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Hawaiians have been exploited by the United States and its capitalist model of society at least since the earlier 20th century. But, to what extent and in what ways do Hawaiians today embrace or reject the continuing expansion of American capitalism and its processes of alienation, gentrification and exploitation? Do they believe that the latter are symptoms of capitalism or do they see capitalism a positive force disconnected to the exploitation of the land and its people? Hawaiians continue to endure economic displacement, living in a socially ruinous and only semi-democratic capitalist society. Productive activity in Hawaii is centered on surplus value and the full commercialization of life. Hawaiians are attempting to resist this situation by creating schools that teach life as it is imagined before the US occupation, presenting the narrative that there can be a form of life that isn’t American capitalism. For those involved in this Hawaiian resistance, capitalism is rejected as a source of and fuel for colonialism and economic exploitation. The counter-resistance movement, however, claims that without the tourist industry and broader capitalist expansion, Hawaiians would not have even the minimal income that they do. In this research, I analyze this debate and demonstrate how the latter position is an expression of capitalist ideology against the forces of resistance of the former.



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Capitalist Expansion in Hawaii