Saturday, October 09, 2010
Ever wondered why our country always seems to be at war with the world. Ever wondered why our government and mass media promote the view that the world outside our borders is a corrupt, chaotic, frightening place. Ever shocked to realize that many people in our society think the best thing that can happen to a foreign country is for the U.S. to invade. Can you even think of a time when our country was truly at peace with the world?
Imperialism is capitalism at its most virulent stage, astride the world; exploitation on a global scale. It is the creation of a grotesquely unequal world. The constant wars and its astonishing waste of resources and human lives ultimately weakens imperialism. Workers of the world are driven to rebel against it and replace it with socialism, the last stage of capitalism before its revolutionary transformation. Imperialism is the result of capitalism’s inexorable tendency towards globalization.
Capitalism exists to maximize profit, and capitalists do this by stealing as much surplus value as possible from the working class. Eventually, national capitalism develops to a point where production is concentrated in giant monopolies that are controlled by the huge banks that finance them. The finance capitalists who control these banks take state power as well, and they use their economic, political, and military power to take capitalist exploitation to a whole new level. The dominance of finance capital is the key component of imperialism because finance capital begins to look abroad for even greater returns on investment.
Like any other criminal enterprise, capitalism starts out small. The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie [the capitalists—D.P.] over the whole surface of the globe. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls.
Marx and Engels are talking about an earlier stage of capitalism that emphasized the production and export of physical commodities, whereas imperialism focuses on the export of finance capital. Under imperialism, investment capital itself is used to “batter down all Chinese walls” and when this doesn’t work it uses naked political and military aggression to open up a country to capital investment. They want a world in which finance capital based in the powerful developed countries is totally free to move around the globe and make investments that subject workers in the weaker developing countries to forms of super-exploitation even more brutal than “national capitalism. Capitalism is fundamentally a criminal enterprise; it will stop at nothing to extend their global dominance. Resistance against imperialism by the global working class has been a major factor shaping world history since at least the latter part of the nineteenth century. The Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions were all victories in the struggle against.
At the end of the Second World War, the United States took on the role. Some major defeats have been Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba. A tremendous victory was the break-up of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe but the dividends of that victory were squandered on financial scandals and military adventurism.
The U.S has been weakened by the growing economies of China and India, the economic depression of 2008 and the huge costs of and poor performance by the U.S. military in the two imperialist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
When imperialists fight for survival they always resort to fascism. Fascism has been defined as “the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.” The movement toward fascism is a sign that imperialism is on its death bed, which in turn opens up opportunities for socialist revolution. This brings us to the subjects of working-class unity and internationalism, the united front against fascism, and the fight for international socialism, all of which will be discussed in later articles.