[OPE] Costas Lapsavitsas on Marxist theories of imperialism

From: Jurriaan Bendien <jurriaanbendien@online.nl>
Date: Wed Mar 30 2011 - 10:46:04 EDT

"By and large, classical Marxist theories avoided bland historical
generalisations and related imperialism to well-defined economic processes
of their era. Above all, they sought to account for phenomena such as the
'scramble for Africa' and the rise of militarism among European powers at
the end of the nineteenth century. These events had a shocking novelty for
societies that had not known a major European war since 1815 and were
pervaded by the ideological belief that capitalism meant rational progress
in human affairs."

This view I think has quite a lot of validity - that is, the concept of
imperialism was closely related to an interpretation of the nature of the
epoch - except of course that "classical Marxism" never existed, that is
more a modern fiction invented by people like Isaac Deutscher and Perry
Anderson. Most of the "Marxists" at the time hadn't actually read all of
Capital, never mind reading all of Marx's important works (many of which
weren't published yet).


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Received on Wed Mar 30 10:47:29 2011

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