Imperialism and World Economy

Imperialism and World Economy

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From the beginning of the INTRODUCTION. The importance and timeliness of the topic treated in the work of N. I. Bukharin require no particular elucidation. The problem of imperialism is not only a most essential one, but, we may say, it is the most essential problem in that realm of economic science which examines the changing forms of capitalism in recent times. Every one interested not only in economics but in any sphere of present-day social life must acquaint himself with the facts relating to this problem, as presented by the author in such detail on the basis of the latest available data. Needless to say that there can be no concrete historical analysis of the present war, if that analysis does not have for its basis a full understanding of the nature of imperialism, both from its economic and political aspects. Without this, it is impossible to approach an understanding of the economic and diplomatic situation of the last decades, and without such an understanding, it is ridiculous even to speak of forming a correct view on the war. From the point of view of Marxism, which most clearly expresses the requirements of modern science in general, one can only smile at the "scientific" value of a method which consists in culling from diplomatic "documents" or from daily political events only such isolated facts as would be pleasant and convenient for the ruling classes of one country, and parading this as a historic analysis of the war. Such is the case, for instance, with Plekhanov, who parted ways with Marxism altogether when, instead of analysing the fundamental characteristics and tendencies of imperialism as a system of the economic relations of modern highly developed, mature, and over-ripe capitalism, he started angling after bits of facts to please the Purishkeviches and the Milyukovs. Under such conditions the scientific concept of imperialism is reduced to the level of a cuss-word addressed to the immediate competitors, rivals, and opponents of the two above-mentioned Russian imperialists, whose class basis is entirely identical with that of their foreign rivals and opponents. In these times of forsaken words, renounced principles, overthrown world conceptions, abandoned resolutions and solemn promises, one must not be surprised at that. The scientific significance of N. I. Bukharin's work consists particularly in this, that he examines the fundamental facts of world economy relating to imperialism as a whole, as a definite stage in the growth of most highly developed capitalism. There had been an epoch of a comparatively "peaceful capitalism," when it had overcome feudalism in the advanced countries of Europe and was in a position to develop comparatively tranquilly and harmoniously, "peacefully" spreading over tremendous areas of still unoccupied lands, and of countries not yet finally drawn into the capitalist vortex. Of course, even in that epoch, marked approximately by the years 1871 and 1914, " peaceful" capitalism created conditions of life that were very far from being really peaceful both in the military and in a general class sense. For nine-tenths of the population of the advanced countries, for hundreds of millions of peoples in the colonies and in the backward countries this epoch was not one of "peace" but of oppression, tortures, horrors that seemed the more terrifying since they appeared to be without end. This epoch has gone forever. It has been followed by a new epoch, comparatively more impetuous, full of abrupt changes, catastrophes, conflicts, an epoch that no longer appears to the toiling masses as horror without end but is an end full of horrors....show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 174 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 10.16mm | 322.05g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514199505
  • 9781514199503

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43 ratings
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1 2% (1)
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