NZ nuclear ships ban

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Sun Oct 3 21:12:04 MDT 1999


    Actually, very little of my thinking is dominated by the forms the
movement of capital has assumed at the present time.

    In terms of the possibility of interimperialist war, it is mostly
"dominated" by the order of battle of the armed forces of the imperialist

    I must admit that I don't recall ever having read the Baran book, nor do
I have even the foggiest notion of who he was or what he stood for. I just
note that you pull a swindle: you quote Baran's statement about
inter-imperialist war being unlikely, and in the next sentence you pretend
it was a statement about "the elimination of" imperialist war in general,
and how this fit in with peaceful coexistence and so on. Perhaps that was
also Baran's viewpoint, but what you chose to quote is a quite simple
description of how things stood between the imperialists in the late 1950s,
a statement that, if anything, is more justified today than it was then.

    Having thus decisively refuted my statement in 1999 by as far as I can
tell an attack on a position you attribute to someone else when I was seven,
you take refuge in perfectly empty abstractions like "we need to be wary of
formulating new stages of capitalism that are qualitatively different from
the past."

    If you can come down from those lofty heights, I'd just like to know
what you're talking about in real-world terms.


-----Original Message-----
From: Russell Grinker <grinker at>
To: marxism at <marxism at>
Date: Thursday, September 30, 1999 4:52 AM
Subject: Re: NZ nuclear ships ban

>Jose G. Perez wrote:
>>    The real world today, unlike the real world of Lenin's time, is not
>>dominated by the conflicts of rival imperialisms. This is just a FACT. In
>>today's world what we have is a world imperialist system largely under US
>Haven't we heard this somewhere before?
>"The overwhelming preponderance of one imperialist power over all other
>imperialist powers makes a war among them very difficult.  Even formerly
>proud imperialist empires tend to descend to the status of satellites of
>dominant imperialist country, with the latter assuming more and more the
>role of supreme arbiter within the imperialist camp.  While wars among the
>imperialist countries or among combinations of imperialist countries remain
>a possibility, the possibility is rather remote."
>- Paul Baran, the Political Economy of Growth, 1957
>In those days the elimination of war as a necessary consequence of
>imperialism fitted in well with trendy notions of peaceful coexistence.
>discussion more or less assumed that imperialism as described by Lenin was
>thing of the past.  Mostly academic theoreticians gave up deriving an
>analysis based on the antagonistic character of relations of capital.
>Instead they took issue with symptoms rather than the underlying movement
>capital.  Monopolies, arms production and waste were criticised at the
>of moral condemnation.
>Similarly today discussion suffers from an inability to devise an analysis
>of international movements of capital from a theory of capital
>accumulation.  As Jose's argument shows, a lot of current thinking seems to
>be dominated by forms that the movement of capital assumes at a particular
>moment in time.  While recognising what HAS really changed, we need to be
>wary of formulating new stages of capitalism that are qualitatively
>different from the past.


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