Is Imperialism Really Necessary? Part II


  • Harry Magdoff



Imperialism, Political Economy


As noted in Part One, the Critics base their interpretation of the current state of U.S. imperialism on what they consider to be the relative smallness of private investment in the underdeveloped world. We have tried to show that the economic involvement is considerably larger than one would infer merely from the statistics on direct foreign private investment. However, one needs to dig deeper. While the relative size of a particular economic sector is important, it is by no means the only consideration. It is necessary to understand the influence of the sector on the dynamics of an economy in motion. For example, the stock market in and of itself is a relatively small part of the U.S. economy. Yet what goes on in the stock market far exceeds its insignificant "statistical" contribution to the gross national product. The availability of this gambling casino is of the very essence of an advanced capitalist system. In addition, speculative fervor on the upside of the market can act as a goad and prop to boom and inflation, while panic among speculators can spark and intensify a major economic decline.





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