Profits, Coercion, and Resistance

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin .... No. 1385 .... March 20, 2017
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Profits, Coercion, and Resistance

An Introduction to the symposium on Blood of Extraction: Canadian Imperialism in Latin America

Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber

An article published in Third World Quarterly in 2008 was our initiation into collaborative work on Canadian mining imperialism and the popular forms of resistance it systematically engenders in Latin America. The first seed. After a lengthy stretch of germination, this led almost a decade later to our new book, Blood of Extraction: Canadian Imperialism in Latin America. In the preliminary stages, when Blood of Extraction wasn't even yet a fully-fledged idea, Todd was working on the manuscript which would become Imperialist Canada (2010), and Jeff was trying to map out the cycle of left-indigenous revolt in early twenty-first century... Bolivia and the rise to the presidency of Evo Morales. This eventually took shape in Red October: Left-Indigenous Struggles in Modern Bolivia (2011), and From Rebellion to Reform: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation, and the Politics of Evo Morales (2011).

Focused collaboration on Blood of Extraction began in earnest in 2010, and in many ways flows logically out of those earlier books. Imperialist Canada sought to explain Canada's settler-colonial and capitalist foundations in the racist dispossession of indigenous peoples and its eventual rise to a secondary imperialist power within the hierarchical world-capitalist system. Through the prism of Bolivian history, Red October and From Rebellion to Reform, meanwhile, tackled questions of Latin America's subordinate incorporation into the world market, the historical formation of capitalist states in the region, and the often radical struggles of subaltern classes and oppressed groups within, against, and beyond domestic capitalist states and the machinations of various imperialisms.

Our fundamental analytical and empirical concern in Blood of Extraction is the role assumed by the Canadian state within the worldwide system of capitalist imperialism in relation to Latin America. Capitalist imperialism is characterized by deep structural inequalities between regions and countries of the world. These inequalities are exacerbated by the uneven development of global capitalist relations, and are reproduced through the active policies adopted by imperialist states and powerful international financial institutions (IFIs), such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Capitalist imperialism involves the draining of the wealth and resources of poorer countries to the benefit of capital of the Global North, at the cost of the majority of the peoples of the Global South.

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