Imperialism and the Revolution
In the present conditions, when the Khrushchevite, Titoite, "Eurocommunist" and Chinese revisionists and the other anti-Marxist trends are attacking the cause of the revolution and peoples' liberation on the pretext that the situation has changed, a thorough study of Lenin's works on imperialism assumes first-rate importance.
We must return to these works and make an especially thorough and detailed study of Lenin's work of genius -Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism . From a careful study of this work, we shall see how the revisionists, and the Chinese leaders among them, distort the Leninist thought on imperialism, how they understand the aims, strategy and tactics of imperialism. Their writings, declarations, stands and actions show that their View of the nature of imperialism is completely Wrong, they see it from counterrevolutionary and anti-Marxist positions, as did all the parties of the Second International and their ideologists, Kautsky and company, whom Lenin ruthlessly exposed.
If we study this work of Lenin's carefully and faithfully adhere to his analysis and conclusions of genius, we shall see that imperialism in our days fully retains those same characteristics that Lenin described, that the Leninist definition of our epoch as the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolutions remains unshaken, and that the triumph of the revolution is inevitable.
As is known, Lenin begins his analysis of imperialism with the concentration of production and capital and the monopolies. Today, too, the phenomena of the concentration and centralization of production and capital can be analysed correctly and scientifically only on the basis of the Leninist analysis of imperialism.
A characteristic of present-day capitalism is the ever increasing concentration of production and capital, which has led to the merging or absorption of small enterprises by the powerful ones. A consequence of this is the mass concentration of the work force in big trusts and concerns. These enterprises have also concentrated in their hands huge productive capacities and resources of energy and raw materials of incalculable proportions. At present the big capitalist enterprises are also utilizing nuclear energy and the newest technology, which belong to these enterprises exclusively.
Such gigantic organisms have a national and and international character. Within their own country, they have ruined most of the small proprietors or industrialists, while on the international plane they have grown into colossal concerns, which include whole branches of the industry, agriculture, construction, transport, etc. of many countries. Wherever these concerns have extended their tentacles, wherever the concentration of production has been achieved by a tiny handful of multimillionaire capitalists, the tendency to the liquidation of the small owners and industrialists is becoming more widespread and pronounced. This has led to the further strengthening of monopolies.
"This transformation of competition into monopoly,. said Lenin, "is one of the most important phenomena, - if not the most important, in the economy of presentday capitalism ... ",
Speaking of this feature of imperialism, he adds,
"...the rise of monopolies as the result of [concentration of production in general is a universal and fundamental law of the present stage of development of capitalism".
The development of capitalism in today's conditions fully confirms the above conclusion of Lenin's. Nowadays, the monopolies have become the most typical and common phenomenon, which determines the physiognomy. of imperialism, its economic essence. In the imperialist countries, like the United States of America, the Federal German Republic, Britain, Japan, France, etc., the concentration of production has assumed unprecedented proportions.
For example, in 1976, there were nearly 17 million people, representing over 20 percent of the employed work force, employed in the 500 biggest US corporations. Sixty-six percent of all the goods sold came from these corporations. At the time when Lenin wrote his book "imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism", there was only one big American company in the capitalist world, the "United States Steel Corporation" with share capital of over one billion dollars, whereas in 1976 the number of billionaire companies was about 350. In 1975, the General Motors Corporation" automobile, tl;ust, this supermonopoly, had a total capital lit excess of 22 billion dollars and exploited an army of nearly 800,000 workers. Next comes the monopoly Standard Oil of New Jersey., which dominates the oil industry of the United States of America and other countries and which exploits over 700,000 workers. In the automobile industry there are three big monopolies which account for more than 90 percent of production in this branch; in both the aviation and the steel industries, four very big companies account for 65 and 47 percent of production respectively.
The same process has occurred and is occurring in the other imperialist countries, too. In the Federal German Republic, 13 percent of the total number of enterprises have concentrated about 50 percent of the production and 40 percent of the labour power of the country. In Britain, 50 big monopolies dominate everything. The British Steel Corporation accounts for over 90 percent of the, steel production of the country. In France, two companies have concentrated three fourths of the steel production in their hands, four monopolies own the whole production of automobiles, whereas four others control the entire output of oil products. In Japan, ten big black metallurgy companies produce all the pig iron and over three fourths of the steel, while eight companies operate in non-ferrous metallurgy. The same applies to the other branches and sectors. (Information from: "Monthly Bulletin of Statistics", United Nations, 1977; "Statistical Yearbook" 1976; the US journal "Fortune", 1976, etc.)
The small and middle-sized enterprises which still xist in these countries are directly dependent On monopolies. They receive orders from the monopolies and work for them; get credits and raw materials, technology, etc. from them. In practice, they have become appendages of the monopolies.
The concentration and centralization of production and capital, creating giant monopolies which have no technological unity, is widespread today. Enterprises and entire branches of industrial production, construction, transport, trade, services, of the infrastructure, etc., operate within these gigantic "conglomerate" monopolies. They turn out everything, from children's toys to intercontinental missiles.
The economic power of the monopolies and the concentration of capital, which has increased and is constantly increasing, creates a situation in which the victims of the competition are not just "the small babies", that is, the unmonopolized enterprises, which were typical in the past, but even big financial enterprises and groups. As a result of the insatiable appetite of the monopolies f or high monopoly profits and the extreme sharpening of the competition, this process has assumed colossal proportions during the last two decades. 'The mergers and take-overs in the capitalist world toda are 7 to 10 times greater than in the years prior to the Second World War.
The mergers and combinations of industrial, trading, farming and banking enterprises have led -to the creation of new forms of monopolies, to the creation of big industrial-commercial or indus- corporations, forms which are finding wide application not only in the capitalist countries of the West, but also in the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and other revisionist countries. In the past the monopoly combines carried on the transport and selling of goods with the help of other independent firms, whereas today, the monopolies control production, transport and marketing.
The monopolies not only try to eliminate competition between the enterprises under their control, but have also extended their clutches to monopolize all the resources of raw materials, all the regions rich in important minerals, like iron, coal, copper, uranium, etc. This process is going on on the national and the international plane.
The concentration of production and capital assumed colossal proportions especially after the Second World War, with the expansion and development of the sector of state monopoly capitalism.
State monopoly capitalism means the subordination of the state apparatus to monopolies, the establishment of their complete domination in the economic, political and social life of the country. In this way the state intervenes directly in the economy in the interest of the financial oligarchy, in order to ensure the maximum profit for the class in power through the exploitation of all the working people, as well as to strangle the revolution and the peoples' liberation struggles.
State monopoly property, as the most characteristic basic element of state monopoly capitalism, does not represent the property of one individual capitalist or group of capitalists, but the property of the capitalist state, the property of the bourgeois class in power. In various imperialist countries the state monopoly capitalist sector accounts for 20 to 30 percent of the total production.
State monopoly capitalism, which rapresents the highest stage of concentration of production and capital, is the main form of property prevailing today in the Soviet Union and the other revisionist countries. This state monopoly capitalism is in the service of the new bourgeois class in power.
In China, too, through a number of reforms, such as the establishment of profit as the main aim of the activity of the enterprises, the Application of capitalist practices in organization, management and remuneration, the creation of economic regions, trusts and combines very similar to the Soviet, Yugoslav and Japanese ones, the opening of doors to foreign capital, the direct links of enterprises with foreign monopolies, etc., the economy is assuming forms typical of state monopoly capitalism.
At present, in the capitalist and revisionist world the concentration and centralization of production and capital have reached an inter-state level. the European Common Market, Comecon, etc., which represent the union of monopolies of various imperialist powers, also encourage and realize this tendency in practice.
