face of the earth.

Examples include:

  • British Imperialsts, who to legitimitise their exploitation of India, injected an inferiority complex into Indians based on British national superiority, and suppressed local language and education - making it seem second rate.
  • Hitler's injection of aryan superiority into Germany to justify his war efforts in Europe.
  • South Africa's Apartheid National Government's injection of inferiority complex into black people's and suppression of local culture, language and history
  • Stalin's injection of slavic supremacy to justify fasict exploitation of USSR's outlying states after WW2.

Is there any way to end this type of exploitation without a bloody revolution? Definitely the oppressed people will need to shoulder the responsibility of freeing themselves from the jaws of such destruction. In order to avoid bloodshed and bring the exploiters back to their senses, PROUT recommends the following:-

  • Decentralised Economy - devolve economic power by replacing the centralised economy with a localised one. Economic planning should be based on hyper-local (or block-level) planning and include every village. This is the only way to put an end to colonial, imperialist and fascist economic exploitation. Local people must be in charge of their local economy.
  • Co-operative economy - Across the economy, the cooperative system must be expanded so that no individual or group can take an undue share of the collective wealth produced by the industrial and agricultural labourers. Workers need to own their means of production.
  • Local Credit - To end exploitation by moneylenders and political cadres, loans need to be extended from within the community, not from outside of it, by (e.g.) creating credit unions
  • No Migrant labour - The floating population or workforce of any area must be either settled where it is living and the fruits of its labour remain in the local area, or made to leave that area and return to its original region. It will have to choose either option.

"The progress of history can never be reversed – the current of destiny can never be resisted. The elevated and benevolent intellect is the solution to all human problems."**

**Quotes from PR Sarkar's Prout in a Nutshell Part 19