V. I.   Lenin





Gustaf F. Steffen, World War and Imperialism. Socio-Psychological Documents and Observations of the World War 1914–15, Jena, 1915. (Translated from the Swedish.)

(p. 3): “Imperialism is as old as the history of the world”....

|| &arrow; “In its most general features, imperialism is an endeavour to build a great world state by conquest or colonisation or the peaceful political   | ↓ !!? ha-ha!! union of already existing states, or by a combination of these methods; to build a world power which embraces the whole of mankind or which divides mankind between itself and some other world states” (4).... The concept of “the whole world” depends on the given people’s || “knowledge” of the earth, etc. “Imperialism is a purely psychical factor” (4).

[DITTO:] || “Social fantasy is the mother of imperialism” (5).

Imperialism has its history. “There is primitive imperialism and higher, more mature imperialism” (6).

Caesar,—Napoleon, etc., etc.

||| Present-day “imperialism of partition” (partition of the world) in contrast to ancient “mono-imperialism” (a single monarchy)—(p. 15)....

On p. 14 the author promises to examine the “special” features of “present-day” “European imperialism”....

The world is divided among ten empires ... (p. 15) and fifty other independent states....

1. Russia }} with mono-imperialist
“dreams of the future”....
}} “semi-European”
2. Great Britain
(their characteristic feature being vast possessions
outside Europe).
3. France—likewise of “somewhat lower imperialist rank” (16)....
(“empires with extra-European orientation”).
4. Japan.
5. Turkey—a weak empire.
6. China—a “dormant empire” (17) ... “Chinese imperialism” will still have to be reckoned with in the future (17)....
7. Germany.
—the war centres on her “imperialist position and power”....
8. Austria-Hungary.
9. Italy (“an imperialist newcomer”, 18)....
10. United States.

What part of the world is “imperialised”?

Σ of these ten empires = 96.66 million square kilometres = 66% of the world. South America = 18.6 million sq. kilometres = 13% of the world (p. 18).

The author gives (H\"ubner’s) totals (sq. km. and population) of all these states. Σ = 96.662 million sq. km. and 1,399,689,000 population.
The whole world (145,918,000 sq. km.) (1,657,097,000 population).

The Entente (68,031,000 sq. km.) (777,060,000 population)
+ Austria
+ Turkey 5,921,000 ” ” 150,199,000 ”

It is all clearly a matter of “psychical” (25) factors!!

| well said! ...“The world is now almost completely ‘divided up’. But world history teaches us that empires tend to divide up each other after they have more or less divided among themselves the ‘no-master’ areas in all parts of the globe” (37).

(a detailed paraphrase of Seeley....)

Present-day British and French imperialism—like that of Spain, Holland, Portugal, France and Great Britain in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries—is “West-European imperialism based on overseas colonisation” (43).

Russia is different. Russia is more an Asiatic country. It is in the interest of all Europe to seal itself off from Asia. | Germanophile!! The Great Russians=a mixture with Asiatics; the frontier of Europe=the frontier of the Great Russians (p. 50). The alliance of France and Great Britain with Russia is an alliance against “the general vital interests of all Europe” (51).

Incidentally: p. 46, remarks that ||| “Swedish” imperialism Sweden is “a former Great Power, dethroned by Russia herself”.

|| favours. German imperialism Nothing could be more legitimate than the foundation (1871) of the German Empire. Great Britain, France and Russia consider it their “right” to dismember and enfeeble Germany!! (56).

imperialism = a law of history! || “Imperialism is a universal [sic!] political stage of development, through which every [!!] great people with large internal forces and a momentous mission must pass” (56–57).

Percentage and per capita expenditure on the army and navy is less in Germany than in France and Great Britain (58). The “legend” (59) of Germany’s excessive “militarisation”!

|| “This cause [of the 1914–15 world catastrophe], it seems to me, lies in the relative weakness rather than the relative strength of Germany” (60).... From the standpoint of Russia + Great Britain + France, a “preventive war” was necessary”....

