RE: [OPE] Britain--parasitic and decaying capitalism: A comment

From: <>
Date: Wed Jan 13 2010 - 11:16:41 EST

Jerry is of course correct to point out Paul C's incorrect understanding of
imperialism. If I may quote from my article Britain: parasitic and decaying
capitalism, Lenin makes clear the relation between economic, political and
military power:

'These changes in economic strength must eventually lead to a redivision of
the world according to economic power. Lenin was very precise about this

'The capitalists divide the world, not out of any particular malice, but
because the degree of concentration which has been reached forces them to
adopt this method in order to obtain profits. And they divide it “in
proportion to capital”, “in proportion to strength”, because there cannot
be any other method of division under commodity production and capitalism.
But strength varies with the degree of economic and political development.
In order to understand what is taking place, it is necessary to know what
questions are settled by the changes in strength. The question as to
whether these changes are “purely” economic or non-economic (e.g.,
military) is a secondary one, which cannot in the least affect fundamental
views on the latest epoch of capitalism. To substitute the question of the
form of the struggle and agreements (today peaceful, tomorrow warlike, the
next day warlike again) for the question of the substance of the struggle
and agreements between capitalist associations is to sink to the role of a
sophist’. (Imperialism, the … CW 22 p252/3)

David Yaffe

At 14:27 13/01/2010 +0100, you wrote:

> > Surely the difference is pragmatic. A state becomes imperialistic once
> it> has the political or military might along with the motive to impose
> > governments of its own chosing in other countries.
>Hi Paul C:
>I think you place above too heavy a determining role on state policies.
>Yes, obviously, there's a connection under imperialism between
>capital and the state, but imperialism is not a state-form. And
>imperialism can - and does - exist even where states are not able
>to impose governments on other countries through military or other
>means. I think you are confusing one form of imperialism with
>imperialism in general under late capitalism.
>Let's take an example: Sweden. I would say that Sweden *IS* an
>imperialist nation - even though it does not have an aggressive
>and expansionist military and does not have the will or the
>ability to impose governments on other nations. To understand
>how a country like Sweden, Canada, New Zealand, Australia,
>Switzerland, Belgium, etc. are currently imperialist (rather
>than simply former colonial powers) you have to look at a number
>of economic relationships including finance capital, foreign
>investment, and other factors. "Neo-colonialism" is, I think, a
>useful concept to understand here as it relates to non-
>imperialist nations.
>In solidarity,
>ope mailing list

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Received on Wed Jan 13 11:19:45 2010

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