Rentiers

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Rentiers

 

a stratum of finance capitalists not involved in business activity, whose livelihood consists of interest on monetary capital loaned by them or of income from securities (stocks arid bonds).

The rentiers, who constitute the most parasitic stratum of capitalist society, are an element of the economic structure of capitalist countries. They participate in the mobilization of capital and in the redistribution and accumulation of capital in the credit system. At the same time, their capital serves as the basis for speculation in foreign exchange, commodity, and stock markets. This type of speculation leads to the plundering and ruin of the broad masses of medium- and small-scale stockholders and to the strengthening and enrichment of the financial oligarchy, because the main profits, as V. I. Lenin observed, go to the “‘geniuses’ of financial manipulation” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5 th ed., vol. 27, p. 322).

As the accumulation of capital and the level of material wealth increase, the number of rentiers increases, making it possible for the capitalists to withdraw from the direct management of affairs. The management of enterprises is primarily the responsibility of directors, engineers, and technicians. The stratum of rentiers also grows as a result of the concentration and centralization of capital. There is an increase in the minimum funds necessary for organizing capitalist enterprises, and capitalists who do not possess this minimum become rentiers.

The largest increase in the number of rentiers is characteristic of the epoch of imperialism and is a manifestation of the parasitism and decay of capitalism. Rentier states emerge—countries in which the bourgeoisie exports a tremendous amount of capital and, to a considerable degree, lives off the interest and dividends from the exploitation of peoples of other countries. Lenin wrote: “Imperialism is an immense accumulation of money capital in a few countries…. Hence the extraordinary growth of a class, or rather, of a stratum of rentiers…. For that reason the term ‘rentier state’ (Rentnerstaat), or usurer state, is coming into common use in the economic literature that deals with imperialism. The world has become divided into a handful of usurer states and a vast majority of debtor states” (ibid., pp. 397–98).

At the beginning of the 20th century, France was the classic model of a rentier state. After World War II (1939–45) the USA, Great Britain, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Japan, and certain other developed capitalist states became the principal rentier states, in terms of the scale of capital exported and the income derived from it. Taking advantage of the tremendous, chronic need of the developing countries for capital to develop and reorganize their national economies, the rentier states make their investments and loans conditional on the acceptance of political demands aimed at preserving reactionary political regimes and backward socioeconomic structures.

G. G. MATIUKHIN

References in periodicals archive ?
The techno-comprador has become the objectification and instrumentation of rentier capitalism.
Le rentier s'eleve entre cinq a six pieds de hauteur, ses mouvements sont generalement lents, mais la nature attentive a la conservation des especes freles l'a pourvu d'omnibus a l'aide desquels la plupart des Rentiers se transportent d'un point a un autre de l'atmosphere parisienne, au-dela de laquelle ils ne vivent pas.
The discourse is concluded on the note that the transition from rentierism to rentier capitalism through the instrumentality of the local techno-comprador constructed by the state has not only foisted a comprador state status since 1973 when the country joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), it has equally reduced the amount of wealth available for development.
In the rentier state model, oil and mineral abundance is assumed to generate growth-restricting state intervention, extraordinarily large degrees of rent seeking where these rent-seeking contests are assumed to be uniformly negative in terms of the developmental outcomes they generate.
The rentier class-clans are pressured by the international financial institutions and local bankers to 'reform' their economies: 'open' the domestic market and public enterprises to foreign investors and reduce deficits resulting from the global crises by introducing neo-liberal reforms (Economic and Political Weekly, 2/12/11, p.
They also stress Masdar's complementarity to Abu Dhabi's energy and economic security interests, framing the initiative as proof of a rentier state's ability to do long-term planning as well as an oil exporter's ability to be green.
Some of the discussions of rentier states have postulated a relationship between authoritarian and repressive rule on the one hand, and the availability of oil revenues on the other (Claes 2001, 114-21).
All in the Family joins the work of scholars (Eva Bellin, Steven Heydemann, Miriam Lowi, and Gwynn Okruhlik) who challenge the assumptions and predictions of rentier theory.
Rentier states exist elsewhere in the world: Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela and Indonesia are all large, important examples of oil-producing states that share some, but not all, of the characteristic political profile of Libya and Saudi Arabia.
The best policy is to be a rentier, so to speak, and invest in another - that is, the young man should marry a woman and have children with her.
The overall theme is the way in which, despite all its efforts to improve the management of its estates and increase the revenue from them, the Crown moved almost inexorably from landlord to rentier.
They are directly or indirectly rentier states (Brynen 1992), with important consequences for the taxation/representation conflict that shaped past European democratization processes.