TWENTIETH CENTURY CAPITALISM IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: THE BALANCE SHEET
Main Article Content
Global issues have to be addressed globally. This essay proposes to evaluate the role of capital from Japan in the historical development of capitalism in twentieth century Southeast Asia. At the off-set a distinction should be made between usury capital, merchant capital and production capital. It is the establishment and expansion of production capital in this century that transformed social relations and created a new social order that differed from those in previous centuries. The global incorporation of Southeast Asia is a recent phenomena and the global history of the region is still in the making. The 'civilizing role' of modern capital is the incorporation of vast territories and the subjugation and reconstitution of ancient civilizations to serve the production and expanded reproduction of capital. The initial subjugation of Southeast Asia was the result of the global expansion of competing industrial capital originating in Europe. In the nineteenth century Britain, France, Holland and towards the end of that century the United States of America colonialized the Kingdom of Burma, the Malay Sultanates of the Malay Peninsula; the Kingdoms of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam that made the Indo-Chinese peninsula: the Malay archipelagic islands with its many kingdoms that stretched in a long arc from west to east across Southeast Asia and on the eastern frontier that set of over 7,000 islands that stood in a north-south axis from Luzon to Mindanao.
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