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書摘︰《歷史資本主義》

2015/1/7 — 7:30

Immanuel Wallerstein (就是在政治經濟學和國際關係裡非常著名的「世界體系理論」的創始人)的小書 "Historical Capitalism" 之前在日本旅行時讀完,書雖小,但理論卻非常宏大。 Wallerstein 雖然深受馬克思的政治經濟學影響,但他的學說對傳統的左翼理論作出了很多修正,例如他認為過往所發生過的社會主義革命/反體制運動都只左右了國際間的權力平衡,並沒有脫離資本主義這個歷史體系,甚至反而加固了資本主義。我把較重要的修正抄下來,嫌太長的可以根據中文詮腳選段來讀。

(一)帝國主義

對於帝國主義擴張的解釋, Wallerstein 認為一般的說法「過剩商品需要尋找新市場」並不合乎事實,較恰當的解釋是資本家需要開發更廉價的勞動力︰

Areas external to historical capitalism have on the whole been reluctant purchasers of its products, in part because they didn't 'need' them in terms of their own economic system and in part because they often lacked the relevant wherewithal to purchase them. To be sure there were exceptions. But by and large it was the capitalist world that sought out the products of the external arena and not the other way around. Whenever particular loci were militarily conquered, capitalist entrepreneurs regularly complained of the absence of real markets there and operated through colonial governments to 'create tastes'.

The search for markets as an explanation simply does not hold. A much more plausible explanation is the search for low-cost labour forces. It is historically the case that virtually every new zone incorporated into the world-economy established levels of real remuneration which were at the bottom of the world-system's hierarchy of wage-levels.

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(二)資本主義革命

對於由封建主義到資本主義的過渡, Wallerstein 認為是同一個統治階級的內鬥和自我轉型,而並非一個新階級推翻舊階級的過程︰

The economic arena of feudal Europe was going through a very fundamental, internally generated, crisis in this period that was shaking its social foundations. Its ruling classes were destroying each other at a great rate, while its land-system (the basis of its economic structure) was coming loose, with considerable reorganization moving in the direction of a far more egalitarian distribution than had been the norm. [...] Things were indeed falling apart. Had Europe continued on the path along which it was going, it is difficult to believe that the patterns of medieval feudal Europe with its highly structured system of 'orders' could have been reconsolidated. Far more probable is that the European feudal social structure would have evolved towards a system of relatively equal small-scale producers, further flattening out the aristocracies and decentralizing the political structures.

... But it is clear that the prospect must have appalled Europe's upper strata --- appalled and frightened them, especially as they felt their ideological armour was disintegrating too. Without suggesting that anyone consciously verbalized any such attempt, we can see by comparing the Europe of 1650 with 1450 that the following things had occurred. By 1650, the basic structures of historical capitalism as a viable social system had been established and consolidated. The trend towards egalitarianization of reward had been drastically reversed. The upper strata were once again in firm control politically and ideologically. There was a reasonably high level of continuity between the families that had been high strata in 1450 and those that were high strata in 1650.

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讀者應該會留意到 Wallerstein 比馬克思主義者更強調政治力量的角色,他認為技術的發展並非資本主義的原因而是其結果,是資本主義為發展科技帶來誘因,因為新發明意味著可以獨市的新商品。

Wallerstein 也談到資本家的內鬥會以「民主」、「自由」等口號包裝,甚至以「革命」形式呈現

Sometimes, however, they have been over larger 'constitutional' issues which determine the rules governing the conduct of shorter-run struggles, and thus the likelihood of one fraction or another prevailing. Whenever these struggles were 'constitutional' in nature, they required greater ideological mobilization. In these cases, we heard talk of 'revolutions' and 'great reforms' and the losing sides were often given opprobrious (but analytically inappropriate) labels. To the extent that the political struggles for, say, 'democracy' or 'liberty' against 'feudalism' or 'traditon' have not been struggles of the working classes against capitalism, they have been essentially struggles among the accumulators of capital for the accumulation of capital. Such struggles were not the triumph of a 'progressive' bourgeoisie against reactionary strata but intro-bourgeois struggles.

Of course, using 'universalizing' ideological slogans about progress has been politically useful. It has been a way of associating class struggle mobilization to one side of intra-accumulator struggles. But such ideological advantage has often been a double-edged sword, unleashing passions and weakening repressive restraints in the class struggle.

(三)社會主義革命

他也解釋了在資本主義世界中革命造反為何比在先前的歷史階段更困難︰

...generally speaking, rebellion as a technique has worked only at the margins of central authority, particularly when central bureaucracies were in phases of disintegration.

