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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New State rankings for business by Forbes (Rhode Island beats Maine in communism)

Forbes Magazine has recently compiled a list of the 50 states and their rankings for business and jobs along with help from Moody's economy, Pollins real estate and a few other companies and organizations. The research based the ranks on costs to run business, costs in labor and taxation among other attributes. The recession is a tough time for many and although many states are suffering from job loss and homelessness (All thanks to the 2006 Democrat congress and the killing of of Bush's tax cuts) The ranks were surprising especially considering the bottom feeders but first lets look at the top.

Not surprisingly, Republican states beat the Democrats again. Virginia, despite massive unemployment from the new great depression was able to clinch the top spot for the third time in a row. Washington state which ranked #2, Colorado, a recent changeover to the Dems at #4 and Oregon at #10 were the only Democrat states. Socialism though is still restrained and many parts of these states still retain good business. Although Colorado might fall down due to the election of Rats and the recent repeal of the TABOR amendment that was responsible for bringing the state from Rags to riches.

Familiar states include North Dakota, Texas and Nebraska. Although Nebraskans did raise taxes especially over in Omaha, the state has held its own and even managed to climb up to 9 from 10.

Other states are not so fortunate. AS IT TURNS OUT THERE ARE SOME PLACES THAT ARE ACTUALLY MORE COMMUNIST AND OPPRESSIVE THAN MAINE!!!Because of this, despite Maine suffering another round of lay offs, higher living expenses ETC. Quite a few states fell over backwards among them, Rhode Island.

The state Of Rhode Island recently ranked rock bottom. Beating out Michigan, another communist bloc state and Vermont, Wisconsin, Alaska, Louisiana, Kentucky and New Jersey. Jersey show no end to taxing and taxing. The state was 7th in state migrations as residents flee to states with lower taxes and less government intervention and planning. Still, Alaska is expected to make a reversal of fortune and Louisiana is fighting back strong from Hurricane Katrina. West Virginia also went from bottom to 46th

Rhode Island ranked at bottom because it has now replaced Maine as being the meanest toward small business. It has even become more poorer than Maine and businesses have fled in waves as RI legislatures continue to pass unjust and unconstitutional legislation to rob the people. Recently RI has raised taxes including sales taxes and even shut down over 1200 businesses over unpaid sales taxes! In addition, illegal immigrants have swarmed into the state to steal jobs for the unemployed and housing costs have jumped to epic proportions!

Rhode Island is also very very left wing. There is currently a vote in the legislature to change the state name because some feel it is connected to slavery! (LOL!) Not only this, but the Tea Parties are banned from parades in Bristol simply because they handed out copies of the constitution. Yup its true! Liberalism is fascism and there really is a state that beats out Rhode Island as communist!

Still, Maine beats Rhode Island in tax burdens, regressive taxes against the poor and Rhode Island as far as I can tell doesn't try to use DHHS to keep people from leaving and paying taxes the way Maine has in the past. No knowledge either about how they practice SSI scamming against the disabled.

The top50 list shows us yet again that free markets when not burdened down work, and that communism fails. The author is not surprised except for Maine getting knocked up a few notches. Score one for Free markets over government planning and Marxism.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Metrolink should take a tip from Subway (restaurant)

Metro link, Southern California's commuter rail for the Greater Los Angeles areas is in tough times in this recession, unfortunately, they are controlled by unionized taxpayer funded liberals. Just like other liberals, they don't learn a damn thing. In every scenario where funding is down and profits are low, they do the worst thing. In this case, raising rates. All while the worst recession in 70 years is taking place.

Metro links problems are largely connected to the economy. With people out of work or earning less, they are not able to afford tickets to commute to LA, San Bernardino county, Antelope Valley, Oxnard, Santa Barbara or other locales of interest. Those who commuted to work are now out of work and cannot even budget to take the train to find work outside their locality, there's little to spend for leisure like going to Hollywood and with fees rising, many will probably turn to using their vehicles. Bad news for Environmental nuts as well.

As the public sector once more fails, the private sector is getting things done right in Subway restaurants. Subway's 5$ footlongs are offering customers with little money something generous at a low cost. for five dollars, customers can buy a spicy Italian, Tuna and more. In this recession, that all adds up. Subway has experienced an uptick in profits. It shows that when costs are lower, customers are more eager to buy.

And the subs are worth the cost. Dense foods that are healthy and worth more and that fill up and keep them satisfied for most of the day. Subway's Veggie De lites are also good.

Not everyone in the private sector though has learned this. McDonald's is scaling back its value menu. Double Cheese Burgers and other goods have seen and increase in costs and with it, a lack of customers. Other establishments such as Burger King and Quiznos have not learned. Still others are making an effort.

Liberals in government however do not have the motives and incentives to reduce their costs and promote quality. Since Metrolink is mainly run by the government, they are not motivated to lower their costs and provide better services. the Metro is also run by Unions. This means that if they aren't paid for doing little they will strike. Another example of government failure. Score one for the private sector and another strike for the public sector.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Reminder about no comments

Just a reminder to readers, comments are disabled for an indefinite amount of time due to liberal nut jobs making ad hominen remarks and slandering me and others on my blog not to mention the mentally ill BS from 13h or whoever it was who showed up on three occasions since coming online.

ALL COMMENTS TO MY BLOG ARTICLES CAN BE MADE ON OTHER WEBSITES WHERE THEY ARE POSTED. THIS INCLUDES SITES SUCH AS FREEREPUBLIC CONSERVATIVE ESSAYS ETC.

ALSO BE SURE TO VISIT YOUTUBE TO RATE AND COMMENT ON MY VIDEOS THERE. I WILL BE UPLOADING SOME NEW NICE STUFF VERY SOON.

Bolshevik cartoonist gets it right on Obama



Mark Fiore, a cartoonist for the far left SF Chronicle is known for ridiculous cartoons attacking American freedoms such as gun rights, the right to go into business and freedom from excessive taxes ETC. As well as launching attacks against Republicans. (Then again some of them are deserved attacks)

On this cartoon however, he gets it right. The cartoon, Obama V Obama Describes how Obama at first advocating gay marriage, transparency, Pacifism ETC goes backwards among other things, doing worse than Bush in state secrets and comparing gay marriage to incest.

Its pretty good! Watch!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The stigma of Mental illness and Tyranny

The stigma of mental illness. It is one of the few remnants of a bygone era of eugenics and Nazism. In the early days, it was a sign of shame and disgrace. The stigma was similar to racism, to religious intolerance and eugenics. All of which have since gone but the stigma for mental illness remains. It is no longer a shame to be black, to be Catholic or Quaker, to be Jewish, Moslem, Atheist, to be in a wheel chair or even to be mentally disabled.

It is strange to me that when we think of a child or adult with mental retardation we get fuzzy thoughts about a person who despite being cursed with a tragic disability as being full of love and joy. The family of such a person though at first devastated knowing that their dreams and desires for this person will not come true soon turn into a blessing. We think of people like Rainman, like corky,
like helpless individuals who are bright and cheery. They will never grow up to be fully capable adults yet most become a little self sufficient and they are beloved by family.

This is not so with mental illness. When we think of Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Paranoiac, borderline personalities or hyper mania, the first thought is Charles Manson, The Unabomber, Jeffery Dahmner, The Columbine Killers, Adolph Hitler and other madmen and mad women who murder and cause destruction. We think of psychos, raving disheveled filthy homeless people. Family members tend to hide children with a diagnosis of a mental illness. sometimes they just cast them away in institutions or on the streets. There are countless films portraying insanity and dementia with murderers and mayhem. Think of mental illness and we get the above mentioned stereotypes which are still seen in Hollywood movies in media and in news sensations.

I decided to write about this after watching a series of television ads which are being broadcast to try and combat the stigma. I had first learned about them from an episode of Good Morning America. The ads were by a family that had a mentally ill relative who suffered from Bipolar disorder, a disorder affecting over 5 million Americans yet is viewed terribly by the public.

The ad courageously combats this stigma but there is still a lot that must be done to combat it. In fact all Americans should worry about it. This is because psychiatry and the stigma of mental illness can also be used to target not just those truly afflicted but ordinary Americans by using guilt by association and by lumping those with certain traits with those who are dangerous.

In countries such as National Socialist Germany and Soviet Russia and even in western republics including the United states, opponents and other undesirables were cast as mentally ill and persecuted by the state and the public using this stigma. Nazis used psychiatry to cast Jews, communists, Gypsies and opposition as sub human and mentally ill. Psychiatry was the foundation of Eugenics in Hitler's Germany.

The same was also used decades earlier in Britain and the USA. The Eugenics movement with help from psychiatry became the foundations for racism, Jim Crow, anti semitism and genocide of native indigenous. The stigma of mental illness was also fueled by Hollywood films.

The 1934 film Maniac for example, about a mad scientist featured descriptions about certain mental ailments such as paranoiac and manic depressive that grouped them with dangerous people and sex offenders. Then there were Alfred Hitchcock films such as Paranoiac and Psycho. Movie reviewers advocated that posters of wanted criminals with mental disorders have placards placed that ask why they were allowed outside of mental gulags. Other movies fueled suspicion and bigotry.

Mental health text books and guidelines also made matters worse, portraying all who had mental disorders and any mental lapse as invalid and useless incapable of working or being independent. They were also portrayed as child like and even subhuman.

Despite efforts to curtail the stigma of mental illness, despite ending the gulag system and closing down institutions as well as aiding them in building their lives the mentally ill and the mentally retarded are still deemed as undesirables.

The left especially has used this to attack those they hate. Those who are libertarian, conservative, religious, those who believe in liberty and freedom, all are deemed crazy mentally ill criminals by liberals and by the Democrats. In Democrat states such as California, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut New York and New Jersey ETC psychiatrists brand those with such beliefs as mentally ill and torment and work to ruin their lives.

During the Tea Party rallies, liberal media outlets and blogs categorized protesters as mentally ill radicals. This with the usual grouping together with Nazis and the KKK. The left also attacks opponents of health care, gun control ETC as mentally ill.

Advocates against smaller government and for 2nd amendment rights are also favorite targets. On YouTube for example, those who oppose government management of our very existence are deemed paranoid schizophrenics. Paranoia is a catch phrase used to smear opposition to bigger government.

The religious are also favorites. A Canadian psychiatrist for example wrote a video equating religion with mental disease. He grouped all who believed in God as schizophrenics, bipolar and just about every severe mental illness under the sun. He then finished by stating that religion was a contagious mental disease and that rather regarding someone as religious, they should be regarded as mentally disturbed. It smacks of communist despotism.

These alone are causes for concern. Those who have read my blog over the years know about case studies I have shown of how liberals use psychiatry to destroy the lives of innocent people. As our government grows bigger, and as our freedoms and civil liberties diminish, along with new catchphrases and diagnosis being made up by the APA grows, the danger grows and grows and grows even more. Expect in the future to see defender of human rights, the constitution and liberty against government and the UN a mental disorder along with gun owner, non conformist and others.

In conclusion, aiding the mentally ill is a cause we must all endear ourselves to. It is a civil rights cause that can affect anyone of us. Helping them to build their lives and become self sufficient and stable benefits the community and ourselves. It also takes away power from tyrannical government.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The stigma of mental illness and tyranny

The stigma of mental illness. It is one of the few remnants of a bygone era of eugenics and Nazism. In the early days, it was a sign of shame and disgrace. The stigma was similar to racism, to religious intolerance and eugenics. All of which have since gone but the stigma for mental illness remains. It is no longer a shame to be black, to be Catholic or Quaker, to be Jewish, Moslem, Atheist, to be in a wheel chair or even to be mentally disabled.

