[OPE-L:6688] Re: Re: Re: RE: Re: Imperialism

From: Claus Magno Germer (cmgermer@sociais.ufpr.br)
Date: Sat Mar 09 2002 - 07:52:18 EST

I agree that it is necessary to deepen our understanding of the meaning of imperialism today. The posts by Alfredo and others about the subject indicate the need to start with an attempt to conceptualize imperialism, and I think Lenin's methodological approach in this respect goes in the right direction.

According to Lenin, imperialism should be conceptualized as a historical phase of development of capitalism. In this sense he critiqued Kautsky's understanding of imperialism as a policy of dominant capitalist countries towards 'agrarian' countries or regions which they exploited.

Objective characteristics of the phase into which capitalism entered at the end of the 19th century were, according to Lenin: monopolisation of capital, development of the credit system and of finance capital, export of capital by monopoly finance capital, division of the world among capitalist powers, which led to war. I think the important point in Lenin's approach is that imperialism is not conceptualised as just the exploitation or oppression of less developped countries or regions. Imperialism designtes instead the international shape of capitalist relations under the objective conditions mentioned above, which comprises the competitive clash between national bourgeoisies of the capitalis powers at the international sphere, not only between themselves directly but also between them and both the less developped capitalist and non-capitalist countries or regions around the world.

The question today would be: has capitalism entered into a new phase of its development, different from the one described by Lenin, corresponding to the beginnings of the 20th century?

Saludos a todos,

Claus Germer
Departamento de Economia
Curso de Mestrado e Doutorado em 
Desenvolvimento Econômico
Universidade Federal do Parana
Rua Dr. Faivre, 405 - 3º andar
80060-140 Curitiba - Parana

Tel: 55 (41) 360-5214 - Univ.
      55 (41) 254-3415 - Res. (Home)
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Alejandro Valle Baeza 
  To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu 
  Sent: Friday, March 08, 2002 7:34 AM
  Subject: [OPE-L:6682] Re: Re: RE: Re: Imperialism

  I agree with Alfredo about the convinence and importance of discussing economic dimension of imperialism.  I suggest one inicial point:

  Are there recent developments on "unequal exchange"or any other import economic issue related to imperialism?
  I will send my self some references to ope-l soon.

  Saludos a todos

  Alejandro Valle Baeza

  Asfilho@aol.com wrote:

    I agree with Julian that we ought to search for an *economic* dimension of imperialism. This is an urgent task. Anwar Shaikh has made very important contributions to the critique of neoclassical trade theory, and perhaps his analysis can contribute to the development of a theory of unequal exchange that avoids the critiques commonly raised against Emmanuel's work. 

    Unequal exchange and imperialism are topics that we must face. Politically they are immensely important. 

    I do not have an answer to these questions. But perhaps we can think together about this. 

    By the way, a friend reminded me yesterday that this is the 100th anniversary of the publication of Hobson's "Imperialism". 


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