[OPE-L:4561] Re: RE: Imperialism

From: Paul Cockshott (paul@cockshott.com)
Date: Wed Nov 22 2000 - 08:41:07 EST

On Tue, 21 Nov 2000, you wrote:
> Paul raised a new topic. 

> Chai-on replies to the above not to discontinue his issues:
> -------------------------
> (1) Yes, I think Marx's and Lenin's categories are still valid. Would 
>you please indicate what aspects or points conflict with Marx's 
>and Lenin's concepts and categories in the first place?  

Marx does not use the concept of imperialism as an analytical category.
I think that Lenin and the commintern were broadly correct in their
characterisation of the early years of the 20th century as one
dominated by imperialist rivalries, and that these rivalries were the
cause of the first and second world wars.

The empires of that period however, all broke up during the 3rd
quarter of the 20th century, terminating with the collapse of the
Portuguese empire in 1975. From the period in which empires
were in decline - say starting in 1948 with Indian indepence 
to 1975 inter-imperialist rivalry and the struggle to re-divide the
world ceased to be an important factor of world politics. Obsession
with the categories appropriate to the first half of the century
was a serious handicap to the socialist movement world wide.

> (2) There is a constraint in the imperialists' rivalry. 
>Nuclear weapons make the world peace inevitable. 
>Small scale warfares in the
>third world, however, cannot be dispensed with. 
>'Super imperialism' is still an illusion. >  

I am not sure about this myself. The following seem to be
indicators of 'super-imperialism'
1. The WTO
2. Collaboration by all the main capitalist countries in the
    war with Iraq ( reminiscent of the concert of the great
    powers in supressing the Boxer rebellion 100 years earlier).

However this still leaves open the possibility that we are in another
belle-epoque, that will degenerate back into overt imperialism later
this century.

> (3) Internal or domestic feuds
and strifes are more likely than international warfare. International peace
will follow despite international intervention into domestic conflicts are
intensified. But will the US have a justified excuse for the intervention? >  >

chai-on -- 
 Paul Cockshott, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland
0141 330 3125  mobile:07946 476966

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