It is strange to me that when we think of a child or adult with mental retardation we get fuzzy thoughts about a person who despite being cursed with a tragic disability as being full of love and joy. The family of such a person though at first devastated knowing that their dreams and desires for this person will not come true soon turn into a blessing. We think of people like Rainman, like corky,
like helpless individuals who are bright and cheery. They will never grow up to be fully capable adults yet most become a little self sufficient and they are beloved by family.

This is not so with mental illness. When we think of Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Paranoiac, borderline personalities or hyper mania, the first thought is Charles Manson, The Unabomber, Jeffery Dahmner, The Columbine Killers, Adolph Hitler and other madmen and mad women who murder and cause destruction. We think of psychos, raving disheveled filthy homeless people. Family members tend to hide children with a diagnosis of a mental illness. sometimes they just cast them away in institutions or on the streets. There are countless films portraying insanity and dementia with murderers and mayhem. Think of mental illness and we get the above mentioned stereotypes which are still seen in Hollywood movies in media and in news sensations.

I decided to write about this after watching a series of television ads which are being broadcast to try and combat the stigma. I had first learned about them from an episode of Good Morning America. The ads were by a family that had a mentally ill relative who suffered from Bipolar disorder, a disorder affecting over 5 million Americans yet is viewed terribly by the public.

The ad courageously combats this stigma but there is still a lot that must be done to combat it. In fact all Americans should worry about it. This is because psychiatry and the stigma of mental illness can also be used to target not just those truly afflicted but ordinary Americans by using guilt by association and by lumping those with certain traits with those who are dangerous.

In countries such as National Socialist Germany and Soviet Russia and even in western republics including the United states, opponents and other undesirables were cast as mentally ill and persecuted by the state and the public using this stigma. Nazis used psychiatry to cast Jews, communists, Gypsies and opposition as sub human and mentally ill. Psychiatry was the foundation of Eugenics in Hitler's Germany.

The same was also used decades earlier in Britain and the USA. The Eugenics movement with help from psychiatry became the foundations for racism, Jim Crow, anti semitism and genocide of native indigenous. The stigma of mental illness was also fueled by Hollywood films.

The 1934 film Maniac for example, about a mad scientist featured descriptions about certain mental ailments such as paranoiac and manic depressive that grouped them with dangerous people and sex offenders. Then there were Alfred Hitchcock films such as Paranoiac and Psycho. Movie reviewers advocated that posters of wanted criminals with mental disorders have placards placed that ask why they were allowed outside of mental gulags. Other movies fueled suspicion and bigotry.

Mental health text books and guidelines also made matters worse, portraying all who had mental disorders and any mental lapse as invalid and useless incapable of working or being independent. They were also portrayed as child like and even subhuman.

Despite efforts to curtail the stigma of mental illness, despite ending the gulag system and closing down institutions as well as aiding them in building their lives the mentally ill and the mentally retarded are still deemed as undesirables.

The left especially has used this to attack those they hate. Those who are libertarian, conservative, religious, those who believe in liberty and freedom, all are deemed crazy mentally ill criminals by liberals and by the Democrats. In Democrat states such as California, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut New York and New Jersey ETC psychiatrists brand those with such beliefs as mentally ill and torment and work to ruin their lives.

During the Tea Party rallies, liberal media outlets and blogs categorized protesters as mentally ill radicals. This with the usual grouping together with Nazis and the KKK. The left also attacks opponents of health care, gun control ETC as mentally ill.

Advocates against smaller government and for 2nd amendment rights are also favorite targets. On YouTube for example, those who oppose government management of our very existence are deemed paranoid schizophrenics. Paranoia is a catch phrase used to smear opposition to bigger government.

The religious are also favorites. A Canadian psychiatrist for example wrote a video equating religion with mental disease. He grouped all who believed in God as schizophrenics, bipolar and just about every severe mental illness under the sun. He then finished by stating that religion was a contagious mental disease and that rather regarding someone as religious, they should be regarded as mentally disturbed. It smacks of communist despotism.

These alone are causes for concern. Those who have read my blog over the years know about case studies I have shown of how liberals use psychiatry to destroy the lives of innocent people. As our government grows bigger, and as our freedoms and civil liberties diminish, along with new catchphrases and diagnosis being made up by the APA grows, the danger grows and grows and grows even more. Expect in the future to see defender of human rights, the constitution and liberty against government and the UN a mental disorder along with gun owner, non conformist and others.

In conclusion, aiding the mentally ill is a cause we must all endear ourselves to. It is a civil rights cause that can affect anyone of us. Helping them to build their lives and become self sufficient and stable benefits the community and ourselves. It also takes away power from tyrannical government.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Are serpents living among us?

In the world wide web and in the publishing world, there are conspiracy theories going about concerning topics from the Kennedy assassination, aliens, 9/11 being an inside job, Chariot of the gods, a book claiming that extraterrestrials influenced the ancient world, and corporate control over government. While some present some truth, some are fantastic and even fictitious. One such theory involves ancient history and a belief that we have not been alone in the universe for sometime.

British Author and Green activist David Icke has compiled a series of books claiming that since the dawn of time, Earth has been inhabited by a race of serpents from the solar system alpha Draconis. The alien reptiles use holograms to disguise themselves as humans. He claims that several famous people past and present are serpent reptiles called annunaki by followers of Icke. These include Queen Elizabeth II, Hitler, Stalin, Both Bush presidents, Bill Clinton and Even celebrities such as Matt Damon, Tom Cruise and Boxcar Willie.

Icke's core ideas are outlined in four books written over seven years: The Robots' Rebellion (1994), ... And the Truth Shall Set You Free (1995), The Biggest Secret: The Book that Will Change the World (1999), and Children of the Matrix (2001). The basic conspiracy theory is that the world is controlled by a network of secret societies referred to as the "Brotherhood," at the apex of which stand the "Illuminati" or "Global Elite."The goal of the Brotherhood is a world government, a plan that Icke says was laid out in the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (in reality, long established as a Czarist hoax) which Icke says are really the revealed plans of the Illuminati. Icke, in common with many other conspiracy theorists, says the methods of these conspirators include control of the world's economies and the use of mind-control techniques.

The Global Elite controls the Brotherhood and the world using what Icke calls a "pyramid of manipulation," consisting of sets of hierarchical structures involving banking, business, the military, education, the media, religion, drug companies, intelligence agencies, and organised crime. At the very top of the pyramid are what Icke calls the "Prison Warders," who are not human. He writes that: "A pyramidal structure of human beings has been created under the influence and design of the extraterrestrial Prison Warders and their overall master, the Luciferic Consciousness. They control the human clique at the top of the pyramid, which I have dubbed the Global Elite."

Icke cites the Holocaust, the Oklahoma City bombing, the 11 September 2001 attacks, and the notion of man made global warming, which he describes as a "myth", as examples of events financed and organised by the Global Elite. British journalist Simon Jones writes that, according to Icke, "Ordinary people are being massively duped into believing that the ordinary course of world events are the consequence of known political forces and random, uncontrollable events. However, the course of humanity is being manipulated at every level. These individuals arrange for incidents to occur around the world, which then elicit a response from the public ('something must be done'), and in turn allows those in power to do whatever they had planned to do in the first place." Icke refers to this as problem-reaction-solution.

Icke's theories have as you can imagined landed him in hot water especially with European and Canadian human rights tribunals over his attacks against Israel and the Jews which have been denounced by groups such as The Anti Defamation League as hate speech. Indeed much of Icke's theories especially concerning serpent aliens are code words for anti semitism and racism against particular groups. This is to get by hate speech laws in Other countries where anti semitism and racism are illegal.

In addition to citing Jewish and other related groups and individuals as serpents and as serpent conspiracies, he has targeted Muslims, Roman Catholics and American Evangelical Christians as reptiles or Anunnaki.

Following around the world



Icke's followers have cited evidence of the Anunnaki using YouTube videos. On some videos you will see digital broadcasts with pixelation and interference and other anomalies related to satellite broadcasts. A news anchor shown to have scales, sideways blinking eyes, a lizard lips and long tongue for example. Also characters with Green eyes are targets. Instead of interference, followers of the reptile shape shifter theory claim they are reptilian and use it as evidence.

No one has been immune from these attacks. Even the likes of Alex Jones have come under scrutiny of being a shape shifting alien. The funny thing is this only started around the time digital broadcasting was introduced not analog.

The theory of shape shifters has been expanded using works such as Chariots of the Gods. UFO activists including one Vermont Station have broadcast stories of Dinosaur shape shifters from the Draco Constellation invading Earth and how events in the Bible, and other holy books and chronicles such as the flood, Adam and Eve, the Tower of Babel Elijah the prophet and the life of Christ are all influenced by aliens. Christian followers of Icke cite the Serpent in the Garden of Eden as a symbolic story of Mankind being blasted back into the Bronze age by Anunnaki. Its a story straight out of science fiction. But to Icke's followers and even UFO theorists, it is science fact.

Icke was briefly detained when he tried to enter Canada in October 1999 to take part in a speaking tour, following complaints from the Canadian Jewish Congress to Ontario's Hate Crime Unit. His books were removed from Indigo Books and Music stores, and several venues on his speaking tour were cancelled. The University of Toronto allowed his speech there to go ahead in the Hart House Theatre, with some 70 protesters standing outside. Icke received a standing ovation after speaking for four hours.

University of Toronto law professor Edward Morgan wrote on 30 September 1999 to the university's president, Robert Pritchard: "This is precisely the type of vilifying material with which the Supreme Court was concerned in its decision regarding the Criminal Code of Canada ban. The publications praise classic anti-Semitic tracts, and are replete with references to a secret society carrying on a global conspiracy led by a manipulating Jewish clique. The material which I have reviewed finds no place in the Canadian marketplace of ideas."

Sumari Communications, which hosted Icke's tour, denied the allegations: "I dispute the anti-Semite issue because the Jewish community has chosen to isolate anti-Semitic quotes in David's books which he himself uses quotes from Jewish authors to prove his theories. No one is forcing these people to be here, but what is important is that they have the choice. It is called freedom and David doesn't even mention the Jews in his talks." Icke himself addressed the concerns during his speech:

Is this a Jewish plot? No, No, No. Is it a plot? Yes, Yes, Yes. We are being manipulated, and I do not care if you are Jewish, Chinese, Catholic, etc. We are all being manipulated. And those people that are offended by what I have to say, they should choose not to be offended.

Canadian human rights lawyer Richard Warman told Jon Ronson that he helped prevent media interviews and book signings Icke had set up for himself in Canada in 2000. Icke attracted an audience of 1,200 for his lecture that year in a downtown Vancouver theatre. In 2001, when Icke's Children of the Matrix was published, Warman issued libel notices to Canadian libraries, warning them that the book contained defamatory statements, including the claim that Warman was working to stop the exposure of the abuse and sacrifice of children. The B.C. Libraries Association cited Warman's notices on an Internet database of censorship attempts.

