Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University of Wellington Students Association. Vol 40 No. 11. May 23 1977
Narrowing Market Inevitable
Narrowing Market Inevitable.
Everyone knows that the main pillars of New Zealand's trade are butter, meat, wool and timber products. Except for wool, the market prospects for all these items are bleak.
- The EEC countries have a mountain of butter to shift. They turn a deaf ear to New Zealand claims for preference on the British market. Margarine is also increasing its share of the market. There are evidently no grounds whatever for optimism as to increased returns for butter.
- A similar position faces meat. On the one hand the New Zealand Meat Board has had to step in to buy New Zealand lamb in the United Kingdom to try to hold up its price level. On the other, the market in the United States for beef is still depressed, is subject to quotas and is unlikely to improve in the face of the hostility of the powerful cattlemen's lobby.
- Australia takes almost the entire output of exported newsprint. All indications are now that Australia is going to set up its own newsprint industry. If this should happen then this market too will vanish.
The market situation for New Zealand exports is but a reflection of the anarchy of capitalist production, in which each monopolist or monopoly grouping produces to grab as much as possible of the home or world market while forcing to a minimum the basis of that market — the purchasing power of the masses — in order to get a maximum profit. And underlying this contradiction is the basic contradiction of capitalism, that between the social character of production and the Private character of appropriation. Hence the necessity for socialism.
How does imperialist rivalry stand today some sixty years after Lenin's "Imperialism," and how does it relate to New Zealand?
There is ever-growing contention between the two superpowers for hegemony over other countries, for domination over their resources, for exclusive control of markets, raw materials, places for investment of surplus capital, for the more total integration of these subordinate countries into one or other of the military blocs under superpower control. This contention, in time, is bound to lead to a new war. At the same time, the EEC and Japan are prowling where they can, seeking Their share of the spoils of imperialist plunder.
The monopolies of Lenin's time are now dwarfed by inter-state consortia and the multi-nationals, billionaire gangsters which rake in maximum profits from exploitation of the third world on top of squeezing the last cent out of "their own" workers in the developed countries.
As part of one bloc of plundering imperialist states New Zealand has long been able to get a share of the rake-off through the medium of relatively stable high prices for its farm exports, particularly on the British market. But as we have seen, that day is passing.