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Imperialism

Plundering and profits: Moving beyond Dependency Theory

 

 

By Esteban Mora

 

October 13, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — In the on-going debate on imperialism on roape.net, Walter Daum distorts arguments that I have made in a response to this debate. In this blogpost I am going to try to expand on the subject, and at the same time, answer Daum’s critique.

Again, is imperialism still imperialism?

 

 

By Walter Daum

 

October 6, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — Esteban Mora begins his contribution to the roape.net discussion of the David Harvey-John Smith debate by asserting that the whole debate over who drains value from whom is misguided. While Smith says the West continues to drain the East and Harvey holds that the direction has been reversed, Mora believes that both claims rest on the ‘misconception’ arising from dependency theory that the imperialist North drains value from the imperialized South. [1] This, he says, is ‘not entirely accurate,’ and he goes on to make further claims which, as I see it, amount to arguing that imperialism as classically defined by Marxists does not exist – and for that matter never did.

 

Mutual profiting: Unpicking the Harvey-Smith debate

 

 

By Esteban Mora

 

October 6, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — The entire debate between David Harvey and John Smith on roape.net on whether East Asia and the Pacific (including China) or the Triad (US, EU and Japan) is ‘draining’ the other is based on several misconceptions. The debate is based on Paul Baran and dependency theories, which postulate a correlative profiting of the ‘central’ countries over the ‘peripheral’ ones. This means there is a ‘drain of value’ from South to North, and just as companies in the North augment their profits, they ensure that companies in the South diminish their own.  In simpler terms there is a correlative movement between rising profits in the North and falling profits in the South. So, this is what they look for in the relationship between BRICS or East Asia and the Western Triad, a relationship where there is a ‘drain’ or a flow of value from one region to the other. But these notions are not entirely accurate, and hence the terms of the debate

 

The now neglected history of Soviet anti-colonialism

 

 

By Rohit Krishnan

 

September 7, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Africa is a Country — In 1920, prior to the second Congress of the Comintern, Lenin circulated a draft of his theses on “The Question of Colonized People and Oppressed Minorities.” The end-result of this was the inclusion in the “21 Conditions” for Comintern membership, of an obligation to provide “direct aid to the revolutionary movements among the dependent and underprivileged nations and in the colonies.” While often cited by Marxists as evidence of the Bolshevik’s commitment to anti-imperialism, few cite the role of colonized activists in its formation.

 

The US-Turkey standoff in context: Global capitalism and the crisis of hegemony

 

 

By Vassilis K. Fouskas and Bülent Gökay

 

September 3, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Turkey was thrust into a full-blown currency crisis when United States President Donald Trump hoisted tariffs on Turkey’s steel and aluminium exports to the US — the country’s most serious crisis since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power 16 years ago. The Turkish lira lost more than 40% of its value in the first two weeks of August, albeit its most recent humble recovery. The pretext for Trump’s punishing attack on Turkey, the seventeenth largest economy in the world, is the continued detention of the evangelical US Presbyterian missionary Andrew Brunson who was arrested in October 2016 on charges of espionage and accused of involvement in the attempted coup of July that same year.

 

At first sight, the US-Turkey standoff appears to be a uniquely Turkish problem triggered by a very public confrontation between two leading members of the “ring of autocrats” of the 21st century and worsened by the idiosyncratic and often misguided economic approach of both leaders. This is not the case. One cannot look at the Trump-Erdogan conflict in isolation from the global situation.

 

A self-enriching pact: Imperialism and the Global South

 

 

By Andy Higginbottom

 

September 1, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review Of African Political Economy — Does the concept of imperialism explain major characteristics of the capitalist world in the 21st century?

Dissolving Empire: David Harvey, John Smith, and the Migrant

 

 

By Adam Meyer

 

September 1
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review Of African Political Economy — In January and early February 2018 on roape.net, we witnessed a debate between David Harvey (Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, History and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, father of a range of disciplines around radical geography, and perhaps the single most recognizable Marxist name globally, beside Slavoj Zizek) and John Smith (formerly Kingston University, London, winner of the first Paul A. Baran–Paul M. Sweezy Memorial Award for an original monograph, Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century, and a working class activist).

 

Revisiting the theory of super-exploitation

 

 

Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

 

July 5, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the LeftAs part of his critical assessment and updating of the Latin American dependency theory pioneered by Brazilian Ruy Mauro Marini,[1] Argentine economist Claudio Katz analyzes a major component of that theory, the concept that waged workers in the peripheral nations of global capitalism are “super-exploited.” He suggests some necessary modifications of the theory in light of developments since Marini’s day.

