Bad Subjects Interviews Howard Zinn.
February 21, 2001 7:48 AM   Subscribe

Bad Subjects Interviews Howard Zinn. I'm not sure I buy globalization as "a more sophisticated kind of imperialism," but given recent efforts to expand corporate welfare and manufacture enemies for a reinvigorated military-industrial complex I think parallels with 19th century robber-barons and the Great BBQ are apt. Lefties and libertarians unite!
posted by kliuless (3 comments total)
I buy it. US ways of doing things are exported not as the US way but as the international standard or some other crap. Its a cover.

The US exerts control on other countries not thru in-your-face marines now but thru the IMF, World Bank, sanctions, aid; all while the marines are just offshore, a quiet but deadly threat.

In Colombia, US troops are still in small numbers but we train the Colombians in counter-insurgency, in torture, in creating civilian intelligence networks which identify those who (might) support the guerillas and assasinate them. Now, we even have former US Navy SEALs stationed at the Peru/Colombia border.

As Zinn said, its the same deal, just more sophisticated.
posted by locombia at 6:29 PM on February 21, 2001

In asking whether globalization = imperialism, I think the real question to ask is, if it were some other country, not the United States, that was the primary beneficiary of this massive expansion/incursion, which term would we choose?
posted by Byun-o-matic at 7:20 PM on February 21, 2001

i guess my definition for globalization is a lot broader. to me globalization is a process born out of technology, whether it's the internet or cheap plane travel. so like the green movement or the international red cross or whomever i would consider part of globalization even though they aren't necessarily tools for US hegemony.

but yeah, i think imperialism is definitely an operative word again when considering US policy, foreign and domestic.

check out Hobson's _Imperialism_: A Defense

Stated in its broadest form, Imperialism's argument is that the movement of capital often works in ways that are detrimental to the interest of the nation as a whole. Public opinion is seen as a dependent variable, largely shaped by a news media whose independence is sharply curtailed by its relationship to major business interests. Social welfare, such as education, and redistributive interests, such as health care, are neglected for the maintenance of a bloated military budget. Major financial interests have a disproportionate share of political power, but democratic mobilization might be able to curtail the abuse of that power. If the argument sounds familiar, it is because it is. Hobson's Imperialism is an archetype of the left-liberal critique of a society dominated by major business interests.
posted by kliuless at 1:58 PM on February 22, 2001

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