John Smith teaches international political economy at Kingston University in London. Introduction The globalization of production and its shift to low-wage countries is the most significant and dynamic transformation of the neoliberal era. As a result, factories freely cross the U.
Permanent Revolution What Lenin was attempting to explain was the extremely virulent form of imperialism that began to emerge in the late 19th century, resulting in the scramble for Africa from the s, and the increasing tensions between the major powers that eventually led to world war.
In calling it a stage of capitalism, Lenin was saying that the new imperialism was fundamentally an economic phenomenon. According to Lenin, an adequate definition of modern imperialism needs to embrace "five essential features": Lenin's list has to be treated with a little care, since in retrospect some of the features are more fundamental than others.
For example, the integration of industrial and banking capital was certainly an important aspect of German capitalism in the early 20th century, but far less developed in countries such as Britain.
Nor was it true that all the major capitalist powers had become net exporters of capital--more investment was still flowing into the U. But Lenin himself was clear that the most important feature of imperialism was the first one that he listed.
Lenin wrote Imperialism, which he described as a "popular outline," after reading--and writing an introduction to--Nikolai Bukharin's Imperialism and World Economy, and it is clear that he had Bukharin's account of the underlying dynamic of imperialism in mind while writing his own pamphlet. According to Bukharin, imperialism is the result of two conflicting tendencies in modern capitalism.
Competition tends to give rise to the concentration and centralization of capital, and as this process develops, the state comes to play an increasingly active role in managing the economy. Bukharin argued that there is, in fact, a tendency for capital and the state to merge together on the national level to form what he called "state capitalist trusts.
Bukharin argued that as a consequence of these two contradictory processes, economic competition between capitals increasingly tends to take on the form of geopolitical competition. In other words, economic competition comes to be expressed in terms of political and military rivalries between states for territory, influence and power.
In a candid private comment, U.
President Woodrow Wilson confirmed the Lenin-Bukharin analysis: Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down.
Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process. Colonies must be obtained or planted, in order that no useful corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused.
ONE OF Lenin's main targets was the German Marxist Karl Kautsky, who argued that because the world economy was becoming internationally integrated, war had become irrational from the point of view of the capitalist class. According to Kautsky, "the World War between the great imperialist powers may result in a federation of the strongest, who renounce their arms race.
But the League of Nations--which Lenin called a "thieves' kitchen"--was never able to paper over the sharp differences between the major imperialist powers. Within a generation, the world was engulfed an even more barbaric war, and Kautsky's vision of a relatively peaceful capitalism was revealed to be an illusion.
By contrast, Lenin's theory does a remarkably good job of explaining the development of capitalism in the first half of the 20th century, and why the major capitalist powers plunged the globe into two catastrophic and barbaric world wars.
After the Second World War, the structure of global politics changed dramatically. Before the war, the world was economically and politically multi-polar. After the war, it remained economically multi-polar, but became politically bipolar--with the formation of two rival global military alliances, one dominated by the U.
Wars continued on the periphery, and the superpowers engaged in a massive arms race, but there was no war between the major powers, because the threat of nuclear escalation made them more cautious. But with the collapse of the Soviet bloc at the end of the s, the structure of the global system changed again.
But in the wake of the Bush administration's disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq, intelligence analysts are now concerned that U.
A report from the U. National Intelligence Council last month warns that the U. At the beginning of the 21st century, the international capitalist system is increasingly operating in accordance with the logic of imperialist rivalry that Lenin first described nearly a hundred years ago.This paper has been abstracted from his book Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century, forthcoming from Monthly Review Press in Introduction The globalization of production and its shift to low-wage countries is the most significant and dynamic transformation of the neoliberal era.
Transcript of U.S. Imperialism (19th and 20th Centuries) U.S. Imperialism--late 19th century--early 20th century Causes of Imperialism: 1. Economic Benefits 2. Military strength 3. National Superiority (social darwinism, manifest destiny, missionaries) Japan--Commodore Matthew Perry negotiates a.
In the late 19th to early 20th century, “empire-building” allowed for U.S. capitalistic expansion, thinly veiled by nationalistic rhetoric of “the white man’s burden” and a moral necessity to extend American culture to “inferior” races.
It is different from new imperialism, as the term imperialism is usually applied to the colonization of the Americas between the 15th and 19th centuries, as opposed to the expansion of Western Powers and Japan during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
However, both are examples of imperialism. But Arendt argues that, in the 20th century, man has become alienated not only from history but from nature itself. The same could be said of the expansion of imperialism, which is always described as expansion for the sake of expansion. Another important aspect of Arendt's analysis of imperialism is how she links racism and.
Essay on American Imperialism In the 19th and 20th Century power, authority, or influence” (1) American Imperialism has been a practice of the United States since before the American Revolution.