Re: [OPE] Britain--parasitic and decaying capitalism: A comment

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Wed Dec 30 2009 - 05:38:57 EST

In my view there are attempts to update the classical insights on
imperialism in a more coherent and rigorous framework than that given in
David Yaffe's article.

Two examples:

    Does capitalism need a state system?
    Alex Callinicos

    "Contemporary Marxist students of international relations, like
    their mainstream counterparts, disagree over whether geopolitics has
    a future. Many believe that it has none, either because globalized
    capitalism has overcome the nation-state or because the 'informal
    empire' of the United States has overridden inter-state conflict.
    This article supports those who argue that significant economic and
    political conflicts persist among the main capitalist states. It
    does so by exploring the question of whether, in Marxist theory, the
    capitalist economic system and the international system of states
    are necessarily or contingently related. Marx's method in Capital
    offers, it is argued, a way of non-reductively incorporating the
    state system within the capitalist mode of production. This argument
    provides the basis for a partial reconciliation of Marxism and
    realism. More importantly, it offers a theoretical framework in
    which to explore the scope for inter-state conflict in the 21st
    century. "

    Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Volume 20, Issue 4
    December 2007 , pp.533-549 [Attached]

Note that Callinicos does not deal with imperialism but capitalism and
the state system, and the geopolitical competition that results from two
distinct mechanisms.

The following article uses slightly more orthodox formulations but has
the merit of actually investigating the global relations of production:

    Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century
    Paula Cerni

    "Classical Marxism defines imperialism as the highest stage of
    capitalist development, a stage that capitalism itself cannot
    transcend. Yet imperialism, a part of human history, also has a
    history; in the last hundred years, it has neither disappeared nor
    remained unchanged. Consequently, a historical materialist theory of
    imperialism for today needs to start from an analysis of
    contemporary world economic relations."


//Dave Z

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Received on Wed Dec 30 05:48:10 2009

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