Imperialism was inherent in capitalism's expansion

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Sat Jun 2 15:35:20 MDT 2001

Julio Huato wrote:
> Louis Proyect cites Samir Amin, who stated that imperialism is inherent in
> capitalism's expansion throughout its history.

This is of course true -- but it only names what needs to be explained,
and names are not in themselves an explanation. All it really says is
that imperialism causes imperialism: we are in an endless loop. _Why_ is
imperialism inherent in capitalism but only an option in other modes of
production? And at what point did it become inherent rather than an

The distinguishing feature of Kautsky's thought was the claim that
imperialism was a policy rather than, as all marxists, whatever their
other disagreements, hold, the mode of existence of late capitalism.

In Amin, of course, this perspective grounds a "Maoist" theory of world
revolution, of surrounding the "cities" from the "countryside."


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