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Renowned Marxist Economist Prabhat Patnaik: Capitalism Cannot Exist without Imperialism

BreakThrough News

June 11th 2021

What is imperialism? Is it a stage of capitalism, as Lenin described it, or was it always essential to capitalism? Can capitalism exist without imperialism? Prahbat Patnaik, professor emeritus at JNU, joins Rania Khalek on her program Dispatches to discuss the argument he lays out in his book A Theory of Imperialism, which argues that capitalism was always a function of imperialism. But today’s imperialism takes a subtler less visible form than during colonialism , keeping large parts of the world in poverty through mechanisms like income deflation so that the wealthy nations can maintain access to the cheap commodities only tropical regions can produce. Imperialism also requires an army of unemployed people in the third world that are even more essential to capitalism than the army of reserve labor in the global north. Patnaik also addresses the democratic socialist ideal of turning America into Denmark but that too cannot happen without imperialism. The Scandinavian countries, he says, need imperialism to thrive because they are not self-sufficient and owe their prosperity to the imperialist system created and maintained by western colonialist powers. Also, is China imperialist? How do sanctions and war fit into this? Is this system planned or is it spontaneous and on autopilot? Are we forever doomed to this system? How do we resist? Timestamps: 0:50 What is imperialism? 28:06 Can we be like Denmark without imperialism? 31:39 India, neoliberalism, Modi, rising fascism and the farmers strike 48:07 Is China imperialist? 51:04 Sanctions and regime change wars 1:01:44 Class politics vs identity politics 1:19:23 Not all third world nationalism is bad 1:23:43 Capitalism is the biggest ally of covid’s killing spree » Become a patron: -------------------------------- » Like us on Facebook: » Tweet us on Twitter: » Follow us on Instagram: At Breakthrough News we believe in the power of independent media. Five mega-corporations dominate the media landscape — controlling 90% of what we read, watch and listen to. They control the news cycle, to which social media and even most “alternative” media is forced to respond. We are breaking through that cycle. We tell the untold stories of resistance from poor and working-class communities — because out of these stories we will construct a different narrative of the world, as it is and in real time. People’s movements in every corner of the globe are changing history and shifting consciousness. But these movements barely receive any coverage from the corporate media. They need visibility. They need amplification. They need a media arm to break through. We can be that media arm, but only with your help. Become a Patron and join us on the front lines in the battle of ideas. Subscribe and follow us! @BTNewsroom #Marxisteconomics #capitalism #imperialismexplained #imperialism #socialisteconomics #BreakThroughNews #BTnews #socialistnews #socialist #raniakhalek #eugenepuryear

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