Marxist Theory Research

7512 Words31 Pages
MIA > Archive > Mandel E. Germain The Marxist Theory of Imperialism and its Critics (August 1955) From Two Essays on Imperialism, New York 1966.
Transcribed by Joseph Auciello.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive. Introduction Since the spring of 1916 when Lenin wrote his pamphlet Imperialism, that work has been a focal point of discussion by both Marxists and non-Marxist political economists. Many critics have attempted to prove that Lenin’s analysis of contemporary capitalism is essentially incorrect; others that it is partially incorrect, but not outdated. Lenin’s “official” defenders in Moscow have tried to prove that every word written in 1916 is still totally valid today, while
…show more content…
Engels added a more detailed elucidation to Marx’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. Engels wrote that from the beginning of the industrial revolution until the 1870’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 Engels’ 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. In two comments on the Third Volume of Capital, edited by Engels in 1894 (comments on the 31st and 32nd chapters), Engels emphasized how difficult it was going to be for capitalism to find a new basis for expansion after the final
Open Document