[Marxism] The Socialist Revolution in Venezuela

Paula Paula_cerni at msn.com
Tue Nov 20 13:04:57 MST 2007

Marvin wrote:
> Not all - or even, most - states which are capitalist are, by definition,
> imperialist. The reality is that there is today only one global 
> imperialist
> power, and the exercise of power by the EU and other states is strictly
> dependent on its agreement. The period before WWI was characterized by the
> scramble for colonies and protectorates by a number of competing powers,
> roughly equal in terms of economic and military strength. They also 
> exported
> capital to the less developed periphery, unlike today. It was in this
> context that Lenin and the others developed their theories.

and reminded us of a previous posting of his, where he wrote
>The global American empire doesn't preclude minor regional sub-imperialisms
>allied to it. Brazil may be or may become a sub-imperialist power in
>relation to Bolivia and its neighbouring states. You're better placed to
>judge than I am. But that judgment would necessarily have less to do with
>the relative status of its currency in Latin America or on world foreign
>exchange markets than with the economic and other measures it was employing
>to control the Bolivian and other peoples and their assets against their
>will, and to eliminate or inhibit foreign competition on these territories.

Taken together, these statements point to some of the main questions we need 
to address - What is imperialism? Does this concept apply today? If so, how 
and why has imperialism changed since the classical texts were written a 
century ago? If not, why not? The discussions we are having here show, at 
the very least, that we are not clear about the answers.

IMO, obtaining those answers requires two interconnected kinds of study - a) 
study of the historical texts and debates on imperialism; b) empirical study 
of the evolution of capitalism, both globally and on a nation-by-nation 
basis. One of the best ways to proceed would be to set oneself the aim of 
writing, and publishing, an essay on a specific case - eg, on the 
development of capitalism in Brazil; or, on the oil industry worldwide; or, 
on a particular author's theory of imperialism - that could throw light on 
those broader questions.


More information about the Marxism mailing list