31 October 2010

Absent some general restraining power

When we speak about the export of power behind the export of capital as the fundamental innovation of imperialism what we are talking about is the use of that power for the expropriation of natural resources. 
The reason imperialism became irresistible to all the European colonial powers is because it is very lucrative to benefit from the plunder of the natural resources of another's territory. Absent some general restraining power to prohibit such plunder, and given the competitive character of political and military life for the great powers in Europe, none of the colonial powers could afford to resist the possibilities and national advantages imperialism presented. 

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