Friday, September 4, 2009

Imperialism and Financialism

The following is a lucidly written essay by Nitzan and Bichler on the evolution of the terms "imperialism" and "financialism" among Marxists:

It's a 13-page printout and I've never seen the terms so clearly discussed. Like many people, I grew up with Baran and Sweeezy's "Monopoly Capital"; and like many others I've read Foster and Magdoff's recent "The Great Financial Crisis." But I've been blissfully ignorant of how the discussion among Marxists has gradually shifted over the decades -- partly because the same terms are used.

Nitzan and Bichler are famous for their 2002 book, "The Global Political Economy of Israel," which perhaps Mayday Books had in stock some years back.

1 comment:

Red Frog said...

Read it. Easy to see that unequal trade and buying foreign companies is still purchasing cheaper labor power in the 'periphery.' The labor theory holds. The graph on 'net profits' is excellent. Their real point is the last one - that financialization is greater 'outside' of the U.S. than in the U.S. The problem with this graph is that 'outside' the U.S. hides the various players, lumping all of them together. If you separated them out, you'd see, I think, that U.S. capital had the preponderent share in the world of any nation, or group of nations. Even Europe. Second objection would be that imperialism is not necessarily only driven by Wall Street alone. It is a 'bi-partisan' effort as they say. Europe can be a large partner. Third is the military issue. Part of modern imperialism IS military force, and the U.S. has been dumping their money into war fighting, and fighting wars. That is our role in world imperialism. If Holland spent the same money in this black hole (nice point there too...) they wouldn't have so much to invest in financial issues.