The Classical Theory of Imperialism Today

Classical Theory of Imperialism and Contemporary Capitalism” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2021.1881988) is a new article for JCA by Paramjit Singh of the Department of Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.

The abstract states:

Despite its comprehensiveness, Lenin’s classical analysis of the imperialistic nature of capitalism deserves to be considered under a new lens. This article is an attempt to highlight some important features of late imperialism. While Lenin’s analysis is the focal point of critical inquiry, the article goes beyond his account to examine some important features of classical theory that remained unaddressed by Lenin. The attempt is to dialectically sublate Lenin’s theory with the analysis of contemporary imperialism. It is suggested that the mechanism of financial accumulation, concentration and centralisation of finance capital is broader than classical conception of finance capital. Another important driver of contemporary imperialism is the globalisation of industrial capital driven by transnational corporations and arm’s length production. The central feature of this new form of production is global monopoly capital resulting from combined interplay of concentration and internationalisation. The article also endeavours to understand the global proletarianisation of labour as a consequence of the accumulation at the world scale; a point only obliquely addressed by Lenin. The article concludes by comparing capitalism’s crisis and decay in Lenin’s analysis with the capitalism of present times.

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