[Marxism] Accumulation in NZ

Philip Ferguson philip.ferguson at canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Feb 27 13:53:23 MST 2007

Dave wrote:
>Phils arguments are repetitive and incoherent.

They're repetitive, sure, because you keep avoiding dealing with the
main ones.

It's your argument that NZ is a "semi-colony" that is incoherent.

Take this point of yours:
>(2) Phil does not think that semi-colonies can have a highly productive
export sector or pay high wages. 
This shows that he doesnt understand the nature of semi-colonies.
The whole point of imperialist capital export is to exploit labour and
raw materials in the colonies and semi-colonies more productively. 
Semi-colonies have a formally independent ruling class because they are
dominated ECONOMICALLY through the extraction of super-profits from
their specialised, productive, export sector. 
This was why Lenin called Argentina a 'British finance colony'. 
It follows from this high productivity that workers can earn high wages
without living off super-profits.

Yes, semi-colonies are dominated economically through the extraction of
super profits.  That is precisely why countries like Argentina have not
had historically among the highest wages in the world.

NZ, by contrast, has.  Living standards of NZ workers have been higher
than those of workers in Britain throughout most of the existence of NZ.

This is because NZ has not had super-profits extracted from it and is
not a semi-colony.  This is just ABC.

Here Dave's argument is totally incoherent.

> (1) Phil says that NZ owned some banks in the 1880s when NZ was still
How does this rebut the evidence that today NZs banks are foreign

Because you have argued in the past that NZ never had its own banks.  If
you are using the argument that since the 1980s most banks have been
foreign-owned then it would be logical for you to argue that NZ became a
semi-colony in the 80s.  But you argue it was a semi-colony back in the

Again, your argument is incoherent.  

>Or that the big dairy cooperative Fonterra is under threat of
privatisation which will see its ownership go offshore? 

Fonterra may or not be "under threat".  At present it is owned by 13,000
NZ dairy farmers and is a huge global power in dairying.

This is very different from dairying in countries like Turkey, which
Lenin referred to in 1916 as being a "semi-colony".

>NZ on the other hand (imagine is was the Australian state of Victoria)
had a much narrower resource base.
Its pastoral squatter sector was smaller, and family farming was
dominated by imperial finance capital. 

Eh?  Family farming in NZ was not dominated by "imperial finance
capital".  In fact, if NZ was a semi-colony, NZ farming could never have
developed around the family farm model; instead we would have had a
massive impoverished peasantry struggling to survive.

>(3) As for defending NZ from an Australian invasion, I think Phil
misses the point again.
I didnt say that we would not bloc with elements of the NZ bourgeoisie. 
I said that we wouldnt trust any of them to defend NZ as their interests
are increasingly elsewhere.

Ah, so you would bloc with the NZ capitalist class.  

This simply shows that at root you are a left NZ nationalist and that is
why you must believe that NZ is a "semi-colony".  This weird semi-colony
with historically one of the highest standards of living in the world,
historically among the highest wages in the world, historically one of
the most democratic of the bourgeois-democracies, one of the most highly
capitalistically developed farming sectors in the world, one of the most
hi-tech dairying industries in the world, a country which never had to
have a bourgeois-democratic revolution, because modern capitalist
democracy was planted here after 1840, etc etc etc.

Talking about NZ having an "unfinished national revolution" is about as
bizarre as talking about Canada or Australia or the US having an
"unfinished national revolution".  Talk about incoherent!



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