The anti-imperialist delusion

In the course of the 20th century socialism, as a word, came to be transformed from a doctrine and aim associated with the emancipation of the working class into a doctrine and aim associated with the coming to power of nationalist, anti—imperialist elites in the economically less developed parts of the world.

The starting point was the coming to power in Russia in 1917 of an elite which had inherited its ideology from the workers movement but which in practice used the state to develop Russia economically and turn it into a power that challenged the domination of the world by America, Britain and France. As such it provided an attractive model for modernizing elites in other countries suffering from economic backwardness and domination by the advanced industrial capitalist states of the West.