Like all human phenomena, US imperialism is subject to the law of unintended consequences. Tomz, M. Behind this lies, of course, the failure of the occupation itself.
Cette fonction est temporairement bloquée
Insofar as remarks of this kind imply a rejection of instrumentalist conceptions of the state that treat it as a mere tool in the hands of big business, the point is well taken. Amazon Warehouse Great Deals on Quality Used Products. France and Political Economy of Contemporary Imperialism. Luxemburg, Rosa. The Merchants of Death.
02/02/ · Claude Serfati; Chapter. First Online: 02 February 66 Downloads; Part of the Luxemburg International Studies in Political Economy book series (LISPE) Abstract. This chapter analyses two pillars of theories of imperialism, namely finance capital and militarism, and their place in contemporary capitalism. It looks to the writings of.
- The main reasons for this are, of course, the global primacy of the United States and the arrogance with which the Bush administration has flaunted this pre-eminence, above all in the military field.
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- Capitalism in the Web of Life.
- Panitch and Gindin do acknowledge the possibility that China may come to constitute a counter-example to their general analysis:.
Claude Serfati The transformations of the French arms industry have to be put in the context of the dramatic changes in the geopolitical and economic environment, or globalization.
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Claude Serfati The transformations of the French arms industry have to be put in the context of the dramatic changes in the geopolitical and economic environment, or globalization.
The main reasons for this are, of course, the global primacy of the United States and the arrogance with which the Bush administration has flaunted this pre-eminence, above all in the military field. Marxists should be particularly well equipped to respond to this development, given the importance that their tradition has given to the concept of imperialism.
There are, of course, different versions of this intellectual enterprise, which seeks systematically to relate geopolitical relations to the process of capital accumulation. In consequence, an increasingly integrated world economy becomes the arena for competition among capitals that tends now to take the form of geopolitical conflict among states.
From this perspective modern imperialism is what happens where two previously distinct forms of competition merged, as they did in the late 19th century: 1 economic competition between capitals; 2 geopolitical competition between states. Geopolitical competition can no longer be pursued without the economic resources that could only be generated within the framework of capitalist relations of production; but capitals involved in increasingly global networks of trade and investment depend on different forms of support, ranging from tariff and subsidy to the assertion of military power, from their nation-state.
The relationship between these two logics should be seen therefore as problematic and often contradictory that is, dialectical rather than as functional or one-sided. The problem for concrete analyses of actual situations is to keep the two sides of this dialectic simultaneously in motion and not to lapse into either a solely political or a predominantly economic mode of argumentation.
Other writers, notably Walden Bello, Peter Gowan, Chris Harman, John Rees and Claude Serfati, have pursued a broadly similar approach. Hardt and Negri famously assert that inter-imperialist rivalries have been transcended in the transnational network power of Empire. Accordingly, this article is devoted to assessing this critique and the alternative analysis it seeks to support. At the same time, they move from different premises from those of Hardt and Negri to the same conclusion, that geopolitical competition has largely been transcended in contemporary capitalism.
This was a fundamental mistake that has, ever since, continued to plague proper understanding. The classical theories were defective in their historical reading of imperialism, in their treatment of the dynamics of capital accumulation, and in their elevation of a conjunctural moment of inter-imperial rivalry to an immutable law of globalisation Global Capitalism and American Empire London , hereafter GCAE , p.
Running through these errors is a failure to appreciate the importance in conceptualising imperialism as a proper understanding of:. And such a theory needs to comprise not only inter-imperial rivalry, and the conjunctural predominance of one imperial state, but also the structural penetration of former rivals by one imperial state GCAE , pp.
Rather like J. The conclusion that Panitch and Gindin draw from this analysis is not to invite us, in the face of the evidence, to conclude that all is well with the contemporary imperial order:.
First of all, their adherence — identified as 2 above — to a supply-side theory of crisis is a crucial move. What such a theory does is to render the movements of the capitalist economy dependent on those of the class struggle. Hence, once the balance of class forces had shifted back in favour of capital — as it did, not just in the US but throughout advanced capitalism between and — the ineluctable consequence was a recovery in profitability and an end to crisis.
This differentiates Panitch and Gindin from those, such as Brenner and Harvey, who argue correctly, in my view that global capitalism continues to suffer from the crisis of profitability and over-accumulation that first exploded in the mids.
