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John G. Wright


Economic Roots of US Imperialism

The Reigning Oligarchy

(August 1949)

From Fourth International, Vol.10 No.7, August 1949, pp.198-203.
Transcribed by Daniel Gaido.
Marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

America, the home of modern advertising, has been subjected in the last few years to the most high-powered and streamlined huckstering it has known in its history. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent in this campaign to sell the idea to the American people that the giant trusts and monopolies which dominate our country’s economic life represent a system of “free enterprise.” If ever there was a violation of the Pure Food and Drug Law, which deals with the crime of adulteration of products, this is it. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the law to prevent Big Business from misrepresenting itself to the public, nothing to prevent pasting of false labels on bottles of ideological poison.

This lie, on a par with any of those ever disseminated by Goebbels’ Propaganda Ministry or the Kremlin, is intended both for domestic and foreign consumption. By the very volume of misinformation, Big Business hopes to bury the damning facts uncovered in the Thirties concerning the true ownership of America’s wealth, industries and resources published in such books as Ferdinand Lundberg’s America’s Sixty Families and popularized in Roosevelt’s phrases “economic royalists.” By this powerful injection of the narcotic of the lie, Big Business hopes to create among its subjects the illusion that they still live as in the days of Jackson and Jefferson in a land of “equal opportunity” and “freedom of enterprise.”

For the rest of the world, “free enterprise” is a new label for the discredited word “imperialism,” although the Wall Street conquistadors differ from their foreign predecessors only in greater wealth and power. It is presented as an alternative to the totalitarianism of the Kremlin, although here too the dictatorship exercised by the oligarchy of business and finance is unprecedented in the history of the world.

The truth is, despite the torrent of misinformation being poured upon the country, that “free enterprise” is as extinct as the buffalo. Monopoly control and domination has become virtually all-embracing. The real rulers of our country are neither “rugged individuals” nor “self-made men” nor anything that remotely resembles the mythology so elaborately created by Wall Street’s hucksters. They are dynasties — plutocratic dynasties of parasitic families who have generation by generation grown fantastically richer at the expense of the American people. They are the Rockefeller, the Morgans, the Mellons, the du Ponts, the Vanderbilt, the Guggenheim, the Fords, the Gianninis & Company.

It is these tiny groups along with the rest of America’s sixty richest families who dominate the 113 biggest manufacturing corporations with assets of more than 100 million dollars each, which, in turn, own directly more than 50 percent of our nation’s total industrial property, plant and equipment. How much they own and control indirectly it is possible only to surmise.

We can get a clue to the actual state of affairs from certain salient facts which relate to the growth of super-monopolies not only in industry but also in banking and insurance. There are today 56 of these super-monopolies and they are all securely held by the above-mentioned families of multimillionaires.

In 1929, the biggest peacetime boom year in our history prior to the Frantic Forties, there were exactly 20 corporations with assets of a billion or more.

By December 1941, when the US was plunged into World War II, the number of these super-monopolies had increased by more than 50 percent, swelling to a total of 32. This fact alone is irrefutable proof that the policies of the Roosevelt administration did not “drive the money changers from the temple” but, on the contrary, promoted their welfare and favored their growth.

The most spectacular growth, however, has been registered in the last eight years. In 1948 the Billionaire Corporations Club numbered 56, or more than 2½ times the total in 1929. This rate of growth is at the same time indicative of the whirlwind speed at which the handful of plutocrats have been gobbling up the wealth and resources of the nation. Since little is generally known about the growth of these super-monopolies, we shall adduce a few of the salient facts relating to them. There are today 20 super-banks: 12 super-insurance trusts; six super-trusts in utilities other than railroads, which have six super-corporations of their own; there are, in addition, six oil super-trusts and alongside them, an equal number of huge industrial combines. These 56 billionaire corporations constitute the heart of the greatest monopoly empire in history. Between them thesemonopolies own assets aggregating $129¼ billion. This privately owned sum is enough to stagger the human imagination. It amounts to more than one-half of the national debt which stood in 1948 at $251 billion.