Analysing the forms of international monopsolies, in his time Lenin spoke of the cartels and syndicates. In today's conditions, when the concentration of production and capital has reached very large proportions, the monopoly bourgeoisie has also found other forms for the exploitation of working people. These are the multinational companies.
In their outward appearance, these companfles seek To give the impression that they are under the joint ownership of capitalists of many countries. In fact, in regard to their capital and control, the multinationali companies belong mainly to one country, although they carry out their activities in many countries. They are expanding more and more through the absorption of local companies and firms, big and small, which cannot cope with the savage competition.
The multinational companies open up subsidiiaries and extend their enterprises to those countries where the prospects for maximum profitts seem most secure. The US multinational company "Ford", for example, has set up 20 big plants in other countries, in which 100 thousand. workers of! various nationalities are employed.
Between the multinational companies and the bourgeois state there are close links and reciprocal dependence, which are based on their exploiting class character. The capitalist state is used as a tool in their service for their aims of domination and expansion on both the national and the international plane.
In regard to their major economic role and the great weight they carry in the whole life of the country, some multinational companies, individually, constitute a mighty economic force which, in many instances, is equal to or even exceeds, the budgets or production of several developed capitalist countries taken together. The production of one of the powerful multinational companies of the United States of America, "General Motors Corporation", is greater than the industrial production of Holland, Belgium and Switzerland taken together. They intervene to secure special f avours and privileges f or themselves in the countries in which they operate. For example, in 1975, the owners of the electronics; industry of the United States of America demanded that the Mexican Government change its Labour Code which envisaged some safety measures, or otherwise they would transfer their industry to Costa-Rica, and, in order to bring pressure to bear, closed down many factories in which nearly 12,000 Mexican workers were employed.
The multinational companies are levers of imperialism and one of the main forms of its expansion. They are pillars of neo-colonialism and affect the national sovereignty and independence of the countries in which they operate. In order to open the way to their domination, these companies do not hesitate to commit any crime, from the organization of plots and the dislocation of the economy, down to the outright buying of top officials, political and trade-union leaders, etc. The Lockeed scandal provided ample proof of this.
Many multinational companies have established themselves and are operating in the revisionist countries, too. They have begun to penetrate China, too. The concentration and centralization of production and capital, which characterize the capitalist world today and have led to extensive socialization of production, have not in any way altered the exploiting nature of imperialism. On the contrary, they have increased and intensified the oppression and impoverishment of the working people. These phenomena prove to the hilt Lenin's thesis that under conditions of the concentration of production and capital in imperialism,
"the result is immense progress in the socialization of production," but, nevertheless, "... appropriation remains private. The social means of production remain the private property of a few". V. I. Lenin
The monopolies and multinational companies remain great enemies of the proletariat and the peoples.
The intensification of the process of concentration of production and capital which is taking place in our time, has further exacerbated the basic contradiction of capitalism, the contradiction between the social character of production and the private character of appropriation, along with all the other contradictions. Today, just as in the past the colossal income and superprofits realized from the savage exploitation of workers are appropriated by a handful of capitalist magnates. Likewise, the means of production, with which the united branches of industry have been equipped, are the private property of capitalists, while the working class remains enslaved to the owners of the means of production and its labour power remains a market co modity. Nowadays the big capitalist enterprises no longer exploit tens or hundreds of workers but hundreds of thousands of them. As a result of the ruthless capitalist exploitation of this great army of workers, the surplus value seized by the US corporations in 1976 alone, is estimated at over 100 billion dollars, as against 44 billion in 1960.
Lenin exposed the opportunists of the Second International, who preached the possibility of liquidating the antagonistic contradictions of capitalism as a result of the emergence and development of monopolies. He proved with scientific argument that the monopolies, as vehicles of the oppression and exploitation of labour and the private appropriation of the results of labour, make the contradictions of capitalism even more severe. The superstructure of the capitalist order is built on the -basis of the domination of monopolies. This superstructure defends and represents the predatory interests of the monopolies, on both the national and international plane. The monopolies dictate the internal and external policy, the economic, social, military, and other policies.
The present - day reality of the concentration of production and capital also exposes the preachings of the reactionary chiefs of social-democracy, the modern revisionists and opportunists of every hue, that the trusts, the property of state monopoly capitalism, etc., can allegedly be transformed in a peaceful way into socialist economies, that allegedly present-day monopoly capitalism will be integrated gradually into socialism.
The concentration of production and capital, Lenin teaches us, also serve as a basis for increased concentration of money capital, its concentration in the hands of big banks, and the birth and development of finance capital. In the course of the development of capitalism, together with the monopolies, the banks, too, assume great development, absorbing the money capital of the monopolies and concerns as well as of small producers and investors. In this way, the banks, which are in the hands of the capitalists and serve them, become the owners of the main financial means.
The same process, which was carried out for the elimination of the small enterprises by the big ones, by the cartels and monopolies, has also taken place in the liquidation, one after the other, of small banks. Thus, just as the big enterprises created the monopolies, the big banks, too, created their banking concerns. In the last two decades this phenomenon has assumed colossal proportions and it is still going on, very rapidly, today. A distinctive feature of today's mergers and Take-overs is the fact that not only the small banks but also the middle-sized and the relatively big ones are involved. This phenomenon is accounted for by the increasing severity of the contradictions of capitalist reproduction, the extension of the struggle of competition and the grave crisis of the financial and monetary system of the capitalist world.
Twenty-six big financial groups dominate in the United States of America. The biggest of them is the Morgan group, with 20 big banks, insurance companies, etc., and with share capital of 90 billion dollars.
The level of the concentration and centralization of banking capital is also very high in the other main capitalist countries. In West Germany, three out of seventy big banks own over 58 percent of all banking assets. In Britain, all banking activity is controlled by four banks known as the "Big Four". The level of concentration of banking capital is also high in Japan and France, too.
Lenin has proved that banking capital is interlocked with industrial capital. At first, the banks are interested in the fate of the credits they advance to the industrialists. They mediate to ensure that the industrialists who receive the credits reach agreement among themselves to avoid competition with one another because the banks, themselves, would also suffer from this. This was the first step of the banks in their interlocking with industrial capital. With the development of the concentration of production and money capital, the banks become direct investors in the production enterprises, setting up joint-stock companies. In this way, banking capital penetrates in to industry, construction, agriculture, transport, the sphere of circulation and all other fields. For their part, the enterprises buy large holdings of shares and become participants in banks. Today the directors of banks and monopoly enterprises are members of one another's boards of management, thus creting what Lenin called their "personal union". The finance capital which emerges from this process includes all forms of capital: industrial capital, money capital and commodity capital. Characterizing this process, Lenin said:
"The concentration of production; the monopolies arising therefrom; the merging or coalescence of banks with industry - such is the history of the rise of finance capital and such is the content of that concept".
Although since the Second World War finance capital has increased and undergone structural changes, it still has precisely those same aims it has always had, the making of maximum profits through the exploitation of the broad masses of working people inside and outside the country. The insurance companies, which have greatly increased over recent years in the main capitalist countries and have become competitors of the banks, have the same role. In the United States of America, for example, in 1970 as against 1950, banking assets had increased 3.5 fold, whereas those of insurance companies had increased 6.5 fold, over the same period.
With the capital they accumulate through plundering the people, these companies have been able to advance the monopolies large sums amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. In this way, the insurance companies are merged and interlocked with the industrial and banking monopolies, becoming an organic constituent part of finance capital.
Driven by its insatiable thirst for profits, the monopoly bourgeoisie turns every source of temporarily available monetary means, such as the workers' pension funds, the people's savings, etc., into capital.
