2) Has the free competition capitalism indeed come back?

The Congress Documents argue that with the domination of the world by monopolies, "free competition has transformed into the competition among multi-national monopolies in the international arena." (p. 25)

Therefore, Lenin's thesis that the free competition will gradually lose its effect at the monopoly stage is proven wrong with the developments indicating the contrary.

In order to more accurately determine where the MKP stands and from which angle and how it looks at the issue, let's go directly to Lenin:

"Free competition is the basic feature of capitalism, and of commodity production generally; monopoly is the exact opposite of free competition, but we have seen the latter being transformed into monopoly before our eyes, creating large-scale industry and forcing out small industry, replacing large-scale by still larger-scale industry, and carrying concentration of production and capital to the point where out of it has grown and is growing monopoly: cartels, syndicates and trusts, and merging with them, the capital of a dozen or so banks, which manipulate thousands of millions. At the same time the monopolies, which have grown out of free competition, do not eliminate the latter, but exist above it and alongside it, and thereby give rise to a number of very acute, intense antagonisms, frictions and conflicts. Monopoly is the transition from capitalism to a higher system." (Selected Works, Volume 5, p. 90) [https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/ch07.htm]

Lenin's analysis of monopoly capitalism or imperialism is very clear and convincing, leaving no room for doubts or distortions. Monopoly emerged from the process of free competition and is a new phase in the development of capitalism, passing beyond free competition. If this were not so, there would not have been a need for a term as imperialism. Monopoly is a product of the development of capitalism. The more concentrated are the production and capital, the faster this development transforms into monopoly.

Just as it is impossible to regress from capitalism to feudalism, regress toward feudalism's economic lines; it is also impossible to regress from the monopoly stage of capitalism to an earlier stage of its economic evolution. Since the MKP is suffering from superficiality and has not been able to absorb Marxism, it fails to see this fact. From an economic perspective, imperialism is the highest stage in the development of capitalism, says Lenin. This is a new stage in the history of capitalism, where the expanding re-production reaches immense scales and free competition leaves its place to monopoly. This expresses itself in the omnipotence of the giant banks, trusts and unions; in the foreclosures of sources of raw materials; in the accumulation of bank capital.

The political superstructure of free competition capitalism corresponds to democracy, whereas the political superstructure of monopoly capitalism corresponds to reactionarism. These are the ABCs of Leninism, facts established in Lenin's article A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism.

The Congress Documents indicate that interpreting the on-going economic competition struggle among monopolies, the MKP arrives at the assumption that the free competition capitalism has returned. Had the MKP better studied Lenin, better comprehended his polemics with Kautsky, it would not have ignored the following statement by Lenin: "Let us assume that free competition, without any sort of monopoly, would have developed capitalism and trade more rapidly. But the more rapidly trade and capitalism develop, the greater is the concentration of production and capital which gives rise to monopoly. And monopolies have already arisen—precisely out of free competition! Even if monopolies have now begun to retard progress, it is not an argument in favour of free competition, which has become impossible after it, has given rise to monopoly." (Lenin, Selected Works, Volume 5, p. 115) [https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/ch09.htm]

Yes, after creating the monopolies, it is impossible for the former stage to re-emerge. But this situation, by no means, would exclude the competitions of monopolies against monopolies, imperialism against imperialism, and capital against capital, as explained by Lenin over and over. And this does not mean a transition to the capitalism of free competition; it is the struggle among monopolies for the markets. So, as Lenin emphasized, to claim that in the era of imperialism, or in other words in the era of monopoly capitalism, the competition among the imperialist countries or monopolies would end would essentially remove contradictions and antagonism from capitalism, which would mean to be on the same line as Kautsky.

One final point: the MKP claims, on the one hand, that Lenin was wrong on the point of free competition, that free competition did not retreat but on the contrary it further developed; and yet, on the other hand, it argues that, due to the scale that monopolisation has reached, the planned production has become primary. Now, these are contradictory statements. If the free competition has become the primary aspect of the matters, it would also become the biggest obstacle before the planned production.

After all, the process that gives the production an order to a certain degree is a result of the monopolist stage and not that of the free competition stage.



For open discussion of topics (including other topics of interest not necessarily related to any one article or the view of a specific author), a separate moderated discussion forum is being made available here that will allow threaded discussion and submission of views of our readers.


All articles published on the red-path.net website are the sole views and opinions of the authors and thus each author is responsible for their own views. However, if you wish to discuss the points raised in any published article you may leave your views, comments or criticisms for public view and study, at the bottom of each article page. Please see our notes on "comments rules".

We reserve the right to moderate these comments and remove any that may be deemed to be abusive and harmful to a healthy and constructive discussion, irrespective of the views presented in such comments.