[OPE-L:6662] Imperialism

From: Asfilho@aol.com
Date: Thu Mar 07 2002 - 13:03:23 EST

Dear all,

We have recently had an exchange about *imperialism*. I think it raised several important issues, but the topic deserves careful study, for both theoretical and empirical reasons (it can be argued that we are entering a new period of imperialism, for example).

My point is this: we (and lots of people on the “left”, including NGO activists, anti-capitalist demonstrators, anarchists, and so on) tend to believe that there is something out there called “imperialism”. The question is – what is it? My contention is: the meaning and significance of *modern* imperialism (as distinct from traditional, colonial imperialism) is far from clear.

Two issues are especially important:

1. The nature and process of international domination that *defines* imperialism.

2. The structures and processes of international exploitation. How is it that one *country* exploits another, and who benefits and how? *NOTE* that Marxists have a theory of surplus value, ie, exploitation in production based on *class*, but imperialism is different, it presumes exploitation of *countries*. Conflation is unacceptable.

Any ideas?


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