Re: [OPE] fascism / opposing imperialist military intervention inLibya

From: <>
Date: Sat Mar 26 2011 - 16:51:54 EDT

Hi Jerry,

>> Lenin's view has however been mistaken, in the sense that imperialism
>> has
>> been understood mostly as a political stand by the more powerful states.
>> In this sense one cannot say that the whole world is imperialist or that
>> all countries are imperialist, but at the same time saying this does not
>> deny that the whole world economy is imperialist.
> Hi Claus:
> Well, Lenin referred to the 'epoch' of imperialism. Whether the
> characteristics
> which he referred to are still the major characteristics of the current
> 'epoch' is a worthwhile topic for discussion. It might be interesting in
> this
> regard to consider the book which John Milios (co-) wrote about this.

I totally agree with you that ‘imperialism today’ is still a topic open
for discussion. But it seems to me that, considering that according to
Lenin monopoly capital is the economic substance of imperialism, and
considering that monopoly capital still seems to be the dominant form of
capital, this would lead to the conclusion that capitalism today is still
something close to what Lenin defined as imperialism. This doesn’t mean,
however, that a succession of stages of imperialism cannot be identified
through appropriate research. Just for instance, the derivative aspects of
imperialism, like the export of capital, the evolution of finance capital,
the formation of international monopolies, the division of the world among
the great powers and so on, may have changed, individually or combined, in
a definite way. In fact, several new forms of those derivative aspects
arose along time since Lenin. The colonial regions were deeply transformed
by kinds of primitive accumulation, a new international division of labor
developped, an international banking system and so on.

> I agree that there are many who misunderstand Lenin's theory as a
> 'political
> stand by the more powerful states'. *YET*, Lenin himself, along with the
> Bolsheviks at the time, referred to imperialist *nations* and the rivalry
> among imperialist nations which led to imperialist wars. This clearly
> meant that there were nations which were imperialist and others which were
> not.
> Also, his perspective calling for the self-determination of *oppressed
> nationalities* was linked to his theory and understanding of imperialism:
> thus, there were oppressed nations and oppressor nations (the latter being
> denied the right of self-determination since that would cede to them the
> right to oppress other nations).

It may be correct to say that Lenin, in order to be coherent with his
definition, should have spoken of oppressor nations instead of imperialist
nations, although it seems to me to be a minor mistake. I think I repeat
myself in saying that, as I argued before, defining the world economy as
imperialist means that it is characterised by the domination of monopoly
capital, but it doesn’t mean that the economic structure of all regions
and countries is the same or is equally developped. The polarization
between oppressor and oppressed nations is an undeniable fact and has
always been in capitalism. Thus, it seems to me that my view coincides
with yours.

> Now, if Paula or others had said that there is international imperialism
> but that imperialism no longer manifests itself through imperialist
> *nations*,
> then that's a perspective which (while I don't agree with) is more
> plausible then the perspective that *all* independent nation-states
> are imperialist - for a number of reasons I have already stated.

I totally agree with your view on this topic, and I think it is consistent
with my understanding of the meaning of imperialism.


> In solidarity, Jerry
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Received on Sat Mar 26 17:02:27 2011

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