Capitalism and Colonialism in Late Nineteenth Century Europe

Jack Wayne

Abstract


Marxists have persistently attempted to analyze colonialism and neocolonialism in terms of the way in which political control over a dependent social formation enables metropolitan capital to appropriate surplus-labour from it. The literature on underdevelopment tells us why surplus-labour from non-industrial social formations is essential to advanced capitalism, and elaborates the mechanisms by which this surplus-labour is appropriated. In this literature we learn a great deal about the international context of capitalist development, and the role of the division of labour among producing regions in the process of capital accumulation. The chief lesson to be gained from these studies is that colonialism and neocolonialism are functional for capitalism.

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Studies in Political Economy:
Online ISSN 1918-7033
Print ISSN 0707-8552