EU-U.S. Military Relations and the Question of the Transnational Capitalist Class

Iraklis Oikonomou

This research note examines whether the status of EU-U.S. military relations confirms the increasingly popular notion of a transnational capitalist class, integrated on a global scale and accompanied by the cessation of interimperialist rivalry. It focuses on two cases: formation of the European Security and Defense Policy and the setting-up of an EU armaments policy as well as the respective transatlantic struggles over the nature of these two policies. It concludes by highlighting empirical inconsistencies in the transnationalist argument, as demonstrated by the continuation of transatlantic competition over the formation of a separate EU military-industrial identity.

Instead of the formation of a global capitalist class, current developments in EU-U.S. military relations point to a territorially bounded capitalist internationalization. Heralded as a new leap in Marxist theory, transnationalism is in fact a dead end, to the extent that it is unable to interpret a new wave of political, economic, and strategic competition among the great capitalist metropolises of our time.

Rethinking Marxism
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2011