Empire of Capital
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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administration agriculture America appropriation aristocracy Atlantic slave trade Britain British capitalism British Empire Bush Bush Doctrine capitalist economy capitalist imperialism capitalist powers century certainly challenge city-states coercion commercial empire competitive production conquest created depended domestic domination Dutch Dutch Republic East Timor economic imperatives economic power effect elites Ellen Meiksins Wood English Europe European exploitation expropriation extra-economic force extra-economic power feudal French global capital Grotius hegemony ideology imperial expansion imperial power impose increasingly India indigenous industrial instance Ireland justified kind labour power land landlords less logic major means merchants military force military power nation needs non-capitalist peasants population principles private property profit propertyless res nullius Richard Perle Richard Tuck rivalry rivals role Roman settlers simply slavery slaves social property relations Spanish Spanish Empire supremacy surplus labour system of multiple territorial empire tion trade routes urban Venetian war without end wealth workers