It surpasses by at least a score of billions the total assets of ALL THE MANUFACTURING CORPORATIONS IN THIS COUNTRY currently estimated to be in the neighborhood of $100 billion. In other words, the biggest corporations have enough cash on hand to buy out all their competitors and still have plenty to spare in their treasuries. Let us take a closer look at these super-monopolies.

Power of Twenty Super Banks

As of last year, there were twenty super-banks towering above this country’s fiscal structure. Between them they control more than 43½ billion dollars in assets. Listed in order of their relative size these are:



(in billions)


Bank of America, NT & SA



National City Bank (NY)



Chase National (NY)



Guaranty Trust (NY)



Manufacturers Trust (NY)



Cont. Ill. Bank & Tr. (Chi.)



First National Bank, Chicago



Secur. First National (LA)



Chemical Bank (NY)



Central Hanover Bank & T’r, NY



Bankers Trust (NY)



First National, Boston



Mellon National Bank (Pitts.)



Northwest Bancorp



National Bank, Detroit



Bank of Manhattan (NY)



Irving Trust (NY)



First Bank Stock



Marine Midland Tr. (NY)



Cleveland Trust


Telltale as this list is, it tells only a part of the story of concentration of power in the key financial field. Omitted here is the interlocking network between these giant banking institutions, their foreign holdings and ties, their connections with and power over small and middle-sized banks, including the savings banks, not to mention the various giant banking holding companies unlisted above.

It would take a good-sized volume to depict in detail the stranglehold which the biggest commercial banks have on the fiscal structure. Suffice it to point out that the ten biggest banks (six in New York City, two in Chicago and two in California) hold some $30.5 billion, or almost 70 percent of the total assets of these super-banks themselves. And even this control is further narrowed to a very small group of individuals which exercises complete sway over this hierarchy within a hierarchy in commercial banking.

These are the three mightiest groups: the Rockefeller, Morgan and Giannini interests.

The Giarmini group of California IS in control of the biggest single bank in the country and is at the head of the Transamerica Corp., which includes several smaller banks on the West Coast. They are reportedly also the holders of the largest single block of stock in the next biggest bank, National City Bank of New York.

The Rockefeller dynasty has as its operating base the Chase National Bank, third largest in the US, and is interlocked with the Manufacturers Trust Co, fifth largest, and several smaller banks.

The Morgan group dominates the Guaranty Trust Co. and Bankers Trust Co., fourth and eleventh in size respectively, and is interlocked with the second largest, the National City Bank of New York, as well as with Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co., Irving Trust Co., Chemical Bank & Trust Co., Marine Midland Trust Co., let alone many lesser banks including their wholly owned J.P. Morgan, & Co., and Drexel & Co. (Philadelphia branch of the combine).

This Big Three in commercial banking share their power with the Mellon dynasty (the aluminum trust) and the leading Wall Street groups (Kuhn, Loeb &, Co., Halsey, Stuart & Co., Dillon, Read & Co., and Lee, Higginson & Co.). In other words, a shut-in circle of scarcely more than ten groups.

Behemoths in Insurance

When we pass over to the field of insurance, the picture becomes even more somber. In insurance there are 12 super-monopolies who divide among them assets of almost $40 billion.



(in billions)


Metropolitan Life



Prudential Life



Equitable Life



New York Life



John Hancock Mutual



Mutual Life NY



First National Bank, Chicago



Travelers Ins. Co.



Aetna Life Ins.



Mass. Mutual



Penn Mutual



Mutual Benefit


Again we have an oligarchy within an oligarchy, with the six largest insurance companies holding more than 75 percent of the total assets of the super-insurance trusts. The concentration of power here has gone beyond that in the field of banking. By placing side by side the current assets of these companies with those in the early Thirties, we can get an indication of how rapidly these giants have grown.

