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29 DECEMBER 2003

Urban Theory: World Systems

"The idea of the world system arises out of neo–Marxist scholarship, particularly the work of Wallerstein [1,2,3]. For Wallerstein, the present world system emerged in the sixteenth century with the discovery by Europeans of the new world. This allowed the population of the European world to expand beyond its carrying capacity through importing resources to supplement those within the existing nations. This set in train a system of dependency and exploitation that led to the colonial expansion and the system of markets and dependencies shaping the world into 'core', semi–peripheral and peripheral nations. The core nations initially dominant were the maritime and later industrial powers of Europe; Britain, the Netherlands, Spain and France. The system was initally built around trade, within which the European powers explored and obtained commodities for sale in Europe. These included spices, silks, and new foods. The dominance of the core was secured through their wealth and their military and naval capacities. With the discovery of new worlds, migration then settlement occurred, firstly, of the Americas and later of Southern Africa and Australia and New Zealand. One of the consequences of this migration was to create what some have called dominion capitalist societies [4]. What characterised this group of countries was their dependency on land–based production. The beef ranches of Argentina and the sheep farms of Australia and New Zealand played a significant role in the chain of food production for the industrialising populations of Europe. A consequence of this particular pattern of production and its orientation to exporting has been a different pattern of urbanisation with cities being built on the coast and serving as entrepôt, transportation and service centres rather than bases for industrial production and attractors of rural domestic populations [5,6,7,8]. In New Zealand, for example, it was not until the post–second–world–war period that the indigenous population shifted from being rural to urban based. In 1945, the distribution was 74 per cent rural and 26 per cent urban. By 1971, this had reversed to 71 per cent urban and 29 per cent rural [9]."

(David C. Thorns, 2002, p. 81)

David C. Thorns (2002). "The Transformation of Cities", Palgrave Macmillan.

[1] Wallerstein, I.M. 1974. The Modern World–System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World Economy in the Sixteenth Century. New York: Academic Press.
[2] Wallerstein, I.M. 1979. The Capitalist World Economy: Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[3] Wallerstein, I.M. 2000. 'Globalisation or the Age of Transition? A Long–Term View of the Trajectory of the World System'. International Sociology 15, 249–65.
[4] Armstrong, W. 1980. 'Land, Class, Colonialism: The Origins of Dominion Capitalism'. In New Zealand and the World (ed.) W.E. Willmott. Christchurch: University of Canterbury
[5] Mullins, P. 1981. 'Theoretical Perspectives on Australian Urbanisation: Material Components in the Reproduction of Australian Labour Power: Australian and New Zealand journal of Sociology 17, 56–76.
[6] Berry, M. 1983, 'The Australian City in History: Critique and Renewal'. Urban Political Economy: The Australian Case (eds) L. Sandercock and M. Berry. Sydney: George Allen and Unwin.
[7] Berry, M. 1984. 'Urbanisation and Accumulation: Australia's First Long Bom Revisited'. Conflict and Development (ed.) P. Williams. Sydney: George Allen and Unwin.
[8] Denoon, D. 1983. Settler Capitalism: The Dynamics of Dependent Development in the Southern Hemisphere. Oxford: Pergamon.
[9] Thorns, D. and C. Sedgwick. 1997. Understanding Aotearoa. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press.

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TAGS

Aotearoa New ZealandArgentinaAustraliacapitalismcolonialismcommodityCommonwealthDavid C. Thornsdominion • entrepot • EuropeanexploitationFranceglobalisationIndigenousMaorimarketmigrationnationneo-MarxistNetherlands • peripheral • powerproductionruralsettlementSouth AfricaSpaintradetrajectorytransportationurbanisation • Wallerstein
30 NOVEMBER 2003

Futurist Manifesto: War is Beautiful

"For twenty–seven years we Futurists have rebelled against the branding of war as antiaesthetic.. . . Accordingly we state: ... War is beautiful because it establishes man's dominion over the subjugated machinery by means of gas masks, terrifying megaphones, flame throwers, and small tanks. War is beautiful because it initiates the dreamt–of metalization of the human body. War is beautiful because it enriches a flowering meadow with the fiery orchids of machine guns. War is beautiful because it combines the gunfire, the cannonades, the cease–fire, the scents, and the stench of putrefaction into a symphony. War is beautiful because it creates new architecture, like that of the big tanks, the geometrical formation flights, the smoke spirals from burning villages, and many others. . . . Poets and artists of Futurism! . . . remember these principles of an aesthetics of war so that your struggle for a new literature and a new graphic art ... may be illumined by them!"

(Walter Benjamin p.241–42.)

[Says Marinetti in his manifesto on the Ethiopian colonial war.]

Fig.1 "Funeral of the Anarchist Galli" by Carlo Carrà, 1911 in the Moma

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TAGS

1934brutalismdominionFilippo Tommaso MarinettiFuturism (art movement)historymanifesto • mortar shells • mustard gas • purging forcethe energy of the machineWalter Benjaminwar • war is beautif
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