They elaborate their own alternative approach thus:. This does not mean that it is no longer useful to speak of contradictions inherent in capitalism, but we must be careful not to make too much of their consequences unless they take the form of class contradictions that raise challenges to capital in terms of whether it can adapt or respond and labour in terms of whether it can develop the political capacity to build on the openings provided.
This passage is a strange mixture of truism, implied caricature, and potential error. But — whatever might or might not have been true in the past — name a serious contemporary Marxist political economist who thinks otherwise the implication that such exist is the caricature. Supply-side theories of crises are agent-centred, since they explain the business cycle in terms of the relative capacities for self-organisation of collective class actors. By contrast, both the theory of crisis that Marx developed in Capital , volume III, and the modified theory recently put forward by Brenner explain crises of over-accumulation by a structural tendency towards a falling rate of profit that cannot be altered by acts of collective will on the part of the contending classes — though of course how classes respond to the effects of this tendency is crucial in shaping the resolution of crises.
In my view, Panitch and Gindin are mistaken both in holding to an over-politicised theory of crisis and in asserting that global capitalism in general, and the US in particular, have overcome the crisis of profitability that developed in the s. If these arguments are correct, the implications are very serious for Panitch and Gindin. Their narrative of post-war capitalism gives primacy to a single actor — the American state — that is able to shape and then reshape the world as its informal empire relatively unconstrained — both because of its power relative to other actors and because of the power of states and capitalist classes collectively to determine the fate of the world economy.
Here it would be useful to compare their work with that of Harvey, who in The New Imperialism seeks to integrate the geopolitical strategy of the US under George W. Secondly, Panich and Gindin insist on giving proper weight to the state as a relatively autonomous actor.
Insofar as remarks of this kind imply a rejection of instrumentalist conceptions of the state that treat it as a mere tool in the hands of big business, the point is well taken.
But, once again, it is hardly news. Marxists have over the past few decades sought to develop theorisations of the state that give proper weight to its role as an independent actor. Harvey, as the passage cited at the start of this paper makes very clear, conceives the relationship between the logics of territorial and capitalist power as a dialectical one in which the two potentially contradict one another.
Similarly, I conceptualise imperialism as the intersection of economic and geopolitical competition in part precisely to avoid the suggestion that the latter is an epiphenomenon of the former. Here again, there is an important element of truth to their argument. It is inherent in the nature of imperialism that it involves economic and geopolitical competition among a plurality of major capitalist states.
But it does not follow that this competition must necessarily take the form of conflict, ultimately military, among a relatively small number of roughly equal Great Powers or coalitions of Great Powers — as it did in the lead-up to both the First and Second World Wars. Thus the historic achievement of the American state during the s was the construction of a transnational economic and geopolitical space that unified the entire advanced capitalist world under US leadership: much of the material that Panitch and Gindin cite documents this process.
One consequence of this arrangement was that capital and commodities flowed with growing freedom within this space, to the benefit, again as Panitch and Gindin show, of US banks and transnational corporations. Panitch and Gindin are right to see this achievement as a result of the pursuit of a conscious grand strategy by the American ruling class, as numerous studies have confirmed. But they are insufficiently sensitive to the strains to which it has been increasingly subjected as a result of two overlapping processes.
The first is the impact of the long-term structural crisis of profitability and over-accumulation, itself to a significant extent a consequence of the emergence from the s onwards of Japan and Germany as major economic competitors to the US.
The fact that, instead of disintegrating after the Cold War, the transnational economic and geopolitical space constructed in the s became genuinely global was in no sense inevitable. But the fact that the US-dominated space did not fragment does not mean that serious tensions do not exist within it, or that maintaining it intact does not require continuing and contested effort on the part of the American state.
The crisis over Iraq brought all this into dramatic focus. The difficulty with this line of argument is that it says nothing at all about the strategic thinking behind the Iraq war.
If one takes the work of policy intellectuals other than the neoconservatives and in some cases hostile to them or at least critical of the Iraq adventure — for example, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Philip Bobbitt, Joseph Nye and John Mearsheimer, one finds the same preoccupation with the future of US hegemony in the face of a variety of powers that can be expected to challenge it at least at the regional level. Now, Marx famously said that if essence and appearance coincided then science would be superfluous.
