Re: [OPE] capitalist states, imperialism, and militarism

From: Dave Zachariah (
Date: Tue Mar 04 2008 - 16:27:06 EST

on 2008-03-04 21:35 GERALD LEVY wrote:
> I don't think that imperialism can be reduced simply to one state
> trying to control a foreign society.  What was missing from your prior
> definition of imperialism was incorporating the _economic_
> relationships associated with imperialism: in that sense, I think it
> is a kind of pre-Hobsonian understanding.
> > It is of course debatable to what extent their policies are
> > 'imperialist' --- to what extent one is helping or controlling
> > communities. But my guess is that a significant fraction of the 
> Lebanese
> > population thinks the Iranian state is trying to control their society.
> The overwhelming amount of people in  Lebanon, I think,  understand
> that it is _US_ imperialism which props up the current government.
> And, in any event, the idea that the Iranian state has some measurable
> influence over Lebanese politics is a fundamental mis-reading
> of the situation, especially insofar as it concerns the political
> orientation and policies of Hezbollah.
> > Perhaps the same goes for the people of Taiwan and the Chinese state.
> That would be like saying that Bolshevik "imperialists" were
> responsible for subjugating the Czar and his supporters or
> that the anti-apartheid "imperialists" in South Africa are responsible
> for oppressing the domestic beneficiaries of apartheid. In other
> words, it would be a historically twisted perception.

Yes, you are right. It is the economic relation between the state and 
the foreign society that determines whether is empirically imperialist 
or not. I was being too imprecise.

I don't know whether the Iranian regime is just fighting a war by proxy 
or attempted to control Lebanese society. Syria is certainly a more 
probable candidate for the latter.

//Dave Z
ope mailing list

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