The fact that states were located in an interstate system meant that the repercussions of rebellions or uprisings were felt, often quite rapidly, beyond the confines of the immediate political jurisdiction within which they occurred. So-called 'outside' forces therefore had strong motives to come to the aid of assailed state-machineries. This made rebellions more difficult. On the other hand, the intrusion of the accumulators of capital, and hence of state-machineries, into the daily life of the work-forces was far more intensive in general under historical capitalism than under previous historical systems.

過往的反體制運動,無論是左翼的工人運動,還是右翼的民族運動,都脫離不了一個基本策略,就是奪取國家櫂力。然而, Wallerstein 認為這種策略不可能達到反體制的目的,而只會令後革命的國家再一次落入世界體系的資本主義分工上︰

The key to the problem may in fact lie in the basic strategic decision to make the seizure of state power the pivot of the movement's activities. The strategy had two fundamental consequences. In the phase of mobilization, it pushed each movement towards entering into tactical alliances with groups that were in no way 'anti-systemic' in order to reach its strategic objective. These alliances modified the structure of the anti systemic movements themselves, even in the mobilization stage. Even more importantly, the strategy eventually succeeded in many cases. Many of the movements achieved partial or even total state power. These successful movements were then confronted with the realities of the limitations of state power within the capitalist world-economy. They found that they were constrained by the functioning of the interstate system to exercise their power in ways that muted the 'anti-systemic' objectives that were their raison d'etre.

「革命黨」奪取國家權力,在整個資本主義體系下,代表的是一場改革,而非革命︰

This seems so obvious that one must then wonder why the movements based their strategy on such a seemingly self-defeating objective. The answer was quite simple: given the political structure of historical capitalism, they had little choice. There seemed to be no more promising alternative strategy. The seizure of state power at least promised to change the balance of power between contending groups somewhat. This is to say, the seizure of power represented a reform of the system. The reforms in fact did improve the situation, but always at the price of also strengthening the system.

又因為所謂的後革命國家無一倖免都跳不出歷史資本主義的體系之外,其結局往往就是重新啟動資本積累的引擊,繼續剝削工人,於是這些所謂革過命的國家,又會重新出現新的反體制運動︰

...the so-called post-revolutionary regimes continue to function as part of the social division of labour of historical capitalism. They have thereby operated, willy-nilly, under the relentless pressures of the drive for the endless accumulation of capital. The political consequence internally has been the continued exploitation of the labour-force, if in a reduced and ameliorated form in many in stances. This has led to internal tensions paralleling those found in states that were not 'post-revolutionary', and this in turn has bred the emergence of new anti-systemic movements within these states.

對於國家在資本主義的意義,可以如此總結︰"Changes in state structures have altered the politics of accumulation; they have not yet been able to end them."

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後半本的 "Historical Capitalism" ,主要處理兩個議題︰意識形態和歷史進步論,而我認為後者尤其重要。跟正統的馬克思主義者不同, Wallerstein 懷疑歷史進步論,他質疑進步論中的兩個觀點--(1)歷史資本主義比先前的歷史系統較為進步;(2)歷史資本主義終會被更進步的歷史系統(社會主義)所取代--這兩個觀點彼此相關、互相證成,而 Wallerstein 則透過攻擊觀點(1),解釋進步並非必然,繼而動搖我們對(2)的信仰--我們決不能只坐等資本主義滅亡,在歷史的交叉點上,我們的行動將會影響歷史的走向。

嫌太長的話可以按中文詮腳選段閱讀。

(四)種族主義

Wallerstein 認為前資本主義時代的恐外情緒跟現代的種族主義是不同的東西,種族主義是資本主義底下的意識形態,被用以合理化不平等的經濟分配。

What we mean by racism has little to do with the xenophobia that existd in various prior historical systems. Xenophobia was literally fear of the 'stranger'. Racism within historical capitalism was the mode by which various segments of the work-force within the same economic structure were constrained to relate to each other. Racism was the ideological justification for the hierarchization of the work-force and its highly unequal distributions of reward.

The ideological statements have been in the form of allegations that genetic and/or long-lasting 'cultural' traits of various groups are the major cause of differential allocation to positions in the economic structures. However, the beliefs that certain groups were 'superior' to others in certain characteristics relevant to performance in the economic arena always came into being after, rather than before, the location of these groups in the work-force. Racism has always been post hoc. It has been asserted that those who have been economically and politically oppressed are culturally 'inferior'. If, for any reason, the locus in the economic hierarchy changed, the locus in the social hierarchy tended to follow.