Concentrated finance capital draws exceptionally large amounts of income not only from the profit accruing to it from the money absorbed from the concerns, small industrialists, etc., etc., but also from the issue of securities and provision of loans. Just as in the case of savings' deposits, in the latter, too, only a small share of the profit goes to the lenders, while the bank itself makes colossal profits from these activities, through which it increases its own capital and investments, which, of course, create a continuous flow of additional profits for finance capital. Finance capital invest mostly in industry, but it has extended its network of speculation to other assets, too, such as land, railways, and other branches and sectors.
The banks have real possibilities of providing considerable sums in credits, which are required by the high level of concentration of production and the domination of monopolies. In this manner, favourable conditions are created for the big monopoly combines to step up their savage exploitation of the working masses both at home and .abroad, in order to ensure maximum profits.
With the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and the other revisionist countries, the banks there assumed all the features characteristic -of monopolies. In these countries, the banks serve the exploitation of the broad masses of the working people, both at home and abroad, in the same way as in all other capitalist countries.
In recent years, trade on time payment ment under which customers buy consumer goods, especially durable consumer items, has increased rapidly in the capitalist and revisionist countries. The provision of such credits ensures the bourgeoisie markets for the sale of goods, the capitalists make colossal profits from the high interest rates charged, while the debtors are bound hand and foot to the creditors and the capitalist firms.
The debts and other obligations of the working people to the banks and money-lending institutions have greatly increased at the present time. In the United States of America alone, in 1976 the indebtedness of the Population from such credits had reached the sum of 167 billion dollars, as against 6 billion in 1945, while in the Federal German Republic the indebtedness of the population had amounted to more than 46 billion marks.
The increased concentration and centralization of banking capital has led to increased economic and political domination by the financial oligarchy and the use of a series of forms and methods to increase the economic bondage, the impoverishment and misery of the broad masses of working people.
The development of finance capital enabled a .small group of powerful industrial capitalists and bankers not only to accumulate great wealthy but also to concentrate real economic and political power, which makes itself felt in the entire life of the country, in their hands. These all-powerful people are those who head the monopolies and banks and constitute what is called the financial oligarchy. Proceeding from the fact that the large companies have now been transformd into share-holders' companies, in which even some worker may have a few token shares, the apologists of capitalism labour to prove that capital has now allegedly lost the private character which it had in the time when Marx wrote "Capital", or when Lenin analysed imperialism, that it has supposedly become people's capital. But this is a fable. Today, as in the past, powerful private industrial - financial groups dominate the imperialist countries: the Rochefellers, Morgans, Duponts, Mellons, Fords, the Chicago, Texas, California and other groups in the United States of America; the financial groups of the Rothschilds Behrings, Samuels, etc., in Britain; Krupp, Siemens, Mannesmann, Thyssen, Gerling, etc, in West Germany; Fiat, Alfa - Romeo, Montedison, Olivetti, etc., in Italy; the great families in France, and so on.
As the possessor of industrial, and finance capital, the financial oligarchy has established its economic and politicalk domination over the entire life of the country. It has even subordinated the state apparatus, which has been transformed into a tool in the hands of the financial plutocracy, to its own interests. The financial oligarchy dismisses and appoints governments, dictstes the internal and foreign policy. In internal life, it is linked with the reactionary forces, with all those political, ideological, educational and cultural istitutions which defend its political ande conomic power while in foreign policy it defends and backs up all the conservative and reactionary forces which support and open the road for its monopoly expansion, and fight for the preservation and consolidation of capitalism.
The financial oligarch, does not hesitate to use any means to secure its own domination, establishing political reaction in all fields.
"....finance capital,," said Lenin, "strives for domination, not for freedom".
The situation today proves that oppression by the monopoly bourgeoisie has been intensified everywhere. On this basis, the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is becoming deeper. At the same time, the economic and financial expansion, accompanied with political and military expansion, has further exacerbated the contradictions between the peoples and imperialism, as well as the contradictions among the imperialist powers themselves. The present-day propaganda of the Chinese revisionists ignores this undeniable objective reality.
The concentration and centralization of banking capital now takes place, not just in the context of one country, but in the context of several capitalist, or capitalist and revisionist countries. The joint banks of the European Common Market, or the "International Bank for Economic Co-operation-, as well as the Investment Bank- of Comecon, are of this character. Similarly, the combinations of the West-German-Polish or the AngloRumanian, Franco-Rumanian or Anglo-Hungarian banks, or the American-Yugoslav, AngloYugoslav or other banking corporations are banking unions of the capitalist type. The Soviet Union has opened up many banks in a number of capitalist countries and these have become competitors and partners of capitalist banks wherever they have been established, in Zuriich, London, Paris, Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere.
China, too, is being sucked deeper and deeper into the whirlpool of this process of the capitalist integration of banks. Apart from the banks it has in Hong-Kong, Macao and Singapore, tomorrow China will be setting up banks in Japan, America, and elsewhere. At the same time, it is permitting the banks of imperialist powers to penetrate China.
Lenin emphasized that present-day capitalism is characterized by the export of capital Today this economic feature of imperialism has been further developed and strengthened. The biggest exporters of capital in the world today are the United States of America, Japan, the Soviet Union, the Federal German Republic, Britain and France.
For a certain period, capital was exported by the United States of America, Britain, France and Germany, countries with developed industry, which sucked from colonies the riches of the land and those that lay below its surface. Later, as a consequence of the war and crises, some imperialist powers such as Britain, France, Germany, were weakened economically, while American imperialism enriched itself and became a superpower. In the situation created after the Second World War the torrent of exports of American capital was very detrimental to the other capitalist powers.
Today, American capital is exported to all countries, even to the industrialized ones, in the form of investments, credits, loans, in the form of co-operation in joint companies or through the setting up of large industrial companies. American imperialism, monopoly capital, invests in the undeveloped and poor countries, because there production costs are low, while the level of exploitation of working people is high. It invests in order to secure raw materials, to monopolize markets, to sell its industrial products.
It is known that the development of capitalist countries takes place unevenly therefore the big monopolies and companies of the United States of America and the other countries export capital precisely to those countries in which economic development requires investments and technology.
The capital invested brings fabulous profits to the financial concerns and monopolies, because in the poor, undeveloped countries, land is very cheap and large tracts of it, together with its riehes, can be purchased with little money. Labour power is cheap, too, because people on the verge of starvation are forced to work for very low pay. It has been calculated that for every dollar invest ed in these countries, the imperialist powers make a profit of 5 dollars.
According to American official data, during the 1971-1975 period alone, direct investments f rom the United States of America in the new states totalled 6.5 billion dollars, while the profits it made in these countries over the same period amounted to nearly 30 billion dollars'.
In order to disguise the export of capital, the imperialist powers also resort to the practice of according credits. Through these so-called credits or aid, the big capitalist concerns and the states to which they belong bring great pressure to bear on the recipient states and peoples, and keep them under control. The "aid" or credits to the undeveloped countries originate from the plunder of the wealth of these countries as well as from the exploitation of the working masses of the developed countries and are given to the wealthy of the undeveloped countries. In other words, this means that the big US monopolies, for example, fatten on the sweat of both the American people and the other peoples, and when they export capital and accord credits, these represent, precisely, the ,sweat and blood of these peoples. On the other hand, these credits, which the big monopolies provide for the countries of the so-called third world, in fact, serve the feudal-bourgeois classes which rule these countries.
The credits the new states receive are links of the imperialist chain around the necks of their own peoples. As the statistical data show, the debts of these countries double every five years. From nearly 8.5 billion dollars in 1955, the debts of the undeveloped countries to the imperialist powers had risen to over 150 billion dollars in 1977.
World capitalism has developed technology and expertise in its own interests, in order to multiply its profits from the discovery of underground resources, the intensification of agriculture, etc. All this technology, the technical-scientific revolution itself, and the new methods of economic exploitation serve imperialism, the capitalist monopolies, but not the peoples. Capitalism never makes investments, provides loans, or exports capital to other countries without first calculating the profits it will realize for itself. The big monopolies and banks, which have spread their spider's web all over the capitalist and revisionist world, never accord credits unless they are presented with concrete data about the income to be made from the exploitation of a mine, the land, the extraction of oil or water from a desert, etc.