 

Marini’s thesis has been given new currency by some recent analyses of imperialism in the twenty-first century such as John Smith’s book of the same title.[2] Smith holds that Marini’s theory of super-exploitation is of continuing relevance, and embraces the view that waged workers in the global South are systematically paid below the value of their labour power, owing to their greater oppression and exploitation. He argues that this constitutes a third mechanism by which capital increases its surplus value, in addition to the absolute and relative forms of surplus value analyzed by Marx.

 

Russia World Cup 2018: Lukaku, Mbappé and the colonial ghosts within Belgium and France

 

 

By Leslie Xavier

 

July 5, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from News ClickWhen Kylian Mbappé ran like the wind through the heart of the Argentine defence in their pre-quarterfinal match at the FIFA World Cup, it was difficult not to be reminded of the concept of time dilation which Albert Einstein postulated in his Special Theory of Relativity. Mbappé bent time, it seemed, making it move at a pace he dictated, leaving the players around him, fans, as well as many footballing connoisseurs, in a daze.

 

The France striker is not the first “time bender” in football, and certainly won’t be the last to possess this rare ability to take the ball, time and space onto a personal dimension. In fact, Mbappé, the phenomenon, has got some company in Russia itself -- in the form of Romelu Lukaku, who helped Belgium into the quarters with a phenomenal display of his own against Japan.

 

Is imperialism still imperialist? A response to Patrick Bond

 

 

By Walter Daum

 

June 21, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — In Towards a Broader Theory of Imperialism Patrick Bond joins in the debate between John Smith and David Harvey on roape.net over the direction of imperialism today. He criticizes both debaters for overlooking the category of sub-imperialism, a concept that can indeed help clarify some issues. But in stressing this and other important matters like environmental destruction and gender oppression, Bond sidesteps the major issue over which Smith challenges Harvey: what is the reality of imperialism today? Is it so different from the system described and analyzed by Lenin, Luxemburg and other Marxists a century ago that the traditional imperialist powers no longer drain value from the resources and labor of most of the world?

 

Bond is more critical of Smith than of Harvey, since he disparages Smith’s ‘old fashioned binary of oppressed and oppressor nations,’ just as Harvey rejects Smith’s ‘fixed, rigid theory of imperialism.’ But in avoiding the key issue Bond is in effect covering for Harvey: focusing on the theory of sub-imperialism serves to obscure the untenability of Harvey’s position on imperialism itself.

 

‘New imperialism’ debate suffers from the omission of subimperialism

 

 

By Patrick Bond

 

April 23, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy —Two leading critics of imperialism – John Smith and David Harvey – have recently fought bitterly on roape.net on over how to interpret geographically-shifting processes of super-exploitation. The risk is that they obscure crucial features of their joint wrath: the unjust accumulation processes and geopolitics that enrich the wealthy and despoil the world environment.

Imperialism today: a critical assessment of Latin American dependency theory

 

 

Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

 

March 31, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left  — Brazilian economist and sociologist Ruy Mauro Marini (1932-1997) was a prime exponent of what became known as dependency theory, an attempt to explain the systemic unequal relations of the Latin American countries in particular with the developed economies of the imperialist “North.” He was a close collaborator of, among others, Vânia Bambirra and the recently-deceased Theotónio Dos Santos. Marini’s best-known work, first published in Spanish in 1972, is Dialectics of Dependency.[1]

 

Marini was a founder of the Brazilian Marxist organization Política Operária and later, during his Chilean exile, a member of the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR). Forced into exile again after the Pinochet coup, he taught at the UNAM in Mexico for many years, returning to Brazil shortly before his death from cancer in 1997.

 

In the following essay, Argentine Marxist Claudio Katz analyzes Marini’s work in light of contemporary developments in global capitalism. He assesses Marini’s attempt to understand and explain the initial developments in neoliberal globalization and suggests some ways in which dependency theory might now be renewed and updated. And he comments critically on the work of some current proponents of versions of dependency theory.

 

David Harvey nie l'impérialisme

 

 

par John Smith, traduit de l'anglais par Gabriel Stollsteiner

 

2 février 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposté depuis le site Review of African Political Economy — David Harvey, auteur de l'ouvrage The New Imperialism[1] ainsi que d'autres livres reconnus sur le capitalisme et l'économie politique marxiste, croit non seulement l'âge de l'impérialisme révolu, mais aussi qu'il marche aujourd'hui à l'envers. Dans son Commentaire sur A Theory of Imperialism[2], de Prahbat et Utsa Patnaik, il déclare :

 

"Ceux d'entre nous, qui pensent que les anciennes catégories de l'impérialisme ne fonctionnent pas aussi bien de nos jours, ne nient pas du tout le flux complexe de valeur qui étend l'accumulation de richesse et de pouvoir dans une partie du monde au détriment d'une autre. Nous pensons simplement que les flux sont plus complexes et changent constamment de direction. Le siphonage historique de richesse de l'Est vers l'Ouest pendant deux siècles, par exemple, a été largement inversé au cours des trente dernières années (Souligné par moi, ici et ci-après - John Smith, p.169)."

