Social Scientist. v 8, no. 92 (March 1980) p. 32.

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Investment on the Poor: Analysis of World Bank Policy


THE policy of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) is aimed at increasing the productivity of the private-owning producers. As already indicated, it would be wrong to doubt this goal or the possibility of achieving it. What can justifiably be doubted is whether it would lead to the desired impact, namely, a simultaneous increase in the consumption or income of the producers. The belief that it would is based on the conception that private-owning producers under capitalism are small entrepreneurs; they own the means of production and shoulder the responsibility themselves. However, the appearance of their independence is deceptive. Indeed, the actual production process proceeds not under the direct management and control of capital, but is indirectly subjugated under capital through all the preceeding and following processes. Hence the surplus product, realized through increased productivity manifests itself as profit not for the producers but for the various capital factions.

In order to grasp the specific relationship between these workers and capital, it will be necessary to introduce new categories. In the case of wage labour, the subsumption under capital arises from the fact that labour power itself is a commodity. In the case of private-owning producers, two forms of subsumption can be distinguished: the market subsumption and the formal subsum-

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