The Wealth of (Some) Nations

Imperialism and the Mechanics of Value Transfer

In this provocative new study, Zak Cope makes the case that capitalism is empirically inseparable from imperialism, historically and today. Using a rigourous political economic framework, he lays bare the vast ongoing transfer of wealth from the poorest to the richest countries through the mechanisms of monopoly rent, unequal exchange and colonial tribute. Les mer
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In this provocative new study, Zak Cope makes the case that capitalism is empirically inseparable from imperialism, historically and today. Using a rigourous political economic framework, he lays bare the vast ongoing transfer of wealth from the poorest to the richest countries through the mechanisms of monopoly rent, unequal exchange and colonial tribute. The result is a polarised international class structure with a relatively rich Global North and an impoverished, exploited Global South.

Cope makes the controversial claim that it is because of these conditions that workers in rich countries benefit from higher incomes and welfare systems with public health, education, pensions and social security. As a result, the internationalism of populations in the Global North is weakened and transnational solidarity is compromised.

The only way forward, Cope argues, is through a renewed anti-imperialist politics rooted in a firm commitment to a radical labour internationalism.

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