re-border controls and territorialism

Michael Luftmensch MLuftmensch at
Sun Jun 23 01:14:38 MDT 1996

re-border controls and territorialism

There is a territorial dimension to capitalism which, due to
Marx's eurocentric outlook, has received short shrift in marxism.
It would seem inappropriate to blame Marx for being the product
of a given time and place - particularly when he rose above so
much of his conditioning.

Marx did not provide a blueprint for building socialism. Indeed,
he did not even complete his projected critique of capitalism.
Surely, the lacunae in his work are not sacred!

We know that although capitalism flourished in the Italian city
states of the renaissance, it did not *take off* until it was wedded
with the territorial state. It was at that point that capitalism
exploded across the face of the planet, ravaging the americas,
asia and africa.

Without the conquest and pillage of india and the fruits of the slave
trade would england have been able to industrialize at the rate it
did in the 19th century? Without the settler colonies, what would
have become of the surplus army of labour mobilized by industrialization?

Without underdevelopment in the periphery, could capitalism have
overdeveloped in the metropolitan centres?

The answer is obviously no. The development of capitalism is
intrinsically bound up not only with history but with geography as
well. And it is in this guise that border controls regulate much more
than the influx of immigrants to the United States.


P.S. Last week Adolfo Olaechea posted the testimony of the chief of the
US armed forces Southern Command about US efforts to preserve its
hegemony over the americas by way of an inter-continental defence
network, i.e., the ongoing militarization of the americas by the Pentagon.

Surely, this is just as germane to a discussion of US border controls as
the ethnic make-up of the US population.

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