Midterm II Study Questions

    The IMF and the World Bank suggest that the privatization of water rights will encourage both the conservation of water use and positively impact upon the development process. Critique this position from a post-structuralist Marxian perspective, keeping in mind the potential effects on and from the capitalist fundamental and subsumed class processes, as well as political and natural processes. You may find it useful to consider the position under monopoly and competitive conditions.

    Biewener suggests that democratic credit allocation can alter the way in which productive investments are made in a community. First, describe the theoretical linkage between money lending and the capitalist class process. Second, define what is meant by "democratic credit allocation" and then explain how it can affect the financing of both capitalist and non-capitalist class processes.

    How can the co-existence of capitalist and non-capitalist class processes lead to social and economic crisis? You may find it useful to refer to Gabriel’s case study of the Iranian revolution of 1979.

    Briefly describe the Belize Rural Woman’s Association (BRWA) and its Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). Then, explain: a) how the loan fund enables the BRWA to meet its goals; b) the challenges to the maintenance of the loan fund; and finally c) what could help the BRWA address the challenges to its RLF’s survival.

    What are the major presumptions of "capitalocentric" theories of the global economy? On the one hand, how might this "capitalocentrism" weaken a radical rethinking of the notion of development? On the other hand, how might post-structural Marxists challenge this "capitalocentrism" with a class analysis that uses the surplus-labor concept of class?

    Describe how natural resource depletion and/or the degradation of the natural environment can affect both i) the amount of surplus generated by capitalist firms, and and ii) the way that surplus must be distributed in order to secure future conditions of the class process. Be sure to use the concepts of "labor productivity" and the "value" of a commodity. Also, use concrete examples from the readings.

    Why does Carole Biewener argue that the focus (by community development credit unions) on the noble tasks of creating jobs, increasing wages, and re-integrating marginalized communities could actually stifle a progressive agenda that seeks to promote specifically communist class relations? Be sure to talk about the importance of having a clear definition of communist class relations.