Reprinted from Chapter Five of Ronald W. Cox, Corporate Power, Class Conflict and the Crisis of the New Globalization, Lexington Book, 2019

Transnational corporate power within global value chains has been a byproduct of features that have long been inherent to global capitalism. The first is a built-in tendency of capitalism toward falling rates of profit that lead to structural crises within the system. The second is the increased concentration of capitalist ownership as a response to the falling rates of profit and the imperatives of capitalist accumulation. The third is an inherent tendency of capitalist owners of production to look to foreign markets and increased exploitation of workers as “solutions” to capitalist crises. I explain these long-term dynamics of capitalist crises in relationship to the expansive growth of global value chains. Within these value chains, transnational firms have steadily attempted to usurp a higher percentage of control over high-valued activities and to force the costs of operations downward on workers, societies and those that are most vulnerable. The growing concentration and consolidation of corporate power that has characterized neoliberal capitalism is nothing new. Instead the latest period of capitalist restructuring represents a deepening effort on the part of transnational capitalist interest blocs to mitigate crises through increased market access and increased exploitation.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.