On the "Decoupling Theory"

Daniel Campos (1) - 04/02/2017

The "Decoupling Theory" posits that what is happening in the world is the end of US hegemony, and that old imperialisms like the European Union (EU), or new imperialisms that are emerging like China, India, Russia, o Brazil (BRIC'S) "disengage" from US imperialist domination, and dispute that hegemony.

It is the fashionable theory shared by analysts, financiers, political scientists, journalists, sociologists, political parties, and the majority of the world left. Among the sectors of the left that adhere to this theory there are organizations that claim to be Marxist and Trotskyist. But this theory comes from the very bowels of the big corporations and bankers that dominate the world capitalist economy.

It is an essentially American theory. Promoted from academic publications such as the Harvard Business Review, it has been defended by bankers and Wall Street officials such as George Soros, Christopher Wood of CLSA Asia-Pacific, Michael Avery of Waddell & Reed, Xu Xiaonian professor at the China School of International Business. Europe in Shanghai, or Antonio Pesce of the Italian corporation Intensa Sanpaolo, to name a few. The London School of Economics (LSE) also promotes this theory from Europe.

In 2021 the US Chamber of Commerce publishes "Understanding the US-China Decoupling". Harvard Business Review publishes "The Strategic Challenges of China Decoupling" , Center for Strategic and International Studies publishes "A Specific Approach to US-China Decoupling" . Fortune publishes "China is not the only economy decoupling from the US"

The "decoupling" theorists give an explanation to the serious economic, social and political crisis that the world is experiencing. They argue that this crisis is the product of the end of US hegemony, and the emergence of multiple poles of imperialist domination that are "decoupled" from US dominance, and dispute that hegemony. As "decoupling" theorists like to say, as multiple poles of imperialist rule emerge, the world becomes "multipolar . "

The entire world left has adopted the "Decoupling Theory", This has given rise to many variants of this Theory: There are those who speak of a "Bipolar" world, others of a "Tripolar" world, there are more sophisticated variants that see "multipoles ", and include almost any country in the category of imperialist countries, without seriously studying its characteristics, its GDP, its relationship with imperialist capital, its location in trade, or its relationship with the Global Corporations that dominate the world economy.

The scheme of the decoupling theorists, beyond the variant they choose to develop this theory, coincide in the central proposition: The hegemony and dominance of the United States is in decline, and new "poles" are China, India, Russia etc, are disputing this hegemony. For them, this is the central problem of the world. "Decoupling" theorists predict "the end of the era of the dollar , " thereby arguing that the rise of the EU (European Union) and China is leading to the growing dominance of currencies such as the euro or the yuan, which are preparing to displace the currency issued by the US Federal Reserve (Fed).

With all this picture, the "Decoupling Theory" gives a perspective for the world situation: We are marching towards the Third World War to the extent that these frictions and contradictions between different imperialisms become more acute. His "Theory of him" of him offers an explanation for the world crisis of capitalism, and a whole vision of the world.

For the "decoupling" theorists, the crisis is "endogenous", that is, it is the product of the growing internal contradictions of capitalism. So, say the decoupling theorists, to the extent that there is a crisis of US hegemony, the appearance of China, Russia, India that "emerge" disputing that hegemony only sharpens these contradictions. It is the theory of common sense, and public opinion.

The global left has passionately and desperately clung to this theory. "Geopolitical" debates, copied from the imperialist media, abound in the field of the left , in which the leaders of leftist groups expose their decadence, break with Marxism, and political illiteracy to explain the same theory copied from Wall Street, but disguised as "Marxist".

But by clinging to this theory, the leftist groups sink irremediably. Each advance in the crisis of the world situation, each fact of the relevant class struggle, each war, revolution, or economic crash reveals the crisis without exit of the imperialist sub-metropolises such as China, Russia, India, Brazil, etc. And he slaps all these leaders in the face, denying their "geopolitical" claptrap.

The "Decoupling Theory" is already being abandoned by Wall Street bankers and officials who were impressed with the development of the BRICs at the beginning of the 21st century, and believed that as Wall Street sank, the BRICS would emerge strong and triumphant. Reality showed otherwise: Today the BRICS are sinking minute by minute accompanying the Wall Street crisis. As we will see, this theory has no basis in reality, and more than giving an explanation for what is happening, it seeks to hide what is actually happening in the world.

"The Decouplig Theory" featured in 2009 in World Affaires: The Journal of International Issues

The forecasts of "decoupling" versus the reality of Europe

All the forecasts of these "decoupling" analysts crashed against the facts of the current crisis of capitalism, which gave those forecasts a slap in the face. The reality is that since the world crisis of capitalism there is no element that indicates that there is a "decoupling" of countries and regions from US dominance over the world economy, but rather an exactly opposite process: a greater and more brutal domination and global plunder of US and imperialist Multinational Corporations.

And along with this more brutal domination, a growing process of accelerated semi-colonization of the EU and the BRICs by the imperialist Global Corporations is developing. Those who support the Decoupling Theory never provide the data of reality on which they base their claims.

If there are new imperialisms emerging, "decoupling" theorists would do well to answer the following questions: What are the Chinese, Brazilian, Russian or Indian Global Corporations preparing to dethrone JP Morgan Chase, BofA or Goldman Sachs from the dominance of the world economy? Can the Beijing Stock Exchange, the Moscow Stock Exchange, or the Bombay Stock Exchange Dethrone Wall Street?