There are also other forms of according credits, like those practised with those pseudo-socialist states which are trying to disguise the capitalist course on which they are proceeding. These are
large credits provided in the form of trade credits its which, of course, must be repaid within a short time. These are provided jointly by many capitalist countries which have calculated in advance the economic as well as political profits they will draw from the recipient state, taking into account both its economic Potential and ability to pay. In no case do the capitalists provide their credits for the construction of socialism. They provide them to destroy socialism. Therefore, a genuine socialist country never accepts credits, ill any form, from a capitalist, bourgeois, or revisionist country.
Like the Khrushchevite Soviet revisionist, the Chinese revisionists, also, employ rnany slogans, many quotations, build many phrases which sound "Leninist", "revolutionary", but their real activity is reactionary, counterrevolutionary. The Chinese leaders try to present even their Opportunist stands towards, and relations with, the imperialist countries as if they are in the interest of socialism. These revisionists use this camouflage with the intention of keeping the masses of the Proletariat and the people in the dark, so that they will not be able to transform their discontent into a powerful means to carry out the revolution.
Let us take, for example, the question of the economic construction of the country, the development of the socialist economy relying on one's own forces. This principle is correct. Every inndependent,
pendent, sovereign socialist state must mobilize the entire people, and define its economic policy correctly, must take all measures for the proper and most rational exploitation of all the wealth of the country, and administer this wealth thriftily, must increase it in the interest of its own people and must not allow it to be plundered by others. This is a main, basic orientation for every socialist country, while aid from abroad, aid from other socialist countries, is supplementary.
The credits two socialist countries accord each other have quite a different character. These credits constitute disinterested internationalist aid. Internationalist aid never engenders capitalism, never impoverishes the masses of the people, on the contrary, it helps develop industry and agriculture, serves their harmonization, leads to the improvement of the well-being of the working masses, to the strengthening of socialism.
In the first place, the economically developed socialist states ought to assist the other socialist countries. This does not mean that a socialist country should not develop relations also with the other non-socialist countries. But these must be economic relations on the bases of mutual interest and must not in any way make the economy of a socialist, or any other non-socialist country, dependent on the more powerful countries. If these relations among states are based on the exploitation of small, economically weak states by big and powerful states, then such "aid" must be rejected, for it is enslaving.
Lenin says that finance capital has cast, in the literal meaning of the word, its nets over all the countries of the world. The capitalists' monopolies, cartels and syndicates work systematically, first they seize the internal market of their own country, get industry, agriculture, under their control, enslave the working class and other working people, make superprofits, and then create great possibilities to monopolize markets all over the world. Finance capital plays a direct role ili this.
We see today, and this completely tallies with Lenin's teachings on imperialism as the final stage of capitalism, that the two superpowers, American imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism, are contending over the division of the world, to capture markets. The problem of oil, for instance, which bas become acute throughout the world, is, first of all, the domain of the big American monopoly companies, but British, Dutch, and other oil companies are also involved in them. The Americans are manoeuvring on the problem of oil in order to have a complete monopoly of it. They have invested big capital and established large-scale equipment in the oil producing countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc., and have got the ruling cliques of these countries into their clutches, by corrupting kings, sheiks, and imams with large sums of dollars. The rulers of the oil producing countries are allowed by the financial plutocracy of these countries to invest in the United States of America, Britain and elsewhere, even to buy shares in various monopoly companies, as well as luxury hotels, factories, etc.
Saudi Arabia, for instance, is a semi-feudal country where poverty and obscurantism reign, although it extracts 420 million tons of oil a year While the working masses live in poverty, the king and the big landowner class have deposited over 40 billion dollars in the Wall Street banks alone. The situation is the same in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and elsewhere. These cliques make all sorts of concessions to the imperialist powers to plunder the assets of the peoples of the countries where they rule, with the aim of getting a share of the profits for themselves.
The investments made by the oil producing countries, and which are the property of the ruling cliques, constitute a union, of course, on a very small scale, of the capital of these cliques with American or British capital. On the face of it, it seems as if the ruling cliques of the oil producing countries have a sort of partnership of investments with American, British, or French imperialism, and allegedly influence the economies of the latter. In reality, quite the opposite is the case. The profits of American imperialists and the other imperialists are enormously big in comparison with the profits allocated to these cliques.
This is a characteristic of present-day neo-colonialìsm, which, in order to be able to exploit the riches of some countries to the maximum, makes some cautious concessions in favour of the bourgeois-capitalist, or feudal ruling groups, of course, not to íts own detriment. This example confirms the correetness of Lenin's thesis, that the interests of the bourgeoisie of various countries can very easily become interlocked, just as the interests of private monopolies can be interlocked with those of -state monopolies. The big monopolies may also combine with the monopolies which are less powerful but which control great assets, especially underground resources, such as iron chromium, copper, uranium, and other mines.
Government loans, credits and aíd have become one of the most widespread forms of the export of capital today. This kind of export is practised by the Soviet Union and the other revisionist countries, in particular.
Apart from the extraction of capitalist profits, these credits, this "aid" and loans also have political objectives. The states which accord the credits aim. to support and consolidate the political and economic power of particular cliques, which defend the economic, political and military interests of the creditor country. As the agreements on such credits are concluded between governments, they make the economic and political dependenee of the debtor on the creditor even greater. A classical example of this form of capital export is the "Marshall Plan", which, after the Second World War, became the economie basis for the political and military expansion of the United States of America in the countries of Western Europe. The so-called aid which the Soviet revisionists provide allegedly for the development of the economy and the setting up of the state sector of industry in such countries as India, Iraq, and elsewhere, is of the same nature.
At present, American imperialism, Soviet social-imperialism, and the capitalism of the industrìalized countries have reached such a stage of development that the profit they realize from the accumulation of capital has grown extremely. The accumulation of capital creates large profits, which go into the pockets of the monopolists, the financial oligarchy, who do not put this income at the service of the poverty-stricken working people, but export it to those countries from which other, greater profits may accrue to them. These are the countries which China calls the "third world". However, they make investments of this kind in the developed capitalist countries, too.
Many books have been written about the process of Penetration of American capital into Europe and ìts political and economie aims. A clear pieture of this is given in the book by the Arnerican author Geoffrey Owen. At the beginning of the chapter "The International Companies" he says that the development of American investments abroad has been made according to the concept that the American firms represent not companies with overseas interests, but international companies. The headquarters of these companies are in the United States of America. This means that the various big American firms think not only of covering their own country and the needs of industry and clients within the United States of America, but also of extending their networks to foreign countries. These companies invest their "excess capital" in other countries in order to make bigger profits. Such giant corporations as "Socony Mobil", "Standard Oil of New Jerseyw", etc., make nearly half their profits from the plunder and exploitation of foreign countries. About 500 companies secure profits of about 10 billion dollars outside the country every year. There are more than 3,000 such enterprises with investments in foreign countries. This is how such formulas and terms as "multinatíonal companies", or "international capitalism", etc., have come into, daily use in journalism and banking operations.
Geoffrey Owen says that in 1929 over 1,300 European companies were owned or controlled by American firms. This was the first stage of the American offensive on European industry. The pressure of the Second World War, which was being prepared, temporarily halted the invasion Of American capital. From 1929 up tifi 1946, the amount of direct investments by American companies in other countries of the world fell from 7,.500 million to 7,200 million dollars. However, after the Second World War, in i950, the amount of American investments abroad had risen to 11,200 million, half of it concentrated in the Latin-American countries and Canada.
