[OPE-L:4697] Re: Re: Re: Imperialism

From: glevy@pratt.edu
Date: Thu Dec 14 2000 - 15:31:27 EST

Re Paul C's [OPE-L4669]:

You seem to assume (see below) that military rivalry is a _sine qua non_ for inter-imperialist rivalry. What is the basis for the assertion that military rivalry is a *necessary* rather than a *contingent* feature of inter-imperialist rivalries?

> > When did inter-imperialist rivalries disappear?
>  with the surrender of the Japanese empire to General McArthur
> >Couldn't one
> > argue that the relationship between Japanese and US capital
> > could be said to constitute an inter-imperialist rivalry?
> Not since the Japanese surrendered.
> An imperialist japan would never have tolerated US troops on
> her soil, or a fleet without aircraft carriers.
> >Isn't the
> > relation between the US and the European Union an
> > inter-imperialist rivalry?
> No, because the armed forces of Europe, with the partial
> exception of France are under US command through nato.
> Hence the US defence secretaries annoyance over proposals
> for an embryonic general staff for the EU rapid reaction force. 
> No again, because there is no attempt to conquer parts of the
> third world and divide them up into European and American
> empires.
> >This would seem to me to be the case
> > despite the proliferation of trans-national corporations and the
> > existence of	the U.N. , NATO, and similar international
> > organizations. 
> One should not toy with the notion of imperialism.
> 50 to 100 million people lost their lives in the two imperialst
> wars in the first half of the 20th century. The UN, NATO, and
> the rivalry between the capitalist and socialist blocks meant
> that imperialist wars did not occur in the 2nd half of the
> century.
> The whole strategy of commintern had been based upon the
> inevitablility of new imperialist wars. War was seen as the
> match that would light revolution.
> This was realistic.

The Communist International under Zinoviev and Lenin did not advance this analysis. For them, at the time of the founding of the CI ,revolution was on the immediate agenda in a number of countries. Indeed, there were a number of such revolutions, e.g. in Bavaria in 1918 and Hungary in 1919. In other words, they did not argue that imperialist wars were the *only* "match that would light revoltion".

> The end of imperialist wars was the saving of capitalism

How so?

> I would define imperialism either now or in the past as a process
> by which an economically politically and militarilly advanced state
> conquers other less developed territories with a view to > economically
> exploiting them.

If that is your definition, could it be said that the US is the *only* imperialist power? Of course, the UK and France have a military ... but it is questionable how "advanced" those military institutions are at the current time. 

A question a little closer to your home: is the UK an imperialist power in relation to Northern Ireland? 

In solidarity, Jerry

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