Icke continues to deny being racist or anti Semitic. These incidents have actually helped him out as they point to proof of there being a conspiracy plot by a large interstellar think tank to enslave humanity. Unfortunately, many of his followers are genuine haters of Jews.

Pastor Peter J Peters runs Laporte Church of Christ in LaPorte Colorado. He is a follower of British Israelitism, the belief that white European specifically those from Northern Europe are the lost descendants of The northern tribes of Israel. He has incorporated Icke's teachings into his sermons where he frequently refers to evil people as snakes, serpents and reptilians. Although Peters does not literally believe in an alien take over or in shape shifters, he views it metaphorically, pointing out Christs description of the Pharisees as serpents who are of their father the devil. Other more extreme groups such as Christian identity churches and Neo Nazis literally follow Icke's teaching as true and associate Jews, and at times others such as blacks and Hispanics as serpents.

Left wing communists and Anarchists have also made similar attacks using the theory against Evangelical born again Christians and against conservative activists as well as corporate executives and other opponents to vilify them.

refutation



Refuting the serpent conspiracy is easy. First of all as mentioned before, digital anomalies do not cut the mustard. These are the result of interference of satellite broadcasts in digital, not a holographic malfunction. This is true because there are no such videos found in analog. Second, Icke's theories are borrowed from fantasy and science fiction.

The stories of serpent men are found as far back in the stories of King Kull in 1929. They were also adapted for the comic series Conan the Barbarian as well as the animated series Conan the adventurer where Conan fights serpent soldiers of Set using star metal weapons that expose them as serpents and banishes them to the Abyss.

Shape shifting serpent Men are also commonplace in stories such as He-man, Doctor Who, Othulhu, and even an entire TV series, called V about an invasion by serpent aliens disguised as humans. A new series is set to debut on November 3rd.









Third, serpent men probably would not have survived in our temperate environment or be able to breathe our air. In addition, such problems as holograph errors would have been noticeable.

So in conclusion while David Icke does draw out interesting theories, this is one theory that really doesn't stand.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Comments down

Forgot to mention, Comments are no longer possible due to massive amounts of comments 13h and a few other lefties have been sending.

All comments are to be directed to freerepublic or conservative essay websites to their respective articles.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Exposing the CRIMINAL Libel & Slander of the Bolshevik Left against Chaim Ben Pesach & JTF!!

An interesting video about slander and lies against Chaim Ben Pesach. Below is one I did myself...



While it is true that Chaim does put his foot in his mouth at times, he is far from racist.

Jewish task Force's David Ben Moshe on not for Jews Only



About the outrageous and stupid war and our unrepayable national debt.

Updates on my blog

I will be Posting only on a few occasions. Busy this week as is some of my friends who help me with the blog. The blog about James Clavell will start after the Lenin Series is over. I am planning on writing a seperate blog for that too.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lenin on America Part 24: The Junius pamphlet and the The Crisis of Social-Democracy

Written in July, 1916

At last there has appeared in Germany, illegally, without any adaptation to the despicable Junker censorship, a Social-Democratic pamphlet dealing with questions of the war! The author, who evidently belongs to the “Left-radical” wing of the Party, signs himself Junius[3] (which in Latin means junior) and gave his pamphlet the title: The Crisis of Social-Democracy. Appended are the “Theses on the Tasks of International Social-Democracy,” which have already been submitted to the Berne I.S.C. (International Socialist Committee) and published in No. 3 of its Bulletin; the theses were drafted by the “International” group, which in the spring of 1915 published one issue of a magazine under that title (with articles by Zetkin, Mehring, R. Luxemburg, Thalheimer, Duncker, Ströbel and others), and which in the winter of 1915-16 convened a conference of Social-Democrats from all parts of Germany[4] at which these theses were adopted.

The pamphlet, the author says in the introduction dated January 2, 1916, was written in April, 1915, and published “without any alteration”. “Outside circumstances” prevented it from being published earlier. The pamphlet is devoted not so much to the “crisis of Social-Democracy” as to an analysis of the war, to refuting the legend of its being a war for national liberation, to proving that it is an imperialist war on the part of Germany as well as on the part of the other Great Powers, and to a revolutionary criticism of the behaviour of the official party. Written in a very lively style, Junius’ pamphlet has undoubtedly played and will play an important role in the struggle against the ex-Social-Democratic Party of Germany, which has deserted to the side of the bourgeoisie and the Junkers, and we heartily greet the author.

To the Russian reader who is familiar with the Social-Democratic Literature published abroad in Russian in 1914-16, Junius’ pamphlet offers nothing new in principle. But in reading this pamphlet and comparing the arguments of this German revolutionary Marxist with what has been stated, for example, in the manifesto of the Central Committee of our Party (September-November, 1914) in the Berne resolutions (March, 1915) and in the numerous commentaries on them, it becomes dear that Junius’ arguments are very incomplete and that he commits two errors. Proceeding to criticise Junius’ faults and errors we must strongly emphasise that we do so for the sake of self criticism, which is so necessary for Marxists, and of submitting to an all-round test the views which must serve as the ideological basis of the Third International. On the whole, Junius’ pamphlet is a splendid Marxian work, and in all probability its defects are, to a certain extent, accidental.

The chief defect in Junius’ pamphlet, and what marks a definite step backward compared with the legal (although immediately suppressed) magazine, international, is its silence regarding the connection between social-chauvinism (the author uses neither this nor the less precise term social-patriotism) and opportunism. The author rightly speaks of the “capitulation” and collapse of the German Social-Democratic Party and of the “treachery” of its “official leaders,” but he goes no further than this. The International, however, did criticise the “Centre,” i.e., Kautskyism, and quite properly poured ridicule on it for its spinelessness, its prostitution of Marxism and its servility to the opportunists. This magazine also began to expose the role the opportunists are really playing by making known, for example, the very important fact that on August 4, 1914, the opportunists came forth with an ultimatum, with their minds made up to vote for the war credits under any circumstances. Neither in Junius’ pamphlet nor in the theses is anything said about opportunism or about Kautskyism! This is wrong from the standpoint of theory, for it is impossible to explain the “betrayal” without linking it up with opportunism as a trend with a long history, the history of the whole Second International. It is a mistake from the practical-political standpoint, for it is impossible to understand the “crisis of Social-Democracy” or overcome it without making clear the meaning and the role of two trends: the avowedly opportunist trend (Legien, David etc.) and the masked opportunist trend (Kautsky and Co.). This is a step backward compared with the historic article by Otto Ruhle in Vorwärts of January 13, 1916, in which he directly and openly pointed out that a split in the Social-Democratic Party of Germany was inevitable (the editors of the Vorwärts answered him by repeating honeyed and hypocritical Kautskyist phrases, for they were unable to advance a single material argument to disprove the assertion that there were already two parties in existence, and that these two parties could not be reconciled). It is astonishingly inconsistent, because the international thesis No. 12 directly states that it is necessary to create a “new” International, owing to the “treachery” of the “official representatives of the Socialist Parties of the leading countries” and their “adoption of the principles of bourgeois imperialist politics.” Clearly, to suggest that the old Social-Democratic Party of Germany, or parties which tolerate Legien, David and Co, would participate in a “new” International is simply ridiculous.

We do not know why the international group took this step backward. A very great defect in revolutionary Marxism in Germany as a whole is its lack of a compact illegal organisation that would systematically pursue its line and educate the masses in the spirit of the new tasks; such an organisation would also have to take a definite stand towards opportunism and Kautskyism. This is all the more necessary now, since the German revolutionary Social-Democrats have been deprived of their last two daily papers: the one in Bremen (Bremen = Burger-zeitung),[5] and the one in Brunswick (Volksfreund),[6] both of which have gone over to the Kautskyists. That the “International Socialists of Germany” (I.S.D.) group alone remains at its post is definitely clear to everybody.

Some members of the international group have evidently slipped once again into the morass of unprincipled Kautskyism. Ströbel, for instance, went so far as to make obeisance, in the Neue Zeit, to Bernstein and Kautsky! And only the other day, on August 15, 1916, he had an article in the papers entitled “Pacifism and Social-Democracy,” in which he defends the most vulgar type of Kautskyian pacifism. Junius, however, strongly opposes Kautsky’s fantastic schemes for “disarmament,” “abolition of secret diplomacy” etc. Perhaps there are two trends in the international group: a revolutionary trend and a trend wavering in the direction of Kautskyism.

The first of Junius’ erroneous postulates, the first is contained in the International group’s thesis No. 5: “In the epoch (era) of this unbridled imperialism, there can be no more national wars. National interests serve only as an instrument of deception, to deliver the masses of the toiling people into the service of their mortal enemy, imperialism....” This postulate is the end of thesis No. 5, the first part of which is devoted to the description of the present war as an imperialist war. The repudiation of national wars in general may either be an oversight or a fortuitous over-emphasis of the perfectly correct idea that the present war is an imperialist war and not a national war. But as the opposite may be true, as various Social-Democrats mistakenly repudiate all national wars because the present war is falsely represented to be a national war, we are obliged to deal with this mistake.

Junius is quite right in emphasising the decisive influence of the “imperialist background” of the present war, when he says that behind Serbia there is Russia, “behind Serbian nationalism there is Russian imperialism”; that even if a country like Holland took part in the present war, she too would be waging an imperialist war, because, firstly, Holland would be defending her colonies, and, secondly, she would be an ally of one of the imperialist coalitions. This is indisputable in relation to the present war. And when Junius lays particular emphasis on what to him is the most important point: the struggle against the “phantom of national war, which at present dominates Social-Democratic policy” (p. 81, Junius’ pamphlet), we cannot but agree that his reasoning is correct and quite appropriate.

But it would be a mistake to exaggerate this truth; to depart from the Marxian rule to be concrete; to apply the appraisal of the present war to all wars that are possible under imperialism; to lose sight of the national movements against imperialism. The only argument that can be used in defence of the thesis: “there can be no more national wars” is that the world has been divided up among a handful of “Great” imperialist powers, and, therefore, every war, even if it starts as a national war, is transformed into an imperialist war and affects the interests of one of the imperialist Powers or coalitions (p. 81 of Junius’ pamphlet).

The fallacy of this argument is obvious. Of course, the fundamental proposition of Marxian dialectics is that all boundaries in nature and society are conventional and mobile, that there is not a single phenomenon which cannot under certain conditions be transformed into its opposite. A national war can be transformed into an imperialist war, and vice versa. For example, the wars of the Great French Revolution started as national wars and were such. They were revolutionary wars because they were waged in defence of the Great Revolution against a coalition of counter-revolutionary monarchies. But after Napoleon had created the French Empire by subjugating a number of large, virile, long established national states of Europe, the French national wars became imperialist wars, which in their turn engendered wars for national liberation against Napoleon’s imperialism.

Only a sophist would deny that there is a difference between imperialist war and national war on the grounds that one can be transformed into the other. More than once, even in the history of Greek philosophy, dialectics have served as a bridge to sophistry. We, however, remain dialecticians and combat sophistry, not by a sweeping denial of the possibility of transformation in general, but by concretely analysing a given phenomenon in the circumstances that surround it and in its development.

