Jose's knowledge of NZ

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Fri Oct 1 22:35:17 MDT 1999


    In another post, you speak of the 20-odd foreign wars and military
adventures New Zealand has been engaged in the last 100 years or so.

    You mention, for example, the Boer war. Was New Zealand there pursuing a
strictly national, individual, imperialist mission, or was it part of a
broader, coalition imperialist effort? What about W.W.I and WWII?

    I'm sorry if my (mis) formulation led you to think that I do not believe
in New Zealand imperialism. I do believe.

    My point, however, is that it makes no sense to speak of a NZ
imperialism abstracted from its (subordinate) role in the world imperialist
coalition or
system, just as before, it was very misleading to view NZ in isolation from
its role as a (formal) colony of Great Britain and then later as a
"dominion" (junior
partner) in the British empire. This does NOT negate that New Zealand
pursued its own colonial ambitions and so on -- but it does place them into

    In particular, TODAY New Zealand's military budget and establishment are
vanishingly small by anybody's standards. It has a couple of frigates, one
squadron of outdated A-4 fighter bombers, a handful of helicopters. The Web
sites of the NZ Armed Forces are totally explicit that the purpose of these
forces is to take part in multinational operations, i.e., they are
consciously designed NOT to impose the specific interests of NZ imperialism
but rather to take part in operations by the world imperialist system, or
club, or coalition -- the term itself isn't that important.


-----Original Message-----
From: Philip L Ferguson <PLF13 at>
To: marxism at <marxism at>
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 1999 1:07 AM
Subject: Re: Jose's knowledge of NZ

>Jose writes:
>> But even in the good old pre-Cold War days, New Zealand "imperialism"
>>was never an imperialism in its own right, so to speak. New Zealand's
>>was determined by its insertion into the British colonial system, and not
>>all by its own power or force in world or even regional affairs.
>It's interesting that you are now an expert on NZ, Jose.  When did you
>study this?  Or is this just American arrogance?
>Now, it seems you are even questioning whether there is any such thing as
>NZ imperialism.
>When you're better informed about NZ, the fact that it is a highly
>developed independent First World capitalist country, and its role in the
>Pacific, independent of the British colonial system, get back to me.
>Philip Ferguson


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