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

From: Paula <>
Date: Tue Mar 29 2011 - 19:33:37 EDT

Claus wrote:
"As I understand it, Lenin defined imperialism as a stage in the
development of capitalism, this stage being characterized basically by the
prevalence of monopoly capital ... There can be no doubt, imo, that monopoly
capital, in the sense of Lenin's
definition, has become largely dominant all over the world, ie monopolies
dominate the economy of the whole world".

This corresponds with my own view; and I agree with Claus's replies to
Jurriaan regarding the character of this period. It's true, as Jurriaan
pointed out, that capitalist monopolies, associations, etc, have existed for
centuries; but only in the current period can we speak of 'prevalence' - a
significant change in quantity (or "scale", as Jurriaan puts it) that
necessarily implies a significant change in quality. Moreover, as Claus
says, this type of capital has become "largely dominant all over the
world" - which should mean, not only in Europe, Japan, and the USA, but also
in China, Saudi Arabia, etc.

" But monopoly capital - industrial,
commercial and banking -, as well as political and military power, is not
uniformly distributed throughout the world ...
The position of each country
in the capitalist world economy is conditioned by the development of
monopoly capital."

Monopoly capital in Brazil, for example, is stronger and more developed than
in Peru.

Jerry wrote:
"They have an interest in saying that what they do, all nations do and hence
they shouldn't be condemned for it."

I look forward to Sarkozy admitting that the French state serves the same
kind of interests as the Libyan state.

"To claim that virtually all nations are
imperialist is quite similar to claiming that none are: in either case, the
expression becomes meaningless."

I don't claim all nations are imperialist; I claim all states (or, if you
prefer, nation-states) are imperialist. The claim is entirely plausible if
we adopt the above historical definition of imperialism as "a stage in the
development of capitalism". Think of this analogy - we could conceivably say
that a thousand years ago all states were feudal; it wouldn't be like saying
that no states were feudal; we wouldn't need a bunch of non-feudal states to
exist side by side with the feudal ones for the concept of 'feudal state' to
be meaningful. Imperialism is a historical phase, just like feudalism. You
must be employing a different concept if you think it impossible, even in
principle, for all states to be imperialist.

"[Lenin's] 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"

Yes, but you are conflating the concept of "oppressor nation" with that of
"imperialist state". These are not the same things at all. Sure, SOME
imperialist states have SOMETIMES used national oppression as a means to
obtaining influence, eg colonialism. But not all imperialist states are or
have been oppressors of other nations, and some imperialist nation-states
are themselves former colonies. Please note that Lenin spoke of "oppressed
nations" or "nationalities", never of "oppressed states". The reason, quite
logically, is that once an oppressed nation becomes independent and acquires
its own state, it's no longer oppressed. Some oppressed nations became
independent before the epoch of imperialism (the US, Argentina, Brazil,
etc), others during it (Norway, Libya, Qatar, etc). These nations, then, are
no longer oppressed; but others (the Basques, the Kurds) still are.


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Received on Tue Mar 29 19:35:02 2011

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