Return of the City State
Date: Saturday, October 08 2005
Cities crucial to Canada's success with emerging Indian, Chinese markets: PM
Paul Martin has put the cart before the horse. In reality Cities in Canada and around the world pre-date the State. The brutal capitalist competition he forecasts between metropols, is the result of the expansion of state captialism world wide, where the hinterlands are being dispossesed of population forcibly emigrated to cities to become proletarians.
This is another aspect of capitalist globalization, the creation of super cities, which began 160 years ago as originally described by Engels in his, The Condition of the Working Class in England. The Metropols are reflections of the State and its Monopoly Capitalist mode of reproduction, they are not the City States of old, which had sovereignty and autonomy. They are the branch plants of the Nation State era of Monopoly Capitalism, transmission belts of power over the citizens, not power of the citizens. This then is the end of the era of colonialism, as national Capitols become Capital, as the City of London and New York once did with their stock exchanges and banking houses (hence the capitalist trade centre in London is known as 'the City' and in NY its 'Wall Street').
Martin is merely revealing the shift in global capitalism from the era of the nation state to the era of the metropolis. As capital has moved Westward through the eras of Imperial colonialism, nation state ( Hobsbawm), and the American Century it now ends up ironically in the Asian Pacific. What was begun 500 years ago with Columbus ends up with Capital now being situated in the newly industrializing nations of the Asian Pacific. Capital will now situate itself as National Capitol with competiton as Martin points out between the old world centres of London, New York, Toronto, against the new world captial(s) Peking, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. What had been the nature of the city in the 19th Century is now writ large across the face of the world. The urban landscape of the working class in London in Engels time is now the urban landscape of Jakarta.
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