Empire on Lenin

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Mon Dec 10 19:20:35 MST 2001

Charles Brown wrote:
> Greg said:
> the vital concept of one of the primary characteristics of Imperialism being the EXPORT of capital. One could hardly EXPORT something that is already internationalisied.
> %%%%%
> CB:  Isn't exporting capital exactly what made capital international ? Export of capital means the export of capitalist relations of production to the colonies.

I disagree with Greg's description of the present: I believe capital
_still_ does not exist "internationally" in Greg's sense. The so-called
"transnatinals" could not/would not exist except from a national base.
But his distinction is valid. "International Capital" (Greg's use of
terms) would be capitals (corporations) that existed autonomously of and
prior to any nation-state. I don't believe such capital exists or ever
will exist, but since some analysts of the last 20 years (some of whom
are marxists) claim that such exists we ought to have a name for it.
Charles's comment does not really oppose Greg's material claim but
merely argues for priority in the use of a name ("international"). In
Lenin's term, _national_ capital _operates_ "internationally" through
the export of capital. In Greg's version, there are capitals which in
and of themselves are "international," not being tied to any national

To jump several stages -- if this were true, then inter-imperialist war
would no longer be a threat, because the individual imperialist nations
are no longer tied to the interests of a distinct national capital.

If this is so, if there is no longer any danger of inter-imperialist
war, why is the U.S. so determined to maintain armies of occupation (not
called that of course) in what would be its two most likely enemies in
such a war, the EU & Japan?

Lenin originally conducted the research for _Imperialism_ in order to
explain the outbreak of the Great War? Greg, if I understand him
correctly, does not believe another such war is possible, and hence
Lenin's original hypothesis is no longer politically relevant.


PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

More information about the Marxism mailing list