It is highly improbable that this imperialist war of 1914–16 will be transformed into a national war, because the class that represents progress is the proletariat, which, objectively, is striving to transform this war into civil war against the bourgeoisie; and also because the strength of both coalitions is almost equally balanced, while international finance capital has everywhere created a reactionary bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, it cannot be said that such a transformation is impossible: if the European proletariat were to remain impotent for another twenty years; if the present war were to end in victories similar to those achieved by Napoleon, in the subjugation of a number of virile national states; if imperialism outside of Europe (primarily American and Japanese) were to remain in power for another twenty years without a transition to socialism, say, as a result of a Japanese-American war, then a great national war in Europe would be possible. This means that Europe would be thrown back for several decades. This is improbable. But it is not impossible, for to picture world history as advancing smoothly and steadily without sometimes taking gigantic strides backward is undialectical, unscientific and theoretically wrong.

Further, national wars waged by colonial, and semi-colonial countries are not only possible but inevitable in the epoch of imperialism. The colonies and semi-colonies (China, Turkey, Persia) have a population of nearly one billion, i.e., more than half the population of the earth. In these countries the movements for national liberation are either very strong already or are growing and maturing. Every war is a continuation of politics by other means. The national liberation politics of the colonies will inevitably be continued by national wars of the colonies against imperialism. Such wars may lead to an imperialist war between the present “Great” imperialist Powers or they may not; that depends on many circumstances.

For example: England and France were engaged in a seven years war for colonies, i.e., they waged an imperialist war (which is as possible on the basis of slavery, or of primitive capitalism, as on the basis of highly developed modern capitalism). France was defeated and lost part of her colonies. Several years later the North American States started a war for national liberation against England alone. Out of enmity towards England, i.e., in conformity with their own imperialist interests, France and Spain, which still held parts of what are now the United States, concluded friendly treaties with the states that had risen against England. The French forces together with the American defeated the English. Here we have a war for national liberation in which imperialist rivalry is a contributory element of no great importance, which is the opposite of what we have in the war of 1914–16 (in which the national element in the Austro-Serbian war is of no great importance compared with the all determining imperialist rivalry). This shows how absurd it would be to employ the term imperialism in a stereotyped fashion by deducing from it that national wars are “impossible.” A war for national liberation waged, for example, by an alliance of Persia, India and China against certain imperialist Powers is quite possible and probable, for it follows logically from the national liberation movements now going on in those countries. Whether such a war will be transformed into an imperialist war among the present imperialist Powers will depend on a great many concrete circumstances, and it would be ridiculous to guarantee that these circumstances will arise.

Thirdly, national wars must not be regarded as impossible in the epoch of imperialism even in Europe. The “epoch of imperialism” made the present war an imperialist war; it inevitably engenders (until the advent of socialism) new imperialist war; it transformed the policies of the present Great Powers into thoroughly imperialist policies. But this “epoch” by no means precludes the possibility of national wars, waged, for example, by small (let us assume, annexed or nationally oppressed) states against the imperialist Powers, any more than it precludes the possibility of big national movements in Eastern Europe. With regard to Austria, for example, Junius shows sound judgment in taking into account not only the “economic,” but also the peculiar political situation, in noting Austria’s “inherent lack of vitality” and admitting that “the Hapsburg monarchy is not a political organisation of a bourgeois state, but only a loosely knit syndicate of several cliques of social parasites,” that “historically, the liquidation of Austria-Hungary is merely the continuation of the disintegration of Turkey and at the same time a demand of the historical process of development.” The situation is no better in certain Balkan states and in Russia. And in the event of the “Great Powers” becoming extremely exhausted in the present war, or in the event of a victorious revolution in Russia, national wars, even victorious ones, are quite possible. On the one hand, intervention by the imperialist powers is not possible under all circumstances. On the other hand, when people argue haphazardly that a war waged by a small state against a giant state is hopeless, we must say that a hopeless war is war nevertheless, and, moreover, certain events within the “giant” states—for example, the beginning of a revolution—may transform a “hopeless” war into a very “hopeful” one.

The fact that the postulate that “there can be no more national wars” is obviously fallacious in theory is not the only reason why we have dealt with this fallacy at length. It would be a very deplorable thing, of course, if the “Lefts” began to be careless in their treatment of Marxian theory, considering that the Third International can be established only on the basis of Marxism, unvulgarised Marxism. But this fallacy is also very harmful in a practical political sense; it gives rise to the stupid propaganda for “disarmament,” as if no other war but reactionary wars are possible; it is the cause of the still more stupid and downright reactionary indifference towards national movements. Such indifference becomes chauvinism when members of “Great” European nations, i.e., nations which oppress a mass of small and colonial peoples, declare with a learned air that “there can be no more national wars!” National wars against the imperialist Powers are not only possible and probable, they are inevitable, they are progressive and revolutionary, although, of course, what is needed for their success is either the combined efforts of an enormous number of the inhabitants of the oppressed countries (hundreds of millions in the example we have taken of India and China), or a particularly favourable combination of circumstances in the international situation (for example, when the intervention of the imperialist Powers is paralysed by exhaustion, by war, by their mutual antagonisms, etc.), or a simultaneous uprising of the proletariat of one of the Great Powers against the bourgeoisie (this latter case stands first in order from the standpoint of what is desirable and advantageous for the victory of the proletariat).

We must state, however, that it would be unfair to accuse Junius of being indifferent to national movements. When enumerating the sins of the Social-Democratic Parliamentary group, he does at least mention their silence in the matter of the execution of a native leader in the Cameroons for “treason” (evidently for an attempt at insurrection in connection with the war); and in another place he emphasises (for the special benefit of Messrs. Legien, Lensch and similar scoundrels who call themselves “Social-Democrats”) that colonial nations are also nations. He declares very definitely: “Socialism recognises for every people the right to independence and freedom, the right to be masters of their own destiny.... International socialism recognises the right of free, independent, equal nations, but only socialism can create such nations, only socialism can establish the right of nations to self-determination. This slogan of socialism,” justly observes the author, “like all its other slogans, serves, not to justify the existing order of things, but as a guide post, as a stimulus to the revolutionary, reconstructive, active policy of the proletariat.” (p. 77-78) Consequently, it would be a profound mistake to suppose that all the Left German Social-Democrats have stooped to the narrow-mindedness and distortion of Marxism advocated by certain Dutch and Polish Social-Democrats, who repudiate self-determination of nations even under socialism. However, we shall deal with the special Dutch and Polish sources of this mistake elsewhere.

Another fallacious argument advanced by Junius is in connection with the question of defence of the fatherland. This is a cardinal political question during an imperialist war. Junius has strengthened us in our conviction that our Party has indicated the only correct approach to this question: the proletariat is opposed to defence of the fatherland in this imperialist war because of its predatory, slave-owning, reactionary character, because it is possible and necessary to oppose to it (and to strive to convert it into) civil war for socialism. Junius, however, while brilliantly exposing the imperialist character of the present war as distinct from a national war, falls into the very strange error of trying to drag a national programme into the present non-national war. It sounds almost incredible, but it is true.

The official Social-Democrats, both of the Legien and of the Kautsky shade, in their servility to the bourgeoisie, who have been making the most noise about foreign “invasion” in order to deceive the masses of the people as to the imperialist character of the war, have been particularly assiduous in repeating this “invasion” argument. Kautsky, who now assures naive and credulous people (incidentally, through the mouth of “Spectator,” a member of the Russian Organization Committee) that he joined the opposition at the end of 1914, continues to use this “argument”! To refute it, Junius quotes extremely instructive examples from history, which prove that “invasion and class struggle are not contradictory in bourgeois history, as the official legend has it, but that one is the means and the expression of the other.” For example, the Bourbons in France invoked foreign invaders against the Jacobins; the bourgeoisie in 1871 invoked foreign invaders against the Commune. In his Civil War in France, Marx wrote:

“The highest heroic effort of which old society is still capable is national war; and this is now proved to be a mere governmental humbug, intended to defer the struggle of the classes, and to be thrown aside as soon as that class struggle bursts out in civil war.”[7]

“The classical example for all times,” says Junius, referring to 1793, “is the Great French Revolution.” From all this, he draws the following conclusion: “Century-old experience thus proves that it is not a state of siege, but heroic class struggle, which rouses the self-respect, the heroism and the moral strength of the masses of the people, and serves as the country’s best protection and defence against the foreign enemy.”

Junius’ practical conclusion is this:

“Yes, it is the duty of the Social-Democrats to defend their country during a great historical crisis. But the grave guilt that rests upon the Social-Democratic Reichstag group lies precisely in that, in solemnly declaring, on August 4, 1914, that ‘In the hour of danger we will not leave our fatherland unprotected,’ they at the same time belied those words. They did leave the fatherland unprotected in the hour of greatest peril. For their first duty to the fatherland in that hour was to show the fatherland what was really behind the present imperialist war; to tear down the web of patriotic and diplomatic lies with which this encroachment on the fatherland was enmeshed; to proclaim loudly and dearly that both victory and defeat in the present war are equally fatal for the German people; to resist to the last the throttling of the fatherland by declaring a state of siege; to proclaim the necessity of immediately arming the people and of allowing the people to decide the question of war and peace; resolutely to demand a permanent session of the people’s representatives for the whole duration of the war in order to guarantee vigilant central over the government by the people’s representatives, and the control over the people’s representatives by the people; to demand the immediate abolition of all restrictions on political rights, for only a free people can successfully defend its country; and, finally, to oppose the imperialist war programme, which is to preserve Austria and Turkey, i.e., perpetuate reaction in Europe and in Germany, with the old, truly national programme of the patriots and democrats of 1848, the programme of Marx, Engels and Lassalle: the slogan of a united, Great German republic. This is the banner that should have been unfurled before the country, which would have been a truly national banner of liberation, which would have been in accord with the best traditions of Germany and with the international class policy of the proletariat.... Hence, the grave dilemma—the interests of the fatherland or the international solidarity of the proletariat—the tragic conflict which prompted our parliamentarians ‘with a heavy heart’ to side with the imperialist war, is purely imaginary, it is bourgeois nationalist fiction. On the contrary, there is complete harmony between the interests of the country and the class interests of the proletarian International, both in time of war and in time of peace; both war and peace demand the most energetic development of the class struggle, the most determined fight for the Social-Democratic programme.”

This is how Junius argues. The fallacy of his argument is strikingly evident, and since the masked and avowed lackeys of tsarism, Messrs. Plekhanov and Chkhenkeli, and perhaps even Messrs. Martov and Chkheidze may gloatingly seize upon Junius’ words, not for the purpose of establishing theoretical truth, but for the purpose of wriggling, of covering up their tracks and of throwing dust in the eyes of the workers, we must in greater detail elucidate the theoretical source of Junius’ error.

He proposes to “oppose” the imperialist war with a national programme. He urges the advanced class to turn its face to the past and not to the future! In France, in Germany, and in the whole of Europe it was a bourgeois-democratic revolution that, objectively, was on the order of the day in 1793 and 1848. Corresponding to this objective historical situation was the “truly national,” i.e., the national bourgeois programme of the then existing democracy; in 1793 this programme was carried out by the most revolutionary elements of the bourgeoisie and the plebeians, and in 1848 it was proclaimed by Marx in the name of the whole of progressive democracy. Objectively, the feudal and dynastic wars were then opposed with revolutionary democratic wars, with wars for national liberation. This was the content of the historical tasks of that epoch.