種族主義除了有利規限受害者對階級流動的期待,也有利分化中層和底層的勞動軍,就像利用囚犯來監管囚犯。

[Racism] has served to socialize groups into their own role in the economy... Racism, just like sexism, functioned as a self-suppressive ideology, fashioning expectations and limiting them.

[Racism] served to keep low-ranking groups in line, and utilize middle-ranking groups as the unpaid soldiers of the world police system. In this way, not only were the financial costs of the political structures reduced significantly, but the ability of anti-systemic groups to mobilize wide populations was rendered more difficult, since racism structurally set victims against victims.

(五)普世主義

Wallerstein 認為資本主義中的兩大意識形態︰種族主義和普世主義,看似互相矛盾,但其實都是依資本主義運作的需要在同一個系統下製造出來的。普世主義主要是菁英的信仰,有利於各國的上層及中層階級的整合。

Work-forces could not be expected to perform efficiently and continuously unless they were managed by cadres. Cadres too have had to be created, socialized, reproduced. The primary ideology that operated to create, socialize, and reproduce them was not the ideology of racism. It was that of universalism.

Whereas racism served as a mechanism of world-wide control of direct producers, universalism served to direct the activities of the bourgeoisie of other states and various middle strata world-wide into channels that would maximize the close integration of production processes and the smooth operation of the interstate system, thereby facilitating the accumulation of capital.

Scientific culture... was a form of socialization of the diverse elements that were the cadres of all the institutional structures that were needed. As a language common to cadres but not directly to the labour-force, it became also a means of class cohesion for the upper stratum, limiting the prospects or extent of rebellious activity on the part of cadres who might be so tempted.

(六)歷史進步論

然後 Wallerstein 也討論了歷史進步論這個意識形態,他先指出左翼的歷史進步論合理化了社會主義,但同時也合理化了資本主義。而根據過往幾十年的經驗,比較蘇聯和美國的物質生活水平,唯物主義進步觀也可以反咬「社會主義實驗」一口,這成了當代左翼其中一個意識形態危機。

至於對進步論本身, Wallerstein 持否定的態度,指出它最大的問題在於 "the one-sidedness of all measures proposed" ,並逐一質疑進步論者提出的各種測量指標︰

1) 科學/科技進步 v.s. 被丟失遺忘的傳統知識

...we never seriously discuss how much knowledge we have lost in the world-wide sweep of the ideology of universalism. Or if we do, we categorize such lost knowledge as mere (?) wisdom. Yet, at the simple technical levels of agricultural productivity and biological wholeness, we have been discovering of late that methods of human action discarded a century or two ago (a process enforced by enlightened elites upon backward masses) often need to be revived because they turn out to be more, not less, efficacious.

2) 生產效率進步 v.s. 工作負擔增加

Each input of human energy has been rewarded with steadily greater outputs of products, which is surely true as well. But we do not calculate to what degree this has meant that humanity has reduced or increased the total inputs of energy that individuals separately, or all people within the capitalist world-economy collectively, have been called upon to invest, whether per unit of time or per lifetime. Can we be so sure that the world is less burdensome under historical capitalism than under prior systems?

3) 物質生活提升 v.s 精神生活墜落

...doubts in this domain have grown steadily throughout the twentieth century, as our now frequent references to 'quality of life' and mounting concern with anomie, alienation, and psychic maladies indicate.

4) 對人類更安全的環境 v.s. 現代戰爭與核威脅

Once again this is incontestable at a micro level... But has this really been true at a macro level, even up to now, and even omitting the Damoclean sword of nuclear war?

Wallerstein 更指出,要說今日的世界對比一千年前有更多的自由、平等和友愛,也至少不是不證自明的。但不要搞錯,他並沒有把前現代的生活想像成田園牧歌,它們也是沒有多少自由平等友愛,但問題是在比較之下資本主義世界真的以前多嗎?還有一個說法就是殘忍行為(Cruelties)的減少, Wallerstein 回應說,即使不考慮歷史資本主義對窮人的殘酷,二十世紀的歷史也足以顯示今人的 "unusual talents of refinement in these ancient arts."

提出了對進步論的種種質疑後,Wallerstein 打算要為一種少有的說法辯護︰"the absolute (not relative) immiseration of the proletariat" ,今日的資本主義比二百年前的更差,生活相對改善了的工人只是世界人口的一小部份。

Surely you can't be serious; surely you mean relative immiseration? Is not the industrial worker strikingly better off today than in 1800? The industrial worker, yes, or at least many industrial workers. But industrial workers still comprise a relatively small part of the world's population.

The overwhelming proportion of the world's work-forces, who lives in rural zones or move between them and urban slums, are worse off than their ancestors five hundred years ago.