For example, let's look at the case of the European Union (EU) to better specify what we are talking about. When the "decoupling" theorists state that European imperialism is out to dispute world hegemony with the US, can they show that Deustche Bank (Germany), Barclays (England), or BNP Paribas (France) are going to dethrone Wall Street? Are decoupling theorists capable of showing that after Brexit, Europe is stronger to dethrone the US?

The reality is overwhelming. Following the outbreak of the sharp peak of the world crisis of capitalism in 2007, the US Global Corporations backed with monumental bailouts began to plunder and concentrate control of the world economy in their hands, more savagely and brutally than ever.

Let's see the situation in Europe after the outbreak of the crisis: The North American Corporation Goldman Sachs programmed the rescue of Greece through Lucas Papademos who was Prime Minister of Greece and Governor of the Greek Central Bank. Papademos was between 1994 and 2002 a Goldman Sachs official, while Petros Christodolou, in charge of Greece's public debt, is also a Goldman Sachs man.

​Luis de Guindos, president of the bank in Spain and Portugal when Lehman Brothers exploded, is a Goldman Sachs man. The Portuguese Antonio Borges named director of the IMF for Europe was between 2000 and 2008 vice president of Goldman Sachs. The great scam to Spain that Bankia meant was carried out with the collaboration of Goldman Sachs. Mario Monti who was Prime Minister of Italy in 2011 is a Goldman Sachs man.


Le Parisien publishes: "Une banque aux liens etroit avec l'Europe" (" A bank with close ties to Europe"). Britain 's The Independent publishes all European officials who answer to Goldman Sachs

Mark Carney appointed President of the Central Bank of England in 2013, was an official of Goldman Sachs for 13 years, from where he intervened in the Russian crisis or "vodka effect" of 1998. And nothing more and nothing less than the current head of the Bank The European Central Bank (ECB), who supports German imperialism and Deutsche Bank with bailouts, is Mario Draghi, who was vice president of Goldman Sachs for Europe between 2002 and 2006.

After the outbreak of the acute peak of the world crisis of capitalism in 2007, the EU has been transformed into just an office of Goldman Sachs, with officials who act as true viceroys over European countries. No fact of reality in the midst of the current world crisis of capitalism shows that the EU, its Central Banks controlled by Goldman Sachs officials and its Multinational Corporations are preparing to "dethrone" Wall Street.

China: A New Imperialism?

We are also waiting for the "decoupling" theorists to provide us with the reality data that shows us that China is the "new imperialism" that is going to dethrone Wall Street. Decoupling theorists need to inform us: What are the Chinese Global Corporations preparing to dethrone the imperialist MNCs? Beyond Tsingtao beer, Haier low-end refrigerators, or Hisense 2nd category televisions, is there any Chinese brand that is advancing unstoppably on the world economy?

Can the mentors of "decoupling" prove that Alibaba, China's largest IT company, is going to displace Google? But if that were to happen, US hegemony would not be in danger, given that Jack Ma, the owner of Alibaba, is associated with Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in an investment fund called Cadre. This company is backed by the financier George Soros and BlackRock, a gigantic investment fund that is the front of Bank of America (1)

This is what explains Jack Ma's enthusiastic meeting with Donald Trump, just after the inauguration of the new president of the United States, with whom he shares partnerships and businesses. Will the Huawei telephone company, controlled by the Chinese Armed Forces, be able to overcome all the multinationals?

If this were the case, there would be no problems, since Huawei has established a long relationship with the North American multinational IBM from 1998 to 2003, then with the German multinational Siemens, with which it has developed advanced technology, and then a merger in the area of ​​security and data storage with the North American multinational Symantec, today NortonLifeLock.

Donald Trump president of the USA and Jack Ma president of Alibaba January 2017 in New York

One of the parts of NortonLifeLock. was acquired by the Carlyle Group, a super-millionaire US investment fund, represented by James Baker III and George Bush. Those who venture a war between the Chinese army and the Pentagon lie or are unaware of all these companies established by the millionaires who make up the leadership of the People's Army of China, with some of the largest companies on Wall Street

Due to its size, China is the 2nd largest capitalist economy in the world. But the detail that the "decoupling" theorists do not talk about is that all Chinese companies, state and private, are penetrated by imperialist capital. This capital flows from the Multinational Corporations in the form of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) that have come to Chinese territory for decades now, taking advantage of the high rate of exploitation imposed by the PC dictatorship and the high rate of profit that the multinationals obtain and in their countries of origin, not even in dreams would they achieve.

In China there is slave and semi-slave work, "sweat shops" and long working hours that allow an enormous rate of worker super-exploitation and thus, for the imperialist multinationals, it makes it easier for them to manufacture very cheaply. The "made in China" of merchandise that flooded the world market decades ago is an expression of the conversion of a predominantly peasant country into a huge factory, where multinationals enjoy all the privileges.

The capitalist restoration plan carried out by the leadership of the PC was possible through a brutal repression of a dictatorship that prevents the workers and the people from having the most minimal democratic rights to meet, claim, mobilize or unionize. The penetration of FDI into China is done via Hong Kong, an island that was a British colony, and is a "tax haven" whose companies are domiciled in the Cayman Islands or Bermuda.

In 1980, the Deng Xiaoping government used Hong Kong as a platform for the creation of "special economic zones" where capital enjoys all the benefits, from which FDI and imperialist capital had all the political facilities to appropriate it. the Chinese economy. After the defeat of the masses in 1989 in Tiannamenn Square, the entire process of IED penetration accelerated, and with them, the benefit of the imperialist Global Corporations, now associated with the oligarchy of the hierarchs of the Chinese CP.

