V. I.   Lenin





Professor Dr. R. Liefmann, Cartels and Trusts and the Further Development of Economic Organisation, 2nd edition, Stuttgart, 1910. Library of Jurisprudence and Political Science.

[[DOUBLE OPEN LEFT BOX END: A popular book giving a good outline of the subject matter. The standpoint is that of a dull-witted, smug, complacent bourgeois apologist. ]]

The facts are not badly selected but, of course, apologetically.

N.B.: p. 161:

“In Germany there have been a very large number of mergers that are not (???) of a monopolistic nature.... A typical example—not to cite numerous instances from a more remote period—is the gunpowder industry. Already in the seven ties, 19 gunpowder factories merged in a single joint-stock company. In 1890, this merged with its most powerful rival to form the Vereinigte K\"oln-Rottweiler Pulverfabriken. This big joint-stock company then formed cartels not only with other gunpowder factories, but also with the dynamite trust mentioned above. Thus there was formed quite a modern amalgamation of all the German explosives factories, which, together with the similarly organised ||| division of the world || French and American explosives factories, have of the divided the whole world among themselves, so to speak” (p. 161).[1]

The number of industrial cartels in Germany (1905) was 3 8 5 (in reality more: p.25).[2]

N.B. |||| Riesser (p. 137), in quoting these statistics, adds: “about 12,000 firms participated ‘directly’   in these cartels”. Riesser, The German Big Banks and Their Concentration, 3rd edition, Jena, 1910.

The number of international cartels (with German participation) is about 100 (p. 30: in 1897 it was about 40).[3]

Potassium Industry
First cartel 1879: 4 firms
Prices rise 1898: 10 firms
“Potassium fever”: 1901–21firms
(“Some collapsed”)

The Steel Trust in America (1908: 165,211 workers) 1907—210,180 workers (total wages—$161 million), net profit—$170 million, capital—$1,100 million (p. 124).

In 1908, the biggest firm in the German mining industry, Gelsenkirchner Bergwerksgesellschaft, had 1,705 employees + 44,343 workers (wages—70.5 million marks).

(p. 135). In 1902 (June 17, 1902) Schwab founded the Shipbuilding Company, capital $70.9 million—of which Schwab had $20 million. Later this company went bankrapt; the public were robbed!

(173, etc.) “Interlocking”, “holdings” (passim), “abolishing isolation” (p. 155)—these are Liefmann’s “catch-words” for avoiding (and obscuring) Marx’s concept of “socialisation”.[4]

((End of extracts from Liefmann))


[1] Ibid., p. 252.—Ed.

[2] Ibid., p. 202.—Ed.

[3] See present edition, Vol. 22, p. 262.—Ed.

[4] Marx’s concept of “socialisation”, based on a scientific analysis of the objective laws of development of capitalist society, points to the necessity and inevitability of the means of production passing from private capitalist ownership to social ownership. Lenin showed that the conflict between the production relations and the productive forces under capitalism becomes very acute in the era of imperialism. In this last stage of capitalism the concentration and socialisation   of production reach the highest level (see present edition, Vol. 22, pp. 205, 207, 302–03). This makes it easier, after the victory of the socialist revolution, for the workers ’and peasants’ state to take over the basic means of production and organise planned production in the interests of the people. p. 56


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