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

From: Paula <>
Date: Thu Jan 07 2010 - 18:13:41 EST

Jerry wrote:
>There are capitalist nations which are imperialist and there are capitalist
>nations which are imperialized.

Why do you assume these two categories are mutually exclusive? And by which
criteria do you assign a nation to one category rather than the other?

>I was referring to a segment of the Left which
> is abstentionist.

My views on this do not lead to abstentionism, only to a different kind of

> To think that a Middle Eastern country is imperialist simply because they
> are a "rentier state" or have an aggressive military is fundamentally
> mistaken,
> imo. The problem - like so many other problems in political economy -
> arises
> often when one tries to attach a trans-historical meaning to a concept
> (in this case, imperialism) when one is referring to a social relation
> specific to capitalism (in this case, set of characteristics of an epoch
> which is a
> consequence of capitalism). No doubt, there were Empires before
> capitalism.
> But, one should not conflate the general meaning of imperialism across
> history
> with its specific meaning under capitalism.

But the Middle East today is not stuck in a pre-capitalist timewarp. Much to
the contrary, it is a key part of the world capitalist economy, and in some
respects a pretty advanced one. To come back to our example, you probably
all read that the world's tallest building opened in Dubai this very week.
So there's no conflation of historical periods in my argument.


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Received on Thu Jan 7 18:19:07 2010

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