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

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Wed Jan 13 2010 - 18:00:25 EST

'Empire' was not a nonsense it was a lived reality for hundreds of millions.
As Dave points out - being ruled by a Viceroy or Governor General is something rather different from having an independent bourgois parliamentary state.
Empire was very real.

That completely different mechanism also had different effects within the imperial power.

If you go round Edinburgh you can see the big houses built by Scots who went out to India as colonial administrators or employees of merchant companies.
Empire created huge job opportunities for the middle classes which was one of the reasons for the social support for imperialism.

For the working class emigration to the colonies acted as a means of limiting unemployment and thus the competition for jobs, it thus tended to lower the rate of exploitation domestically.
In the 1920s about 50,000 a year were emigrating from Scotland to the empire, when you consider that this would be from a work force or around 2 million, that is a very significant
effect. I think that this will have been a more important effect of empire on working class wages than the claimed bribes out of surplus extracted abroad - little if any of that surplus reached the working class.

Gerry talks of Neo Colonialism - does he really think that India is a British 'neo-colony'?
As for flows of capital, there is large scale capital flow from India and China to Britain -- does that make Britain an Indian and Chinese neo-colony?

Neo-colonialism is an ideology invented by the bourgeoisie of newliy independent countries in order to justify the continuation of national unity against an outside enemy it impedes the develoment of class politics within these states.
From: [] On Behalf Of Dave Zachariah []
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 7:13 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE] Britain--parasitic and decaying capitalism: A comment

On 2010-01-13 19:45, D. Gmen wrote:
> The term "empire" is a nonsense.
To the people of the Indian subcontinent it was not. It was very real
and it operated by completely different mechanisms than transnational
capitalist firms do today. It leads to different dynamics, different
forms of exploitation and different political strategies.

//Dave Z
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Received on Wed Jan 13 18:11:12 2010

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