The Official James Petras website


Empire building and rule: U.S. and Latin America


Except for some intellectual dinosaurs, many writers, journalists and academics have re-introduced the concept of imperialism into their analysis of the structure of world power. The earlier discussions focusing on “hegemony” have proven inadequate in explaining the US empire builders’ new emphasis on military coercion, invasion and occupation and rule by force.

June 25, 2003

Fifty years ago the Economic Commission on Latin America (CEPAL) described the world economy in terms of “center” and “periphery”, twenty years later world-system theorists added a semi-periphery. These terms, long devoid of any historical, class or state specificity are no longer found useful by most critical writers in the contemporary world.

All the major questions we face today regarding the nature and direction of international power relations, the nature of the multiplying conflicts, conquests and resistance revolve around the nature and dynamics of imperialism – particularly the most powerful and aggressive imperial power, the United States of America.

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