Le Mercure de France, Vol. 50, April, Paris, 1904.
Paul Louis, Outline of Imperialism, p. 100 et seq.
|| “Imperialism is a general phenomenon of our age; more, a characteristic feature of the early twentieth century, and few nations have been able to avoid its influence.
“The world is passing through the era of imperialism, just as it has experienced the crises of liberalism, protectionism, colonialism,—just as it has experienced the collective effort of nationalities, just as in the last ten years it has witnessed the universal spread and increasing growth of socialism. || All these elements, all these aspects of the life of mankind, are closely linked, and imperialism and socialism to a very large extent form the fundamental contradiction of our age. To show up this contradiction amounts practically to defining the essential principles of both” (100).
...“Imperialism is equally triumphant in Britain and the U.S.A., in Japan and the Russian Empire, in Germany, France and Italy” (100–01)....
“It [imperialism] emerges everywhere as capitalism’s supreme effort to preserve its wealth, political domination, social authority. This involves territorial conquest, forcible or peaceful extension of possessions, closure of markets, creation of a closed empire” (101).
The wars of 1820–48 were bound up “with the formation of the great German and Italian nationalities” (102)....
...“Imperialism combines colonialism and protectionism” (105)....
“It [imperialism] should above all be studied in Great Britain, for there it has found its Promised Land” (106)....
But alongside Great Britain there has developed
(1) the competition of France, Germany, America and Japan;
(2) the struggle for colonial markets (of Europe and the colonial countries themselves);
(3) the merchant fleet of other countries.
“Imperialism arose from these three established facts”
(Chamberlain’s campaign. Imperial federation, etc.).
The same applies to the United states—Russia—Germany—Japan (109).
(Hence—the aggravation of nationalism, etc.)
“Nationalism, which merges with imperialism”... carries the threat of war, etc. (112).
But these wars “will deal irreparable blows to the social institutions of participating countries” (113).
It will lead to the formation of gigantic empires—to growing discontent among the workers (113), the “mob”... (113) (rising living costs, etc., etc.).
“The capitalist world regards imperialism, its last card, as the last refuge against the bankruptcy and spontaneous disintegration that threatens to engulf it with fatal certainty. But imperialism is also a remarkable, incomparable, artisan of revolution” (114).
(End of article)