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Book Review: 'Imperialism - Pioneer of Capitalism'

'Imperialism: Pioneer of Capitalism', by Bill Warren, Verso, £3.95

It is not difficult to see why this book has been the subject of a virtual conspiracy of silence in left wing circles since it challenges one of their deep-rooted pre-judices: anti-imperialism. Warren argues that, far from keeping the underdeveloped countries underdeveloped imperialism, in paving the way for the development of capitalism, has precisely provided the framework for their modernisation and development.

World View: Lenin, Theorist of Nationalism

Lenin's very notion that "imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism" supposes that one nation exploits another, so requiring a "national liberation" movement for the subject nation, which leads the working class of two different countries into a game of slaughtering each other. But the working class has no nation, only a world to win.

We know that, historically, unless a particular class monopolises the means of production and distribution and forces the rest of the people to sell their labour power, no capitalist production is possible. Private property is monopoly. Coupled with the division of labour it is the basis of commodity production as of exchange, money, the market, etc.

Socialists Do Stand for Equality


The new draft Constitution now being considered in Russia lays it down that "to each according to the quality and quantity of his work" is a socialist principle. In the July SOCIALIST STANDARD that assertion was challenged on the ground that the principle is a capitalist one. As the question is an important one, and much confusion is likely to result from the Russian declaration, it was proposed to follow the matter up. In the meantime, the Daily Worker (July 4th) has departed from the general rule of the Communists of ignoring the S.P.G.B. by replying to the comment published in THE SOCIALIST STANDARD. While the Daily Worker’s observations are not well-informed, they will serve as an introduction. This is what the Daily Worker says: —

A Question of Definition (4) - Socialism/Communism

Socialism is the name we give to the new society we wish to see the working class establish, defined in our Object as “a system of society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community”.

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