At the end of 1932, Metropolitan Life had $3.8 billion in assets; it now holds $9.1 billion, or almost 2½ times as much as before. It is followed by Prudential ($7.8 billion as against $2.8 billion in 1932); Equitable Life ($4.9 billion as against $1.5); New York Life ($4.5 as against $2.0); John Hancock Mutual ($2.5 as against less than a billion); Northwestern Mutual ($2.3 as against less than a billion).

Mutual Life, NY, formerly the fifth ranking insurance company (with $1.1 billion) has dropped to seventh place (with $1.99 billion). The others in the galaxy used to have assets of less than a billion but in the neighborhood of half a billion. The rate of growth of each company has varied, but it will be observed that all of them—from the largest to the “smallest”—have expanded at relatively the same rate, from 2 to 2½ times their former size.

Now, whose hands do we find deep in these largest insurance companies? Yes, you have guessed the answer, if you didn’t already know it. It is the Rockefeller, the Morgans, the Mellons, the du Ponts, the Vanderbilt, the Guggenheim, the Fords, the Gianninis & Company. Entrenched firmest of all are the Morgans and the Rockefellers, who share their power with the leading Wall Street groups and the rest of the richest sixty families.

The Public Utility Giants

Next to the banks and insurance companies in point of size and power are the public utilities. The concentration of power in this field is as marked as it is elsewhere. There are six giants who dispose of some 16 billion dollars in holdings.



(in billions)


Bell System



Consolidated Edison, NY



Commonwealth & Southern



Pacific Gas & Electric



Commonwealth Edison



American Power & Light


It can be seen at a glance that the Bell System, the largest single enterprise in the capitalist world, which has superseded Metropolitan Life formerly holding this post of pre-eminence, overshadows all the rest. The power of powers in public utilities is the Morgan group, strongly entrenched in the Bell System, in Consolidated Edison of New York, and in Commonwealth and Southern. The Morgans share this empire with the Rockefellers and the Mellons and the du Ponts and the lesser dynasties among the richest of the rich.

The Industrial Empires

When we come to large-scale industry we again find six super-billionaire monopolies. Between them these Cyclopeans divide assets of about 101/3 billion dollars. The concentration of power and the extent of monopoly dominance is as breath-taking here as elsewhere. A handful of plutocratic dynasties rules the roost unchallenged.



(in billions)

Dynasties in control


Gen. Motors Corp.


Morgan-du Pont


US Steel Corp.


Morgan & Co.


EI du Pont


The du Ponts


General Electric




Beth. Steel Corp.




Ford Motor Co.


The Fords

Not included in the above list is the Mellon aluminum imperial domain which still refrains publicly from admitting to assets of more than a billion, a practice followed for years by several other oligarchic dynasties, particularly the du Ponts. In this way at least two purposes are served, the extent of monopoly power is kept hidden from public view and from the tax collectors. The du Ponts, who are the power of powers in the chemical industry and among the munition makers, have grown to the point where this is no longer possible. The Mellons still play coy.

The du Ponts, along with the other ranking plutocratic families, are from two to three times as rich and powerful today as they were in the prewar days. Naturally this takes into account only their domestic holdings. Their power and wealth, like those of the rest of the Sixty Families, extend to the four corners of out planet. Their foreign holdings, investments and connections are, so to speak, super-secrets. No one really knows the full scope of the American Economic Empire abroad. But their acknowledged domestic properties provide ample grounds judgment.

On January 1, 1932, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. listed its assets as being below $600 million; in 1948 these were listed as almost $1,600 million, or proximately three times as large. Other members of Big Six in industry who have publicly acknowledged similar rates of growth are: General Motors Corporation ($2.96 billion as against $1.31 billion in 1932); General Electric ($1.18 as against $0.44 billion); Bethlehem Steel Corporation. ($1.03 as against $0.71 billion); Ford Motor Co. ($1.03 as against $0.72 billion). US Steel Corp. by fancy juggling with figures has kept its gains down on paper, registering a rise from $2.28 billion in 1932 to “only” $2.54 billion in 1948.

