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Lecture 7

SOC102H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Global Brain, Economic Globalization, Dependency Theory

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Lecture 7:
Colonialism and the
Wealth of Nations
Many Mediterranean countries in EU are on edge of bankruptcy
Religious and cultural struggle between these countries do not share the same values / ideas on where
to spend money
All the countries are lenders and borrowers of money
Said it is the beginning of a new German empire they are becoming the dominant voice of EU given
their current, healthy economic position
What is the relationship between debtors and creditors?
Several aspects of social inequality linked to colonization.
o Differentiation (as with Orientalism)
o Economic exploitation
o Political domination
o Racialization
o Victimization troops sent to save Iraqi civiliams kill them in the process (probably not
o Regions mainly geographical, economic, and ecological units
Share common ecology, lifestyle, culture
Sometimes within nations, sometimes across nations
o Nations political units, often coincide with state
Sometimes within a society, nation is separate from state
Quebec as French-speaking “nation” of Canada
o Empires
Historical role of colonialism (in Canada and elsewhere)
o Canada is an unintended result of Brit and French colonial wars “accidental creation”
o Happened through displacement and murder of people living in place being economically opened
up; colonizing powers seeking resources
o After colonizing powers leave, all sorts of crazy things happen and the area is difficult to become a
o Canada is a nation, but it has no national identity
Ex. Nothing in common between Nova Scotia and Alberta (other than in same country)
Nations often require nationalism to achieve national unity
o Nationalism: an emphasis on the nation-state above all else
o National character - USA! USA! USA!”;; strong identification of nation-state and WITH nation-
Absent in Canada
Bad side in nationalism: people feel SUPERIOR over other nations
Ethnic nationalism
o Ethnically homogenous (sharing of language, culture, view citizenship as blood being born to
people from that country in that country)
o Difficult to accept outsiders (ex. immigrant)
Nationalism: a form of parochialism
o USA said to be a civil religion
Set of beliefs associated with nation-state
There are rituals, ceremonies, deep emotional attachment, ritual objects
Things you find normally in religion are found in civil religion of USA
o Accomplish goal of unity using technique of religion despite lack of ethnic homogeneity
Religious nationalism
o Nations need something to hold them together across diversity of region, ethnicity, etc. in order
for political unit to act unified, in order to assume/take advantage of people willing to make
o Nationalism can do this. Modern source of solidarity
o If you can’t rely on religion, you rely on nationalism to get people together
Nationalism fills the value vacuum
o Tremendous vacuum created by collapse of official Marxism-Leninism in post-communist Russia
Problem with nationalism is that it tends to parochialism self-congratulatory, expansionalist POV
going out and telling other countries what to do
Defining colonialism
o Establishment by more-developed countries of formal political control over less-developed areas
Colonialism = imperialism
o is nationhood gone abroad
o imperialism means empire building, intent on building an empire
o historically via. Military, presently can be via economically through borrowing money from a
country (indebtedness)
The death of traditional colonialism
Imperialism: what is it?
o ANY control/domination of less-developed by more-developed countries
Theories about the causes of imperialism
o Schumpeter imperialism is about military wanting to go out and steal stuff,
Marxist theories of imperialism
o Capitalism is by nature expansionalist
Capitalist countries will always be expanding out of its country
Dealing with capitalism will require dealing with it in ALL countries (not just 1_
o Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism
Strategic or Political theories
o Went down beat everybody so they couldn’t beat you up
Neo-colonialism: a related concept
o dominant/subordinate relations still reminant after collapse of empire, still a relation in terms of
Not maintained by military presence but through
The centre and periphery
o Explains relations of exchange (esp. economic)
Shows “One is rich, other is poor, one is advantaged, other disadvantaged etc.”
o Flow of capital from periphery to capital
o Flow of raw materials from periphery to capital
o People in periphery are encouraged to view American goods as superior westernization
wanting to emulate American, British lifestyle, cultures
Cultural domination follows economic domination
Role of transnational corporations
o Who are the main actors here? Whose doing exploiting?
Are they nation states as in days of colonialism, or are they multinational corporations
o In an age where you have multinational corporations, do you really need nation-states any more?
(some corporations have greater profits than the nation states) do you really need your country
Dependency theory: a related view
o Theories of EFFECTS of imperial / colonial behaviour
o Failure of Third World states results from their dependence on advanced capital world
Capitalists need these states to depend on them so that they can keep reaping profits
Gunder FRANK: major contributor to dependency theory
o Result of systematic interference of colonial powers in economic development of colonial country
o Stagnation
Major flaws of this theory
o Overemphasis on economic factors
The asian tigers:
The dominant ideology since 1980: neo-liberalism
o Argues for freeing up markets (free trade, unregulated markets) by cutting public spending
Explosion of poverty will eventually trickled down
The neo-liberal idea in development
How does trade affect relation between strong and weak power
o Strong will rip off and underdevelop the weak power
As the neo-liberal ideology would demand, free trade eliminates barriers but always
favours stronger party
Supposed to make it easy for labour and money to go across borders; GOOD for upper
class, not so much working people
Neo-liberal ideology is committed to weakening state they are the interference with free, economic
o States will interfere with this mechanism that ensures prosperity for all
Wallerstein’s search for a world0sysems theory
Core states
o Controlling base of world economy
o Dominant forms of economic production: Wage labour, self-employment
o Bureaucratic organizations emerg with expansive control
Peripheral states: feature slavery and feudal relations
o Peasants and workers are exploited by capitalists of core states
People in different states have different relations to means of production and to each other
o Make the core rich at expense to peripheral
Flows of power and resources
o A system of hierarchical relationships
All units tied together by relations of exchange and control
Final words on world systems
Still too little attention to the role of ideas in national development
o Why do normal people think they are rich/poor? Why don’t they riot more often?
o Why aren’t people rioting to against what is happening to them?
Consider the history of regions, nations, and empire in North America
o HAROLD INNIS: colonial history of Canada based on west-ward moving resource extraction
Staples Theory Harold Innis