[Reader-list] Politics of Imperialism and CounterStrategies

Jeebesh Bagchi jeebesh at sarai.net
Fri Jun 11 17:40:33 IST 2004

Dear Ravi,

What exactly do you mean by `imperialism`?
What is the social relation or relation of production that you 
specifically mark as `imperialism`?

Are you refreing to the processes of capital's expansion, it's social 
relation and it's terroritorial ambitions, as imperialism?

If, so why the need for this term?


Ravi Kumar wrote:

> Friends,
> The Iraq War has been an instance of the new face of imperialism. 
> There is a deeper process which culminates into such obnoxious 
> manifestations. It emerges from the dynamics of capitalist 
> development, from its desire to sustain its hegemony and expand. The 
> two processes may appear as separate or as simultaneous. This 
> imperialism bases itself on ideological terrain of local as well as 
> global politics. Some might argue that the two are hardly any 
> different. After all, these wars, torture chambers (which are no 
> longer critiqued in the same manner as the Hitler’s pogrom despite 
> resemblances), and the new age, unprecedented media management, apart 
> from a process of subtle politics that keeps criticality of general 
> mass at bay, are meant for whom. Whose interest do they serve? Can 
> they be understood in the simple rhetoric of annual fiestas at Porto 
> Alegre or Mumbai? How can we trace the underlying logic and dynamic 
> process of the protests, repression and imperialism today? These are 
> some of the many questions that a recent anthology of articles 
> published by Aakar Books, Delhi tries to raise. It’s back cover reads:
> //
> /“The God’s Cowboy Warrior holds world to ransom. While, Green and 
> Saffron guards all play their part in this Grand Inquisition, 
> extending and intensifying it./
> The papers in this collection grounding themselves in diverse Marxist 
> traditions are united in their pursuit to understand the ongoing 
> political conflicts around the globe. Imperialism and all its 
> de-humanized representations are realizations of the systemic logic of 
> capitalism. If alternative has to be anti-capitalist, its evolving 
> forms/ contents have to be identified. One cannot simply go on 
> rhetoricising ad infinitum – “another world possible”. Even if we 
> refrain from identifying that ‘world’, the system will define it in 
> its own way. “Anti-capitalist indifference” leads to barbaric 
> conclusions, reflected in nationalist vandalism of RSS and Shiv Sena 
> in India, Al Qaeda in the Middle East, anti-immigrant racist 
> resurgence in the “advanced” societies – “anti-capitalist capitalism”. 
> There is always a danger of being trapped in the systemic dungeon of 
> mystifications reproducing the bourgeois society if the processes 
> leading towards it are not comprehended; and it needs courage to break 
> that trap. The Argentine, Venezuelan, Mexican and Bolivian upheavals 
> and the officialization of sections of the dissent require 
> explanation. Here, we have some representative Marxist modes of 
> understanding the politics in present day Capitalism, i.e., the 
> politics of Imperialism and forces against it.”
> *Title: The Politics of Imperialism and its Counterstrategies*
> *Editors:* Pratysuh Chandra, Anuradha Ghosh and Ravi Kumar
> *Contributors:* Samir Amin, Massimo De Angelis, Werner Bonefeld, 
> Ronald Chilcote. Ana Cecilia Dinerstein, John Bellamy Foster, John 
> Holloway, Nathalia E. Jaramillo, Doug Lorimer, Peter Mclaren, Prabhat 
> Patnaik, James Petras, William K. Tabb
> *Price:* Rs.200 (PB); Rs.675 (HB)
> *Publisher:* Aakar Books (aakarb at del2.vsnl.net.in)
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