If there were no figures available other than those relating to the monstrous growth of monopoly in large scale industry, these would suffice to show how big a demagogue Franklin Delano Roosevelt really was. Among his many promises was that no one but no one—would ever coin millions out of human misery or bloodshed under his administration. They coined not millions, but billions upon billions.

And among the chief beneficiaries were the Morgans and the du Ponts, the most notorious profiteers of World War I.

Rockefeller’s Oil Domain

The overwhelming dominance of the Morgan group and its allies (the du Ponts, Mellons, et al.) in large-scale industry is counterbalanced by the power of the rival gang—the Rockefeller and their retainers—in the oil industry. In the Oil Empire six super-trusts, whose tentacles extend all over the world, dispose of more than 10 billion dollars in assets; with the Rockefeller interests controlling four out of the six.



(in billions)

Dynasties in control


Standard Oil, NJ




Standard Oil, Ind.








Texas Corp.


“Independent” [1]


Gulf Oil Corp.




Standard Oil, Calif.



Needless to say, in oil, as in large-scale industry as in public utilities and as in finance, the assets and, ties of the oil super-trusts are not confined to those they publicly acknowledge. They dominate the industry from top to bottom at home; they have vast foreign holdings, seeking to dominate the world supply much as they do at home. They require “their own” sources of reserves, raw materials and the like. They require “their own” arenas of marketing not only at home but abroad (colonies, “spheres of influence”).

Railroad Super-Monopolies

Finally, there is the field of railroads, one of the oldest preserves of the monopolists. Here six super-trusts hold between them cash and material wealth to the thumping sum of 9½ billion dollars.



1948 Assets
(in billions)

1932 Assets






New York Central




So. Pacific




Texas Corp.




Baltimore & Ohio




Union Pacific







The picture in railways is especially instructive because it underscores the parasitic character of monopoly control. Railroads are the oldest US monopoly with corporations entering this field before the Civil War. The monopolists have not only accumulated unbelievable fortunes in railway speculation, dividends, mergers, etc., but as the foregoing table shows they have also siphoned off into their own coffers more than 1 billion dollars in material assets. The Big Six rail network is “worth” less today than it was sixteen years ago at the depth of the depression, and this despite the war and the postwar boom, despite the billions in government subsidies poured into the railways, not to mention a whole series of rail-rate boosts in the same space of years. The railway pirates of the pioneer monopoly era, were tin-horn pikers compared to the looters and pillagers of our day.

But their family identity remains, except for a few individuals, much the same. The Morgan group is dominant in the New York Central and Santa Fe set-up, with ties to Baltimore & Ohio and Southern Pacific. The Rockefellers have a share in the Morgan-run New York Central and are also tied in with Southern Pacific. The Mellons participate in the rail empire through their ties with the Penn RR Corp. In addition to these three groups, who with the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., have a stranglehold on the six rail super-trusts, there are the Harriman interests still powerful in the Union Pacific. Ironically enough, the railways are exempt by the Bulwinkle law from so-called “anti-trust” legislation.

As if to leave no doubt whatever about the identity of those who really own and run this country, the monopolists have since 1940 invaded fields hitherto relatively immune from monopoly control. This latest “merger movement” has not only extended to practically “all phases of manufacturing and mining but according to the FTC has been most conspicuous in such industries as food and beverages, textiles and apparel, and chemicals (including drugs). Together these three groups accounted for over one-third of the total number of acquisitions since 1940.” (The Magazine of Wall Street, Sept. 11, 1948.)

To explain how much the giant monopolies have grabbed in the last few years, separate and apart from the hundreds of billions already in their pockets, we yield the floor to Dr. John M. Blair, Federal Trade Commission economist. Since 1940, he stated, “mergers have caused the disappearance of 2,500 independent businesses” whose assets “gobbled up in the mergers total $5,200,000,000.” (UP Washington dispatch, April 11.)

