Comment 27346

By Undustrtial (anonymous) | Posted November 19, 2008 at 11:32:26

The rise of capitalism as a dominant economic system is only 2, at most 3 hundred years old. Before that markets existed, but were constrained by state regulations, guilds, feudal, imperial or communal land ownership etc. Markets and trade do not necessarily equal capitalism - capitalism is markets and trade in the context of the private ownership (and market trade) of capital.

And in no sense am I saying that globalization does not have counterveiling tendencies (though it's pretty obvious that they're usually simply ideological and have been losing the battle pretty seriously for millenia), just that what we know as "globalization", rather than simply a current of global integration, is a more specific pattern of institutions (WTO, IMF, UN etc), policies (NAFTA, etc) and resulting cultural and economic homogenization.

And as for whether imperialism was a net cost or a net drain on the Brits...that depends which Brits. The merchant class - those who became the capitalists, certainly got *very* rich off it. Other classes...maybe not so much so.

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