At the present time the objective situation in the biggest advanced states of Europe is different. Progress, if we leave out the possibility of temporary steps backward, is possible only towards socialist society, only towards the socialist revolution. Objectively, the imperialist bourgeois war, the war of highly developed capitalism, can, from the standpoint of progress, from the standpoint of the progressive class, be opposed only with a war against the bourgeoisie, i.e., primarily civil war between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie for power; for unless such a war is waged serious progress is impossible; and after that—only under certain special conditions—a war to defend the socialist state against bourgeois stares is possible. That is why those Bolsheviks (fortunately, very few, and we quickly handed them over to the Prizyv-ists) who were ready to adapt the point of view of conditional defence, i.e., of defending the fatherland on the condition that there was a victorious revolution and the victory of a republic in Russia, were true to the letter of Bolshevism, but betrayed its spirit: 48 for being drawn into the imperialist war of the advanced European Powers, Russia, even under a republican form of government, would also be waging an imperialist war!

In saying that class struggle is the best means of defence against invasion, Junius applied Marxian dialectics only halfway, taking one step on the right road and immediately deviating from it. Marxian dialectics call for a concrete analysis of each specific historical situation. That class struggle is the best means of defence against invasion is true both with regard to the bourgeoisie, which is overthrowing feudalism, and with regard to the proletariat, which is overthrowing the bourgeoisie. Precisely because it is true with regard to every form of class oppression, it is too general, and therefore, inadequate in the present specific case. Civil war against the bourgeoisie is also a form of class struggle, and only this form of class struggle would have saved Europe (the whole of Europe, not only one country) from the peril of invasion. The “Great German Republic” had it existed in 1914-16, would also have waged an imperialist war.

Junius came very close to the correct solution of the problem and to the correct slogan: civil war against the bourgeoisie for socialism; but, as if afraid to speak the whole truth, he turned back to the fantasy of a “national war” in 1914, 1915 and 1916. Even if we examine the question from the purely practical and not theoretical angle, Junius’ error remains no less clear. The whole of bourgeois society, all classes in Germany, including the peasantry, were in favour of war (in all probability the same was the case in Russia—at least a majority of the well-to-do and middle peasantry and a very considerable portion of the poor peasants were evidently under the spell of bourgeois imperialism). The bourgeoisie was armed to the teeth. Under such circumstances to “proclaim” the programme of a republic, a permanent parliament, election of officers by the people (the “armed nation”), etc., would have meant, in practice, “proclaiming” a revolution (with a wrong revolutionary programme!).

In the same breath Junius quite rightly says that a revolution cannot be “made.” Revolution was on the order of the day in 1914–16, it was hidden in the depths of the war, was emerging out of the war. This should have been “proclaimed” in the name of the revolutionary class, and its programme should have been fearlessly and fully announced: socialism is impossible in time of war without civil war against the arch-reactionary, criminal bourgeoisie, which condemned the people to untold disaster. Systematic, consistent, practical measures should have been thought out, which could be carried out no matter what the rate of development of the revolutionary crisis might have been, and which would be in line with the maturing revolution. These measures are indicated in the resolution of our Party: 1) voting against war credits; 2) violation of “civil peace”; 3) creation of an illegal organisation; 4) fraternisation among the soldiers; 5) support to all the revolutionary actions of the masses.[1] The success of all these steps inevitably leads to civil war.

The promulgation of a great historical programme was undoubtedly of tremendous significance; not the old national German programme, which became obsolete in 1914-16, but the proletarian international and socialist programme. “You, the bourgeoisie, are fighting for plunder; we, the workers of all the belligerent countries, declare war upon you for socialism”—this is the sort of speech that should have been delivered in the Parliaments on August 4, 1914, by Socialists who had not betrayed the proletariat, as the Legiens, Davids, Kautskys, Plekhanovs, Guesdes, Sembats, etc. betrayed it.

Evidently Junius’ error is due to two mistakes in reasoning. There is no doubt that Junius is decidedly opposed to the imperialist war and is decidedly in favor of revolutionary tactics; and all Messrs. Plehhanovs’ gloating over Junius’ “defencism” cannot wipe out this fact. Possible and probable calumnies of this kind must be answered promptly and bluntly.

But, firstly, Junius has not completely rid himself of the “environment” of the German Social-Democrats, even the Lefts, who are afraid of a split, who are afraid to follow revolutionary slogans to their logical conclusions.[2] This is a mistaken fear, and the Left Social-Democrats of Germany must and will rid themselves of it. They will do so in the course of the struggle against the social-chauvinists. The fact is that they are fighting against their own social-chauvinists resolutely, firmly and sincerely, and this is the tremendous, the fundamental difference in principle between them and Messrs. Martovs and Chkheidzes, who, with one hand (à la Skobelev) unfurl a banner bearing the greeting, “To the Liebknechts of All Countries,” and with the other hand tenderly embrace Chkhenkeli and Potresov!

Secondly, Junius apparently wanted to achieve something in the nature of the Menshevik “theory of stages,” of sad memory; he wanted to begin to carry out the revolutionary programme from the end that is “more suitable,” “more popular” and more acceptable to the petty-bourgeoisie. It is something like the plan “to outwit history,” to outwit the philistines. He seems to say: surely, nobody would oppose a better way of defending the real fatherland; that real fatherland is the Great German Republic, and the best defence is a militia, a permanent parliament, etc. Once it was accepted, that programme would automatically lead to the next stage-to the socialist revolution.

Probably, it was reasoning of this kind that consciously or semi-consciously determined Junius’ tactics. Needless to say, such reasoning is fallacious, Junius’ pamphlet conjures up in our mind the picture of a lone man who has no comrades in an illegal organisation accustomed to thinking out revolutionary slogans to their conclusion and systematically educating the masses in their spirit. But this shortcoming—it would be a grave error to forget this-is not Junius’ personal failing, but the result of the weakness of all the German Lefts, who have become entangled in the vile net of Kautskyist hypocrisy, pedantry and “friendliness” towards the opportunists. Junius’ adherents have managed in spite of their isolation to begin the publication of illegal leaflets and to start the war against Kautskyism. They will succeed in going further along the right road.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lenin on America part 23:critique of Imperialism

From capitalism and imperialism In part 22.

CRITIQUE OF IMPERIALISM
By the critique of imperialism, in the broad sense of the term, we mean the attitude of the different classes of society towards imperialist policy in connection with their general ideology.


The enormous dimensions of finance capital concentrated in a few hands and creating an extraordinarily dense and widespread network of relationships and connections which subordinates not only the small and medium, but also the very small capitalists and small masters, on the one hand, and the increasingly intense struggle waged against other national state groups of financiers for the division of the world and domination over other countries, on the other hand, cause the propertied classes to go over entirely to the side of imperialism. “General” enthusiasm over the prospects of imperialism, furious defence of it and painting it in the brightest colours—such are the signs of the times. Imperialist ideology also penetrates the working class. No Chinese Wall separates it from the other classes. The leaders of the present-day, so-called, “Social-Democratic” Party of Germany are justly called “social-imperialists”, that is, socialists in words and imperialists in deeds; but as early as 1902, Hobson noted the existence in Britain of “Fabian imperialists” who belonged to the opportunist Fabian Society.

Bourgeois scholars and publicists usually come out in defence of imperialism in a somewhat veiled form; they obscure its complete, domination and its deep-going roots, strive to push specific and secondary details into the forefront and do their very best to distract attention from essentials by means of absolutely ridiculous schemes for “reform”, such as police supervision of the trusts or banks, etc. Cynical and frank imperialists who are bold enough to admit the absurdity of the idea of reforming the fundamental characteristics of imperialism are a rarer phenomenon.

Here is an example. The German imperialists attempt, in the magazine Archives of World Economy, to follow the national emancipation movements in the colonies, particularly, of course, in colonies other than those belonging to Germany. They note the unrest and the protest movements in India, the movement in Natal (South Africa), in the Dutch East Indies, etc. One of them, commenting on an English report of a conference held on June 28-30, 1910, of representatives of various subject nations and races, of peoples of Asia, Africa and Europe who are under foreign rule, writes as follows in appraising the speeches delivered at this conference: “We are told that we must fight imperialism; that the ruling states should recognise the right of subject peoples to independence; that an international tribunal should supervise the fulfilment of treaties concluded between the great powers and weak peoples. Further than the expression of these pious wishes they do not go. We see no trace of understanding of the fact that imperialism is inseparably bound up with capitalism in its present form and that, therefore [!!], an open struggle against imperialism would be hopeless, unless, perhaps, the fight were to be confined to protests against certain of its especially abhorrent excesses.” [1] Since the reform of the basis of imperialism is a deception, a “pious wish”, since the bourgeois representatives of the oppressed nations go no “further” forward, the bourgeois representative of an oppressing nation goes “further” backward, to servility towards imperialism under cover of the claim to be “scientific”. That is also “logic”!

The questions as to whether it is possible to reform the basis of imperialism, whether to go forward to the further intensification and deepening of the antagonisms which it engenders. or backward, towards allaying these antagonisms, are fundamental questions in the critique of imperialism. Since the specific political features of imperialism are reaction everywhere and increased national oppression due to the oppression of the financial oligarchy and the elimination of free competition, a petty-bourgeois-democratic opposition to imperialism arose at the beginning of the twentieth century in nearly all imperialist countries. Kautsky not only did not trouble to oppose, was not only unable to oppose this petty-bourgeois reformist opposition, which is really reactionary in its economic basis, but became merged with it in practice, and this is precisely where Kautsky and the broad international Kautskian trend deserted Marxism.

In the United States, the imperialist war waged against Spain in 1898 stirred up the opposition of the “anti-imperialists”, the last of the Mohicans of bourgeois democracy who declared this war to be “criminal”, regarded the annexation of foreign territories as a violation of the Constitution, declared that the treatment of Aguinaldo, leader of the Filipinos (the Americans promised him the independence of his country, but later landed troops and annexed it), was “jingo treachery”, and quoted the words of Lincoln: “When the white man governs himself, that is self-government; but when he governs himself and also governs others, it is no longer self-government; it is despotism.” [2] But as long, as all this criticism shrank from recognising the inseverable bond between imperialism and the trusts, and, therefore, between imperialism and the foundations of capitalism, while it shrank from joining the forces engendered by large-scale capitalism and its development-it remained a “pious wish”.

This is also the main attitude taken by Hobson in his critique of imperialism. Hobson anticipated Kautsky in protesting against the “inevitability of imperialism” argument, and in urging the necessity of “increasing the consuming capacity” of the people (under capitalism!). The petty-bourgeois point of view in the critique of imperialism, the omnipotence of the banks, the financial oligarchy, etc., is adopted by the authors I have often quoted, such as Agahd, A. Lansburgh, L. Eschwege, and among the French writers Victor Berard, author of a superficial book entitled England and Imperialism which appeared in 1900. All these authors, who make no claim to be Marxists, contrast imperialism with free competition and democracy, condemn the Baghdad railway scheme, which is leading to conflicts and war, utter “pious wishes” for peace, etc. This applies also to the compiler of international stock and share issue statistics, A. Neymarck, who, after calculating the thousands of millions of francs representing “international” securities, exclaimed in 1912: “Is it possible to believe that peace may be disturbed ... that, in the face of these enormous figures, anyone would risk starting a war?” [3]

Such simple-mindedness on the part of the bourgeois economists is not surprising; moreover, it is in their interest to pretend to be so naive and to talk “seriously” about peace under imperialism. But what remains of Kautsky’s Marxism, when, in 1914, 1915 and 1916, he takes up the same bourgeois-reformist point of view and affirms that “everybody is agreed” (imperialists, pseudo- socialists and social-pacifists) on the matter of peace? Instead of an analysis of imperialism and an exposure of the depths of its contradictions, we have nothing but a reformist “pious wish” to wave them aside, to evade them.

