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Submitted by guenter on Sat, 28/06/2014 - 00:02

We caution newer comrades against bandying about the term “Imperialism” as groups like the AWL does in imitation to how it is used in the bourgeois mass media. In Marxist terms “Imperialism” has a precise meaning and this is the rule of finance capital. We take this quote from Trotsky in 1939, when the old semi-feudal empires of pre-WWI were in the dustbin of history, to make that point:

History has known the “imperialism” of the Roman state based on slave labor, the imperialism of feudal land-ownership, the imperialism of commercial and industrial capital, the imperialism of the Czarist monarchy, etc. The driving force behind the Moscow bureaucracy is indubitably the tendency to expand its power, its prestige, its revenues. This is the element of “imperialism” in the widest sense of the word which was a property in the past of all monarchies, oligarchies, ruling castes, medieval estates and classes. However, in contemporary literature, at least Marxist literature, imperialism is understood to mean the expansionist policy of finance capital which has a very sharply defined economic content. To employ the term “imperialism” for the foreign policy of the Kremlin – without elucidating exactly what this signifies – means simply to identify the policy of the Bonapartist bureaucracy with the policy of monopolistic capitalism on the basis that both one and the other utilize military force for expansion. Such identification, capable of sowing only confusion, is much more proper to petty-bourgeois democrats than to Marxists

(this excerpt is from "socialist fight". not my group, but an valid statement)

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