The profits and profits of the Global Corporations became so important that British imperialism returned Hong Kong to China in 1997, thereby making it easier for the Chinese CP tycoon oligarchy to create businesses and enrich themselves.

​Jiang Zemin Secretary General of the Chinese CP, and leader of the country, carried out money laundering operations from Jiangsu province through projects financed by the central government, and thus designed the plan for the privatization of state-owned enterprises through state loans for the association of the Chinese state Corporations with the imperialist Multinational Corporations.

This association reached such a magnitude that Jiang Zemin's son, Jiang Mianheng, created the Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation in 2002, in which he appointed Neil Bush, brother of George Bush, the then US president (2)

Jiang Zemin President of China and his wife Wang Yeping photo left: with George Bush, president of the United States, center: with Prince Charles of Great Britain and President Tony Blair right: with the Queen of Great Britain

The privatization of state-owned companies paved the way for the CP leaders' transfer of their private assets to Hong Kong, which contributed to further money laundering that allowed, for example, the son of China's leader, Jiang Mianheng, to appropriate of the companies China Netcom Telecommunications Limited, the Shanghai Automobile Industry, the Shanghai Information Network, or the Shanghai Airport Corporation, to name a few examples. This is how the oligarchy of the Chinese PC was appropriating and privatizing all state companies in association with the Global Corporations.

The grandson of China's leader, Alvin Jiang, graduated from Harvard and was an official at Goldman Sachs, from where he created the Hong Kong-based company Boyu Capital, which attracted high-profile investors such as Asia's richest man, Li Ka. -shing, and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, Temasek Holdings Private Ltd.

China's entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 facilitated the flow of FDI, which is verified in the cold figures of foreign investment in China and the structure of its Corporations. The main Chinese Corporations that dominate the economy are companies deeply associated with imperialist capital and extremely dependent on it.

The 1st company in China, the oil company SINOPEC, is associated with Exxon and the Multinational Corporation JP Morgan Chase . Exxon and JP Morgan Chase have carried out investments of more than 3 billion dollars in the oil company SINOPEC since 2005 to triple the capacity of the Fujian refinery from 80,000 barrels per day to 240,000.

The investments seek to build a petrochemical complex, and the commercialization of fuel that will manage 750 service stations and a network of terminals. Fujian is one of the provinces that first passed over to capitalism and established a "special zone" in Xiamen, a vital port for exports, for which Exxon's entry into SINOPEC also allows imperialist capital to begin to dominate the industries and businesses of that region.

The 2nd energy giant StateGrid has been associated with General Electric (GE) since 2011. That year StateGrid's Wuhan Nari company established a strategic agreement with GE to modernize China's long-overdue power grid, with planned investment of nearly 100,000 million dollars in smart networks.

The 3rd China National Corporation National Petroleum Corporation under the Joint Stock Companies Law has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since April 2000 . Its president, Zhou Jiping, was honored in 2015, the same year he was appointed president, by the Texas Association of Engineers representing the major US oil corporations.

The 4th telephone and telecommunications company China Mobile Hong Kong , which is supposedly a "state" company, is headquartered in... Tortola , British Virgin Islands, an island under the rule of British imperialism. The emergence of China Mobile Hong Kong marked the milestone of being the first major privatization of state-owned enterprises in 1997, the beginning of the restructuring and overseas listing of large state-owned enterprises directly under China's State Council.

The privatization and emergence of China Mobile Hong Kong was the largest privatization operation in Asia in 1997, and was carried out by a Chinese investment bank founded 2 years earlier, in 1995, called China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC)

CICC is one of China's leading investment banking firms that was founded from an agreement between the China Construction Bank, and the US Global Corporation, Morgan Stanley. Thus, in 1995, the first Chinese-foreign mixed investment bank emerged, with China Construction Bank and Morgan Stanley as its largest shareholders, with a 42.5% and 35% stake, respectively.

The 5th company in China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China ( ICBC ) became the largest bank in the world thanks to the support that 3 " strategic investors" in 2006 injected 3,700 million dollars. Those 3 "strategic investors" of ICBC are, first, Goldman Sachs, which made its largest global investment, then Dresdner Bank, the 2nd bank in Germany, and then American Express of the United States.

The data from the most important companies in China makes clear the role played by the strong penetration of imperialist capital, its imbrication with the capital of the Chinese oligarchy. These data leave no doubt that China is not an imperialist country. China is a country deeply dependent on imperialist capital, supported by imperialist capital, and absolutely in need of imperialist capital, which is what ultimately determines its existence as one of the most important capitalist economies in the world. But then, if China is not a imperialist country, is it a simple colony? Or does it fall into another category already known to Marxism? We are going to analyze which Marxist political category defines China.

The Marxist category of Sub Metropolis

What kind of "imperialism" destined to dethrone Wall Street has rulers who serve as officials of the imperialist Multinational Corporations or are associated with them? What kind of " imperialism " that is going to displace the US is a country in which the son of the leader appoints the brother of the US president as an official of his companies? What kind of rival Wall Street "imperialism" is a country in which the leader's grandson is a Goldman Sachs official?

​When the oligarchs of the Chinese CP create companies with legal domicile in tax havens like Hong Kong or the British Virgin Islands, are they "decoupling" from imperialist rule? Is China preparing to displace Wall Street? Or is it rather associated with Wall Street?

