Empire on Lenin - Part 3

Charles Brown CharlesB at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Wed Dec 12 11:24:32 MST 2001

>>> mark.jones at tiscali.co.uk 12/12/01 12:58PM >>>

Here's a comment on Charles' assertion that:

 >>I've got to disagree with Mark's overall approach in that for the last
50 years the U.S. has been involved in enormous war making against colonies
and not imperialist rivals. The qualitative difference from the
interimperialist rivalry of 1916 is that it is not a military conflict. The
imperialist wars have shifted to attacks on the colonies that have been
freeing themselves from the colonial system that existed in Lenin's era.<<

On the contrary, the entire century between 1815 and 1914 was marked by (a)
the complete absence of generalised inter-imperialist war (practically the
only exception being the Franco-Purssian wars of 1866 + 1871) and (b)
endless colonial  wars waged by the big capitalist states against the
colonial world.

This huge developmental wave did not result in super-imperialism, it
resulted in World War I.


CB: My  thought on this is that this is exactly what Lenin defined in part as a new development in the imperialist stage, and how , in part , it was different from the previous stage. 1815 to 1914 is part of the stage BEFORE Lenin's imperialist period. Imperialism is defined as a change from the period 1815 to 1914 , in part, in that it initiates a big interimperialist war. In other words, the historical fact you supply fits with what I am saying.

Not to get too fancy, but exclusively anti-colonial wars today become a sort of spiral back to pre-"imperialism" in Lenin's sense, back to 1815 to 1914. We are also back to pre-1917 , in a sense. So, unfortunately, we are not at a "higher" level of the spiral . We've spiraled backwards.

I'm willing to give up the Kautskyian/"ultraimperialist" label, because we don't have peace, and it is important to emphasize the racist , colonialist wars the U.S. has waged for 50 years.

Also, interimperialist war seems to have more potential for revolution. The Franco -Prussian war led to the Paris Commune. WWI led to the Russian Revolution. WWII ( partially interimperialist, partially anti-Soviet), led to the dissolution of the paleo-colonial system.

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

More information about the Marxism mailing list