Imperialism

Marxism and imperialism

Author: 

Martin Thomas

We are not a government party; we are the party of irreconcilable opposition.... Our tasks... we realize not through the medium of bourgeois governments... but exclusively through the education of the masses through agitation, through explaining to the workers what they should defend and what they should overthrow. Such a 'defence' cannot give immediate miraculous results. But we do not even pretend to be miracle workers. As things stand, we are a revolutionary minority.

A survey of the debates.

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The new world disorder: war and imperialism

Number 2/3 of Workers' Liberty magazine is a special issue on "The new world disorder: war and imperialism". For contents, and links to download articles from the magazine as pdf files, read on.

Number 2/3 of Workers' Liberty magazine is a special issue on "The new world disorder: war and imperialism". Contents, and links to download articles from the magazine as pdf files...

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Apparatus Marxism in the Balkan war - 7-9 + afterword

VII
Caliban: Then the “banker turned politician Milosevic stepped in to divert the anger away from the government by whipping up hatred against Albanians living in Serb-run Kosovo… Milosevic put forward a simple answer to the economic crisis brought about by the madness of the market — blame the Albanians.”

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Kosova and East Timor: an Australian view

East Timor was discussed at a September meeting of the National Committee of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty. It was noted that there were discussions on troops in WL Australia. The minutes then state: “Doubt there will be disagreement on UN troops here [Britain] — after Kosova debates: don’t call for peacekeeping troops; don’t necessarily denounce them. The implication was clear — we shouldn’t have had a problem in Australia — the British debates on Kosova had already sorted out the issues.

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A one-sided view of capitalist progress

I don’t disagree with what Chris Reynolds says about progress (‘New forces and passions’ WL63) but I think it is one-sided, in two respects.

Firstly there are, I think, two distinct notions in Lenin about the progressive or reactionary character of “imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism”. One is the notion of “moribund” capitalism — that is, the idea that capitalism has exhausted its capacity to develop the forces of production (forced to adopt collectivist forms like monopoly, etc.). Chris rightly argues that if this were so the 20th century would be inexplicable. Capitalism continues to this day to do “progressive” work: developing production, innovation, and so on. Moreover, I would add that it would be impossible to function in the world without some notion of progress in human affairs.

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Review: Empire by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri

Toni Negri was the most celebrated intellectual of Italy’s “ultra-left” in the 1970s. He was jailed in 1979 for “armed insurrection against the powers of the State”; won freedom in 1983 by getting elected to Parliament; fled to France in 1983; and has been back in jail, in Italy, since 1997.

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The looting freedom

Pat Longman reviews “The freedom” by Christian Parenti, The New Press

This book makes real for the reader the total chaos, brutality, madness, violence and corruption that is US-occupied Iraq.

Parenti observes how the young US soldiers, “the grunts”, are completely bewildered by their role, and ignorant of Iraqi culture, language and politics. They have a seething hostility to their superiors. There are tensions between the multi-ethnic working-class ranks and the army of “freshly minted MBAs” and “self deluding zealots” holed up in the safer “Green Zone”.

Pat Longman reviews "The freedom" by Christian Parenti.

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Left nationalism

Harry Glass reviews “The Politics of Empire: Globalisation in Crisis”, Alan Freeman and Boris Kagarlitsky eds Pluto 2004.

Alan Freeman, one of the book’s editors, is a bag carrier for Mayor Livingstone, associated with Socialist Action and the recent ESF. The book reflects these politics. Beneath its urbane pessimism, it is a manifesto for second-camp “socialism” that abandons the central role of the working class.

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Aid and imperialism

While articles in Solidarity 64 and 65 on the politics behind tsunami aid and recovery have addressed general issues concerning the stinginess of western governments to give, and the inept and corrupt agencies on the ground in affected areas, a number of key political issues have escaped attention.

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