Just to make something clear

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Thu Jul 10 16:59:07 MDT 2003

On Thu, 10 Jul 2003 08:11:56 -0400 (EDT) DMS <dmschanoes at earthlink.net>
> Comrade JF writes:
> "Through much of the 19th century, the US was
> arguably an economic colony of Great Britain"
> I disagree with that.  The problem with that sort of
> analysis is that you have expanded a category,
> "economic colony" to such a degree to accommodate
> a social development that the category itself loses
> all meaning, all definition, all relevance, all
> specificity.
> Certainly the economic weight of Britain made itself
> felt everywhere in the world market, but it did not
> reduce all countries to colonial status.  The com-
> mercial ties between the US and Britain were just
> that, commercial ties, and not diktats.  The US was
> certainly not a colony like Trinidad was a colony, or
> Barbados was a colony, like the colonial adventures
> of Britain anywhere else in the most critical aspect: the
> economy.

I didn't say that the US was a colony in the same sense
that Trinidad or Barbados were colonies, buts its
relationship with Great Britain was certainly neo-colonial
in flavor.  The US functioned as a source of raw materials
and agricultural products for British industry.  Likewise,
the US functioned also as a market for the products
of British industry.  And the US absorbed surplus capital
from Britain.  Internationally, there was relatively little
that the US could do without the say so of Great Britain.
Even the Monroe Doctrine in which the US said to Spain
and the other European powers to keep out of Latin
America, which the US considered to be its own
backyard, was not proclaimed until the US had received
the blessings of Great Britain, who likewise wanted
Spain to stay out of Latin America.  And it was enforced
with the tacit support of the British fleet.

> The US economy was not developed, developing,
> organized for the benefit of the British economy.
> The import of capital and expertise, particularly in
> the development of railroads was part of the overall
> development of US capitalism and certainly does not
> retard its growth in that such capital was used to
> develop the internal, domestic markets, link city
> and countryside, and establish a base for industry.
> That is not the colonial experience.
> I am not sorry to say specificity is essential and the
> devil, for those of a religious bent, is in the details.

The best thing to hit the internet in years - Juno SpeedBand!
Surf the web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER!
Only $14.95/ month - visit www.juno.com to sign up today!

More information about the Marxism mailing list