The "detail" of the investment of Chinese companies throughout the world is the composition of these capitals, a key piece of information to understand the structure of any country. Since Chinese companies are so associated with global imperialist corporations, and China is a country so dependent on the flow of imperialist investments, why so much insistence in the imperialist media, corporate officials, and leaders of the world left in calling China, Brazil, Russia, India or others as "imperialist countries" ?

The confusion stems from the impact of a new phenomenon, the rise of the imperialist capital submetropolises, which began in the first decade of the 21st century. The capitalist economists, and pseudo-Marxists, act in an impressionistic way. shocked and confused by the phenomenon of the BRICs, a word that is an acronym for the union of the letters of the countries of Brazil , Russia , India, China and South Africa.

Capitalist and pseudo-Marxist economists rush to classify sub-metropolises as imperialist countries, because they do not understand what they are, nor what role they play. The sub-metropolis is a country dependent on imperialist capital, but which in turn acts as the headquarters of imperialist capital for smaller economies. The sub-metropolis acts by redistributing global investments, placing them under its banner and protection, and facilitating competition to develop the profits of the oligarchy of the sub-metropolis.

Thus, for example, Brazil, which is a country dependent on imperialism, has multinationals that are associated with imperialist capital, and acts in turn, semi-colonizing smaller economies in America. India does the same with smaller economies in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa, as do Russia and China.

China and the BRICs "outsource" the flow of imperialist capital and expand it, a whole business model that the bourgeois economy calls " outsourcing". The brutal over-accumulation of capital that the capitalist regime of accumulation called globalization implies, implies gigantic masses of capital that seek profits going to countries that offer themselves as platforms, whose governments act defending imperialist investments by offering high rates of profit, based on super-exploitation worker that imperialist capital cannot obtain in the metropolis.

That imperialist capital that enters the sub-metropolis allows the development of a strongly oligarchic local bourgeoisie, associated with imperialist capital, which in turn launches to do business, oppress and plunder smaller economies. This phenomenon was facilitated by the development of the process of mergers and acquisitions (in English M&A, Merger and Acquisitions) based on the repeal of antitrust legislation carried out by the Clinton Administration in the United States, at the end of the 20th century.

After the repeal of laws such as Glass-Steagall, the merger of companies was unleashed throughout the world at the beginning of the 21st century. This is how the concentration and centralization of capital developed globally, which allowed the emergence of the aristocracy of the 1%, the development of Global Corporations such as JP Morgan Chase, or Goldman Sachs, which dominate the global economy, and the merger of companies imperialists with companies from the sub-metropolises, which incorporated members of the oligarchies of countries like China, Russia, India, to the list of the richest millionaires in the world.

This is how the Jack Ma, the Adani, the Telles, or the Oppenheimers emerged. These oligarchs outsource businesses associated with imperialist capital, they are foremen, managers, proxies, bosses, and watchdogs of imperialist capital, but they are not imperialist capital. It is not serious to think for a moment that these oligarchies are "imperialism." And even less, it is serious to affirm that these sub-metropolises can dispute the hegemony of global imperialist capitalism to Wall Street, and the Global Corporations. On the contrary, both China and the rest of the BRICS expand their investments worldwide, as part of their status as junior partners of the imperialist Global Corporations. 

Hurun Magazine Ranking Features China's 5 Richest Oligarchs in 2014

Those who define China, Russia, or India as imperialist countries confuse foremen with bosses. They confuse sub-metropolises with imperialist countries, a product of their ignorance of the world capitalist economy, its functioning, and in the case of the self-proclaimed "Marxists", due to the abandonment of the Theory of Imperialism, and the Marxist theory in general. However, the blows of reality are sinking the "decoupling" theorists and their followers.

Each blow of the world crisis, crash, revolutionary uprising or war ends with a greater crisis of the BRIC'S. The BRIC'S began with a powerful development when the Global Corporations went bankrupt in the year 2008-2009. At that time they were growing, which produced the illusion that they were going to replace the G7 countries and Wall Street. But in a short time the reality began to be seen: To the extent that the G7, and Wall Street sank, the BRIC's began to sink as well, accompanying the fall of the imperialist global Corporations.

The Fed, and the "twin deficits", support the world economy

The "decoupling" theorists not only see their forecasts as failed as a result of confusing sub-metropolises with imperialist countries. Their forecasts are slapped by reality because the behavior of the oligarchies of the sub-metropolises permanently dislodges them. When they expect these oligarchs and their governments to come out against Wall Street and the bosses of world capitalism, the oligarchs come out to collaborate and defend the interests of world capitalism and Wall Street.

When the US and G7 Wall Street governments carry out bailouts to rescue Wall Street, the BRIC's governments do too. When the governments of the USA and the G7 convene the "summits" of the G20, all the governments of the BRIC'S come to receive and accept the orders from Washington. The role of collaboration and cooperation of China and the BRICs with US imperialism is total.

The only country that could be argued to be imperialist because of the size of its GDP is China. But that's where the comparisons end. The size of China's GDP is intimately linked to the monumental investments of US capital, the trade relations between them as primary partners, as well as the relationship of China and the BRIC's with the twin US deficits.

The economy of China and the BRICS could not last for a minute if it were not for the huge investments of imperialist capital, mainly from the US. These investments are made possible by the development of the US "twin deficits" . capitalist economists call "twin deficits" , they are the development of the fiscal deficit in parallel to the trade deficit . What role do the twin deficits of the United States play in the development of capitalism, China and the BRICS?

