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Lecture 16

POLS 2200 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Comprador, United Nations Conference On Trade And Development, Walt Whitman Rostow

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 2200
Cindy Clarke

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POLS2200 International Relations 11/1/16
From last class: Hair India Documentary
See people give hair which is then auctioned off
Sorted in factory, then overseas to Italy, further sorted
Then sold globally, partly to US bundle of hair for $4000
Creates a class structure
o The Hindus donating their hair
o The workers in the factory
o The businessmen at the top (owner in Italy capitalist) and upper class editor who
bought it
Periphery: resources and labour to the benefit of the core
See variety of classes globally
Also see how this global class system that capitalism creates is also reproduced within the
countries themselves
o Within India: there is a wealthier elite and those that donated their hair
How does exploitation break down/pervades culture?
o Global South and Global North
o Women were doing most of the work and men that benefited (gender exploitation)
The eakest i soiet are ore eploited tha others – why are women
more exploited here?
You can pay them less and get away with it
**two questions on final exam**
Economic Structuralism: Theoretical Roots and Dependency Theory
Intellectual Roots of Economic Structuralism
Not all economic structuralists are Marxists, however, all economic structuralists owe an
intellectual debt to Karl Marx (1818-1883)
What are the foundations of Marxism?
o First and foremost, Marx understood history as moving towards the final self-realization
and fulfillment of Communism the end of history would be a communist society (a
classless society in which each produces according to his or her ability and receives or
consumes according to need)
Pinnacle of history would be a communist, classless society
o History, according to Marx, is driven by economics and, in particular, class conflict
generated by the advance of technology from ancient times to present day
o Each economic stage in history has its own mode of production (the organization of
society for the production of goods)
Marx identified slavery, feudalism and capitalism as three modes of production
that superseded each other historically
Society is organized by way of how they produce goods in each phase
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POLS2200 International Relations 11/1/16
Ex. class structure in feudalism is very different from that in capitalism as they
have very different ways of production
Means of Production and Class
What is the relationship between the means of production and class structure?
Each mode of production has its own means of production (the physical factors essential to the
production of goods)
o The capitalist means of production would be factories and machines, for example
o Does not include human capital, such as labour
The means of production produce different classes
o Classes are defined by their relations to the means of production (the combination of
land, labour and capital)
o Under the feudal system, the aristocracy was defined by its ownership of land and the
serfs/peasants were defined by their labour on the land
o Under capitalism, the bourgeoisie is defined by its ownership of capital (physical and
financial) and the proletariat/working class by its labour
Historical change from one mode of production comes about as a result of class conflict and
usually involves violence
o Out of this conflict would emerge a new mode of production and history would move
onwards and upwards
Marx thought of history as moving through phases
How does class conflict happen according to Marx and why?
Each mode of production, such as capitalism, has its own inherent patterns and mechanisms of
For Marx, history is a dialectic processthere are contradictions within each mode of
production, as these contradictions resolve themselves, history moves forward
Capitalism has its own contradictions that can only be resolved through a proletariat revolution
What did Marx mean by that?
o In capitalism, the bourgeoisie must exploit the proletariat in order to make profit
o The proletariat sells his/her labour for less and less
Outsourcing labour to Asia for cheap labour
Mechanization to eliminate jobs
Ma outries’ iiu wage has not moved despite inflation
Crushing of unions
o The less he earns, the less he can buy
o Owners of means of production must find a solution to the stockpiling of goods, one of
which is to lower wages and try to sell for less
o Until finally there is a proletariat revolution and the contradiction is resolved and history
moves to the next mode of production
Social welfare programs mask the exploitation good for capitalists
Proletariat could be blind to this exploitation because of these programs
Marxists talk about a thesis and an antithesis eventually creating a synthesis which is the new
thesis and creates its own antithesis (due to the inherent contradiction) and so on
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POLS2200 International Relations 11/1/16
How about the state? How do Marxists view the state?
Society consists of two parts: the base and the superstructure
The base comprises the relations of production and the forces of production
o The relations of production are the classes and the roles they play in economic or
productive activities
o Forces of production are the bodies, brains, materials, tools, etc. needed for production
The base determines the superstructure (although the superstructure also influences the base
to be discussed later)
o The superstructure of a society includes the state as well as its cultures, institutions,
political system, rituals, etc.
o So the superstructure changes if the base changes as a result of revolution
o What is the link between the base and superstructure?
They believe that the superstructure reflects the base because of two things:
1. Products of the base
2. All the institutions in society are influenced by that base and instill values in all of us to
accept that base and not question them
Constantly being socialized to accept the system the way it is
In Terms of IR
The state is not viewed as a sovereign entity preoccupied with security concerns as in realism
o It is merely in the superstructure
The state is understood in terms of its role in the process of capitalist accumulation
o It is looked at in the role it plays in fostering capitalism
A state is examined in terms of how it fits into the overall global capitalist system
Seen as earliest example of global exploitation
Marx saw capitalism as a worldwide mode of production
His ideas were then applied by others and more fully developed into theories of imperialism
What is imperialism?
o Imperialism is defined different ways expansion of a state economically, militarily,
influentially etc.
o At its heart is the concept of domination and exploitation
o For Marx, it was economic domination
o It meant an international, hierarchical division of labour between rich and poor regions
of the world
o Lying underneath of the colonial period of domination was exploitation
o The relations between the two are relations of exploitation (not comparative advantage
as the liberals believe)
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