This picture, by Anselm Keifer, hangs in Tate Modern in London and, IMHO, is alone worth going to that museum. It hangs (from memory) a solid 5 meters wide by 3 meters high. When standing close to it, much like with impressionists, all you see is dabs of color and twisted wire coming directly out of the picture. Take 10 steps back and you see a breathtaking bird’s-eye-view of a city fading into grayness… There was something overwhelming about it…
Had an interesting talk with Z yesterday, which resulted in this question. Suppose you have a country A that is hungry and country B that has a terrible economy but furtile land. Now suppose that country A sets up a channel with country B (trade channel, free-trade agreement, etc.). Members of country B realize they can make money from exports to country A. They start growing crops, make money, and the economy adjusts towards capitalism. Now suppose that country A is capitalist in nature. Has it just expanded its influence onto B by virtue of creating a market? Now suppose that A is America and B is any country that can provide some goods to America. By creating a market for those goods has America expanded its imperialist influence?
My opinion? Capitalist imperialism doesn’t exist because capitalism is a cold drive for effeciency. Or rather capitalist imperialism exists as much as democratic imperialism which exists as ideological imperialism. If I show someone that 2 + 2 is 4 when they didn’t previously know, have I just colonized?
On the other hand, while imperialism to me is a silly notion, analysis of inlfuence is a valid and complex question that should be debated and that will always, IMHO, end up in a delicate balance between social and economic intertests.