The investments in Latin America were made to expIoit the raw materials: oil, copper, iron ore, bauxites, as well as bananas and other agricultural produets. In Canada they were mainly in mining and oil and developed on a wide scale because of its proximity and other conditions facilitating penetration.
The Europe of the 1950's also became another imiportant target for American investments. Investments on this continent were extended rapidly in communications, mass production goods nd complex equipment. Together with investments, American goods and products poured in.
The author in question points out that the situation created after the Second World War in the capitalist market gave an even greater impulse to American investments. Here are the figures on the increase of these investments abroad: in 1946 they totalled 7,200 million and then they began to rise to 11,200 million in 1950, 44,300 million in 1964 and over 60,000 million dollars in 1977.
By incessantly extending their operations on a world-wide scale, the American companies have made the competition wìth the local firms much fiercer and increased the fear of domination by the American giants. This problem is even more acute in the undeveloped countries where the American firms dominate the key branches of industry and exercise a preponderant influence in the national economy of these countries. In other words, these giant American companies control the local economies and governments and in fact they run them.The prolonged struggle which went on between the American oil companies and the Mexican Government and which ended in 1938 with the collapse of the Mexican Government's policy of opposition, is well known. There was a sirnilar outcome to the struggle between the British oil monopoly and the Iranian Government, which resulted in the toppling of Mossadeq. Such ruinous conflicts are going on all the time and they end with the triumph of the big American trusts.
The big oil companies operate world-wide. For them it has become normal and necessary to completely control all the capital and production of this branch, to control governments, etc., in the countries where they have invested, because, if they lacked these possibilities, then dífficulties would arise in the co-ordination of their activity on a world scale. This is why the big foreign companies oppose the efforts of the local capitalists to get a bigger share in the profits than that the American investors or those of other imperialist countries allow them.
The American companies in Europe, Canada, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere, have created such a situation that in practice they control the economies of many countries. The governments of these countries stand in great fear of the United States of America, which has made itself the leadership of the European economy, just as it has done in military matters. Therefore, the industrialized capitalist countries of Europe try to hinder the invasion of Amerìcan capital which has been and is pouring in ever greater amounts into them.
The Chinese leadership claims that the European states, industrialized since the 19th century, are making more investments in the United States of America. But it is known that while the investments of European capital in the United States are made mainly in the fonn of securities, shares, bonds, deposits, etc., the Amerìcan investments in Europe have dominant positions in the most important branches of the European economy.
Endeavouring to justify the increase of American investments, Geoffrey Owen claims that the European countries want and are making efforts to develop their industries on scientific bases, as, for instance, the electronics and computer industries. These industries countribute to a certain extent to technical progress, the rise of exports and the overall economic growth of these countries.
But the American companies are more advanced in this field than their European rivals and they control this technical progress in their own interests. In computer manufacturing, for instance, the respective European companies have established elose links to protect themselves against competition from the American "International Business Machine" (IBM) corporation which controls more than 70 percent of the American market and an even greater proportion of the world market.
Likewise, the big American companies have the tendeney to embark on joint ventures with the local enterprises. In order to camouflage their exploitation, many firms avoid having one hundred per cent ownership of subsidiaries, and set up companies on a 49-51 percent or 50-50 joint investment basis. That is how the Americans have gone about it in Japan, and that is how they have gone about it in Yugoslavia, too, which tries to create the impression that it is building socialisni, relying on its own forces, whereas in reality the Titoites have divided Yugoslavia economically among the United States of America and the big firms of the developed industrial countries. By doing so, the Titoites have also restricted the freedom and independence of Yugoslavia.
There is a tendeney among many of these big American companies, like "General Motors", "Ford", "Chrysler", "General Electric", etc., to have, in fact, 100 percent ownership of their subsidiaries in foreign countries. However, these subsidiaries, according to Owen, never forget thé problem of nationalization, and their answer to this is that "it is not a question of setting up companies with local investors, but of encouraging international ownership of the shares in the mother companies". This is the coneept of the "international" of capitalism, of which "General Motors", in particular, is the ardent champion.
These orientations of imperialisi American capital or of the American industrial establishment which invests outside the United States of America in order to create its colonies and empire, are just a few facts which clearly illustrate the thesils that US imperialisin has not been weakened in the least, despite what the Chinese revisionists Pretend. On the contrary, it has grown stronger, has gained large concessions in foreign countries and is running many important branches of their economy. It has also caused the governments of .other countries innumerable difficulties, frequently makes the law in these countries, and has many governments under its control and direction. Of 'Course, this process has its ups and downs, but the general trend does not indicate the weakening of US imperialism.
We are now living at a time when another superpower, Soviet social-imperialism, is exporting its capital and is bent on exploiting the different peoples. The capital exported by this superpower results from the surplus value realized in the Soviet Union, which has been transformed into a capitalist country.
The restoration of capitalism has led to a polarization of the present-day Soviet society, in which a small section rules and exploits the overwhelming majority of the people. Now, the stratum consisting of the bureaucrats, the technocrats and the upper creative intelligentsia has been created and assumed the form of a separate bourgeois, exploiting class which appropriates and divides up the surplus value extracted from the savage exploitation of the working class and the broad working masses. Unlike the countries of classical capitalism, where this surplus value is appropriated in proportion to the amount of capital of each capitalist, in the Soviet Union and the other revisionist countries it is distributed according to the position people of the higher bourgeois stratum occupy in the state, economic, scientific, and cultural hierarchy, etc. The high salaries, routine and special bonuses, prizes and stimuli, privileges, etc., have been built up into a whole institution for the appropriation of the surplus value extracted from the toil and sweat of the working people. The stratum which represents the "collective capitalist" protects this plunder through a host of laws and norms, which guarantee the capitalist oppression and exploitation.
The Soviet economy has now become integrated into the system of world capitalism. While American, German, Japanese and other capital has penetrated deeply into the Soviet Union, Soviet capital is being exported to other countries and, in various forms, is merging with local capital.
It is common knowledge that the Soviet Union economically exploits the satellite countries, in the first place. But now it is competing and contesting with the other capitalist states for markets, spheres of investment, for the plunder of raw materials, the preservation of neo-colonialist laws in world trade, etc.
Bent on extending its hegemony, the new Soviet bourgeoisie exports capital, but here it comes up against competition not only from US imperialism, which is very powerful, but also from the other developed capitalist states, such as Japan, Britain, West Germany, France, etc. In their quest for superprofits, these states export capital not only to Africa, Asia and Latin America, but also to the East European countries which are under the tutelage of the revisionist Soviet Union, and export capital even to the Soviet Union itself.
The ruling cliques of the so-called socialist countries, like the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Poland, etc., and now China, too, allow foreign capital to flow into their countries, because this capital serves the ruling cliques, while it is a heavy burden on the peoples. The Comecon countries are up to their necks in debt. They are in debt to the Western countries to the tune of 50 billion dollars.
Yugoslavia was one of the first revisionist countries to allow the penetration of foreign capital into its economy. First it received credits, then bought licences, and later went over to setting up joint enterprises. In Yugoslavia a law was adopted in 1967, which permitted the creation of joint enterprises, in which 49 percent of capital was owned by foreign companies. In 1977, there were 170 such enterprises in Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia has ensured the most favourable conditions for the capitalist firms to carry out their activity and ensure maximum profits.
The Yugoslav phenomenon proves that the foreign capital invested in Yugoslavia is one of the decisive factors which has turned it into a capitalist country. The United States of America and the other wealthy capitalist states have lost nothing by these investments. On the contrary, they have made huge profits, while increasing the misery of the working class and the peasantry of Yugoslavia. Lenin said that the exporting of capital is a solid basis for the exploitation of the majority of the nations and countries of the world, for the capitalist parasitism of a handful of very rich states.