They unquestionably work harder -- more hours per day, per year, per lifetime. And since they do this for less total reward, the rate of exploitation has escalated very sharply.

他也提到資本主義對社區的破壞,小型的社區結構被大型的政治經濟結構取代,名義上的個人主義和自由主義並沒有為鄉區的窮人帶來「解放」,而是更多的操控和壓迫。

In many areas, and for long periods, the prior role of the community structures has been assumed by 'plantations', that is, by the oppressive control of large-scale politico-economic structures controlled by 'entrepreneurs'. The 'plantations' of the capitalist world-economy -- whether based on slavery, imprisonment, share-cropping (forced or contractual), or wage-labour -- can scarcely be said to have provide more leeway for 'individuality'.

Even where one form or another of direct authoritarian control of agricultural activity (what we have just labelled 'plantations') was not substituted for the prior laxer community structure of control, the disintegration of the community structures in rural zones was not experienced as a 'liberation', since it was inevitably accompanied, indeed frequently directly caused, by a constantly growing control by the emergent state structures which increasingly have been unwilling to leave the direct producer to his autonomous, local decision-making processes.

那為什麼活在城市的我們很容易覺得「世界在變好」?那是因為我們都是受惠於資本主義的中層成員︰

A good deal of the 'progressive' politics of the past several hundred years of historical capitalism has resulted in the steady diminution of the unequal distribution of the world surplus-value among that small group who have shared in it. The shouts of triumph of this 'middle' sector over the reduction of their gap with the upper one per cent have masked the realities of the growing gap between them and the other eighty-five per cent.

(七)革命的問題

進步論的另一個原素,就是認為在歷史的演化當中,一個新的階級會取代一個舊的階級,而正如上回都指出過, Wallerstein 認為正確的歷史圖像是封建時代的貴族地主階級將自己轉化為布爾喬亞(bourgeoisie),這個轉化是為了維持及擴大他們剝削勞動力的能力。

馬克思主義者對「無產階級革命」的想像一直都是建基於歷史上的「布爾喬亞革命」,但由於「布爾喬亞革命」並不是一個階級推倒另一個階級的革命,馬克思主義者的基本戰略就大有問題了。

更重要的是, Wallerstein 雖然同意資本主義會因其內在矛盾而最終解體,但他提醒我們資本主義的滅亡不一定會帶來社會主義,我們的資產階級可能會透過轉化自身來發展出另一種更有效的階級社會(class society)︰

Progress is not inevitable. We are struggling for it. And the form the struggle is taking is not that of socialism versus capitalism, but that of a transition to a relatively classless society versus a transition to some new class-based mode of production (different from historical capitalism but not necessarily better).

The choice for the world bourgeoisie is not between maintaining historical capitalism and suicide. It is between on the one hand a 'conservative' stance, which would result in the continued disintegration of the system and its resultant transformation into an uncertain but probably more egalitarian world order; and, on the other hand, a bold attempt to seize control of the process of transition, in which the bourgeoisie itself would assume 'socialist' clothing, and seek to create thereby an alternative historical system which would leave intact the process of exploitation of the world's work-force, to the benefit of a minority.

這一點尤其重要︰一個新的階級社會可以以「社會主義」的裝扮登場,繼續服務於同一批統治階級,抗爭者決不可以因為資本主義被取代就急於慶祝。

在這一節的最後, Wallerstein 提醒我們無論在分析評價各種反體制運動時,不要忘記這些運動,包括「社會主義國家」,都並非外在於歷史資本主義之外,它們的存在本身就是歷史資本主義的矛盾展現,他們的負面影響應該歸咎於資本主義,而不是一個尚未存在過的社會主義;「社會主義國家」對工人的剝削,也應該歸咎於他們處於世界資本主義分工的邊陲位置,而跟他們是由共產黨還是親資政黨領導,關係較小。

The first and most important thing to remember in any such assessment is that the world socialist movement, indeed all forms of anti-systemic movements, as well as all revolutionary and/or socialist states, have themselves been integral products of historical capitalism. They were not structures external to the historical system but the excretion of processes internal to it. Hence they have reflected all the contradictions and constraints of the system. They could not and cannot do otherwise.

Their faults, their limitations, their negative effects are part of the balance-sheet of historical capitalism, not of a hypothetical historical system, of a socialist world-order, that does not yet exist. The intensity of the exploitation of labour in revolutionary and/or socialist states, the denial of political freedoms, the persistence of sexism and racism all have to do far more with the fact that these states continue to be located in peripheral and semi-peripheral zones of the capitalist world-system.