There is only one way for monopolies to grow, and that is at the expense of smaller enterprises. The trend is as inexorable as the movement of the tides. Unless monopolies are abolished, they will in the end own everything in sight worth owning. The cited facts and figures show that our country is already not so very far removed from this intolerable state of affairs. For many, many years now the mass of the people have been paying tribute to the plutocrats every hour of their living day and this literally from the cradle to the grave.

The Ancient Hoax of Trust-Busting

The anti-monopoly fight in this country has been and remains a sham and a fraud. The Truman administration is currently engaged in what is publicized as “one of the most vigorous anti-monopoly campaigns” in the history of the Justice Department. Among the proclaimed aims of this campaign is, to “divorce American Telephone & Telegraph Co. (one of the pillars of the Morgan-controlled Bell System) from its wholly owned manufacturing subsidiary, Western Electric, and split the latter into three competing concerns.” The Big Four meat packers are to be split “into 14 separate and competing companies”; the Mellon aluminum trust is to be forced “to dispose of plants and properties under a 1945 court decision.” The du Ponts are going to be asked to “sell such of its cellophane plants as may be necessary to permit competitors to, enter the field.” And so forth and so on.

It is only necessary to recall that such measure: as subdivision are not an obstacle, but, on the contrary, an aid to centralization. This has been demonstrated time and again, especially in the case of Rockefeller’s oil trust. “Sub-divided” years ago in order “to permit competition,” Standard Oil is now the unchallenged ruler of the oil industry at home, and by the same token, throughout the world.

The deception and hypocrisy of the Truman Democrats and of Truman himself is aptly exposed by Edward H. Collins, financial editor of the authoritative New York Times. His target was Senator Paul H. Douglas of Illinois who recently made a plea in Cleveland for the government “to break up the business monopolies of the nation” which are “destroying free enterprise.” Collins’ reply (NY Times, June 20) is rather lengthy, but it sums up the whole situation:

Now, the monopoly issue isn’t funny. It isn’t a subject to be dismissed flippantly by anyone, especially by those who sincerely believe in the preservation of the system of private enterprise. There is no intention here of suggesting in any way that the problem doesn’t exist or that every effort should not be made to solve or ameliorate it. On the other hand, it does seem to this writer that these running and highly unspecified and UEW supported attacks on some mysterious economic Evil called Business Monopoly are getting pretty tiresome, and that in certain aspects they invite very pointed comment.

In the first place, the political party, which Professor Douglas represents in Congress has dominated the government in Washington now since 1933, or for some sixteen years. If, as the Senator from Illinois says, monopoly has been on the rise in recent years, then isn’t this a direct indictment of his own party? That party, has not only sought to make “Monopoly” the villain every time the national economy has left, or threatened to leave the rails; it conducted with what was supposed to have an Investigation to End All Investigations of the alleged evil in the T.N.E.C. inquiry of 1938, and it is spending more money than any previous government ever spent in tracking down monopoly wherever it has come on the latter’s trail, or thought it has.

The simple truth is that if monopoly is on the increase—as we are constantly being told by Democratic statesmen — there is abundant reason for suspecting that this is not in spite of, but because of, the Government’s own policies.

Mr. Collins’ remarks to the effect that the existence and overbearing power of “Business Monopoly” is simply another devil myth—“some mysterious economic Evil,” as he puts it—is so much piffle. But his conclusion that monopoly growth has been vastly promoted by the policies of the Truman administration and before it by those of Roosevelt is absolutely irrefutable. On the other hand, Collins’ implication that the Democratic Party alone bears the responsibility is quite unfounded. Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, was the first “trust-buster” in the White House; the monopolies were bigger and more entrenched when his term expired.

The government has been, as it remains, nothing but a pliant tool of the monopolists whichever of the two major political parties happened to be in power. Since the close of the last century, monopolies have luxuriated under each and every administration, Republican and Democratic alike. And taking this period as a whole, the Republicans have been in power longer than the Democrats. In brief, both are equally to blame.

