Many thanks to Claus for his 6728. I don't think I disagree with what Claus says in his message. In response to his specific questions: >1) would the characteristics outlined by Lenin be a part of an *economic theory* of imperialism as an *international power structure*? I haven't got Lenin's book with me but, as far as I can tell, it is the former rather than the latter. In my view Lenin (based on Hilferding, Hobson, etc) was trying to outline economic developments (roughly and imprecisely speaking "developments in the productive forces") that would, "in the last instance", explain political shifts, for example imperialist expansion and colonisation. The international power structure, in this context, follows from the economic developments and is ultimately explained by them. >2) how in your opinion do the *the pre-requisites for a theory of imperialism ... [like - CMG] a theory of the state, of foreign trade and of *unequal exchange** relate to the characteristics mentioned by Lenin? I don't know! This is precisely the point. I think much has been done in these areas (especially the theory of the state) by marxists recently, but the theory of trade and the analysis of exploitation through trade, in particular, remains underdeveloped. With these theories plus historical analyses we may be able to identify certain threads running across different forms of imperialism. **For example**: Ellen Meiksins Wood - if I understand her correctly - claims that one of the most important differences between old-style (colonial) imperialism and modern imperialism is that the former is based on non-economic forms of exploitation and compulsion, whereas the latter is based on economic forms of exploitation. This type of classification has obvious parallels with exploitation in capitalism vis-a-vis other modes of production. I think this is a *very valuable* insight, that has a lot to contribute to a theory of imperialism. alfredo.
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