Australian governments and security analysts have long claimed that Australia exercises a sphere of influence in the South Pacific. This paper argues that this assertion of a sphere of influence is driven by a racial capitalist dialectic of possession and dispossession. This dialectic has legitimised and facilitated the expropriation of Pacific land, labour, resources and sovereignty for the building of the Australian settler colonial state. It is premised on geographic moralities consisting of intertwined white supremacist, antiblack, anti-Indigenous and anti-Asian ideologies which confer on Australia a right and obligation to assert influence over the Pacific based on geographic contiguity and racialised discourses of Pacific incapacity. The paper makes this argument using Aileen Moreton-Robinson’s notion of white possession, Nancy Fraser’s expanded conception of capitalism and Jos´e Martí’s concept of geographic morality, tracing the evolution of Australia’s sphere of influence politics over four periods: the imperial era, the Cold War period, the post-Cold War period until the 2010s, and the present era of inter-imperial rivalry between China and the United States. This analysis brings together perspectives from critical race and indigenous studies, critical geopolitics, and radical geopolitics to connect race, capitalism and the construction of geopolitical space in Australia’s assertion of a sphere of influence in the Pacific. It advances recent conceptual discussions of spheres of influence, which are race-blind because they draw on theories that foreground white subjectivity.