The trade deficit is the result of the importation of products that come from the same US multinationals located in developing countries, which exploit cheap labor, of which almost a third is produced in China. The US state absorbs a large part of the world's industrial production, which generates a trade deficit. But at the same time, this deficit allows it to support its global corporations to dominate the world economy.

In turn, US imperialism has been injecting massive bailouts into its multinationals and corporations for 15 years, deepening its fiscal deficit. Through the development of both fiscal and trade deficits, the US sustains its Global Corporations, and promotes the sub-metropolises with which it semi-colonizes China and the BRICs.

The twin deficits thus work complementarily. The best example of the complementary nature of the twin deficits is China. China exports a large part of its production to the US, which produces a trade deficit between the two countries in favor of China. This is how the US and G7 multinationals, based in China, make huge profits, first by obtaining cheap labor, and then by ensuring the placement of their products in the US market.

The American bourgeoisie made huge investments in China, a country that sells its industrial products to the whole world. With the trade surplus that China obtains for selling its merchandise to the entire world, the Chinese CP government obtains a mass of capital which it invests in US Treasury bonds. This allows a large part of the capital that "leave "from the US" to invest in China, "come back" to provide funds to the US Treasury.

This is how twin deficits work. Through them, the US finances its corporations, finances China, finances the Chinese Corporations, and then China finances the US. This explains the size of China's GDP, the second in the world, which also places China as the largest holding of US bonds after Japan. In this way, a part of the state deficit of the United States is financed.

The chart shows the evolution of the twin US deficits. The government deficit is the fiscal deficit, while the current account deficit is the trade deficit. Both deficits take a leap at the beginning of the 21st century, when China emerges as a sub- metropolis 

Both trade and fiscal deficits complement each other by acting as a support for world imperialist capitalism. Those who speak of a possible "war" between the US and China are unaware of the global structure of capitalism, and the agreements between the Chinese state and the US that sustain the world capitalist-imperialist economy. This is how Moreno explained it:

"...I have doubts about the meaning of the North American fiscal deficit. Instead of being an element of crisis, will it not be the strongest element of stability?...I am afraid that the interpretation of the deficit as a serious symptom of crisis is a vulgar Marxist reasoning. The trade deficit was the basis of the domination of English imperialism, which for decades and decades maintained huge deficits..." (3)

Moreno stated:

"The reason, which has been studied ad nauseam by Marxism, is that the deficit allowed it to exploit more than ever... Its ships were the ones that transported the merchandise, its companies were the ones that insured, its companies invested in almost all the countries of the world, their railways, their loans, filled their coffers with pounds sterling that more than offset their trade deficit... I may be wrong, but I have the impression that the world economy has not yet exploded thanks to the North American deficit" ( 4)

Just as Moreno stated, if it weren't for the US deficit and the complementary nature of the twin deficits, the economy of China and the BRICs would explode. What sustains the economy of most countries in the world, world trade, multinationals, and ultimately capitalism, is the US fiscal and trade deficit used to semi-colonize the world.

China is the main buyer of US Treasury bonds, which makes it possible to finance the bailouts that the US state makes to its Global Corporations. With that money, the investments of the Global Corporations continue to flow to China and thus the circuit is fed back. Today 's capitalist China is a creation of the United States, as was post-war Japan.

Regarding Japan, also in the 80's there was talk that the US was going to be "colonized" by Japan with the massive entry of cars, banks, and even the Japanese Sony Walkman. What happened next? The Japanese economy exploded due to the spectacular overaccumulation of capital expressed in the real estate bubble in Tokyo. Today the Chinese real estate bubble equivalent to 30 billion dollars, being the largest and most monstrous in the world. Its explosion could cause the explosion of the world economy.

Both the real estate bubble in Japan in the 90's, and the real estate bubble in China today, are expressions of the determining character of imperialist capital, fundamentally North American, in these economies.

​The chart shows United States bondholders. Note the curious presence of Luxembourg, Cayman Islands, Belgium and Ireland (table updated to 2020, three years after this article was written)

It's necessary to review the Marxist Economic Theory?

But also if the "Decoupling Theory" is true, then we are witnessing a process of "deconcentration" and "decentralization" of the world capitalist economy. According to the "Decoupling Theory" the capital concentrated and centralized in the imperialist Multinational Corporations would be "deconcentrating" and "decentralizing" which would allow the emergence of "new imperialisms" and "new poles" .

As a result of this process in reverse, the US hegemony declines and new imperialisms such as India, Brazil, Russia or China are developing. We would be witnessing the end of the dominance of the dollar and we are going to a world dominated by the yuan, the euro, the rupees, the rubles and the reais, through the emergence of new imperialisms with their currencies.

No data indicates that the world economy is "decentralized" but rather the opposite: The dollar is the international exchange and reserve currency, used by all countries and continents (Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa) in their commercial transactions. and they have most of their reserves in dollars. According to the World Bank and the IMF, more than 70% of world reserves are in dollars, compared to 25% in euros in the European Union, which also uses the dollar.

China has its reserves in dollars (US$1.3 trillion), followed by Japan with US$987.93 billion, Russia with US$300 billion, Taiwan with US$261.82 billion and South Korea with US$229. .5 billion, India with US$200 billion, and Brazil is close to US$100 billion.

