With respect to to this post, readers might be interested in a long set of follow-up debates below. h/t Patrick Bond,  whose contribution was just published here at Human Geography

David Harvey Denies Imperialism

In a major critique of David Harvey’s work, the radical political economist John Smith takes on Harvey’s claim that the “East” is now exploiting the “West,” a statement, he argues, that is backed up by nothing more than his authority. Harvey could not be more wrong, or about a bigger issue. The root of Harvey’s error is his denial that the global shift of production to low-wage countries represents a major deepening of imperialist exploitation….

Realities on the Ground: David Harvey replies to John Smith

In a debate on, David Harvey replies to John Smith’s critique of his work. Marxism, Harvey argues, must not start with concepts and then impose them on reality, but with the realities on the ground. To start with concepts, as does John Smith, is to engage in rank idealism. Harvey challenges what he describes as ‘Smith’s crude and rigid theory of imperialism.’…

Imperialist Realities vs. the Myths of David Harvey

In a robust defence of his arguments, John Smith continues to challenge David Harvey’s understanding of global capitalism and imperialism. Many important changes have shaken the world in the last thirty years, but imperialist Europe and North America continue to drain wealth from Latin America and Africa, as well as from parts of Asia. Yet China’s growing challenge to imperialist domination and the spread of global capitalist depression means that we no longer live in a post-World War II world, we live in a pre-World War III world. Harvey’s compass on these developments remains profoundly faulty. …

Dissolving Empire: David Harvey, John Smith, and the Migrant

Continuing the debate between David Harvey and John Smith on imperialism and capitalism, Adam Mayer focuses on the fate of the subaltern and the excluded. The figure of the migrant who desires legal, social and cultural capital is at the centre of this blogpost and demonstrates how Harvey’s notions of the changing cores of global imperialism is fundamentally incorrect….

Towards a Broader Theory of Imperialism

In a major contribution to the on-going debate on imperialism, Patrick Bond argues that an explanation of imperialist political-economy and geopolitics must incorporate subimperialisms. John Smith’s old-fashioned binary of North/South prevents him from fully engaging with David Harvey’s overall concern about uneven geographical development. …

Is Imperialism still Imperialist? A Response to Patrick Bond

Responding to the debate on the changing nature of imperialism on, Walter Daum challenges Patrick Bond’s defence of David Harvey. Daum argues that while there is no question that the ‘East’ has gained relatively in wealth, this does not mean that there has been an epochal shift in the flow of value; it is extremely dubious that the directional flows of centuries have reversed and that the East, including China, is draining value from the West. …

A Self-Enriching Pact: Imperialism and the Global South

In a contribution to the debate on imperialism, Andy Higginbottom argues that the neo-colonial form of imperialism underpins elite corruption in the Global South. He asks if eurocentric Marxism can continue to deny the fact that capitalist imperialism involves the systemic plunder of the working class in the Global South?…

Mutual Profiting: Unpicking the Harvey-Smith Debate

Esteban Mora argues that the debate on between David Harvey and John Smith is flawed. We should not only be looking for a connection between ‘drained’ countries and countries who ‘drain’ others, but also a relationship of mutual profiting between an international bourgeoisie. Mora argues that dependency theories which underpins the debate are partial and cannot capture the totality of relationships in the international market, nor the operations of imperialism….

Again, Is Imperialism Still Imperialism? A Reply to Esteban Mora

In a reply to Esteban Mora’s contribution to the imperialism debate on, Walter Daum writes that the claim that the drain of value from South to North has been inverted, reversed, or merely leveled off flies in the face of reality. Daum argues that the Northern imperialists exploit the labour and resources of the South and this is all the more true today….

Plundering and Profits: Moving Beyond Dependency Theory

In a major critique of dependency theory, Esteban Mora continues the debate on the nature of imperialism on (and specifically the blogpost by Walter Daum). He argues that while inequalities and unevenness in the world market exists, with both strong nation-states and weaker ones, this is not a division based on countries or regions, nor geography or ethnicity, but on relations of production. We must unearth the mechanisms of mutual profiting across all regions to see a class divided world market, as part of an international system of states where every single state is an agent of financial capital….


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