[A-List] Competing and collaborating imperialisms
cburford at gn.apc.org
Thu Mar 21 00:25:44 MST 2002
At 20/03/02 14:24 +0200, you wrote:
>"Nicos Poulantzas' work on 'internationalization and the nation state',
>written in the early 1970s, still stands as the most fruitful point of
>departure. Against 'the ideology of "globalization"' Poulantzas insisted
>that it was wrong to think of globalization as an abstract economic
>process in which social formations and states are seen 'merely as a
>concretization and spatialization of the "moments" of this process'. Such
>formulations, which inevitably took the state to have 'lost its powers' to
>multinational capital, were 'fundamentally incorrect'. Poulantzas's
>outstanding contribution was to explain: (i) that when multinational
>capital penetrates a host social formation, it arrives not merely as
>abstract 'direct foreign investment', but as a transformative social force
>within the country; (ii) that the interaction of foreign capital with
>domestic capital leads to the dissolution of the national bourgeoisie as a
>coherent concentration of class interests; (iii) but far from losing
>importance, the host state actually becomes responsible for taking charge
>of the complex relations of international capital to the domestic
>bourgeoisie, in the context of class struggles and political and
>ideological forms which remain distinctively national even as they express
>themselves within a world conjuncture."
>--Leo Panitch, "The New Imperial State", New Left Review 2, no. 2, pp. 8-9
Interesting formulations both in the title and the passage quoted.
I note the term used here is "multi-national capital". I wonder if people
think this expresses the political point better than "transnational".
There are some important implications of the formulations here about the
weakening of the national bourgeoisie. Maybe the article discusses more
fully whether the power of multinational capital destroys the national
bourgeoisie altogether. My hunch is that it leaves it weakened and that the
host state becomes an arena for all sorts of forces who might take up that
role to contest whether any resistance is possible to multinational capital.
The Asian crisis wiped out a lot of national capital, except in a country
like Malaysia. In Indonesia it was touch and go whether the nationalist and
fascistic military were dominant in the state.
In Argentina recently, perhaps this formulation is illuminating about the
succession of governments that tried to respond to the crisis.
This may be a more realistic way to view the street protests than to
consider there was ever any possibility of a revolution.
Maybe those closer to the events can bring us up to date.
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