: : 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.
From my understanding, the Brits took raw materials out of America and re-exported them back as finished products. Is that capitalism too? I know that the Spaniards took precious metals, primarily, out of the new world to fill their treasury believing that this was 'wealth'.
OK, let's shift gears. 100 years hence. Socialism is universal. Inter-country and inter-continental trading has survived societal upheavals. In the absence of capitalism, how do some countries, especially those that today cannot offer anything but raw materials to the rest of the world, deal w/ other countries that are more developed? Won't the more developed nations set some sort of 'fair'price on commodities from the less developed nations?