The dependence of the BRICs on the imperialist Multinational Corporations and on the US economy is such that the countries identified by the "decoupling" theorists as the ones that will end the validity of the "dollarized" economy are either China , Russia, Brazil, India, etc. they are the ones leading the global accumulation of dollar reserves. In addition, 80% of international transactions, 70% of world imports and almost all oil trade are made in dollars.

We do not see countries desperate to hoard rupees, reais, or rubles, nor do we see the population of any country, not even countries that issue rupees, reais, or rubles, wanting to hoard those currencies. On the contrary, they immediately seek to exchange those currencies for the dollar.

All world trade, financial systems, companies, Multinational Corporations that dominate the world economy, and the economy of all nations conduct all their operations, business, investment and profit taking predominantly in dollars.

The international financial system, stock exchanges and markets are "dollarized". They operate mainly with the US currency through the shares and bonds distributed globally by the Corporations and their investment funds that have their headquarters on Wall Street. We call "Wall Street" the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, which is the largest money market in the world and concentrates the largest volume of financial operations in dollars that are carried out on a global scale.

In short, there is no factual data that indicates the end of the hegemony of the US and the dollar, and that we are going to a world governed by rupees, yuan, reais, euro or rubles.

But also if the "Decoupling Theory" is true, and we are witnessing a process of "deconcentration" and "decentralization" of the world capitalist economy, all Marxist economic theory is wrong. If the "Decoupling Theory" is confirmed and we are witnessing the emergence of "new imperialisms" and "new poles" as the result of a reverse process of capitalism, we must declare from the rooftops that Marx, Engels, Lenin were stupid, and that the entire Marxist Theory is a bunch of stupid.

If the "Decoupling" were true, we must also declare that Lenin's Marxist Theory of Imperialism is a reverend stupidity, and that it was not fulfilled. In fact, the entire world left that adheres to the "Decoupling Theory" has begun to affirm that the Theory of Imperialism is, in historical terms, absolutely wrong.

For Marxism, capital always tends to concentrate and centralize, it is a law of capitalist accumulation. This movement of capitalist accumulation is what a posteriori gave rise to the formation of monopolies, a process that was foreseen by Marx and Engels, although they did not live to see its full development.

The one who did live to see it was Lenin, who formulated the Theory of Imperialism based on the laws of capitalist accumulation formulated by Marx and Engels. Marx formulated the laws of capitalist accumulation in 1867 in Chapter XXIII of Book I of Capital.

For Marx:

"All accumulation becomes a means at the service of a new accumulation... it has 2 movements... accumulation is presented as a growing concentration of the means of production... centralization... is presented as the expropriation of the capitalist by the capitalist, the transformation of many minor capitals into few major capitals" (Capital Volume I General Law of Capitalist Accumulation Chapter XXIII, our emphasis)

That is to say, for Marx and Engels, the accumulation of capital implies 2 movements: The concentration based on the exploitation of workers that allows the accumulation of means of production and centralization is the elimination of the minor capitalists by the majors.

For Marx: "It always ends with the ruin of many small capitalists and with the passage of their capital into the hands of the victor. Disregarding this, with capitalist production a totally new power is formed. The "latest" English and American trusts already aim at that objective, since they seek to unify in a large joint-stock company, endowed with an effective monopoly, at least all the large companies active in an industrial branch" (El Capital Volume I General Law of capitalist accumulation chapter XXIII, underlined our)

By 1867, Marx and Engels were already observing the appearance of "trusts" which for them was a "very new" phenomenon , and they began to use the word "monopoly" to refer to this type of company. Marx and Engels designed the Law of the Accumulation of capital observing that accumulation implies a permanent trend of capitalism from small to larger capitals, from deconcentration to concentration, from decentralization to centralization.

The concept of monopoly was already used in 1867 by Marx, and was ratified by Lenin 50 years later in the Theory of Imperialism. In this theory, Lenin proposed the end of an entire era of capitalism, the end of the "free market" and "free competition" to enter another superior era of the decline of capitalism in which monopolies dominate. All this was a ratification of the laws of capitalist accumulation formulated by Marx and Engels.

What are we seeing now? That the imperialist corporations export their capital to China, which concur taking advantage of the high rate of profit and the exploitation rates that are a feast for the Global Corporations that colonize the Chinese economy, in partnership with the hierarchs of the PC. We do not see any element of "deconcentration" and "decentralization" of the world capitalist economy, quite the contrary.

Were Marx, Engels and Lenin stupid to anticipate this concentration and centralization? We are witnesses to a world they foresaw, but failed to see. They were right to the core in their forecasts: We are witnessing a process of more brutal and savage domination, of more concentration and centralization than ever of capitalism, by the US Global Corporations, and other imperialist countries.

The economic, political and military dominance and hegemony of the US, with its 7 fleets and unprecedented atomic power, are nothing more than the spectacular confirmation of the laws of capitalist accumulation. All the facts of reality categorically confirm Marx, Engels and all of Marxism. And those who remain as stupid charlatans, are the " Decoupling" theorists

The revolutions of the 21st century

Why is the world left desperately clinging to the "Decoupling Theory" ? Because this Wall Street theory offers an explanation for the world crisis of capitalism and the world situation that the world left is incapable of elaborating. Since the 20th century, the world left has not made a single correct analysis of the world situation. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, this situation worsened, leading to the explosion and disintegration of the groups of the world left that we are experiencing today.

This happened because the leaders of the world left abandoned Marxism, and adopted the "fashions" and theories proclaimed by imperialism. Stalinism adopted these fashions with the theory of socialism in one country, the peaceful coexistence theory, the theory of revolution by stages, the theory of progressive bourgeois camps, the theory of long waves, and the theory of the popular front, among other.

Those theories that were also adopted by 99% of the groups that call themselves Trotskyists. Now, all the groups on the world left have adopted the "Decoupling Theory". But if what is happening in the world is not what this theory claims, then how do you explain what is happening in the world?

We already know the explanation given by the "decoupling" theorists. They speak of a "bipolar", "tripolar", or "multipolar" world. Their method is simple: They abandon the class analysis and take the situation of world capitalism back to 1910, at the beginning of the 20th century, we go back to the time when there were several dominant imperialisms, and they explain that this whole process leads us to the 3rd World War . It is the theory of common sense, and of public opinion.

But we Marxists are scientific socialists, and we know that science comes up against common sense all the time. The reality is that capitalism has evolved in an absolutely opposite way to what the "decoupling" theorists present us with .

The Global Corporations, the gigantic and monstrous companies that globally control various branches of the world economy, and accumulate colossal masses of capital, have been called by bourgeois analysts "Too big to fail", or "Too big to fail". Their existence does nothing more than ratify the Theory of Imperialism, and what imperialism analysts euphemistically call "globalization" or "neoliberalism" is the brutal domination of these companies over the world economy.

The extreme polarization, the concentration and centralization of global wealth in a few hands that these companies represent, is expressed in the existence of the accumulation of masses of billions of poor people at one pole, while trillions of dollars accumulate at the other. polo, that of a few billionaires. But this unbearable and unsustainable situation of billions of people suffering from hunger, poverty, misery, repression, and crisis of nature is causing an uprising of millions against capitalism.

This global uprising against capitalism has at its head the most oppressed sectors of the world, the hungry, women, youth, oppressed races, original peoples, oppressed nations, those oppressed because of their sexual condition, all the excluded, and marginalized are at the forefront of the global revolution against capitalism. Decoupling theorists never talk about or study this revolution

The "Decoupling Theory" cannot explain the crisis of capitalism and denies the existence of the revolutions of the 21st century. But these two events are currently of such relevance that without their examination no analysis, no program, no orientation and policy can be seriously carried out. The two contemporary events that cross the reality of the world situation are the crisis of capitalism and the revolutions of the 21st century.

Without the analysis and understanding of the revolutions of the 21st century, the world becomes incomprehensible. And the "Decoupling Theory" distorts the reality about what kind of wars we are facing. We are not going towards the 3rd world war between imperialisms. And we are not going to the 3rd world war as the " Decoupling Theory" paints it, but we are in a world war between the revolution and the counterrevolution. The events in Syria leave no doubt as to what a world war situation we are in.

There is a criminal action of the regional powers, the states of Russia, Turkey, Iran and Syria against the masses. The masses of Syria are carrying out a revolution against a dictatorship in a region plagued by dictatorships, and those governments have banded together to crush them. It is the struggle between the revolution and the counterrevolution. They are the same images of Fallujah when in 2004 NATO perpetrated the criminal military action against the masses that rose up in Iraq.

It is what Nahuel Moreno called the "revolutionary wars", which are episodes of a world war between the revolution and the counterrevolution. The revolutionary uprisings that are taking place throughout the world against imperialist capitalism are the basis of the crisis of capitalism. This is produced by an element that is not superstructural, it is by the irruption of the masses, and the development of the revolutions of the 21st century, which have triggered a world revolutionary situation.

The far-right program of Donald Trump, or any imperialist government, is not against China or Russia, it is against the masses of the world, it is against the Syrians, the Latinos, the Muslims and against all those who today rise up against imperialism, the capitalism and Multinational Corporations globally.

The advance of the world revolution and the irruption of the masses have endangered the domination of imperialism. And they have provoked a whole series of new political phenomena that open up the possibility of overcoming the absence of a socialist and revolutionary alternative. The "Decoupling Theory" is the theory of those who do not see these revolutions, and see a defeat of the working class and the peoples. For the "decoupling" theorists, these defeats put imperialism on the offensive and the masses on the defensive.

But if that were the case, nothing could be explained. If what prevails in the world are the defeats of the masses and a global strengthening of imperialism, its states, its organizations and its political parties, configuring a true world reactionary situation: why did the world crisis of capitalism break out?

Since 2007, capitalism has been going through a sharp peak of crisis. A crisis that is not conjunctural, but rather a crisis of enormous magnitude, of a historical nature: the Global Corporations went bankrupt en masse, the imperialist states had to rescue them with enormous bailouts, economic operations of a magnitude never seen in the history of capitalism.

What explanation does this have? What has been happening for more than 10 years is the opposite of what the "decoupling" theorists paint . What has been happening for more than 10 years is that imperialism suffered a defeat that opened a world revolutionary stage.

In 2006, the strategy of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) of the Bush Administration was defeated, which included a long-range war in the Middle East against the "Axis of Evil" and an attack on the democratic freedoms of the people. as part of the "World War on Terror".

​This counteroffensive was launched taking advantage of the global shock caused by the attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. It had 2 cornerstones: The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan with the false excuse of the existence of weapons of mass destruction, and the establishment of a profoundly anti-democratic regime within the US, based on the Patriot Act, canceling the rights and the US Constitution, the closest thing to a coup that a government of that country can carry out.

The Bush Administration launched this battery of measures to inflict a defeat on the global rise and muzzle the American people in the face of horrific destruction of countries, cities and regions that it planned with the aim of carrying out a capital burn necessary to drive capitalism out of existence. crisis.

