In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Ahmadinejad: World economic system ‘unfair’

Posted by seumasach on March 11, 2009

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the world monetary system serves the interests of global economic powers in an “unfair” way.

“The international economic order is unfair, inefficient and harmful to many countries,” Ahmadinejad said as he delivered a speech at the 10th Economic Cooperation Organization Summit in Tehran on Wednesday.

To back up his claim, the Iranian president cited various examples where “unilateral economic policies” govern the world’s monetary trends.

Ahmadinejad said the current system imposes the US dollar on countries as the currency to be used in global transactions, injects huge financial bubbles into economies, and allows rich countries to give their farmers and producers subsidies that give them an advantage against other market competitors.

He added that the system gives “certain countries” the power to impose unilateral banking and finance regulations on other states “under the pretext of recommendations and regulations of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund”.

Ahmadinejad also criticized the way that the every country’s economic security rating is determined, saying that the process is based on “unilateral criteria, which are essentially political and hollow”.

“Countries like the US and some of its allies, which are at the center of the world economic crisis, get a high economic security rating while the risks of some countries that are opposed to US policies are exaggerated despite the fact that they have some of the safest economies of the world.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (l) shaking hands with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev at the 10th Economic Cooperation Organization Summit, Tehran, March 11

The two-day event, which focuses on the global economic crisis and trade cooperation among Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) members, has brought together presidents and other senior officials from Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Iraq, Qatar and several Central Asian countries.

Iran, Pakistan and Turkey established the ECO in 1985 as an organization that can promote economic, technical and cultural cooperation among regional states.

6 Responses to “Ahmadinejad: World economic system ‘unfair’”

  1. niqnaq said

    I find radical Islamic economics rather frustrating, because, like radical Catholic economics before it, it sees only the dishonest and manipulative nature of finance capital, or ‘fictitious’ capital to use Marx’s useful term for it, and fails to see what Marx himself regarded as the essential thing, which is that real profit, in the sense of real goods and services, can ultimately only be extracted from real labour, and that only once. This I shall not explain here, but it leads Marx to the Theory of the Long-term Tendency for the Rate of Profit to Fall, to give it its proper name as developed in Vol. III of Kapital. This theory is simple once you understand it, and highly ironic, in that it is precisely the ‘increasing productivity of labour’, seen from another point of view, which leads to this falling aggregate rate of profit, as the whole productive system becomes more and more automated. ‘Islamic economics’, as I say, totally refuses to see this, being ideologically rather attached to what in European terms would be called a feudal view of society as it should be. Of all the blogs I’ve seen that are run by politically conscious Muslims — I will never use the ghastly word ‘Islamist’, even when it more or less fits, which it doesn’t in this case — the only one I can think of that seems to be interested in Marxian economics at all is “Roads to Iraq”.

  2. inthesenewtimes said

    I think Marx was broadly right about advanced highly productive societies being incompatible with the unlimited accumulation of private profit: the benefits are going to end up being socialised. That’s why the elite haven’t gone down that road preferring a system of monopoly of wealth within a general context of regression i.e.a sort of neo- feudalism. Capital accumulation and surplus value extraction is one thing, primitive accumulation is another: we’re very much into a new phase of primitive accumulation as the financiers take everything that’s going for a song. Perhaps that’s why Islamic economics, with its emphasis on eradicating usury seems relevant today.

  3. niqnaq said

    I’m not sure I see what is going on now as ‘primitive accumulation’. My recollection is that ‘primitive accumulation’ in Marx’s sense involves capitalising assets that were not previous part of any capitalist economy at all. Now this may be going on in for instance the FATA (north west Pakistan), but surely it isn’t a good description of what’s going on here in the west …?

  4. niqnaq said

    On second thoughts: if you liquidated all the values in a western economy completely, reducing them all to zero, then re-feudalised it, THEN re-capitalised it — that would be ‘prinitive accumulation’ all over again. It’s awfully hard to imagine, even under fascism, war and occupation, like germany after WW2, and it wasn’t refeudalised. maybe I’m thinking too literally.

  5. inthesenewtimes said

    Yes, Niqnaq, you’re thinking too literally. I meant, roughly speaking, “primitive accumulation”. What I was getting at was property as theft rather than the creation of new wealth. We have been in a phase of wealth destruction for thirty years or so, and what the plutocracy is doing now is taking control of what wealth there is, rather than creating new wealth. For example they will soon control the entire, real estate wealth of Britain, for what it’s worth. The ownership of land is now coming to the fore once again; oligarchs like Soros are buying up huge swathes of Argentina or Thailand. Land brings with it the ability to grow food and, consequently, control, when food is scarce.

    “My recollection is that ‘primitive accumulation’ in Marx’s sense involves capitalising assets that were not previous part of any capitalist economy at all.”

    Yes, usury can take control of all things. That is what Shake-speare’s Merchant of Venice is about. The usurer can insist on his pound of flesh, on things which aren’t under normal conditions commodifiable. Are there not, today, things which we would not expect to be commodifiable which can be subordinated to finance? What about the administration of justice? What about the education of our children? What about health care? What about the police and the army?

    But usury can also distort relations of exchange through monopoly and transform free contractual relations into relations of formal subordination; wage labour into slavery.

  6. niqnaq said

    Ok, right, I hear that.

    I wonder if we could revert to the issue two threads down? I shall post another comment there which you may or may not feel is suitable for public display.

    You know where my own blog is, by the way (niqnaq wordpress com). We can speak more frankly there if you wish.

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