They can only be sensibly evaluated by asking how much they have contributed to the world-wide struggle to ensure that the transition from capitalism is towards an egalitarian socialist world-order.

(八)資本主義的矛盾與終結

本書的最後一部份-- "Future Prospects" --繼續闡述資本主義的內在矛盾,並嘗試勾劃這個歷史系統的未來。

針對資本主義的內在矛盾, Wallerstein 的分析跟傳統馬克思主義大同小異︰在企業的彼此競爭之下,企業要維持利潤率,就必須降低勞動力成本。但如果降低工人薪資,又會導致市場的消費力減弱,總需求下降。這就是資本主義的內在矛盾之一。 Wallerstein 認為,這矛盾在歷史上的解決方式,是透過地域區隔(geographical disjuncture)來達成的。任何時候,世界體系中受特別思典的地區採取了提升總需求的政治措施(例如定立最低工資、提高福利等),在世界體系的邊陲地區就會同時增加一堆新的廉價勞動力。可以是將更多效區農民轉化為城市工廠工人,也可以是將整個世界資本主義體系擴展到之前所未包括的地方,例如一些自給自足的效區經濟體。也就是說,企業透過尋找未開拓的地區,將其轉化為廉價勞動力市場,從而降低了生產成本,而又同時能維持到本國消費市場的總需求。

而 Wallerstein 認為,這種策略有其極限︰未被世界資本主義體系編入的地區有限,而且在不斷縮小。實際上,在八十年代,這個極限已經碰頂,資本家再沒有更廉價的勞動力可供開發,在利潤率下跌的情況下,資本家和國家合力向本國人民開刀︰把國有資產私有化,撤銷本國的福利政策,並透過信貸擴張的手段維持總需求。 Wallerstein 認為廿一世紀將會見證資本主義的矛盾走到極限,進入系統性危機,政治將變得非常不穩定,並有機會向任何一個方向前進。

這個系統性危機將會以什麼方式呈現呢? Wallerstein 認為其中一個可能,就是來自第三世界的新移民跟核心國家的社會發生「內戰」

...the massive, relentless drive of households to migrate illegally to wealthier climes, to escape from the South to the North. [...] Over the coming twenty-five years, we may expect enormous numbers to succeed in this South-North migration. The double reality of the material conditions gap and the demographic gap makes it highly improbable that any state policy in the North can be seriously effective in stemming the flow.

The phenomenon of the 'Third World within' in the core zones of the capitalist world-economy will become massive as the demographic balance shifts.

The demographic transformation, caused by weakening state structures, will in turn weaken them further. Social disorder will once again become normal in the core zones. In the last twenty years there has been much discussion on this under the false label of increased crime. What we shall be seeing is increased civil warfare. This is the face of the time of troubles. The scramble for protection has already begun. The states cannot provide it. For one thing they do not have the money; for another they do not have the legitimation. We shall see instead the expansion of private protection armies and police structures, by local communities, by religious bodies, and of course by crime syndicates.

(九)資本主義後的未來

這種情況下,歷史將何去何從? Wallerstein 認為我們頂多可以粗略勾勒出未來的幾種可能性,至於當中的細節,則無從預測。他勾勒了三種可能走向︰

A, 新封建主義

One is a sort of neo-feudalism that would reproduce in a far more equilibrated form the developments of the time of troubles --- a world of parcellized sovereignties, of considerably more autarkic regions, of local hierarchies. This might be made compatible with maintaining (but probably not furthering) the current relatively high level of technology. Endless accumulation of capital could no longer function as the mainspring of such a system, but it would certainly be an inegalitarian system. What would legitimate it? Perhaps a return to a belief in natural hierarchies.

B. 民主法西斯主義

A second formula might be a sort of democratic fascism. Such a formula would involve a caste-like division of the world into two strata, the top one incorporating perhaps a fifth of the world's population. Within this stratum, there could be a high degree of egalitarian distribution. On the basis of such a community of interests within such a large group, they might have the strength to keep the other 80 per cent in the position of a totally disarmed working proletariat.

C. 社會主義

A third formula might be a still more radical worldwide highly decentralized, highly egalitarian world order. [...] The increased political sophistication and technological expertise we now have makes it doable, but not at all certain. It would require accepting certain real limitations in consumption expenditures. But it does not mean merely a socialization of poverty, for then it would be politically impossible to realize.

最後, Wallerstein 提醒我們,歷史還有很多可能,最重要的是我們認清這些可能都存在,而歷史的選擇將會取決於我們未來五十年的集體努力

原刊於 Neither/Nor

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