(OPE-L) Re: 1, 2, 3, how many imperial powers?

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Wed May 28 2003 - 07:08:36 EDT

Re Allin's message sent Wednesday, May 28:

> Note that Paul [C, JL] uses the relatively straightforward term,
> "imperial power", not the more slippery "imperialist power".
> To be an imperial power, you need an empire: foreign countries over
> which you exercise direct political domination, which requires
> military power as precondition or back-up.  Being home-base to banks
> with a wide international influence is not having an empire.

Hi Allin.
Above you are identifying empire, and imperial power, with "direct
political domination"  -- hence colonialism.  Perhaps we just differ on
how general the meaning of "empire" is, but I think that we need to
consider the particular form that empire tends towards under capitalism.
The perseverence of the economic relations between former colonial
powers and former colonies, or what some (beginning with Kwame
Nkrumah, I believe) call "Neo-Colonialism" shows, imo, that Empires
no longer require direct political domination.  Moreover, one could argue
that this form of control of one nation over other nations mirrors the
typical form of control required by capital of labor.  That is,  force
and direct control is no as longer systematically required since relations
of production and distribution are enforced by market mechanisms.
In that sense, the fear of being "beggared" (a term that Rakesh recently
used re "beggar-thy-neighbor" ) becomes a form of control of sovereign
nations (through institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF) just
as the fear of joining the IRA becomes the primary form of control by
capital of labor.

In solidarity, Jerry

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