[OPE-L:4675] RE: Re: Imperialism

From: P.J.Wells@open.ac.uk
Date: Mon Dec 11 2000 - 10:51:22 EST

In reply to Paul C [#4674], I agree with his remarks about the difference in
degree of social development; one might also note, with reference to 20th
century imperialism that not only did the second-wave powers get "tougher
nuts to crack", but two of them -- Italy and Japan -- were themselves not as
advanced as their predecessors.

Paul added:

The two world wars were not about spheres of influence but about
actually taking over territory. This is not an old fashioned view, it
is simply a realistic view of an 'old fashioned' world which does not
presently exist. It was the invasions of Ethiopia and China that started
off the second world war. 

Fair enough -- but I think that it would be old-fashioned to insist that
that world was the only possible imperialist one.

It is possible that the EU and NAFTA might develop into autarchic
bodies, which might some time in the future start grabbing land
again. I do not rule this out.  But that is not yet happening. They
are not autarchic blocks.

Clearly they aren't autarkic in the way that the Nazi empire was in WW2 --
but the trade of the EU taken as a whole is quite a small % of its GDP, and
the same is true of the US (though, not having definite figures to hand, I
wouldn't like to speculate on what would be true of NAFTA as a whole, still
less of a super-NAFTA with Mercosur and some others added).

As I mentioned previously, I don't envisage attempts at outright annexation
-- rather, arrangements like the de facto protectorates in the Balkans, for
example -- so Paul and I seem to be in agreement here.


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