On Social Imperialism (Reply to dms)

M. Junaid Alam junaidalam at msalam.net
Tue Sep 30 12:44:09 MDT 2003

"1.  Serious as a heartattack.  The advanced countries are not coupon
clipping centers living off the profits extracted from colonies,
developing countries, etc."

The idea that wealth in the advanced countries is unrelated to the
condition of the Global South is fantastically nonsensical and

No one should oppose capitalism if this thesis is true: if the West got
rich and affluent and stable internally after simply going through 150
years of industrialization, the rest of the world should put on their
bootstraps, endure the same, and come out equally prosperous at the end
of the day.

DMS, your position does not take into account the last 500 years of
history. The fucking social existence of the United States itself
depended on the extermination of an entire people and the enslavement
and degradation of another. The rate of energy and natural resource
consumption among Westerners (like myself) cannot be maintained without
wildly disproportionate ownership and access to global resources...does
the war on Iraq ring a bell?

You are not going to have a socialist revolution in the United States of
America until and unless the material priviliges a large section of the
non-capitalist population enjoys is seriously threatened. No one with a
colonial house, a cabin on the cape, 2 cars, and a secure job is going
to join any revolution.

And even if those privileges, those comforts of life, are made to
disappear, there will still be no revolution unless the all-encompassing
propaganda machine is seriously challenged. Nothing  is "inevitable"
about the socialist revolution. It is an option, a possibility, above
all, a goal.

Under capitalism, not capitalism as an abstraction but capitalism as it
has evolved historically and geographically, the peoples of Latin
America, Africa, Asia, and minority groups in Europe/America, have
suffered disproportionately - in terms and times of war, peace, living
standards, (in)security, (in)stability.

But because history operates with a sense of irony and vengeance, the
zealotry of the neoliberals has probably altered the traditional
historical configuration of labor in some serious ways. How the ruling
class in the advanced countries will respond will be interesting to observe.

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