Re: [OPE] fascism / opposing imperialist militaryinterventioninLibya

From: Paula <>
Date: Fri Apr 08 2011 - 19:16:21 EDT

Jurriaan wrote:
“The dispute is rather about whether the criteria which Lenin uses to mark out an ‘imperialist stage’ of capitalism are scientifically defensible ... Lenin didn’t in truth define so well the specificity of the epoch, since the characteristics he mentions are not only specific to that epoch, or don’t quite have the significance he assigns to them”.

Precisely because they wanted to get to the specificity of the epoch, writers such as Lenin and Bukharin did not define imperialism in terms of colonialism, unequal power relationships between countries, etc. Those were, and are, incidental characteristics, common to many other historical periods - even the ancient Greeks had colonies, for example. Here’s a sample of what Lenin was getting at: “Economically, imperialism ... is the highest stage in the development of capitalism, one in which production has assumed such big, immense proportions that *free competition gives way to monopoly*. That is the *economic* essence of imperialism. Monopoly manifests itself in trusts, syndicates, etc, in the omnipotence of the giant banks, in the buying up of raw material sources, etc, in the concentration of banking capital, etc. Everything hinges on economic monopoly.” This is not meant to be an exhaustive description but a general and fundamental point. The question whether or not it applies to today’s conditions can only be answered by means of concrete information about the structure of today’s economies. That should be the next step in the discussion, if we really want it to be worthwhile.


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Received on Fri Apr 8 19:17:16 2011

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