In this basis, imperialism is not necessarily an extra national project, which would appear to distinguish it from colonialism. Moreover, the monopoly criterion excludes open-door policies, relegating” U. S. Imperialism” and “cultural imperialism “to the realm of rhetoric but seeming to leave “Soviet Imperialism” with at least a leg to stand on. Since the term “imperialism “has been so closely associated with Left opposition to U. S. Reign policy, It Is apparent that later usage of the term has not been too respectful of Marxist technically Marxism Is undoubtedly one of the most Influential modern schools of thought with implications in philosophy, economy and history. Marxism, the school of thought associated with Karl Marx and Frederica Engel’s, and further developed by countless other theoretical economists and historians has engendered passionate debates by friend and foe alike. It has also generated bloody revolutions, as well as numerous coups and counter-coups to promote and to halt it.
Many historically important movements such as Nazism in Germany and Fascism in Italy were essentially reactions to the spread of Marxism. Marxism is in short, the stuff of history. As a school of thought Marxism engages in theory, whether In philosophy, economics or ethics. A significant portion of Marxist thought concerns history, a history that unfolds In a “dialectical” and determined fashion. Marxism sees the unfolding of history as a result of a tension generated by class struggle.
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Each ruling class (thesis) generates Its own opposite class (ann.-theses) and the tension and clash of classes generates a new class structure (synthesis) in a dialectical process outlined by Hegel and adopted by Marx. To Marxist, “imperialism” is not simply the “trend towards expansion” or the “conquest of foreign lands,” as it is defined by most political scientists and sociologists. The word is used in a much more precise sense to describe the general changes which occurred in the political, economic and social activity of the big bourgeoisie of the advanced capitalist countries, beginning in the last quarter of the 19th century.
These changes were closely related to alterations in the basic structure of this bourgeoisie. At a certain stage In their development, the material productive forces of society come Into conflict with the existing relations of production… From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn Into their fetters. At that point an era of social revolution begins. In broad outline, the Asian, ancient, feudal and modern bourgeois [capitalist] modes of production underlined the importance of the export of capital to backward countries.
A little further on the generalized this idea by insisting that a capitalist society must continuously extend its base, its area of exploitation. Engel’s added a more detailed elucidation to Mar’s comments. In his last writings, especially in his famous 1892 introduction to The Condition of the Working Class in England, he underlined other structural phenomena to which the theoreticians of imperialism attached great importance. Engel’s wrote that from the beginning of the industrial revolution until the sass’s, England exercised practically an industrial monopoly over the world market.
Thanks to that monopoly, in the second half of the 19th century, at the time of the rise of craft unions, English capitalism could grant important concessions to a section of the working class. But, towards the end of the 19th century the German, French, and American competition made inroads into this English monopoly, and inaugurated a period of sharp class struggle in Great Britain. The correctness of Engel’s’ analysis was borne out as early as the first years of the 20th century.
The trade union movement grew not only among the laborers and the masses of the unskilled, but also broke its half-century long alliance with petty- bourgeois radicalism (the Liberal Party) and founded the Labor Party, the mass workers’ party. Engel’s emphasized how difficult it was going to be for capitalism to find a new basis for expansion after the final conquest of the world market. Competition is limited internally by cartels and trusts, and externally by protectionism. All this he thought represented “the preparations for a general industrial war for the domination of the world market.
In the case of Lenin, he developed his theory of imperialism amid an intensification of European engagement with the periphery. This intensification had begun during the second half of the 19th century. Domestically, capital was concentrating into large monopolistic corporations integrated with and led by a few large financial oligarchies. Lenin theorized that these two developments were intrinsically linked. The concentration of capital created inequality. Inequality in the core constrained aggregate demand levels.
The general population could not absorb the mass of commodities achieved by higher evils of productive capacity. Insufficient demand created continual realization crises. The price of raw materials threatened profits further. The falling rate of profit required economic expansion to open up new regions for investment, sources of raw materials, and new consumer markets. From the premise that the capitalist class controls the state politically, Lenin theorized that finance-capital, the dominant form of capital, used the state machinery to colonize the periphery.
In the periphery, capitalists would (1) use oppressed peripheral labor to produce primary commodities ND raw materials cheaply; (2) create an affluent stratum (a peripheral elite) to consume expensive commodities imported from the core; and (3) undermine indigenous industry, making the colonies dependent on core investment. The overall effect was that the core pumped wealth out of the periphery. The wealth flowing into the domestic economies of the core stifled the fall in the rate of profit.
Lenin called this set of circumstances “imperialism. ” In the case of Social Darwinism, it is a term coined in the late 19th century to describe the idea that humans like animals and lands, compete in a struggle for existence in which natural selection results in developed by British naturalist Charles Darwin. Some social Darwinist argue that governments should not interfere with human competition by attempting to regulate the economy or cure social ills such as poverty.
Instead, they advocate a laissez- fairer political and economic system that favors competition and self-interest in social and business affairs. Social Darwinist typically deny that they advocate a “law of the jungle. ” But most propose arguments that Justify imbalances of power between individuals, races, and nations because they consider some people more fit to survive than others. Herbert Spencer, the father of Social Darwinism as an ethical theory, was thinking in terms of elitist, “might make right” sorts of views long before Darwin published his theory.
However, Spencer quickly adapted Darwinian ideas to his own ethical theories. The concept of adaptation allowed him to claim that the rich and powerful were better adapted to the social and economic climate of the time, and the concept of natural selection allowed him to argue that it was natural, normal, and proper for the strong to thrive at the expense of the weak. After all, he claimed, that is exactly what goes on in nature every day. However, Spencer did not Just present his theories as placing humans on a parallel with nature.
Not only was survival of the fittest natural, but it was also morally correct. Indeed, some extreme Social Darwinist argued that it was morally incorrect to assist those weaker than oneself, since that would be promoting the survival and possible reproduction of someone who was fundamentally unfit. The term social Darwinist is applied loosely to anyone who interprets human society primarily in terms of biology, struggle, competition, r natural law (a philosophy based on what are considered the permanent characteristics of human nature).
Social Darwinism characterizes a variety of past and present social policies and theories, from attempts to reduce the power of government to theories exploring the biological causes of human behavior. Many people believe that the concept of social Darwinism explains the philosophical rationalization behind racism, imperialism, and capitalism. The term has negative implications for most people because they consider it a rejection of compassion and social responsibility. Many negative reactions to Darwinism come from the confusion of Darwinism as a scientific theory with Social Darwinism as an ethical theory.
In reality, the two have very little in common, aside from their name and a few basic concepts, which Social Darwinist misapplied. Unfortunately, much of today’s opposition to the application of Darwinian thinking to human behavior comes from a fear of Social Darwinism and its implications for many of today’s moral codes. However, Social Darwinism in its basic (and extremist) forms are based on a logical fallacy, and do not really follow from Darwinian thinking in any way.