“True, modern economic imperialism and imperialist expansion are possible to a certain extent even without the direct acquisition of territories in other parts of the world, which we call ‘colonisation’. Capital, traders and entrepreneurs are dispatched, railways and canals are constructed, huge regions in all parts of the world are made accessible to modern capitalist development, and in this way, spheres of economic influence, or spheres of domination, in other parts of the world are acquired without direct seizure of territory or political conquest.

aha! | “Undoubtedly, German imperialism has hitherto, employed, to a considerable extent, these more peaceful methods of expansion. This could be, but might not be, merely preparation for colonial acquisitions in the previous sense” (62).

It has been aimed chiefly at Asia Minor and Mesopotamia—areas not belonging to the British Empire.

Great Britain seeks to deprive Germany of just that development which she herself extensively enjoys + France + Russia (62–63).

“The world war of 1914–15 is therefore really a world war—a war to give the new German Empire a share in ruling the world, a war in which the leading role is played by the mistress of the world, Great Britain, while the two next most powerful world powers—Russia and France—are interested participants” (63).

Great Britain + France + Russia = 46% of the earth and 43% of its population; + the U.S.A. + Germany = 55% and 53% (p. 68).... “In other words, the world is actually divided between some few states” (69)....

Seeley—1883 (The Expansion...)....

Charles Dilke—1890 (Problems of Greater Britain).

There should be three empires: Great Britain + the United States + Russia.

France and Germany “pygmies” (!!) (p. 71).

James Anthony Froude—1885 (Oceania or England and Her Colonies).

The Empire and the Century, 1905 (a symposium of 50 authors).

The following is from the introductory article by W. F. Monnypenny “The Imperial Ideal”:

“Today the words ‘Empire’ and ‘Imperialism’ fill the place in everyday speech that was once filled by ‘Nation’ and ‘Nationality’... the national ideal has given place to the Imperial” (72)....

Imperialism (Rome!) is older than “nationalism” (72–73). But “modern” imperialism is based “to a very large extent” on nationalism (73)....

J. A. Cramb, Germany and England, 1913.... (“Germany is our worst enemy”....) For a standing army.... “All England’s wars for the past five hundred years have been fought for empire”. (79).... Alliance with Russia is “unnatural” (80)....

| true! “Bluntly stated, what it amounts to is that, in her general development, Germany is now vastly superior to France, Russia and Japan, and she alone can in the future present a real threat to Britain’s world domination, and especially to her command of the seas. Hence an agreement between Britain and the three Great Powers mentioned was incomparably easier than one with Germany” (85).

Endless prattle—quotations from Trubetskoi—the German Chancellor is more moral than Lloyd George, etc., etc. Chauvinist blather! Pithy quotations from George Bernard Shaw on British hypocrisy (120–23), etc. ||| But Shaw, he says,   !!! ||| has written a host of articles [inter alia in The New Statesman] on the need to “smash up” Germany (p. 128).

One of the causes is failure to “understand” one another (136);—education in a spirit of “national prejudices” (137).
— — — Peace requires the shedding of national “independence” (138) (= the right to make war), etc., etc.

Quotations from Bernhardi ... he accuses his nation of lacking bellicosity (!!) ... and from Rohrbach (he, too, is “moderate”! (p. 150), Rohrbach’s “humane (!!!) guiding impulses”). — — What a banal type, this Steffen!...

! ||| German imperialism is “defensive rather than aggressive” (157).

ha-ha!! || Germany is waging a “defensive” war (158)—it is “ludicrous” to think that she would have chosen for an attack “such a wildly unfavourable situation as the present one”, etc., etc. German imperialism is “profoundly cultural, socially constructive”, etc. (163).

[DOUBLE BOX ENDS:] [[ This book, which promised something in the beginning, degenerates into the most vulgar Germanophile chauvinism! N.B. ]]

The diplomatic documents are extremely confused—in all countries there were (some) diplomats for war,—the military, too, intervened (powerfully).... “The causes of the 1914–15 world war can be established only by studying world history” (180)....

And further, right to the end (p. 254), Germanophile quotations from well-known “books”... Nil! Nil! Not worth the trouble reading this “Dreck”!



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