Imperialism and Financialism: A Story of a Nexus

Shimshon Bichler, Jonathan Nitzan
2012 Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies  
Over the past century, the nexus of imperialism and financialism has become a major axis of Marxist theory and praxis. Many Marxists consider this nexus to be a cause of worldly ills, but the historical role they ascribe to it has changed dramatically over time. The key change concerns the nature and direction of surplus and liquidity flows. The first incarnation of the nexus, articulated at the turn of the twentieth century, explained the imperialist scramble for colonies to which finance
more » ... which finance capital could export its 'excessive' surplus. The next version posited a neo-imperial world of monopoly capitalism where the core's surplus is absorbed domestically, sucked into a 'black hole' of military spending and financial intermediation. The third script postulated a World System where surplus is imported from the dependent periphery into the financial core. And the most recent edition explains the hollowing out of the U.S. core, a 'red giant' that has already burned much of its own productive fuel and is now trying to 'financialize' the rest of the world in order to use the system's external liquidity. This paper outlines this chameleon-like transformation, assesses what is left of the nexus and asks whether it is worth keeping.
doaj:570c468be35a4cfc85c4c3754d940cd7 fatcat:7ohjbasnvzb4ldjz7jahxlo7qy