Overriding this crucially important political factor is the even more important economic factor. Concentration of wealth, elimination of small and middle-sized business through absorption into large-scale units and the consequent growth of monopolies—all this is the inexorable outcome of capitalist development. “Free enterprise” gives birth to monopoly as normally as senility causes arteries to harden.

At a certain stage capitalism can continue to exist only as monopoly capital. Among the most reactionary of utopias is the proposal to “return” to the days of unhampered competition via “breaking up” the monopolies. It is a wishful hope for a past that has gone beyond recall. Like all unattainable proposals, it simply plays into the hands of monopolies, clearing the road for their further growth and entrenchment. The socialist solution and no other is capable of rescuing the American people from the blind alley into which the monopolists have driven our economic life and by that token our whole social existence.

In the Fabulous Twenties when the Sixty Families ran and ruled this country through their 20 super-monopolies and a supplementary network of smaller corporation—some 200 in number—they proved incapable of keeping on an even keel an economy operating annually on a 100 billion dollar basis. Instead they plunged our people into the economic debacle of the Thirties and then into World War II.

Today, our economy has passed the quarter of a trillion mark. The same creatures, through 56 super-monopolies and a supplementary network totaling not more than 11.3 enterprises, are again plunging our people into still another economic catastrophe, as a preparation, if they have their way, for still another world war which our civilization may never survive.

Modern technology, modern large-scale production are far too complex, far too closely integrated, far too interdependent on a world scale to be run efficiently for the private profit of rival gangs, of multimillionaires. But they will have it run no other way. That is why it is imperative to run them and their system of super-monopolies completely out of the picture.

Monopolistic capitalism is by its very nature a rotting organism. It aggravates every feature of capitalist anarchy. It digs an impassable abyss between a tiny minority of the rich and the mass of the people.

The Abyss Between Wealth and Poverty

To illustrate. In 1929, at the peak of prosperity, 36,000 families had the same income as 11 million “lower-bracket” families. In the intervening years, this situation has worsened. Not so long ago, the Brookings Institution, a rabidly pro-capitalist body, calculated that one-tenth of 1 percent of our “top families” receive substantially as much as the total income of 42 percent of the families “at the bottom”; and, furthermore, that not less than 60 percent of American families received incomes insufficient to supply the basic necessities of life. For good measure, this Institution went on to add that the wealthy 10 percent of our population saved 86 percent of “the nation’s savings” while the “poorest 80 percent was able to save “but 2 percent of the total.” How could it be otherwise, in the light of facts and figures we have already cited?

With almost two-thirds of our families admittedly kept on a level where they cannot afford basic necessities, how is it possible for the internal market to absorb the huge output of our industries? The answer is, of course, that it is impossible. And so, our native plutocrats, like their European predecessors who are pigmies by comparison, are driven to seek outlets abroad for their products, for their idle capital, for their colossal profits.

They are impelled outwardly by their equally urgent need to control every step of production from supplies of raw material to arenas of marketing. And since this country itself constitutes the largest single market in the world of capitalism, they are driven to subjugate the world, economically and politically, in order to safeguard their position at home against the incursion of any combination of rivals abroad.

In this regard, the American monopolists have been outspoken to the point of brazenness. In 1918 the Webb-Pomerene Act was passed permitting monopoly combinations for purposes of foreign trade. Agreements with foreign syndicates and cartels were declared permissible, desirable and indispensable, above all, that is, for establishing home market controls.

“We Divided Up the World”

This was publicly affirmed in the course of the 1938 TNEC hearings where one authoritative representative of America’s super-billionaires explained: “We divided up the world and said that this part of the world is American influence ... The rest of the world came under European influence.” (TNEC Hearings, Part 5A, p.2385.)

Their European rivals may not have done too well under the agreements “in their own domestic markets,” but the US Steel monopolists did very well indeed. That protection of the American market was a major consideration in their dealings with foreign cartels is further confirmed by a letter of another authoritative representative of the Association who warned his colleagues that failure to reach a new agreement “would probably result in foreign makers attempting to share in the large and relatively high-priced American domestic market.” (p.10948.)