But after the initial successes in Afghanistan and Palestine, the invasion of Iraq fulfilled what Moreno called the "Mad Firefighter Law" that puts out fires with gasoline, and triggered the largest mass mobilization in history against the war.

The PNAC was globally defeated. But not because of the "inter-imperialist" contradictions or the "decoupling" of China, or Russia, India or Brazil. These nations globally joined the global campaign against terror. The PNAC was defeated by a struggle carried out for years by the masses of the US and the Middle East. After the defeat of the PNAC in 2006, the sharp peak of the world crisis of capitalism broke out a year later in 2007.

After the bailouts of 2008 and 2009, and the beginning of the withdrawal of NATO troops from the Middle East ordered by the Obama administration in 2010, another enormous process of mobilization broke out: The Arab Spring. These were revolutions that went through Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen, not coincidentally in the same region where the NATO armies were defeated before. And it was combined with the beginning of a process of mass mobilization against capitalism that toured Europe, and the US.

It is the military defeat of imperialism in Iraq that opened a new world political situation and even changes in the development of mass consciousness. The impact of the global crisis of capitalism is leaving consequences and causing enormous changes in the global political landscape. To begin with, it has caused millions of people to begin to question capitalism and to mobilize against it. And not only do millions reject capitalism, but they begin to sympathize with socialism.

Bernie Sanders' campaign in the US and Jeremy Corbyn's campaign in England are the expression of an advance in the consciousness of millions who are beginning to turn to the left and sympathize with socialism. Even against the reformist politics of the Corbyns and Sanders who want to lead them to a dead end. In the world situation there are sectors of the masses that turn to the right, Donald Trump has a social base in the US and Jean Marie Le Pen in France, the right is getting stronger in Austria, and in other countries. But precisely that is the ratification that we live a revolutionary process.

When a revolutionary process intensifies, the response will be greater social polarization, greater confrontations, wars, and Bonapartist and fascist tendencies of imperialism, and sectors of the masses that turn to the right and to the left. But the existence of a large sector of the masses that supports the Republican Party in the US, that supported Reagan, Bush, the US "Bible Belt" is something that already existed, it is nothing new. What is new is that millions hate Wall Street, capitalism, and sympathize with socialism, a process that began to happen just a few years ago, from the years 2011-2012 triggered by the world crisis of capitalism, and with the mobilizations and revolutions of the 21st century.

The fall of the Berlin Wall is the prelude to the fall of Wall Street

In turn, the fall of Wall Street is the corollary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Those who interpreted the events of the fall of the pro-capitalist CP dictatorships in the USSR and Eastern Europe 25 years ago as a "historical defeat ", find it very difficult to explain what is happening today.

Between the years 1990-91 Francis Fukuyama and the neoconservative think-tanks launched an "End of Socialism" campaign, the "End of History and ideologies". But, who today can seriously believe the story that we are facing "before the end of history" and "the definitive triumph of capitalism."

The "Decoupling Theory" is the natural corollary of the view of those who think that the events of the '90s are reactionary, and that everything we live today is reactionary. But the reality is that the only reactionary thing in the world situation is imperialist capitalism and its governments, because the masses of the world are giving an exciting response to its policies, with struggles, insurrections, mobilizations that move the world. And this process has nothing reactionary, on the contrary, it is revolutionary, and it is the engine of all the political, social and economic changes that take place in the world.

In the political stage opened after the fall of the Berlin Wall, all the old leaderships that controlled the mass movement entered into crisis, and the conditions were opened to battle for the emergence of a socialist alternative. Marx said that history repeats itself twice: once as a tragedy and the other as a farce. If the fall of the Twin Towers was followed by the tragedy of the PNAC and Bush, and the millions of deaths in the Middle East, now comes Donald Trump with the same slogans as Bush, but as a farce.

The impressive mass mobilization that has taken place in the US before and barely assumed by Donald Trump, is a process of mass mobilization such as no US president has ever had to face in history. And the revolutionary processes that have been shaking the world for 12 years are political revolutions that act on the conscience and cause changes in the world's political situation. Nahuel Moreno called this "February Revolutions" , mass actions that cause changes in political regimes.

Nahuel Moreno worked hard in the analysis of the revolutionary processes of the 20th century, for a better understanding of processes such as the revolutions in Cuba, China, Vietnam, etc. which he categorized as February Revolutions, and systematized in his work on the Update of the Transitional Program.

The category of "February Revolutions" is essential to explain the existence of formidable revolutionary processes that prepare the conditions for the socialist revolution. The 21st century, inaugurated with the defeat of NATO in Iraq, shows us the importance of the category of February revolutions, to understand what is happening now.

Discussions with "Decoupling" theorists allow us to understand what is really happening in the world situation more fully. It allows us to understand why the world crisis of capitalism broke out. It allows us to understand what the revolutions of the 21st century are and what role they play. At the same time, it allows us to understand in greater depth what are the tasks that lie ahead.

What we are building, in the face of so much pseudo-scientific quackery from the "Decoupling" theorists , is an indispensable serious and scientific response to what is happening in the world class struggle, based on Marxism.


(1) Daniel Campos is a member of La Marx Internacional and the New PST of Argentina. When this article was published, La Marx International and the New PST did not yet exist

(2) El País, Spain. 7/12/97

(3) Information 10/1/17

(4) and (5) Nahuel Moreno. "Opinion: The crisis has already begun" Correo Internacional 18, 1986

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