Empire on Lenin

Charles Brown CharlesB at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Tue Dec 11 09:36:07 MST 2001

I will suggest that what we have got is Kautsky's super-imperialism just as Lenin criticised it. That is something unpeaceful, entirely bourgeois by which the working class of the world is ground down. What we don't have is classic Imperialism, though we have plenty of states vieing with each other to attrack capital by whatever means and the whole historical baggage of past Imperialism to boot.


CB: I agree with this. This is a better formulation than you had at first, Greg. What must be incorporated is the whole capitalist hot and cold war against the SU and other socialist and nationally liberated countries, and that's impact on capitalism to go into the Lager, circle the wagons against the Africans, Indians, Soviets, etc. This modified imperialism the most.

The UN is a proto-organ of world government of the communist system, corresponding to the increased socialization or division of labor which is termed "global". This is caused by the revolution in science and technology, especially in communication and transportation which allows qualitatively closer global interconnectedness of production.

To put this more fully  in Marxist terms , we must look to Marx's discussion of machinery and modern industry in Part IV of _Capital_ , Vol. I "Production of Relative Surplus-Value". There Marx notes that COOPERATION and MACHINERY are the two pivots ( unity and struggle of opposites) which lead to the factory system. That is, bringing workers together in a mass in a factory, and mass use of machines are the basis for the qualitative shift to industry .

Thus, we can define the current qualitative shift from the factory system based on reversal of the principle of COOPERATION. It turns into its opposite. Not only does it turn into its opposite , but it does so based on a contradiction and being overcome by the opposite in which it is in unity at the beginning of the factory system, MACHINERY.  Machinery in the form of the revolutionary means of communication and transportation allows the bourgeois to spread out the workforce in both smaller plants and geographically all over the globe. This is Marx's "cooperation" turning into its opposite.

Thus, the qualitative shift which defines the concrete historical configuration  (conjuncture) of the capitalist imperialist mode is defined in Marxist and dialectical terms.

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