 

Syria: The Assad regime - a response to Marcel Cartier

 

 

By Chris Slee

 

February 10, 2018 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – In a recent article republished on Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Marcel Cartier denounces the Turkish invasion of Afrin and calls for solidarity with Rojava:

 

It is Afrin that has been a beacon of stability in Syria over the course of the war, not only taking in tens of thousands of refugees from elsewhere in the country, but establishing the principles of direct democracy, women’s liberation and ecology in the midst of an otherwise catastrophic and tumultuous period. It is precisely this model of a socialistic, multi-ethnic, feminist canton advocated by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) that Erdogan’s AKP government sees as ‘terrorism’

 

I fully agree with Cartier's call for solidarity with the Rojava Revolution, but I disagree with some other points in his article.

 

David Harvey denies imperialism

 

 

By John Smith

 

February 2, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — David Harvey, author of The New Imperialism and other acclaimed books on capitalism and Marxist political economy, not only believes that the age of imperialism is over, he thinks it has gone into reverse.

How Europe underdeveloped Africa: the legacy of Walter Rodney

 

 

By Lee Wengraf

 

June 16, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — A number of African economies have experienced a massive boom in wealth and investment over the past decade Yet most ordinary Africans live in dire poverty with diminished life expectancy, high unemployment and in societies with low-levels of industry. For the roots of these conditions of “under-development,” one historical account stands alone in importance: Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972).

 

Venezuela: speaking up to say the truth

 

 

By Atilio Boron

 

May 24, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Alainet — In various recent works, different analysts and observers of Latin American political life have reproached intellectuals and militants on the left for their silence on what is happening in Venezuela. That silence, they say, only reinforces the worst features of the government of Nicolas Maduro. This strategy was used a few weeks ago by a noted Venezuelan intellectual, Edgardo Lander, and more recently, in a special production of Pagina/12, it was reiterated by two colleagues from Argentina: Roberto Gargarella and Maristella Svampa. [1]

 

Russia in the world

 

By Renfrey Clarke

 

April 3, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalFor several weeks in mid-December, media outlets were aflame with the news: Russian President Vladimir Putin, no less, had led a cyber-assault on US democracy, hacking the files of the Democratic Party in an effort to secure the election of his ally Donald Trump.

 

Or perhaps, the real source of the tale had nothing to do with Russia: perhaps it was an attempt to reinforce the self-hypnosis of US liberals that Hillary Clinton’s defeat did not stem from the disgust of millions of rust-belt workers at years of disdain and neglect by Democratic Party politicians.

 

Retired US intelligence experts soon shot the “hack” allegations full of holes.[1] But the refutations were ignored by the mainstream media. And the prejudice the allegations created would survive, to strengthen the rationale for Western economic, diplomatic and military pressures on Russia unparalleled in the post-Cold War period.

 

Who actually subverts democracy?

 
 

By Charles Pierce

 

March 22, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Since December 9 last year, when the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) made its allegations to U.S. Congressional leaders, ranking politicians of both major parties have gone on a concerted rant against Russia for allegedly subverting American “democracy”. The specific allegations are: (1) that Russian state operatives hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC); (2) that Russia then used WikiLeaks as an intermediary to make public internal DNC emails which would embarrass the DNC and hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign; (3) that Russia’s objective was to help Donald Trump win the Presidency; and (4) that Russia’s intervention changed the outcome of the Presidential election. For reasons given below: (1) and (2) are possible but unproven, (3) is unlikely, and (4) is fantasy. 

 

Meanwhile, the major U.S. news media outlets have reported the story with a persistent evasion of highly relevant facts including the U.S. government’s many subversions of elections in other countries. 

 

The defeat of Aleppo – Some harsh lessons for the international left

 

 

Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

 

January 7, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left with permission – Aided by the bombs of the Russian air force and the bullets of foreign militias organized by Iran, Syria’s president Bashar Al-Assad has finally managed to destroy the eastern sector of the country’s largest city Aleppo, the major remaining pocket of popular resistance to his regime.

 

In the following article Santiago Alba Rico, a Spanish-born philosopher and writer based in Tunisia, analyzes what the defeat in Syria means for democratic and progressive opinion everywhere, and in particular the far-reaching implications of the failure of much of the international left to identify with and mobilize in support of the people of Syria in their powerful rebellion against oppression and repression. This failure, he argues, was a critical factor that facilitated the efforts of Assad and his reactionary international allies to drown the revolt in a river of blood.

 

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