Here is a sample of Kautsky’s economic criticism of imperialism. He takes the statistics of the British export and import trade with Egypt for 1872 and 1912; it seems that this export and import trade has grown more slowly than British foreign trade as a whole. From this Kautsky concludes that “we have no reason to suppose that without military occupation the growth of British trade with Egypt would have been less, simply as a result of the mere operation of economic factors”. “The urge of capital to expand ... can be best promoted, not by the violent methods of imperialism, but by peaceful democracy.” [4]

This argument of Kautsky’s, which is repeated in every key by his Russian armour-bearer (and Russian shielder of the social-chauvinists), Mr. Spectator,[11] constitutes the basis of Kautskian critique of imperialism, and that is why we must deal with it in greater detail. We will begin with a quotation from Hilferding, whose conclusions Kautsky on many occasions, and notably in April 1915, has declared to have been “unanimously adopted by all socialist theoreticians”.

“It is not the business of the proletariat,” writes Hilferding “to contrast the more progressive capitalist policy with that of the now bygone era of free trade and of hostility towards the state. The reply of the proletariat to the economic policy of finance capital, to imperialism, cannot be free trade, but socialism. The aim of proletarian policy cannot today be the ideal of restoring free competition—which has now become a reactionary ideal—but the complete elimination of competition by the abolition of capitalism.” [5]

Kautsky broke with Marxism by advocating in the epoch of finance capital a “reactionary ideal”, “peaceful democracy”, “the mere operation of economic factors”, for objectively this ideal drags us back from monopoly to non-monopoly capitalism, and is a reformist swindle.

Trade with Egypt (or with any other colony or semi-colony) “would have grown more” without military occupation, without imperialism, and without finance capital. What does this mean? That capitalism would have developed more rapidly if free competition had not been restricted by monopolies in general, or by the “connections”, yoke (i.e., also the monopoly) of finance capital, or by the monopolist possession of colonies by certain countries?

Kautsky’s argument can have no other meaning; and this “meaning” is meaningless. Let us assume that free competition, without any sort of monopoly, would have developed capitalism and trade more rapidly. But the more rapidly trade and capitalism develop, the greater is the concentration of production and capital which gives rise to monopoly. And monopolies have already arisen—precisely out of free competition! Even if monopolies have now begun to retard progress, it is not an argument in favour of free competition, which has become impossible after it has given rise to monopoly.

Whichever way one turns Kautsky’s argument, one will find nothing in it except reaction and bourgeois reformism.

Even if we correct this argument and say, as Spectator says, that the trade of the colonies with Britain is now developing more slowly than their trade with other countries, it does not save Kautsky; for it is also monopoly, also imperialism that is beating Great Britain, only it is the monopoly and imperialism of another country (America, Germany). It is known that the cartels have given rise to a new and peculiar form of protective tariffs, i.e., goods suitable for export are protected (Engels noted this in Vol. III of Capital[12]). It is known, too, that the cartels add finance capital have a system peculiar to themselves, that of “exporting goods at cut-rate prices”, or “dumping”, as the English call it: within a given country the cartel sells its goods at high monopoly prices, but sells them abroad at a much lower price to undercut the competitor, to enlarge its own production to the utmost, etc. If Germany’s trade with the British colonies is developing more rapidly than Great Britain’s, it only proves that German imperialism is younger, stronger and better organised than British imperialism, is superior to it; but it by no means proves the “superiority” of free trade, for it is not a fight between free trade and protection and colonial dependence, but between two rival imperialisms, two monopolies, two groups of finance capital. The superiority of German imperialism over British imperialism is more potent than the wall of colonial frontiers or of protective tariffs: to use this as an “argument” in favour of free trade and “peaceful democracy” is banal, it means forgetting the essential features and characteristics of imperialism, substituting petty-bourgeois reformism for Marxism.

It is interesting to note that even the bourgeois economist, A. Lansburgh, whose criticism of imperialism is as petty-bourgeois as Kautsky’s, nevertheless got closer to a more scientific study of trade statistics. He did not compare one single country, chosen at random, and one single colony with the other countries; he examined the export trade of an imperialist country: (1) with countries which are financially dependent upon it, and borrow money from it; and (2) with countries which are financially independent. He obtained the following results:

EXPORT TRADE OF GERMANY (000,000 marks)
To countries financially
dependent on
Germany 1889 1908 Per cent
increase
Rumania 48.2 70.8 47
Portugal 19.0 32.8 73
Argentina 60.7 147.0 143
Brazil 48.7 84.5 73
Chile 28.3 64.0 114
Total 234.8 451.5 92
To countries
financially
independent
of Germany
Great Britain 651.8 997.4 53
France 210.2 437.9 108
Belgium 137.2 322.8 135
Switzerland 177.4 401.1 127
Australia 21.2 64.5 205
Dutch East
Indies 8.8 40.7 363
Total 1,206.6 2,264.4 87

Lansburgh did not draw conclusions and therefore, strangely enough, failed to observe that if the figures prove anything at all, they prove that he is wrong, for the exports to countries financially dependent on Germany have grown more rapidly, if only slightly, than exports to the countries which are financially independent. (I emphasise the “if”, for Lansburgh’s figures are far from complete.)

Tracing the connection between exports and loans, Lansburgh writes:

“In 1890-91, a Rumanian loan was floated through the German banks, which had already in previous years made advances on this loan. It was used chiefly to purchase railway materials in Germany. In 1891, German exports to Rumania amounted to 55 million marks. The following year they dropped to 39.4 million marks and, with fluctuations, to 25.4 million in 1900. Only in very recent years have they regained the level of 1891, thanks to two new loans.

“German exports to Portugal rose, following the loans of 1888- to 21,100,000 (1890); then, in the two following years, they dropped to 16,200,000 and 7,400,000, and regained their former level only in 1903.

“The figures of German trade with Argentina are still more striking. Loans were floated in 1888 and 1890; German exports to Argentina reached 60,700,000 marks (1889). Two years later they amounted to only 18,600,000 marks, less than one-third of the previous figure. It was not until 1901 that they regained and surpassed the level of 1889, and then only as a result of new loans floated by the state and by municipalities, with advances to build power stations, and with other credit operations.

“Exports to Chile, as a consequence of the loan of 1889, rose to 45,200,000 marks (in 1892), and a year later dropped to 22,500,000 marks. A new Chilean loan floated by the German banks in 1906 was followed by a rise of exports to 84,700,000 marks in 1907, only to fall again to 52,400,000 marks in 1908.” [6]

From these facts Lansburgh draws the amusing petty-bourgeois moral of how unstable and irregular export trade is when it is bound up with loans, how bad it is to invest capital abroad instead of “naturally” and “harmoniously” developing home industry, how “costly” are the millions in bakshish that Krupp has to pay in floating foreign loans, etc. But the facts tell us clearly: the increase in exports is connected with just these swindling tricks of finance capital, which is not concerned with bourgeois morality, but with skinning the ox twice—first, it pockets the profits from the loan; then it pockets other profits from the same loan which the borrower uses to make purchases from Krupp, or to purchase railway material from the Steel Syndicate, etc.

I repeat that I do not by any means consider Lansburgh’s figures to be perfect; but I had to quote them because they are more scientific than Kautsky’s and Spectator’s and because Lansburgh showed the correct way to approach the question. In discussing the significance of finance capital in regard to exports, etc., one must be able to single out the connection of exports especially and solely with the tricks of the financiers, especially and solely with the sale of goods by cartels, etc. Simply to compare colonies with non-colonies, one imperialism with another imperialism, one semi-colony or colony (Egypt) with all other countries, is to evade and to obscure the very essence of the question.

Kautsky’s theoretical critique of imperialism has nothing in common with Marxism and serves only as a preamble to propaganda for peace and unity with the opportunists and the social-chauvinists, precisely for the reason that it evades and obscures the very profound and fundamental contradictions of imperialism: the contradictions between monopoly and free competition which exists side by side with it, between the gigantic “operations” (and gigantic profits) of finance capital and “honest” trade in the free market, the contradiction between cartels and trusts, on the one hand, and non-cartelised industry, on the other, etc.

The notorious theory of “ultra-imperialism”, invented by Kautsky, is just as reactionary. Compare his arguments on this subject in 1915, with Hobson’s arguments in 1902.

Kautsky: “... Cannot the present imperialist policy be supplanted by a new, ultra-imperialist policy, which will introduce the joint exploitation of the world by internationally united finance capital in place of the mutual rivalries of national finance capitals? Such a new phase of capitalism is at any rate conceivable. Can it be achieved? Sufficient premises are still lacking to enable us to answer this question.” [7]

Hobson: “Christendom thus laid out in a few great federal empires, each with a retinue of uncivilised dependencies, seems to many the most legitimate development of present tendencies, and one which would offer the best hope of permanent peace on an assured basis of inter-Imperialism.”

Kautsky called ultra-imperialism or super-imperialism what Hobson, thirteen years earlier, described as inter- imperialism. Except for coining a new and clever catchword, replacing one Latin prefix by another, the only progress Kautsky has made in the sphere of “scientific” thought is that he gave out as Marxism what Hobson, in effect, described as the cant of English parsons. After the Anglo-Boer War it was quite natural for this highly honourable caste to exert their main efforts to console the British middle class and the workers who had lost many of their relatives on the battlefields of South Africa and who were obliged to pay higher taxes in order to guarantee still higher profits for the British financiers. And what better consolation could there be than the theory that imperialism is not so bad; that it stands close to inter- (or ultra-) imperialism, which can ensure permanent peace? No matter what the good intentions of the English parsons, or of sentimental Kautsky, may have been, the only objective, i.e., real, social significance of Kautsky’s “theory” is this: it is a most reactionary method of consoling the masses with hopes of permanent peace being possible under capitalism, by distracting their attention from the sharp antagonisms and acute problems of the present times, and directing it towards illusory prospects of an imaginary “ultraimperialism” of the future. Deception of the masses—that is all there is in Kautsky’s “Marxist” theory.

Indeed, it is enough to compare well-known and indisputable facts to become convinced of the utter falsity of the prospects which Kautsky tries to conjure up before the German workers (and the workers of all lands). Let us consider India, Indo-China and China. It is known that these three colonial and semi-colonial countries, with a population of six to seven hundred million, are subjected to the exploitation of the finance capital of several imperialist powers: Great Britain, France, Japan, the U.S.A., etc. Let us assume that these imperialist countries form alliances against one another in order to protect or enlarge their possessions, their interests and their spheres of influence in these Asiatic states; these alliances will be “inter-imperialist”, or “ultra-imperialist” alliances. Let us assume that all the imperialist countries conclude an alliance for the “peaceful” division of these parts of Asia; this alliance would be an alliance of “internationally united finance capital”. There are actual examples of alliances of this kind in the history of the twentieth century—the attitude of the powers to China, for instance. We ask, is it “conceivable”, assuming that the capitalist system remains intact—and this is precisely the assumption that Kautsky does make—that such alliances would be more than temporary, that they would eliminate friction, conflicts and struggle in every possible form?