This case history of the Steel Association brings sharply into focus a new contradiction in the history of imperialism. America is impelled to world hegemony not only in search of trade and investment outlets, for which, like its rivals, it must engage in fierce commercial wars. In addition, however, the American imperialists must protect from “invasion by foreigners” their own home market which owing to its importance, size and relatively high prices is vulnerable to penetration by competitors. Tariffs alone do not suffice to assure such protection.

America must invade the economies of its competitors, shackling them by loans, imposing currency controls, dictating international cartel agreements. By means of these and similar measures it is possible to limit their development and influence, thereby incapacitating them on the arena of world competition and rendering them impotent to penetrate the American market. Thus our native monopolists are forced to “organize” the world, i.e., dominate it, not alone for urgent reasons of expansion but also for no less urgent reasons of “self-defense.”

The multibillionaires, moreover, cannot be content with staying put at home. They are driven outward and onward by the very same factors that make it impossible for the bulk of the American people to purchase elementary necessities. What cannot be sold at home must be sold abroad at all costs, and especially at a profit. What is even more important, capital which cannot be realized at home must find outlets elsewhere, and at rates that will make up for constricting output and sales.

The more monopoly decays, the more parasitic it becomes, all the greater is its drive for super-profits. These can be gleaned only in the colonies. And for the American super-monopolies nothing else will suffice than the reduction of our whole planet to the status of a colonial adjunct of their empire at home.

Truman’s Famous Point Four

Of course, this vast imperialist enterprise is being depicted as a generous contribution to the development of the “backward areas” of the world. Lack of space prohibits our dealing with this question comprehensively. But whatever the immediate interests of this or that capitalist group served by such a program, industrialization of other countries conflicts with the fundamental and long-range interests of monopoly capital and would tend:

  1. to restrict still further available reserves and raw materials;
  2. to reduce the possibility for exports of manufactured goods;
  3. to narrow still further outlets for investment of American capital;
  4. to create new rivals in a constricting world market, and in particular in American imperialism’s own home market;
  5. to sharply cut down imperialist super-profits;
  6. to increase the resistance to imperialist domination and penetration in proportion as the given areas are industrialized.

These weighty considerations are by no means the only ones. (There are in addition the political consequences of industrialization, with its growth of the native proletariat and the consequent sharpening of the class struggle in the retarded areas.) These considerations, we repeat, are weighty enough to exclude any such course for the American imperialists.

If there were no other facts than the record of the much-touted Marshall Plan, later relabeled ECA, its most recent consequences in Europe would suffice to show how inimical to the welfare of all peoples the policies of American imperialism actually are. Far from being a humanitarian, even altruistic, project as has been claimed, the ECA is a coldly calculated scheme to prop up European capitalism, render it completely subservient to America’s Sixty Families, place it on rigid doles in the world capitalist economy in order to convert it, at a later stage and under favorable circumstances, into a drill ground for the next world holocaust.

The projected program for the “backward areas”—Truman’s “Point Four”—pursues the same aims, within much narrower limits so far as actual expenditures are concerned. By means of grandiose promises and relatively piddling sums, the aim of “Point Four” is to open up all “backward areas” in Latin America, in Africa and in the Far East to the penetration of the American super-monopolies and their complete subjugation to the yoke of the Yankee multimillionaires. Again, the strategic aim in view is to line them up politically and economically for Wall Street’s contemplated assault upon the Soviet Union.

To sum up. The economic roots of US imperialism are deep in the rotting structure of super-monopoly capital. To survive, the monopolists need as authoritarian a government as possible at home in order to crush the peoples throughout the world. Fascism or some other form of dictatorship and war of atomic annihilation—that is the last word in the death agony of monopolistic capital.



1. The Texas Corp. is tied in with the Cont. Ill. Bank & Trust Co. of Chicago, the Fisher family of General Motors and the Morgan-controlled Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co. of NY. In other words, it is no more “independent” than the others.

Last updated: 29.12.2005