[Marxism] Imperialism in a coffee cup | openDemocracy
ilagardien at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 18 12:55:11 MDT 2019
What is ‘a rounded Marxist-feminist-ecological-race-conscious critique”?
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On Thursday, July 18, 2019, 6:10 PM, Patrick Bond via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
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On 2019/07/18 3:00 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:
Great stuff, here, regarding unequal exchange based on
super-exploitative labor relations.
(For those interested, one of the originators of this thesis, Samir
Amin, died on 12 August 2018 and will be commemorated here in
Johannesburg, at Wits University, a year later - as we tend to do in
these parts - as well with allies in Dakar where he worked these
arguments into all sorts of fascinating applied critiques of imperialism.)
One of the most critical aspects of our own Southern African
migrant labor super-exploitation, is how gendered it is, with women
ensuring the rates of pay can often dip below social reproduction costs,
since those are borne by women in far-away rural areas with only
sporadic remittances. Child-care, healthcare and elder care are
massively subsidised by women and girls. The role of patriarchy
amplifying such capitalist power relations would surely be feasible for
Smith to add? (The literature here is rich, dating in some respects to
Rosa Luxemburg's 1913 Accumulation of Capital, and more explicitly
since, 40 years ago, Annette Kuhn and Ann-Marie Wolpe wrote Feminism and
Materialism: Women and modes of production.)
And there's a parallel socio-ecological process, unequal ecological
exchange, in which the non-renewable resources looted from most South
locations (e.g. 88% of African countries) are too rarely calculated,
much less incorporated into critiques of imperialism.
So what Smith scathingly points out about the North's failure to
properly count Southern labor - "Evidence of the persistence and indeed
pervasiveness of imperialism is all around us, yet liberals, social
democrats and even many who consider themselves revolutionary socialists
are blind to this" - also goes for his own failure to properly count the
natural wealth of the South that's looted when extractive industries
don't provide meaningful compensation for non-renewable resources, i.e.,
wealth 'that doesn't grow back' once lifted by TNCs (unlike his case of
coffee beans, which do).
I've tried to point this out in debate with Smith (and David Harvey
- who I feel is also inadvertently guilty here), i.e. that study of
imperialism - and any forms of uneven and combined development
associated with resource-intensive countries of the South - must be more
cognizant of the way 'free gifts of nature' are simply removed, without
shareholder profits recirculated or capital reinvested (unlike in
Canada, Norway, Australia, the U.S. and other resource-rich countries
whose TNCs return the fruits of the plunder to their own countries'
shareholders or fiscus):
And here are some other (2018) sites where you can determine if
this argument adds to the anti-imperialist repertoire, as I think it
New evidence of Africa’s systematic looting, provided by an
increasingly schizophrenic World Bank
Corporate Looting: Sub-Saharan Africa Loses $100B A Year
Ecological-Economic Narratives for Resisting Extractive Industries
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