The first Marxist theories of capitalist geopolitics emerged in the early 20th century as theories of imperialism and uneven and combined development. They were also the first theories of capitalist geopolitics.
While they explained the intensification of imperialism through new interpenetrations of politics and economics in national states and economies, the revival of Marxist thinking about capitalist geopolitics in the English-speaking world in recent decades suffers from a pure, purely economic, conception of capitalism, uncontaminated by politics, by nation-states.
It is, as a consequence, also a cosmopolitan conception of capitalism. In it the very object of study disappears. This article argues that it does so because so many Marxists have come to share the cosmopolitan biases of mainstream thinking by accepting the discourses of ‘globalization’ and ’empire’ and shows how this is so in the case of two pioneers of the recent revival of Marxist geopolitical thinking, Justin Rosenberg and Benno Teschke.