The capitalist states will make huge profits in China, too. We see that US, Japanese, WestGerman and other capital is now pouring in there in billions of dollars. Agreements have been signed with the Japanese for the joint exploitation of oil fields and the power resources of the Yangtze River. An agreement has been concluded with the Germans for the building of coal mines, etc. The investments which are being and will be made in China will certainly bring the foreign capitalists handsome profits, but at the same time they will strengthen the bases of capitalism in China.
The exporting of capital from one capitalist country to another capitalist or revisionist country, no matter whether the state which gives or receives it is big or small, is always one of the forms of exploitation of the peoples by capital. This exploitation brings about the economic and political dependence of the recipient country.
Lenin pointed out that, after capturing the home market, the monopolies engage in economic struggle to redivide and capture the world market for industrialized goods and raw materials. Competition and their greed for profits impel the monopolists of different countries to reach temporary agreements, to enter into alliances and combinations with one another in order to divide the international markets for the sale of finished goods and the purchase of raw materials. Even when they possess reserves of raw materials and energy, the developed capitalist states turn their attack on other countries, since production costs in these countries are lower than in their own countries and workers' wages, especially, are several times lower. The struggle that has been waged and is still going on to capture oil resources and markets is notorious. As a result of this struggle scores and hundreds of private enterprises and companies have been ruined and the international oil cartel, which comprises 7 big monopolies (5 American, 1 British and 1 British-Dutch, the notorious Esso, Texaco, Shell, etc.), have managed to gain control over 60 percent of the oil extraction and oil sales in the capitalist countries of the Western world, and about 54 percent of its processing.
A similar division of resources and markets exists today for copper and tin minerals, for uranium and other valuable strategic minerals. Many of the old colonialist countries like Britain and France have concluded special, so-called preferential agreements of co-operation etc. with the former colonial countries, which ensure them almost exclusive economic and commercial privileges. The so-called dollar, sterling, franc, or ruble areas indicate an economic division of the world among the monopolies and various imperialist states.
US imperialism, Soviet social-imperialism and the other imperialist powers ensure maximum profits in different ways, through the discrimina tory and unequal trade they carry on with these countries. Today the developing. countries alone excluding the OPEC countries, have a debit balance which amounts to about 34 billion dollars.
In the present conditions, especially now in the conditions of the economic crisis, the monopolies conclude direct agreements also with the governments of capitalist countries on production quotas, prices, markets, etc. The existence of such organisms as the European Common Market, Comecon, etc., is also clear evidence of the economic division of the world which exists today.
This economic division of the world, the domination of monopolies, their dictate over the lifeand economic development of other countries is making the contradiction between labour and capital, as well as the contradictions between the peoples and imperialism, and the inter-imperialist contradictions, much more severe.
The Chinese theory of the "three worlds", which seeks to reconcile the "cthird world" with the "second world" and with US imperialism, is out of step with this reality. It does not want to see that the relentless offensive of American, British, German, Japanese, French and other monopolies towards what China calls the "third world" is increasing the resistance of the peoples to all imperialist and hegemony-seeking powers and extending the objective conditions for the irreconcilable struggle among them. On the other hand, the unequal development of imperialist powers, which is an objective law of the development of capitalism, drives them to competition and abrasive frictions with one another, in their quest for economic expansion everywhere in the world.
The Chinese theory of three worlds., which seeks to reconcile these contradictions and advocates precisely what social-democracy and the revisionists of every hue have long been preaching, is in flagrant opposition to the Leninist strategy, which, far from denying these contradictions, aims to deepen them in order to prepare the proletariat for revolution and the peoples for liberation.
In his analysis of imperialism, Lenin pointed ,out that, with the transition of pre-monopoly capitalism to its highest and last stage, the stage of imperialism, the territorial division of the world among the great imperialist powers is completed.
"...the characteristic feature of the period under review is the final partition of the globe, final not in the sense that repartition is impossible; on the contrary, repartitions are possible and inevitable - but in the sense that the colonial policy of the capitalist countries has completed the seizure of unoccupied territories on our planet. For the first time, the world is completely divided up, so that in the future only re-division is possible, that is, territories can only pass from one 'owner' to another....". Lenin
Since the Second World War, the old classical colonialism, which exploited most of the peoples of the world physically, economically, politically and ideologically, has been transformed into a new colonialism. This new colonialism comprises an entire system of economic, political, military and ideological measures, which imperialism has built up with the aim of maintaining its domination and ensuring political control and economic exploitation of the former colonies and many other countries, while adapting itself to the new conditions created after the war.
What are these new conditions?
After the war, the imperialist countries France, Britain, Italy, Germany, Japan and America were not in a position to maintain the situation which existed before the war by force. France, for instance, could no longer keep Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and other countries of Africa in a colonial status, as it did in the past. The same can be said also of British, Italian, and other imperialisms.
The Second World War brought about a radical change in the ratio of forces in the world. It led to the defeat of the great fascist powers, but it also greatly weakened the old colonialist powers and shook them to their foundations. Everywhere, even in the countries which were not involved in the cyclone, the anti-fascist war gave rise to the problem of national liberation. Those peoples of the former colonial countries, which took part in the war together with the countries of the antifascist coalition in order to escape the fascist yoke, could not return to colonial bondage or tolerate it any longer. The victory of the Soviet Union over nazism, the creation of the socialist camp, China's liberation, gave a very powerful impulse to the awakening of the peoples' national consciousness and their liberation struggle. The broad masses of the peoples in the colonies came to understand that the former situation had to be changed. Liberation wars broke out in Indochina, North Africa, and elsewhere.
Forced by this situation, many colonialist countries realized that the old method of exploitation and administration of colonies without any sort of freedom and independence was outdated.
The colon -owning imperialist powers reached this conclusion not because of their democratic feelings or their desire to give the peoples freedom, but because of the pressure by the colonized peoples and because these powers were militarily, economically, politically, and ideologically too weak to maintain the old colonialism. But French, British Italian, American and other imperialisms did not want to give up the exploitation of these peoples and countries. In the existing circumstances each imperialist power was obliged to grant autonomy to these peoples or to promise them freedom and independence after a certain time. During this period, which they allowed allegedly for the creation of the consciousness of self-government and the training of local cadres for this, their real aim was to prepare other, new forms of imperialist exploitation, the new colonialism, while creating the false impression among these countries and peoples that allegedly they had won their freedom. This was a stage after the war when world imperialism suffered a great defeat, when the crisis of the colonial system of imperialism became even rnore pronounced. At this period of the decay of capitalism, as a result of the weakening of imperialism by the Second World War, the United States Of America seized the opportunity and saddled the colonial peoples, who were allegedly free and independent, with a new, more intensive exploitation. It extended its imperialist power over the former colonies of the other imperialist powers, which had already been weakened in one way or another.
Although they had won recognition of that sort of "independence" and freedom., which the former colonialist powers granted them, many former colonial peoples were forced to take up arms, because the imperialists were not disposed to give them this "freedom" and this "independence" immediately. The French imperialists, in particular, even after the war, were still trying to preserve the power of France, or its grandeur. Thus, the peoples of Algeria, Vietnam, and many others started their protracted struggle for liberation and, in the end, they won it. Here we are not going into detail about how they achieved it, which were the social forces that fought, etc. The fact is that the old French and British imperialism was weakened. Thus Lenin's theses that imperialism was in decay, that the old capitalist-imperialist society was being eroded by the revolutionary movements and the freedom-loving aspirations of the peoples, who had been oppressed and enslaved up till that time, was confirmed.
During this period American imperialism grew fat, expanded the dollar area, placed territories of the franc and sterling areas under its control, and, in order to protect its hegemonic imperialist Power founded on the maximum exploitation of the peoples, it set up numerous military bases and established pro-American political cliques in many of those countries of the world which had allegedly gained their freedom and independence. This exploitation was, of course, as sociated with a series of changes in the structure and superstructure as well.
