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

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Thu Jan 14 2010 - 15:17:47 EST

Hi Paul:

WEll, the property owned by elites in neo-colonial nations is often not
at all small. Look, for instance, at patterns of land ownership in many Latin American countries. The relevance of this group has to do with the relationship of the governments in these nations to the imperialist powers. This is hardly accidental since these elites generally owe their existence historically to colonialism and imperialism. It can also be relevant in other ways: e.g. the persistence of patterns of stratification and division of labor under colonialism has explanatory power for many ethnic divisions in the former colonial world.
What you say about south america is obviously true, but they are hardly Spanish neo-colonies. The land ownership pattern obviously follows on from spanish conquest and colonisation, but land ownership patterns are incredibly persistent. The land ownership in the UK is very highly concentrated in a small number of aristocratic families many of which date back to the Norman conquest almost 1000 years ago.
So persistently unequal landownership, whilst it can be the result of former conquest, is not an argument for the existence of neo-colonialism.

> Are you claiming that India is a neo-colony !
> Sureley not, it is a rising world power.

That's what they said about Brazil in the 1960s.
That's what was said about Indonesia during much of Sukharto's tenure.
I remember it being said about the Philippines under Marcos.
It used to be said about Thailand. It was said about Argentina.
That's what they said about South Korea before the East Asian crisis.

It is a question of Scale, India is a country of 1000 million, with many very backward social and production relations, along with a significant capitalist sector, but it is far too big to be anyones neo-colony.

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Received on Thu Jan 14 15:20:08 2010

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