[OPE-L:4631] Re:Imperialism

From: Paul Cockshott (paul@cockshott.com)
Date: Thu Dec 07 2000 - 04:54:59 EST

On the issue of a possible re-establishment of imperialism.
An article in the Guardian last week argued that in Blair Britain
has the first explictly imperialist prime minister since Eden.
It argued that the intervention in Sierra Leone is a very deliberate
and conscious policy to 'set things right' in Africa, and to
teach lessons in 'good government' to failing states in Africa.

This of course is similar to the sorts of rationales used for imperialism
in the 19th century, and to an extent, the appearance of such
rationales reflects common circumstances - the fact that the
conditions for normal capitalist commerce do not exist in some
areas of  Africa. This provides a commercial motivation for
armed intervention to establish conditions for capitalist firms to
operate. The diamond mines in Sierra Leone would be the 
immediate motivation, but one should not be surprised if similar
arguments were to be used with respect to the Democratic 
Republic of the Congo.

It is however a long step from such initial re-establishments of
protectorates to the possibility of inter-imperialist rivalries re-emerging.

Paul Cockshott, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland
0141 330 3125  mobile:07946 476966

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