[OPE-L] The Development of Capitalism in New Zealand: Towards a Marxist Analysis

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Thu Feb 22 2007 - 16:33:38 EST

Well thanks Jerry, but wiki articles are not supposed to contain any
original research. In fact I referred to some wiki's there are already,
because I forgot some of the exact dates (it's a long time ago that I
preoccupied myself with these issues). One way to approach the subject is to
devise a concept of imperialism, and then fit the data to that. But this is
not really a Marxian method - the idea is to derive adequate concepts out of
a study of the empirical and historical material.

There's a lot of work of "synthesis" to be done in New Zealand in that sense
to grasp the overall meaning of things, i.e. there are a lot of detailed
studies about various relevant topics which are usable in trying to arrive
at the "big picture". Yet, the concepts of previous generations may not
necessarily be so relevant to grasp the dynamics of what is really happening
now. Generally this type of work is not often encouraged, and it can be
difficult to find a situation in which you could actually do it. It might
take great social conflicts or radical changes to make people interested in
it again.

The rather naive assumption a lot of policy makers had in New Zealand was
that, if you open up the country completely for foreign investment, that
then you would get an influx of foreign capital that would develop the
country's productive base and create jobs. Well at most you could say that
without the foreign investment there would have been somewhat less jobs,
other things being equal, but it hasn't permanently created a lot of new
jobs. A lot of the value-added in the country exits the country as profit
income, interest and rents. A lot of the foreign investment has been simply
take-over or purely speculative or property investment, and the state still
ends up supporting a large "underclass" from taxes. But to make valid
generalisations about it, I'd have to study the data carefully, and I don't
have those available here.


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