The question has only to be presented clearly for any other than a negative answer to be impossible. This is because the only conceivable basis under capitalism for the division of spheres of influence, interests, colonies, etc., is a calculation of the strength of those participating, their general economic, financial, military strength, etc. And the strength of these participants in the division does not change to an equal degree, for the even development of different undertakings, trusts, branches of industry, or countries is impossible under capitalism. Half a century ago Germany was a miserable, insignificant country, if her capitalist strength is compared with that of the Britain of that time; Japan compared with Russia in the same way. Is it “conceivable” that in ten or twenty years’ time the relative strength of the imperialist powers will have remained unchanged? It is out of the question.

Therefore, in the realities of the capitalist system, and not in the banal philistine fantasies of English parsons, or of the German “Marxist”, Kautsky, “inter-imperialist” or “ultra-imperialist” alliances, no matter what form they may assume, whether of one imperialist coalition against another, or of a general alliance embracing all the imperialist powers, are inevitably nothing more than a “truce” in periods between wars. Peaceful alliances prepare the ground for wars, and in their turn grow out of wars; the one conditions the other, producing alternating forms of peaceful and non-peaceful struggle on one and the same basis of imperialist connections and relations within world economics and world politics. But in order to pacify the workers and reconcile them with the social-chauvinists who have deserted to the side of the bourgeoisie, over-wise Kautsky separates one link of a single chain from another, separates the present peaceful (and ultra-imperialist, nay, ultra-ultra-imperialist) alliance of all the powers for the “pacification” of China (remember the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion[13]) from the non-peaceful conflict of tomorrow, which will prepare the ground for another “peaceful” general alliance for the partition, say, of Turkey, on the day after tomorrow, etc., etc. Instead of showing the living connection between periods of imperialist peace and periods of imperialist war, Kautsky presents the workers with a lifeless abstraction in order to reconcile them to their lifeless leaders.

An American writer, Hill, in his A History of the Diplomacy in the International Development of Europe refers in his preface to the following periods in the recent history of diplomacy: (1) the era of revolution; (2) the constitutional movement; (3) the present era of “commercial imperialism”. [8] Another writer divides the history of Great Britain’s “world policy” since 1870 into four periods: (1) the first Asiatic period (that of the struggle against Russia’s advance in Central Asia towards India); (2) the African period (approximately 1885-1902): that of the struggle against France for the partition of Africa (the “Fashoda incident” of 1898 which brought her within a hair’s breadth of war with France); (3) the second Asiatic period (alliance with Japan against Russia); and (4) the “European” period, chiefly anti-German. [9] “The political patrol clashes take place on the financial field,” wrote the banker, Riesser, in 1905, in showing how French finance capital operating in Italy was preparing the way for a political alliance of these countries, and how a conflict was developing between Germany and Great Britain over Persia, between all the European capitalists over Chinese loans, etc. Behold, the living reality of peaceful “ultra-imperialist” alliances in their inseverable connection with ordinary imperialist conflicts!

Kautsky’s obscuring of the deepest contradictions of imperialism, which inevitably boils down to painting imperialism in bright colours, leaves its traces in this writer’s criticism of the political features of imperialism. Imperialism is the epoch of finance capital and of monopolies, which introduce everywhere the striving for domination, not for freedom. Whatever the political system, the result of these tendencies is everywhere reaction and an extreme intensification of antagonisms in this field. Particularly intensified become the yoke of national oppression and the striving for annexations, i.e., the violation of national independence (for annexation is nothing but the violation of the right of nations to self-determination). Hilferding rightly notes the connection between imperialism and the intensification of national oppression. “In the newly opened-up countries,” he writes, “the capital imported into them intensifies antagonisms and excites against the intruders the constantly growing resistance of the peoples who are awakening to national consciousness; this resistance can easily develop into dangerous measures against foreign capital. The old social relations become completely revolutionised, the age-long agrarian isolation of ‘nations without history’ is destroyed and they are drawn into the capitalist whirlpool. Capitalism itself gradually provides the subjugated with the means and resources for their emancipation and they set out to achieve the goal which once seemed highest to the European nations: the creation of a united national state as a means to economic and cultural freedom. This movement for national independence threatens European capital in its most valuable and most promising fields of exploitation, and European capital can maintain its domination only by continually increasing its military forces.” [10]

To this must be added that it is not only in newly opened-up countries, but also in the old, that imperialism is leading to annexation, to increased national oppression, and, consequently, also to increasing resistance. While objecting to the intensification of political reaction by imperialism, Kautsky leaves in the shade a question that has become particularly urgent, viz., the impossibility of unity with the opportunists in the epoch of imperialism. While objecting to annexations , he presents his objections in a form that is most acceptable and least offensive to the opportunists. He addresses himself to a German audience, yet he obscures the most topical and important point, for instance, the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine by Germany. In order to appraise this “mental aberration” of Kautsky’s I shall take the following example. Let us suppose that a Japanese condemns the annexation of the Philippines by the Americans. The question is: will many believe that he does so because he has a horror of annexations as such, and not because he himself has a desire to annex the Philippines? And shall we not be constrained to admit that the “fight” the Japanese is waging against annexations can be regarded as being sincere and politically honest only if he fights against the annexation of Korea by Japan, and urges freedom for Korea to secede from Japan?

Kautsky’s theoretical analysis of imperialism, as well as his economic and political critique of imperialism, are permeated through and through with a spirit, absolutely irreconcilable with Marxism, of obscuring and glossing over the fundamental contradictions of imperialism and with a striving to preserve at all costs the crumbling unity with opportunism in the European working-class movement.


COMMENTARY: Lenin's attacks on imperialism are hypocritical. In due time Soviet Russia expanded throughout eastern Europe seizing land and subjegating millions in its iron grip behind the iron curtain. So has China in its attack on Tibet. Then there is the attack on Georgia this past year in which socialists around the world including a green party candidate in the US supported. Imperialism IS in fact the highest stage of tyranny wheter it is under a decayed and aberated form of capitalism that Lenin talks off or under the Red Flag.

Lenin on America part 22:Imperialism the highest stage of capitalism.(excerpts)

Written June of 1916

We must now try to sum up, to draw together the threads of what has been said above on the subject of imperialism. Imperialism emerged as the development and direct continuation of the fundamental characteristics of capitalism in general. But capitalism only became capitalist imperialism at a definite and very high stage of its development, when certain of its fundamental characteristics began to change into their opposites, when the features of the epoch of transition from capitalism to a higher social and economic system had taken shape and revealed themselves in all spheres. Economically, the main thing in this process is the displacement of capitalist free competition by capitalist monopoly. Free competition is the basic feature of capitalism, and of commodity production generally; monopoly is the exact opposite of free competition, but we have seen the latter being transformed into monopoly before our eyes, creating large-scale industry and forcing out small industry, replacing large-scale by still larger-scale industry, and carrying concentration of production and capital to the point where out of it has grown and is growing monopoly: cartels, syndicates and trusts, and merging with them, the capital of a dozen or so banks, which manipulate thousands of millions. At the same time the monopolies, which have grown out of free competition, do not eliminate the latter, but exist above it and alongside it, and thereby give rise to a number of very acute, intense antagonisms, frictions and conflicts. Monopoly is the transition from capitalism to a higher system.

If it were necessary to give the briefest possible definition of imperialism we should have to say that imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism. Such a definition would include what is most important, for, on the one hand, finance capital is the bank capital of a few very big monopolist banks, merged with the capital of the monopolist associations of industrialists; and, on the other hand, the division of the world is the transition from a colonial policy which has extended without hindrance to territories unseized by any capitalist power, to a colonial policy of monopolist possession of the territory of the world, which has been completely divided up.

But very brief definitions, although convenient, for they sum up the main points, are nevertheless inadequate, since we have to deduce from them some especially important features of the phenomenon that has to be defined. And so, without forgetting the conditional and relative value of all definitions in general, which can never embrace all the concatenations of a phenomenon in its full development, we must give a definition of imperialism that will include the following five of its basic features:

(1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; (2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy; (3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance; (4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and (5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed. Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.

We shall see later that imperialism can and must be defined differently if we bear in mind not only the basic, purely economic concepts—to which the above definition is limited—but also the historical place of this stage of capitalism in relation to capitalism in general, or the relation between imperialism and the two main trends in the working-class movement. The thing to be noted at this point is that imperialism, as interpreted above, undoubtedly represents a special stage in the development of capitalism. To enable the reader to obtain the most wellgrounded idea of imperialism, I deliberately tried to quote as extensively as possible bourgeois economists who have to admit the particularly incontrovertible facts concerning the latest stage of capitalist economy. With the same object in view, I have quoted detailed statistics which enable one to see to what degree bank capital, etc., has grown, in what precisely the transformation of quantity into quality, of developed capitalism into imperialism, was expressed. Needless to say, of course, all boundaries in nature and in society are conventional and changeable, and it would be absurd to argue, for example, about the particular year or decade in which imperialism “definitely” became established.

In the matter of defining imperialism, however, we have to enter into controversy, primarily, with Karl Kautsky, the principal Marxist theoretician of the epoch of the so-called Second International—that is, of the twenty-five years between 1889 and 1914. The fundamental ideas expressed in our definition of imperialism were very resolutely attacked by Kautsky in 1915, and even in November 1914, when he said that imperialism must not be regarded as a “phase” or stage of economy, but as a policy, a definite policy “preferred” by finance capital; that imperialism must not be “identified” with “present-day capitalism”; that if imperialism is to be understood to mean “all the phenomena of present-day capitalism”—cartels, protection, the domination of the financiers, and colonial policy—then the question as to whether imperialism is necessary to capitalism becomes reduced to the “flattest tautology”, because, in that case, “imperialism is naturally a vital necessity for capitalism”, and so on. The best way to present Kautsky’s idea is to quote his own definition of imperialism, which is diametrically opposed to the substance of the ideas which I have set forth (for the objections coming from the camp of the German Marxists, who have been advocating similar ideas for many years already, have been long known to Kautsky as the objections of a definite trend in Marxism).

Kautsky’s definition is as follows:

“Imperialism is a product of highly developed industrial capitalism. It consists in the striving of every industrial capitalist nation to bring under its control or to annex all large areas of agrarian [Kautsky’s italics] territory, irrespective of what nations inhabit it.” [1]

This definition is of no use at all because it one-sidedly, i.e., arbitrarily, singles out only the national question (although the latter is extremely important in itself as well as in its relation to imperialism), it arbitrarily and inaccurately connects this question only with industrial capital in the countries which annex other nations, and in an equally arbitrary and inaccurate manner pushes into the forefront the annexation of agrarian regions.

Imperialism is a striving for annexations—this is what the political part of Kautsky’s definition amounts to. It is correct, but very incomplete, for politically, imperialism is, in general, a striving towards violence and reaction. For the moment, however, we are interested in the economic aspect of the question, which Kautsky himself introduced into his definition. The inaccuracies in Kautsky’s definition are glaring. The characteristic feature of imperialism is not industrial but finance capital. It is not an accident that in France it was precisely the extraordinarily rapid development of finance capital, and the weakening of industrial capital, that from the eighties onwards gave rise to the extreme intensification of annexationist (colonial) policy. The characteristic feature of imperialism is precisely that it strives to annex not only agrarian territories, but even most highly industrialised regions (German appetite for Belgium; French appetite for Lorraine), because (1) the fact that the world is already partitioned obliges those contemplating a redivision to reach out for every kind of territory, and (2) an essential feature of imperialism is the rivalry between several great powers in the striving for hegemony, i.e., for the conquest of territory, not so much directly for themselves as to weaken the adversary and undermine his hegemony. (Belgium is particularly important for Germany as a base for operations against Britain; Britain needs Baghdad as a base for operations against Germany, etc.)

