- Capitalism and Alternatives -

To the best of my (limited) knowledge

Posted by: Barry Stoller on February 10, 19100 at 10:43:58:

In Reply to: The Congo, again (yes NJ, avert thine eyes). posted by Frenchy on February 09, 19100 at 23:20:19:

: Nickel Jack often uses the example of King Leopold II's claiming the Congo basin for his own use at the turn of the last century as an example of Capitalism.

: 1. Considering that raw material was being taken out of a country (the Congo) for processing in another country (Belgium), wouldn't Mercantalism more accurately describe King Leopold's actions?

Not an area I have much experience with. So, I'll speak only very conditionally.

Taking raw materials from one (usually industrially undeveloped) nation to process in another (usually industrially advanced) nation is the epitome of capitalist relations of the imperialist era.

Mercantilism (17th century trade) presupposed exporting (through merchant mediators) primarily finished commodities. The advanced countries of the Mercantile era did not usually 'process' these commodities (to valorise more surplus value), they merely consumed them. There was little industrial development in this era and, while capitalism did exist, it was primitive, i.e. expropriated little labor through the production process.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup