V. I.   Lenin





Victor Bérard, Britain and Imperialism, Paris, 1900. (381 pp.)

{{ Cursory examination suggests a collection of newspaper articles: glib, extremely glib, journalism, but extremely superficial. Descriptive account, nothing more. “Joseph Chamberlain” is the heading of the first chapter. Quotations from his speeches, his career, fame, etc., etc. “Imperialism” forms the second chapter (or section: they are not called chapters nor are they numbered). This too is a “newspaper” account: “Markets, markets”, endless examples and figures   (on the decline of British trade, etc.) from Blue Books, but it is all fragmentary, superficial, and after Hobson and Schulze-Gaevernitz reads like a schoolboy’s exercise—book.... Ditto about German competition, and so on and so forth. Nil. Nil. }}

[DITTO:] {{ A couple of examples which, possibly, might be useful: [DITTO:] }}

Some of the arguments against imperialism:

“The same statistics prove further that the occupation of a territory by His Majesty’s troops often benefits only foreigners and very little British subjects; in Egypt only German and Belgian trade has increased since 1881: British imports to Egypt amounted to £8,726,000 in 1870; £3,060,000 in 1880; £3,192,000 in 1892; £4,435,000 in 1897, whereas German imports rose from £E21,000 (Egyptian £ = 25.60 francs) in 1886 to £E281,000 in 1896, and Belgian imports rose from £86,000 to £458,000 in the same period” (p. 249).

“Having invented the extraction of sugar from beet, France became the world’s leading sugar producer: she still had a monopoly in 1870, when Germany entered the field. A study of the French crops showed that, like Northern France, she had a favourable soil and climate in areas near her coal mines. But her soil was less fertile and her climate more severe. The fight against the French would have to be waged on unequal terms. Nevertheless, by 1882, French sugar manufacturers were already complaining: German sugar is penetrating the French market.... German beet has a 12 per cent sugar content; French growers say they cannot obtain more than 7 per cent”—the Germans had improved cultivation methods, fertilisers, selection, etc., etc.

“In less than twelve years of German competition, France, which invented beet sugar, was deprived of the profit from her invention. Her sugar law of 1884 was dictated by German science, Germany being henceforth the empress of sugar, and, in addition, of alcohol” (pp. 311–12).

[TRIPLE BOX ENDS:] [[ Date at the end of the book: November 1898–April 1900. ]]




Works Index   |   Volume 39 | Collected Works   |   L.I.A. Index
< backward   forward >