Kautsky refers especially—and repeatedly—to English writers who, lie alleges, have given a purely political meaning to the word “imperialism” in the sense that he, Kautsky, understands it. We take up the work by the English writer Hobson, Imperialism, which appeared in 1902, and there we read:

“The new imperialism differs from the older, first, in substituting for the ambition of a single growing empire the theory and the practice of competing empires, each motivated by similar lusts of political aggrandisement and commercial gain; secondly, in the dominance of financial or investing over mercantile interests.” [2]

We see that Kautsky is absolutely wrong in referring to English writers generally (unless lie meant the vulgar English imperialists, or the avowed apologists for imperialism). We see that Kautsky, while claiming that he continues to advocate Marxism, as a matter of fact takes a step backward compared with the social-liberal Hobson, who more correctly takes into account two “historically concrete” (Kautsky’s definition is a mockery of historical concreteness!) features of modern imperialism: (1) the competition between several imperialisms, and (2) the predominance of the financier over the merchant. If it is chiefly a question of the annexation of agrarian countries by industrial countries, then the role of the merchant is put in the forefront.

Kautsky’s definition is not only wrong and un-Marxist. It serves as a basis for a whole system of views which signify a rupture with Marxist theory and Marxist practice all along the line. I shall refer to this later. The argument about words which Kautsky raises as to whether the latest stage of capitalism should be called imperialism or the stage of finance capital is not worth serious attention. Call it what you will, it makes no difference. The essence of the matter is that Kautsky detaches the politics of imperialism from its economics, speaks of annexations as being a policy “preferred” by finance capital, and opposes to it another bourgeois policy which, he alleges, is possible on this very same basis of finance capital. It follows, then, that monopolies in the economy are compatible with non-monopolistic, non-violent, non-annexationist methods in politics. It follows, then, that the territorial division of the world, which was completed during this very epoch of finance capital, and which constitutes the basis of the present peculiar forms of rivalry between the biggest capitalist states, is compatible with a non-imperialist policy. The result is a slurring-over and a blunting of the most profound contradictions of the latest stage of capitalism, instead of an exposure of their depth; the result is bourgeois reformism instead of Marxism.

Kautsky enters into controversy with the German apologist of imperialism and annexations, Cunow, who clumsily and cynically argues that imperialism is present-day capitalism; the development of capitalism is inevitable and progressive; therefore imperialism is progressive; therefore, we should grovel before it and glorify it! This is something like the caricature of the Russian Marxists which the Narodniks drew in 1894-95. They argued: if the Marxists believe that capitalism is inevitable in Russia, that it is progressive, then they ought to open a tavern and begin to implant capitalism! Kautsky’s reply to Cunow is as follows: imperialism is not present-day capitalism; it is only one of the forms of the policy of present-day capitalism. This policy we can and should fight, fight imperialism, annexations, etc.

The reply seems quite plausible, but in effect it is a more subtle and more disguised (and therefore more dangerous) advocacy of conciliation with imperialism, because a “fight” against the policy of the trusts and banks that does not affect the economic basis of the trusts and banks is mere bourgeois reformism and pacifism, the benevolent and innocent expression of pious wishes. Evasion of existing contradictions, forgetting the most important of them, instead of revealing their full depth—such is Kautsky’s theory, which has nothing in common with Marxism. Naturally, such a “theory” can only serve the purpose of advocating unity with the Cunows!

“From the purely economic point of view,” writes Kautsky, “it is not impossible that capitalism will yet go through a new phase, that of the extension of the policy of the cartels to foreign policy, the phase of ultra-imperialism,” [3] i.e., of a superimperialism, of a union of the imperialisms of the whole world and not struggles among them, a phase when wars shall cease under capitalism, a phase of “the joint exploitation of the world by internationally united finance capital”. [4]

We shall have to deal with this “theory of ultra-imperialism” later on in order to show in detail how decisively and completely it breaks with Marxism. At present, in keeping with the general plan of the present work, we must examine the exact economic data on this question. “From the purely economic point of view”, is “ultra-imperialism” possible, or is it ultra-nonsense?

If the purely economic point of view is meant to be a “pure” abstraction, then all that can be said reduces itself to the following proposition: development is proceeding towards monopolies, hence, towards a single world monopoly, towards a single world trust. This is indisputable, but it is also as completely meaningless as is the statement that “development is proceeding” towards the manufacture of foodstuffs in laboratories. In this sense the “theory” of ultra-imperialism is no less absurd than a “theory of ultra-agriculture” would be.

If, however, we are discussing the “purely economic” conditions of the epoch of finance capital as a historically concrete epoch which began at the turn of the twentieth century, then the best reply that one can make to the lifeless abstractions of “ultraimperialism” (which serve exclusively a most reactionary aim: that of diverting attention from the depth of existing antagonisms) is to contrast them with the concrete economic realities of the present-day world economy. Kautsky’s utterly meaningless talk about ultra-imperialism encourages, among other things, that profoundly mistaken idea which only brings grist to the mill of the apologists of imperialism, i.e., that the rule of finance capital lessens the unevenness and contradictions inherent in the world economy, whereas in reality it increases them.

R. Calwer, in his little book, An Introduction to the World Economy, [5] made an attempt to summarise the main, purely economic, data that enable one to obtain a concrete picture of the internal relations of the world economy at the turn of the twentieth century. He divides the world into five “main economic areas”, as follows: (1) Central Europe (the whole of Europe with the exception of Russia and Great Britain); (2) Great Britain; (3) Russia; (4) Eastern Asia; (5) America; he includes the colonies in the “areas” of the states to which they belong and “leaves aside” a few countries not distributed according to areas, such as Persia, Afghanistan, and Arabia in Asia, Morocco and Abyssinia in Africa, etc.

Here is a brief summary of the economic data he quotes on these regions.

Principal
economic
areas Area Pop. Transport Trade Industry
Million sq.
miles Millions Railways
(thou. km) Mercantile
fleet (mill-
ions tons) Imports,
exports
(thous-million
marks) Output
Of coal (mill.
tons) Of pig iron
(mill. tons) Number
of cotton
spindles
(millions)
1) Central
Europe 27.6
(23.6) 388
(146) 204 8 41 251 15 26
2) Britain 28.9
(28.6) 398
(355) 140 11 25 249 9 51
3) Russia 22 131 63 1 3 16 3 7
4) Eastern Asia 12 389 8 1 2 8 0.02 2
5) America 30 148 379 6 14 245 14 19

NOTE: The figures in parentheses show the area and population of the colonies.

We see three areas of highly developed capitalism (high development of means of transport, of trade and of industry): the Central European, the British and the American areas. Among these are three states which dominate the world: Germany, Great Britain, and the United States. Imperialist rivalry and the struggle between these countries have become extremely keen because Germany has only an insignificant area and few colonies; the creation of “Central Europe” is still a matter for the future, it is being born in the midst of a desperate struggle. For the moment the distinctive feature of the whole of Europe is political disunity. In the British and American areas, on the other hand, political concentration is very highly developed, but there is a vast disparity between the immense colonies of the one and the insignificant colonies of the other. In the colonies, however, capitalism is only beginning to develop. The struggle for South America is becoming more and more acute.

There are two areas where capitalism is little developed: Russia and Eastern Asia. In the former, the population is extremely sparse, in the latter it is extremely dense; in the former political concentration is high, in the latter it does not exist. The partitioning of China is only just beginning, and the struggle for it between Japan, the U.S., etc., is continually gaining in intensity.

Compare this reality—the vast diversity of economic and political conditions, the extreme disparity in the rate of development of the various countries, etc., and the violent struggles among the imperialist states—with Kautsky’s silly little fable about “peaceful” ultra-imperialism. Is this not the reactionary attempt of a frightened philistine to hide from stern reality? Are not the international cartels which Kautsky imagines are the embryos of “ultra-imperialism” (in the same way as one “can” describe the manufacture of tablets in a laboratory as ultra-agriculture in embryo) an example of the division and the redivision of the world, the transition from peaceful division to non-peaceful division and vice versa? Is not American and other finance capital, which divided the whole world peacefully with Germany’s participation in, for example, the international rail syndicate, or in the international mercantile shipping trust, now engaged in redividing the world on the basis of a new relation of forces that is being changed by methods anything but peaceful?

Finance capital and the trusts do not diminish but increase the differences in the rate of growth of the various parts of the world economy. Once the relation of forces is changed, what other solution of the contradictions can be found under capitalism than that of force? Railway statistics [6] provide remarkably exact data on the different rates of growth of capitalism and finance capital in world economy. In the last decades of imperialist development, the total length of railways has changed as follows:

Railways (000 kilometers)
1890 1913 +
Europe 224 346 +122
U.S. 268 411 +143
All colonies 82 125 210 347 +128 +222
Independent and semi-independent
states of Asia and America 43 137 +94
Total 617 1,104

Thus, the development of railways has been most rapid in the colonies and in the independent (and semi-independent) states of Asia and America. Here, as we know, the finance capital of the four or five biggest capitalist states holds undisputed sway. Two hundred thousand kilometres of new railways in the colonies and in the other countries of Asia and America represent a capital of more than 40,000 million marks newly invested on particularly advantageous terms, with special guarantees of a good return and with profitable orders for steel works, etc., etc.

Capitalism is growing with the greatest rapidity in the colonies and in overseas countries. Among the latter, new imperialist powers are emerging (e.g., Japan). The struggle among the world imperialisms is becoming more acute. The tribute levied by finance capital on the most profitable colonial and overseas enterprises is increasing. In the division of this “booty”, an exceptionally large part goes to countries which do not always stand at the top of the list in the rapidity of the development of their productive forces. In the case of the biggest countries, together with their colonies, the total length of railways was as follows:

(000 kilometres)
1890 1913
U.S. 268 413 +145
British Empire 107 208 +101
Russia 32 78 +46
Germany 43 68 +25
France 41 63 +22
Total 491 830 +339

Thus, about 80 per cent of the total existing railways are concentrated in the hands of the five biggest powers. But the concentration of the ownership of these railways, the concentration of finance capital, is immeasurably greater since the French and British millionaires, for example, own an enormous amount of shares and bonds in American, Russian and other railways.

Thanks to her colonies, Great Britain has increased the length of “her” railways by 100,000 kilometres, four times as much as Germany. And yet, it is well known that the development of productive forces in Germany, and especially the development of the coal and iron industries, has been incomparably more rapid during this period than in Britain—not to speak of France and Russia. In 1892, Germany produced 4,900,000 tons of pig-iron and Great Britain produced 6,800,000 tons; in 1912, Germany produced 17,600,000 tons and Great Britain, 9,000,000 tons. Germany, therefore, had an overwhelming superiority over Britain in this respect. [7] The question is: what means other than war could there be under capitalism to overcome the disparity between the development of productive forces and the accumulation of capital on the one side, and the division of colonies and spheres of influence for finance capital on the other?


Continued over to Part 23