homeless man nyc Debbie Egan-Chin/ZumaPress

资本主义导致贫困?

美国剑桥—如今,资本主义被人认为是诸多问题的罪魁:贫困、不平等、失业,甚至全球变暖。教皇方济各最近在玻利维亚的演讲中说:“这个制度现在已经令人无法容忍:农业工人无法容忍、劳工无法容忍、共产主义者无法容忍、各民族无法容忍。地球本身——用圣方济各的话说,我们的姐妹大地(Mother Earth)——也无法容忍。”

但让方济各感到如此不安的问题是他所谓的“放肆的资本主义”的结果吗?或者,它们是资本主义令人意外地没有完成人们所期待的使命所造成的吗?旨在推进社会正义的日程应该基于控制资本主义还是消除制约资本主义扩张的壁垒?

拉丁美洲、非洲、中东和亚洲的答案显然是后者。要明白这一点,回忆一下马克思所构想的未来是很有裨益的。

对马克思来说,资本主义的历史作用是再组织生产。家庭农场、手工作坊、“店主的国度”(据说拿破仑曾经带着鄙夷如此称呼英国)都将 一去不返。所有这些小资产阶级活动都会被类似于今天的Zara、丰田、空中客车和沃尔玛等大机构颠覆。

因此,生产方式将不再像家庭农场或手工作坊那样由做工作的人所有,而是由“资本”所有。工人只拥有自身的劳动,并被迫用劳动换取可怜的工资。尽管如此,他们仍将比“失业的后备军”更加富有。由闲置劳动力组成的“失业的后备军”规模足够大,足以让他们害怕失去工作;又足够小,不会浪费让他们工作所能榨取的剩余价值。

从前所有的社会阶级都会转变为工作阶级,所有的生产方式都集中在不断减少的“资本”所有者群体手中,在这种情况下,无产阶级革命将给人类带来完美正义的世界:用马克思的名言,就是 “各尽所能,按需分配”。

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显然,诗人兼哲学家保罗·瓦勒里(Paul Valéry)是正确的:“未来和其他所有东西一样,不再会与昨日相同。”但我们不应该哂笑马克思的著名的错误预言。毕竟,物理学家尼尔斯·玻尔(Niels Bohr)讽刺性地指出:“预言是困难的,特别是对未来的预言。”

现在我们知道,《共产党宣言》墨迹未干,而欧洲和美国的工资便开始了长达160年的增长,让工人跻身中产阶级,拥有汽车、按揭、退休金和小资产阶级情调。今天的政客承诺创造就业机会——或者更多的供资本剥削的机会——而不接收生产方式。

资本主义之所以能够实现这一转变,是因为生产的再组织让生产率得以前所未有地提高。在1776年就被亚当·斯密预见为增长引擎的企业内部的劳动分工实现了个体之间的知识分工,使整体知识能够大于各部分之和,并形成了不断增长的交换与合作的网络。

现代公司拥有生产专家、设计专家、市场专家、销售专家、财务专家、会计师、人力资源管理专家、物流专家、税务师、合同专家等各种专业人员。现代生产不仅仅是资本(Das Kapital)所有的建筑和设备的堆积加上可替代的工人的机械操作。相反,现代生产是一张由拥有不同类型人力资本(Das Human-Kapital)的人才组成的协作网络。在发达世界,资本主义确实将几乎所有人都改造成为受薪劳工,但资本主义也让他们走出贫困,让他们获得了比马克思所想象的更繁荣的生活。

这不是马克思唯一的错误。更令人意外的是,资本主义生产再组织在发展中世界逐渐消失,让绝大多数劳动力脱离它的控制。数字令人震惊。美国只有九分之一的人是自由职业者,而印度的这一比例为20分之19。不到五分之一的秘鲁工人受雇于马克思所构想的私人企业。在墨西哥,这一比例为三分之一。

即使在国家内部,福利政策也与有多少比例的劳动力被资本主义生产雇用强烈相关。在墨西哥新莱昂州,三分之二的工人受雇于私人企业,而恰帕斯的这一比例只有七分之一。因此,毫不奇怪,人均收入在新莱昂州要比恰帕斯州高九倍多。在哥伦比亚,波哥大人均收入比麦考(Maicao)高四倍。毫不奇怪,波哥大的资本主义就业率要高出六倍。

在饱受贫困困扰的玻利维亚,方济各批评“不管什么价格都要有利润,而丝毫不考虑社会排斥和自然环境破坏问题的心态,”以及“原始而天真地相信行使经济权力的人的善意以及被神圣化的现有经济制度的作用。”

但如此解释资本主义的失败根本不着边际。世界上最盈利的公司并没有在剥削玻利维亚。它们根本就没有来到玻利维亚,因为这里无法盈利。发展中世界的根本问题是资本主义没有再组织最贫穷国家和地区的生产和就业,将大部分劳动力排斥在经营范围之外。

拉斐尔·迪·特拉(Rafael Di Tella)和罗伯特·麦考洛克(Robert MacCulloch)指出,世界上最贫穷的国家的特征不是天真地相信资本主义,而是完全不相信资本主义,这导致了大规模政府干预和商业管制。在这样的条件下,资本主义无法繁荣,经济也一直贫穷。

方济各将目光集中于世界最贫穷群体的处境,这是正确的。但是,他们的苦难不是放肆的资本主义造成的,而是被错误地约束的资本主义造成的。

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