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
base.

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.

Carrol

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