A Theory of Imperialism by Utsa Patnaik, Prabhat Patnaik

By Utsa Patnaik, Prabhat Patnaik

In A idea of Imperialism, economists Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik current a brand new thought of the origins and mechanics of capitalism that sounds an alarm approximately its ongoing viability. Their conception facilities on alternate among the middle economies of the worldwide North and the tropical and subtropical nations of the worldwide South and considers how the Northern call for for commodities (such as agricultural items and oil) from the South has perpetuated and solidified an imperialist dating. The Patnaiks discover the dynamics of this approach and talk about techniques that may enable the economies of the South to accomplish larger prosperity with no harmful the economies of the North. the result's an unique idea of imperialism that brings to mild the crippling obstacles of neoliberal capitalism.

A thought of Imperialism additionally contains a reaction by way of David Harvey, who translates the agrarian approach in a different way and sees different components affecting alternate among the North and the South. Their debate is likely one of the so much provocative exchanges but over the way forward for the worldwide financial system as assets develop skinny, populations explode, and common prosperity turns into ever extra elusive.

About the Authors
Utsa Patnaik is professor emerita and Prabhat Patnaik is professor emeritus on the Centre for financial reports and making plans, university of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru collage. Utsa's books comprise The Agrarian query within the Neoliberal period (2011) and The Republic of starvation and different Essays (2007). Prabhat is the writer such a lot lately of the worth of cash (Columbia, 2009) and Re-envisioning Socialism (2011).

David Harvey is a unique professor within the anthropology, heritage, and Earth and environmental sciences courses at CUNY's Graduate heart. His books contain Seventeen Contradictions and the top of Capitalism (2014) and Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom (Columbia, 2009).


A hugely unique, powerfully provided, and very thought-provoking new idea of imperialism that may strength somebody fascinated about the query of imperialism to reconsider their very own presuppositions.
Robert Pollin, codirector and professor of economics, Political financial system examine Institute, collage of Massachusetts, Amherst

Utsa and Prabhat Patnaik offer us with an incredible and incisive contribution to the idea of imperialism. via a rigorous research of the guidelines pursued in India, they show how the modern development of imperialism is a continuation of its earlier colonial trend, within which peasant agriculture is systematically undermined, therefore producing a big and starting to be reserve of surplus labour. the guidelines defined in A concept of Imperialism are critical to knowing the development of the unequal worldwide process long ago and within the present.
Samir Amin, writer of The Implosion of Capitalism

this is often the easiest book-length remedy at the monetary features of imperialism to were released some time past numerous many years. it truly is theoretically strong and empirically scrupulous, and its historic variety covers the full span of imperialism from the colonial interval all the way down to the current day
Irfan Habib, writer of The Agrarian process of Mughal India 1556–1707.

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Or, expressing this idea more elaborately, we can say that the reduction in absorption can occur either through a rise in price relative to the money wage rate per efficiency unit of labour in the periphery or in the metropolis or in both; or it can occur through a decline in the money wage rate (or money income of petty producers) per efficiency unit of labour in the periphery or in the metropolis or in both. , when there is a rise in the nominal price of the commodities in the metropolis or in the periphery or in both.

One “natural unit” of labour becomes two “efficiency units” of labour. ” Obviously, if money wages per person increase in tandem with the rise in the person’s labour productivity, then the unit labour cost in money terms remains unchanged at any given level of output, so long as the unit labour input (in efficiency units) remains unchanged. And if in addition the nonlabour current inputs per unit output also remain unchanged, then there is no reason why the unit prime cost of production, and hence the unit supply price, should change over time.

This continuity arises from a certain structural relationship that characterizes capitalism but that, surprisingly, has received very little attention until now. Put differently, in addition to the capitalwage labour relationship, capitalism is characterized by an additional structural relationship, and “imperialism” refers to that structural relationship. That relationship necessarily has a spatial dimension and was as much a feature of the colonial period as it is of contemporary capitalism: its essence lies in the fact that capitalism, within which of course metropolitan capitalism has the predominant position, must, in its “spontaneous” operation, act in ways that tend to immiserate the traditional petty producers of the third world, who constitute the overwhelming bulk of the working population of these countries.

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