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78

Demystifying Globalization

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terms
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notes

Henwood, D. and Panitch, L. (2011). Demystifying Globalization. In Lilley, S. Capital and Its Discontents: Conversations with Radical Thinkers in a Time of Tumult. PM Press, pp. 78-89

83

[...] Has globalization become a euphemism for imperialism or are these distinct phenomena?

LP: I think one should try to retain these terms in somewhat of a separate way. I don’t think that we should transfer all the meaning that the word capitalism or global capitalism or even globalization has to the term imperialism. I think imperialism is very much a state thing. It is associated with the stage of capitalism we’re in, and its global nature, but it’s not quite the same thing.

I think globalization or global capitalism is about some of the things that Doug referred to at the beginning, this massive increase in the proportion of world gross national product that is traded internationally—the enormous flow of capital, including foreign direct investment, both of which entailed therefore the need for the flow of money for financial capital to grease the wheels of trade and foreign direct investments and of course on the basis of that, one gets a whole lot of financial capital feeding on itself. Not all of which is speculation. Some of it is risk management and so on. So you get this enormous body of financial capital at a global level, always centered primarily on Wall Street, to some extent, and the City of London. And a lot of the surplus of what is produced in the world ends up back in those places where it’s reallocated, even if it’s produced in China or wherever.

So I think globalization is a real thing and I think it’s also associated to some extent with this fourth industrial or technological revolution we’re living through—the digital revolution or the computer revolution. I don’t think it’s caused by it but it’s an element in it that is part of this process of globalization. And a lot of people point to that calling it things, like Manuel Castells does, the “network society” and so on, which may be going too far, but it’s an important element in it.

—p.83 by Doug Henwood, Leo Panitch 4 years, 10 months ago

[...] Has globalization become a euphemism for imperialism or are these distinct phenomena?

LP: I think one should try to retain these terms in somewhat of a separate way. I don’t think that we should transfer all the meaning that the word capitalism or global capitalism or even globalization has to the term imperialism. I think imperialism is very much a state thing. It is associated with the stage of capitalism we’re in, and its global nature, but it’s not quite the same thing.

I think globalization or global capitalism is about some of the things that Doug referred to at the beginning, this massive increase in the proportion of world gross national product that is traded internationally—the enormous flow of capital, including foreign direct investment, both of which entailed therefore the need for the flow of money for financial capital to grease the wheels of trade and foreign direct investments and of course on the basis of that, one gets a whole lot of financial capital feeding on itself. Not all of which is speculation. Some of it is risk management and so on. So you get this enormous body of financial capital at a global level, always centered primarily on Wall Street, to some extent, and the City of London. And a lot of the surplus of what is produced in the world ends up back in those places where it’s reallocated, even if it’s produced in China or wherever.

So I think globalization is a real thing and I think it’s also associated to some extent with this fourth industrial or technological revolution we’re living through—the digital revolution or the computer revolution. I don’t think it’s caused by it but it’s an element in it that is part of this process of globalization. And a lot of people point to that calling it things, like Manuel Castells does, the “network society” and so on, which may be going too far, but it’s an important element in it.

—p.83 by Doug Henwood, Leo Panitch 4 years, 10 months ago