Re: [OPE] fascism / opposing imperialist military intervention in Libya

From: <>
Date: Fri Mar 25 2011 - 16:12:09 EDT


Thank you for your replay. I will try to answer your questions.

> *If as you say "Imperialism thus refers to a historically new particular
> structural organization of capital", what is that new structural
> organization, and where is the hard scientific evidence that supports such
> a
> claim?

I used the term ‘structural’ to refer to Lenin’s approach, based on
economic rather than political criteria. According to him capitalism had
entered a new stage in the late 19th century, characterized by the
increasing prevalence of what he called monopoly capital, i.e., markets
being increasingly dominated by a few big capitals, individually or in the
form of trusts and so on. I think this can be called a significant
structural change. It surprises me that you ask for hard scientific
evidence, because it seems to me that this fact has come to be generally
recognized not only among Marxists. The term more commonly used is

> *If Lenin's theory is "theoretically consistent", what does that mean?
> Consistent with what? Internally consistent? Consistent with Marx's theory
> of capital?

I mean that it is consistent internally, meaning that it is consistent
with the theory on which it is based, which is Marx’s theory, particularly
that of the tendency of the continuing centralization of capital. Or more
generally, as you say, with Marx’s theory of capital. I also think it to
be consistent externally, ie, with the economic facts developing from
around 1870-80 onwards and continuing today.

> *What is specifically "imperialist" about 'monopoly capital', and what
> evidence is there, that monopoly capital dropped out of the air one fine
> day
> in 1880 or so?

Well, I’m not aware of anyone, the least Lenin, saying that monopoly
capital dropped out of the air at any time, and I think there is no
evidence of such a thing. Lenin does not say it in his essay about
imperialism. He doesn’t seem to me to be that naiv. He supports his view
of the phenomenon on a reasonable amount of data and the literature about
the subject after him is big enough. I have not read about the subject
recently, and it would be of no use for me to try to quote Lenin or other
authors. As for the term imperialism, it comes in the first place from the
use of the term by previous authors, especially Hobson, referring to the
international character that competition was taking over. And the
international aspect is of great importance in Lenin’s interpretation.

Is it your opinion that monopoly capital has not come to be prevalent
beginning in the late 19th century?

> *When the Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors invaded and looted Central
> and Latin America from the 16th century onwards, why was that not
> "imperialism"?

I didn’t say that that was or was not imperialism. But I would say that it
can be so called, provided it is based on appropriate scientific criteria.
The fact that it can be applied to the Spanish and POrtuguese empires
doesn’t mean that Lenin’s use of the term is not valid, since he supported
it appropriately, imo, theoretically and factually. One same term can be,
and in effect is, used with different meanings in different theories, or
in the same theory, referring to different aspects or moments of its
subject. There is nothing wrong with that, provided the different uses are
clearly defined.

best regards,

> Jurriaan
> _______________________________________________
> ope mailing list

ope mailing list
Received on Fri Mar 25 16:22:53 2011

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu Mar 31 2011 - 00:00:02 EDT