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

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Wed Jan 20 2010 - 18:39:23 EST

Then your definition of imperialist is so general as to cover practically all states. If so, why bother with it as a distinct category - why not just use the term capitalist state?
From: [] On Behalf Of Paula []
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 10:46 PM
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: Re: [OPE] Britain--parasitic and decaying capitalism: A comment

Jerry wrote:
"You referred to what you and others take to be "so obvious",
but when I what I claimed as being self-evident you took great exception to."

Jerry, I stand by what I said - namely, that some nations are obviously more advanced than others, at least in some respects, but that the existence of an absolute dividing line between 'advanced' and 'less advanced' nations is not obvious at all. If it really was obvious, you would not have this much trouble telling us where the difference lies.

"But, I note that you also
in this discussion have referred to imperialist nations without specifying exactly
the criteria which separate imperialist nations from other nations."

Curiously enough, in the years since my article was published nobody has asked me for any such criteria. This says something about the quality of the debates I've been having - it seems that once my opponents notice that they disagree with my political conclusions, they are no longer interested in any theoretical clarification.

But I'm happy to oblige. My (tentative) definition is that any nation that participates in the world economy and uses the state to boost the competitive position of its capitalist class - whether in economic, political, military or cultural terms - is imperialist. It follows that non-imperialist nations are those that either are not part of the world capitalist economy (today, probably none) or do not have an independent state (Kurdistan, Tibet, etc).

I know you will disagree with this, and that's fine. But I hope you appreciate that we can't begin to discuss our differences seriously if you won't even disclose your own definition.


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Received on Wed Jan 20 18:44:17 2010

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