Re: [OPE] fascism / opposing imperialist military interventioninLibya

From: Jurriaan Bendien <>
Date: Wed Mar 30 2011 - 06:07:48 EDT

Paula's concepts still seem rather vague to me. She writes:

" a significant change in quantity (or "scale", as Jurriaan puts it) that
necessarily implies a significant change in quality."

But it does not explain at all what the qualitative change is, and when it

The point I have made, like many historians not blinkered by the dour
Marxist-Leninist dogma, is that if "Imperialism is a historical phase, just
like feudalism" then it is difficult to explain why European colonialism was
on the rise already from the 16th century, and why the European empires
expanded, even although capitalist industry was as yet little developed and
feudal social relationships remained predominant outside of the bigger

Lenin incalculated into his Marxist worshippers the idea that imperialism
was a stage which fell out of the air one day in 1870, but there is not a
shred of evidence for that, while there is plenty evidence that imperialism
is characteristic of the whole "capitalist era from the 16th century" (in
Marx and Engels's phrase).

You can of course bravely disregard the facts, clinging to a dogma, but you
can also try to face the facts scientifically.

If you do the latter, you can at best distinguish between different "phases"
in the history of imperialism. But you can only make those sorts of
dictinctions if you can show how exactly changes in the mode of production
are correlated with changes in the modus operandi of imperialism. This is
something which (almost) nobody has done yet, beyond vague Wallersteinist
porno-pomo about "core" and "periphery" slogans).

Imperialism is not unique to capitalism. On this Schumpeter was quite
correct. Imperialism has very ancient origins. But the worldwide development
of capitalist markets and the capitalist mode of production has altered the
character of imperialism.


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Received on Wed Mar 30 06:08:45 2011

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