MY SOCIAL CREDO
MY VIEW OF CAPITALISM
called the period of imperialism. One of the main features of this phase is the steadily growing supremacy of financial over industrial capital. At present this supremacy has assumed the form of a dictatorship of banks and stock exchanges; in other words, a dictatorship of the plutocracy. Imperialism is the final stage of capitalism's expansion; beyond which the ultimate process of its decline and decay will inevitably take place.
The modern phenomenon of imperialism, then, is the stage of fully mature capitalism, wherein finance occupies all the commanding positions and we therefore live in a time when capitalism, having attained the goal of its development, has started on the road of degradation and disintegration. This process aof decline dates from the time just after the first World War, and it has assumed the form of increasingly acute and growing economic crises, whicnh, during recent years, have sprung up simultaneously in the countries of the victors and the vanquished. At the time of writing (1933-34) the crisis has attacked nearly every country in a veritable world crisi of the capitalist system. Its prolonged nature and its universal scope can in no way be accounted for by the theory of periodical capitalist crises. Much rather do these features signify the beginning of a degenerative process within the system itself, a process of dissolution which reacts painfully on the vast toiling masses of humanity, and is bound, in the future, to do so in a still more drastic way.
The 1929 crash of the New York stock exchange (an event of world wide significance) ineveitably plunged into bankruptcy innumerable small and medium-sized industrial concerns. It ruined a multitude of financial and commercial institutions, and brought about a triumphal ascendancy of financial capital, which has overwhelmingly subordinated to its control the industry, commerce and agriculture of our country; it brought in its wake vast unemployment and a catastrophic impoverishment of the broad masses of the people.
Thus the New York stock exchange crash meant, fundamentally, the world-wide establishment of an absolute dictatorship of financial capital, a dictatorship of a small group of potentates who are mutually antagonistic on account of their monetary interests. Yet, despite its inner contradictions and notwithstanding all the assertions of the Marxian economists, capitalism in its modern imperialistic guise has managed to eliminate unorganized market competition and to gauge accurately the market's capacities. More than this, it has proved capable of establishing --- to use a Bolshevik phrase --- "planned