Finance capital has also created its own special ideology, which precedes it in its exploitation of the proletariat and the conquest of the world. It completes its domination of the peoples, and justifies this domination by various sugar-coated forms of bogus freedom, independence, as well as by creating some so-called democratic parties, etc.
With the creation of banks and multinational companies, along with US capital investments, the American way of life, with the degeneration inherent in it, is also exported.
The export of capital by the big imperialist powers creates the colonies which, today, are the countries where neo-colonialism reigns. These countries have an alleged independence but it is only formaL In other words, now as in the past, the same process of the export of capital is going on, though in different forms, with "honeyed" explanations and propaganda. The ruthless exploitation of the peoples of these countries remains the same or becomes even more ferocious; and the plunder of natural assets continues.
The biggest neo-colonialist power of our time is the United States of America. In the three years, 1973-1975, the government and private capital investments of the United States of America in the former colonies, dependent or semi-dependent countries, represented about 36 percent of the total investments of the most developed capitalist and revisionist countries in these regions'.
The economic, political and military treaties and agreements between the imperialist powers and the former colonial countries are enslaving, are weapons in the hands of imperialism to keep these countries in bondage. The words of Lenin who stressed
"....the need constantly to explain and expose among the broadest working masses of all countries, and particularly of the backward countries, the deception systematically practised by the imperialist pow ers which, under the quise of politically independent states, in fact, set up states that are wholly dependent upon them economically, financially and militarily," Lenin
are just as valid today as in the past.
In order to keep the peoples under their domination Americam imperialism, Soviet social-imperialism and the other imperialist powers, old or new, incite quarrels wherever they can among neighbour states, or among different social groups within a given country, and then, in the role of the judge or the supporter of one side or the other, interfere in the internal affairs of others, and jus
tify their economic, political and military presence there. The facts show that whenever the superpowers have meddled in the internal affairs of other peoples, the problems have remained un- solved or the result has been the consolidation of the positions of imperialism and social-imperialism in these countries. The events in the Middle East, the conflict between Somalia and Ethiopia, the war between Cambodia and Vietnam, etc. bear witness to this.
Together with their investments, the United States of America, the Soviet Union and all the other capitalist countries consolidate, also, their positions in the countries which accept these invest ments, as they struggle for markets and spheres of influence. This leads to frictions among different capitalist states, and among big concerns which are not linked with or interdependent on one another. These frictions kindle local wars and may even lead to a general war. As Leninism teaches us, a war that breaks out for these reasons, whether local or general, has a predatory and not a liberation character. Only when the peoples rise against foreign invaders, when they rise against the local capitalist bourgeoisie, which is closely linked up with imperialism, social-imperialism and world capital, is this a just, liberation war.
The representatives of big world capital are indulging in a great deal of talk about the alleged need for amendments to the present system of international economic relations and the creation of a "new world economic order>.>, which the Chinese leaders, too, support. According to them, this -new economic order>.> will serve as a "basis for global sta 1 ity". or eir pa , e ovie revisionis s speak about the creation of a so-called new structure of international economic relations.
These are efforts and plans of imperialist and neo-colonialist powers, which want to keep neocolonialism alive, prolong its existence, and preserve their oppression and plunder of the peoples. But the laws of the development of capitalism and imperialism are subject neither to the wishes nor to the theoretical inventions of the bourgeoisie and the revisionists. As Lenin said, the consistent fight against colonialism and neo-colonialism, the revolution, is the way out of these contradictions.
In analysing the fundamental economic features of imperialism, Lenin also defined its place in history. He stressed that imperialism is not only the highest stage but also the final stage of capitalism, the eve of the proletarian revolution. Lenin pointed out:
"Imperialism is a specific historical stage of capitalism... is (1) monopoly capitalism;
(2) parasitic or decaying capitalism (3) moribund capitalism," . Lenin
The reality of the present-day capitalist world fully confirms this conclusion.
The economic basis of all the socio-economic ills of imperialism, as Lenin proved, is monopoly.
Monopolies are powe ess to overcome the contradictions of the capitalist economy. Lenin linked the parasitism and decay of imperialism organical ly with the tendency of monopoly to inhibit the development of the productive forces in general, to deepen the disproportional development between branches and of the national economy as a whole, to fail to utilize the human and material productive capacities, with the tendency to hinder the application of the new developments of science and technology to the benefit of the masses and the progress of the entire society.
The greed for profits, the competition, force the monopolies to invest in advanced technology in the process of production. But in the entire historical process of the development of imperialism, the dominant tendency is towards disproportional development and restraint on development.
Expenditure on research and the development of science in the field of industry, and especially the war industry, in the United States of America, for instance, has increased from 2 billion dollars in 1950, to almost 11 billion in 1965, and about 30 billion in 1972. Frequently the big firms come up against difficulties in scientific research, but once something is discovered, they buy up the patents and hire qualified workers; however they apply the research only when their own interests require this. Naturally, the most important sectors, which present more interest for investments in the field of development and the technical revolution, have priority, because they offer greater possibilities for profits. War industry tops the list, as it is here that the rate of profit is highest. For example, in 1964 the United States of America invested 3,565 million dollars in scientific research in the sector of aviation and missiles. In the same year, 1,000,537 thousand dollars were invested in the electrical and telecommunications industry, 196 million in the chemical industry, 136 million in the machine-building industry, 174 million in the automobile industry, 172 million in scientific instruments, 38 million in the rubber industry, 8 million in the oil industry, 9 million in the methane industry, etc.
In today's conditions the militarization of the economy, as a manifestation of the decay of imperialism, has become a characteristic feature of all the capitalist and revisionist countries. But the process of the militarization of the economy has assumed unprecedented proportions, especially in the United States of America and the Soviet Union. The direct military spending by both sides has increased to astronomical proportions, reaching a joint total of over 240 billion dollars a year. In their policy of hegemony and world domination, the United States of America and the Soviet Union are also making extensive use of the arms trade, which is another clear expression of the decay of imperialism. Every year they sell more than 20 billion dollars worth of weapons. The other imperialist states, such as Britain, West Germany, France, Italy, etc., also engage in selling arms. The regular customers of this imperialist trade are such reactionary and fascist cliques as those of Chile Brasil, Argentine, Israel, Spain, South Korea, Rhodesia, the -South African Union, etc. Also numbered among these customers are the countries rich in strategic raw materials or oil, to which the imperialists offer their weapons as a bait to induce them to allow the plunder of their wealth. The ever more frequent outbreak of economic crises of overproduction is clear proof of the decay and parasitism of present-day monopoly capitalism. The outbreak of crises, which have now become very deep, confirms the correctness of the Marxist theory on anarchic, spontaneous and disproportional character of production and consumption, and refutes the bourgeois "theories" on the development of capitalism "without crises", or the transformation of capitalism into "regulated capitalism".
The general law of capitalist accumulation discovered by Marx, that the impoverishment of working people grows, on the one hand, while the profits of the capitalists increase, on the other hand, is operating with ever greater force in capitalist society today. The process of the polarization of society into proletarians and into bourgeois, who represent a limited number of people, is deepening. The present-day imperialist system, which has greater economic possibilities to corrupt the upper strata of the proletariat, the worker aristocracy, has increased the latter to very large proportions. The financial oligarchy is making extensive use of this aristocracy today, to deceive and confuse the proletariat, to dampen its revolutionary ardour. It is from this worker aristocracy that those whom Lenin calls socialists in words but imperialists in deeds, usually emerge. Socialdemocracy, the "bourgeois workers' parties", the opportunist leaders of trade-unions, the modern revisionists, etc., all come within this description of Lenin's. Lenin stresses that imperialism is linked with opportunism, that the opportunists assist to preserve and strengthen imperialism. He says: " the most dangerous of all are those who do not wish to understand that the fight against imperialism is a sham and humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism".
