Imperialism was inherent in capitalism's expansion

Julio Huato juliohuato at
Sat Jun 2 15:15:03 MDT 2001

Louis Proyect cites Samir Amin, who stated that imperialism is inherent in
capitalism's expansion throughout its history.

In fact, throughout history, plunder and abuse have been the rule in the
interaction between societies.  Yet, before the 16th century, what could be
looted (surplus product or surplus labor) was growing at a pace barely above
the also sluggish growth rate of the the population.  The difference, in
terms of the rate of expansion of human opportunities, was the change in the
mode of production.  The outcome of this change is what allows us to
seriously aim to end all exploitation and oppression.

For all we know, the capitalist mode of production began a new era in the
form of stealing the surplus product from those who produce it directly.
Instead of relying on sheer force, the key trait of this new era is that,
increasingly (if not mostly), the thiefs plunder surplus product or surplus
labor as surplus value.  Moreover, by so doing, the thieves are driven to
continuously revolutionize the technical manner in which the booty is
produced.  This form of producing the booty relies on workers who sell their
labor power in the market driven by economic compulsion.

While we need detailed study of geography, demographics, non-capitalist
forms of plunder, politics, and culture in the societies in which we live,
we also need to understand the main forces that are driving them forward.
The laboratories to identify and anticipate these forces are the richer
societies, societies in which the 'new' forms of plunder appear in their
clearest forms.
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

More information about the Marxism mailing list