All these weighty strategic analyses could be so much epiphenomenal fluff, beneath which lies the reality of a secure and invincible American empire. Not simply was the conquest of Iraq thus a pre-emptive strike by the US, less against Saddam Hussein than against the other leading powers, but the unfolding of the crisis made the tensions within the Western bloc dramatically visible. On the one hand, the administration has if anything strengthened its rhetorical commitment to spreading democracy by the sword.
On the other, despite regular predictions to the contrary by Washington, London and a significant section of the Marxist left, France and Germany continue to resist American pressure to participate in the occupation of Iraq. Behind this lies, of course, the failure of the occupation itself. Let us return to the issue of inter-imperialist rivalries.
All of this is fair enough, and one can add other specific reasons why economic competition within the Western bloc need not translate into military conflict. Transatlantic tensions reached their height when, in the early months of , the Bush administration apparently embraced a policy, not as had traditionally been US strategy of encouraging further European integration, but of divide and rule.
Economic rivalries among transnational corporations whose investments and markets are concentrated in one of the three points of the G7 triad — North America, Western Europe and Japan — and that rely on state support in their competitive struggles remain a structural feature of the contemporary global political economy.
Like all human phenomena, US imperialism is subject to the law of unintended consequences. American politicians and commentators have tended to portray the affair as a case of parochial, money-obsessed Europeans failing to see the bigger geopolitical picture.
But the aim of the French president, Jacques Chirac, seems to have been straightforwardly geopolitical — to find in the rising power of China a counter-weight to American hegemony. Remarks of this nature rather put into perspective any predictions that the future course of capitalist development will be pacific. Panitch and Gindin do acknowledge the possibility that China may come to constitute a counter-example to their general analysis:.
China may perhaps emerge eventually as a pole of inter-imperial power, but it will obviously remain very far from reaching such a status for a good many decades. This polarisation of present and future seriously underestimates the fluidity of contemporary geopolitics. The Cheney theory implies that the US could easily continue a trade deficit that, on current trends, will rise from 6 percent to 10 percent of GDP by the start of the next decade.
It would be easier to believe that it could if the inflow of capital financing the deficit were attracted by higher profits than are obtainable elsewhere: but, in fact, to judge by the fact that American corporations receive higher returns on their foreign direct investments than they do from their assets within the US, the reverse is true. In this context, there was an element of playing with fire in the recent campaign in the US and the EU for renminbi revaluation.
From a broader historical perspective, it seems simply perverse to deny any broader economic and geopolitical significance to the role played by China in particular and East Asian capitalism in general in financing the US deficit.
Even if one discounts any such displacement of the US by China, the profound tensions being concentrated in East Asia cannot be ignored.
The Chinese boom has played an important role in reorienting the global political economy, as China has become a major supplier of cheap manufactured goods to the US and the rest of the advanced capitalist world, as well as a key purchaser of intermediate goods from Japan, South Korea and the EU, and of raw materials from the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.
The contradictions that are now concentrated in China are thus symptomatic of the current state of the global political economy — of, not the stable incorporation of world capitalism within the American informal empire, but the fragility of the global accumulation process and of geopolitics today. Borchard, E. International Loans and International Law. Proceedings of the American Society of International Law at Its Annual Meeting — Brewer, A.
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Claude Serfati Open Library
by Claude Serfati First published in 1996 2 editions. Not in Library. Bourgeoisie. by Isabelle Garo, Claude Serfati, Suzanne de Brunhoff First published in 2001 2 editions. Not in Library. Une économie politique de la sécurité . by Claude Serfati First ...
28/02/ · Claude Serfati and Catherine Sauviat: Download: Global supply chains and intangible assets in the automotive and aeronautical industries pdf - MB. Claude Serfati (University of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines) [email protected] “Strategic Innovation policy and structural change in a context of growth and crisis” Plenary 4 New global economic geography: the role of natural resources and TNCs. Pour Claude Serfati, il faut comprendre l’impérialisme comme l’expression politique des impératifs de l’accumulation du capital. À travers ce concept, il peint un tableau saisissant de la France d’aujourd’hui: une industrie exsangue et un faible potentiel d’expansion, compensées .
intervenir politiquement dans la théorie, intervenir théoriquement dans la politique
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