Empire of Capital

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VERSO, 2003 - Business & Economics - 182 pages
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In this era of globalization, we hear a great deal about a new imperialism and its chief enforcer, the United States. Today, with the US promising an endless war against terrorism and promoting a policy of preemptive defense, this notion seems more plausible than ever.

But what does imperialism mean in the absence of colonial conquest and direct imperial rule? In this lucid and lively book Ellen Meiksins Wood explores the new imperialism against the contrasting background of older forms, from ancient Rome, through medieval Europe, the Arab Muslim world, the Spanish conquests, and the Dutch commercial empire. Tracing the birth of a capitalist imperialism back to the English domination of Ireland, Wood follows its development through the British Empire in America and India.

The book brings into sharp relief the nature of today's new capitalist empire, in which the political reach of imperial power cannot match its economic hegemony, and the global economy is administered not by a global state but by a system of multiple local states, policed by the most disproportionately powerful military force the world has ever known and enforced according to a new military doctrine of war without end, in purpose or time.

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Contents

THE EMPIRE OF PROPERTY
26
THE EMPIRE OF COMMERCE
44
A NEW KIND OF EMPIRE
73
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Ellen Meiksins Wood, for many years Professor of Political Science at York University, Toronto, is the author of many books, including Democracy Against Capitalism and, with Verso, The Pristine Culture of Capitalism, The Origin of Capitalism, Peasant-Citizen and Slave, Citizens to Lords, Empire of Capital and Liberty and Property.

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