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

Date: Thu Jan 21 2010 - 08:46:11 EST

> 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.

Hi Paula:
I didn't say that there was an "absolute" dividing line. What I would say - and development economists
would agree, I think - is that there are a variety of indicators which can be and are used to make this
categorization. If you recall correctly, you would remember that I indicated that the choice of
indicators often reflects the theoretical perspectives of different authors.

> 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.

Well, you were asked for it here and you offered the following:

> 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).

Using that criteria _all_ independent nations in the world today are imperialist - in which case the term itself loses all meaning. For instance, according to your tentative definition, the fifty poorest
nations of the world (as indicated by the 2005 Human Development Report of the United Nations) are ALL imperialist nations!!! Frankly, I am saddened and disappointed by your tentative definition: how could
any progressive look at a country like Haiti and think that it is imperialist? A theory which claims that all nation states in the world are imperialist is one which I think would meet with approval by the real imperialist powers in the world: after all, they could say "we're all imperialists now" so - people of the world in nations that aren't as successful at being imperialist - stop whining and try to get your
states to become better imperialists! This is where your fear of "Third Worldism" has brought you.
In solidarity, Jerry _______________________________________________
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Received on Thu Jan 21 08:49:40 2010

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