The decay of imperialism is clearly seen also in the growth and intensification of reaction in all fields, and especially in the political and social fields. As practice confirms, when the monopoly bourgeoisie sees that the class struggle is becoming acute, it casts off all disguise and denies the working, masses even those few rights they have won by shedding their blood. The fascist regimes and dictatorships which have been established in many countries of the world are evidence of this.
All this rotten system, which is in a chaotic state, is propped up by a huge praetorian army, by very large numbers of police mobilized and armed to the teeth. All these military and police forces are set in motion to prevent or suppress any kind of resistance which goes beyond the limits defined
by a jungle of laws made by the ruling bourgeoisie. The cadres of the armed forces and other instruments of oppression live in affluence and receive fat salaries. In Italy, for instance, you hear nothing but talk about the army, the police, the carabinieri, about security agents who are decorated, but also killed. In this very confused situation which prevails in the bourgeois states, gangsterism has developed and become widespread, and this is bred by the capitalist order itself. It is an expression of its degeneration, a reflection of the desperation and confusion to which the bourgeois system of oppression and exploitation gives rise. The bourgeoisie tries to prevent those cases of gangsterism which cause it problems and worry the bourgeois state. But it incites and uses gangsterism to terrorize the broad working masses who live in poverty. In many capitalist countries gangsterism has become an industry and has extended from robbing banks and stores to kidnapping people and holding them to ransom for large sums of money. In some countries gangsterism has been organized in different groupings. These groupings often have names with a "revolutionary", or "communist", sound. The bourgeoisie allows them a free hand to operate in order to prepare the situation for, and justify the staging of, a fascist coup d' état. In order to discredit the revolution and socialism, this gangster activity is publicized as though it is carried out by "communist groups" which are allegedly operating against the bourgeois order. As a conclusion, we can say that in the present situation of imperialism as a whole, of US imperialism, Soviet social-imperialism, as well as other imperialisms, imperialism of whatever description is at the stage of weakening and decay, and that the old society will be overthrown to its foundations by the revolution, and will be replaced by a new society, socialist society, This new socialist society exists and will extend, it will develop, gain ground regardless of the fact that the Soviet revisionists betrayed socialism in the Soviet Union, regardless of the fact that opportunism prevails in China and a new socialimperialism is rising there, regardless of the fact that capitalism has been restored in the erstwhile countries of people's democracy. Socialism will pursue its own course and will triumph over world imperialism and capitalism through struggle and efforts, but never, in any way, through reforms and peaceful parliamentary roads, as Khrushchev preached and as all the revisionists are preaching. It will triumph by remaining loyal to the Leninist theory on imperialism and the proletarian revolution and never by following the present-day revisionist theories which proclaim state monopoly capitalism to be an allegedly new, special stage of capitalism, to be the "birth of socialist elements in the bosom of capitalism".
Proceeding from Lenin's conclusions on the nature of imperialism and its place in history, as a result of the contradictions eroding it from within and people's liberation and revolutionary struggles, the whole of world imperialism as a social system no longer has that undivided power to dominate it once possessed. This is the dialectics of history and it confirms the Marxist-Leninist thesis that imperialism is on the decline, in decadence and decay.
The trend towards the weakening of capitalism and imperialism is the main trend of world history today. Marx and Lenin argued this on the basis of concrete facts, historical events, and materialistic dialectics. The trend towards united efforts by states opposed to imperialism also leads to the weakening of imperialism. But this latter tendency, which China absolutizes without making the necessary differentiations, without studying the particular situations, does not lead to the correct road. While claiming that US imperialism is in decline and less powerful than Soviet social-imperialism, while proclaiming the third world. as the main motive force of the epoch, in practice the Chinese leaders are encouraging capitulation and submission to the bourgeoisie.
It is true that the peoples want liberation, but they can gain this liberation only through struggle, through efforts, and headed by a militant leadership. Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin teach us that this leadership is the proletariat of each country. But the Proletariat and its Marxist-Leninist parties must make thorough-going political, economic and military analyses, weigh everything in the balance, make decisions and define the appropriate strategy and tactics, always bearing in mind the preparation and carrying out of the revolution. If the revolution is forgotten, as it is by the Chinese, neither the analyses, actions, strategy, nor the tactics can be Marxist-Leninist and revolutionary.
We cannot have any illusions about imperialism of any kind, either powerful or less powerful. Imperialism from its nature creates the conditions for economic and political expansion, for unleashing wars, because its character is essentially exploitative, aggressive. Therefore, to deceive the masses of the peoples who want liberation, that they will achieve this if they are guided by such revisionist theories as that of "three worlds", is to perpetrate a crime against the peoples and the revolution.
Our epoch, as Lenin teaches us, is the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolutions. We Marxist-Leninists must understand from this that we have to combat world imperialism, any imperialism, any capitalist power, which exploits the proletariat and the peoples, with the greatest severity. We stress the Leninist thesis that the revolution is now on the order of the day. The world is going to advance towards a new society which will be the socialist society. World capitalism, imperialism and social-imperialism will become even more decayed and will come to an end through the revolution.
Lenin teaches us that we must fight imperialism to the finish, must criticize it in the broad sense of the term and rouse the oppressed classes against the policy of imperialism, against the bourgeoisie. The Marxist-Leninist analysis of the development of imperialism today clearly shows that nothing in Lenin's analysis and conclusions on the nature and features of imperialism and the revolution can be altered. The attempts of all opportunists, from the social-democrats down to the Khrushchevite and Chinese revisionists, to distort the Leninist theses on imperialism are counterrevolutionary. Their aim is to negate the revolution, to prettify imperialism and to prolong the life of capitalism.
When Lenin exposes imperialism and its apologists like Bernstein, Kautsky, Hilferding and all the other opportunists of the Second International, he points out:
"Imperialist ideology also penetrates the working class. No Chinese wall separates it from the other classes" . Lenin
Unfortunately, however, even the "Chinese wall" has now been breached and the imperialist propaganda and ideology have penetrated China.
The Chinese opportunists are not in the least original. Treading the road of Kautsky and comapany, they, too, are prettifying imperialism, in general, and American imperialism, in particular, presenting the latter as an imperialism in retreat, on which the peoples should rely in order to defend themselves from the Soviet social-imperialists.
The similarity between the "theories" of the Chinese revisionists and those of Kautsky is all too obvious. In his time, Kautsky tried to defend the colonial policy of imperialism, to cover up its exploitation and expansion, by distorting the Marxist theory on the development of capitalism. This is also being done today by the Chinese leaders who, in an effort to support American imperialism and its neo-colonialist policy, churn out absurd theories allegedly based on Marx or Lenin. However, to speak in the terms Lenin used, the Chinese "theory" is a plunge into the mire of revisionism and opportunism.
Kautsky's theory spread the illusion that allegedly in the conditions of monopoly capitalism, the possibility exists of another, non-annexionist policy. In this connection Lenin stressed:
"The essence of the matter is that Kautsky detaches the politics of imperialism from its economics, speaks of annexations as being a policy 'preferred' by finance capital, and opposes to it another bourgeois policy which, he alleges, is possible on this very same basis of finance capital. It follows, then, that monopolies in economics are compatible with non-monopolistic, non-violent, non-annexionist methos in politcs. It follows, then, that the territorial division of the world, which was completed precisely during the epoch of finance capital, and which constitutes the basis of the present peculiar forms of rivalry between the biggest capitalist states, is compatible with a non-imperialist policy. The result is a Slurring-over and a blunting of the most profound contradictions of the latest stage of capitalism, instead of an exposure of their depth; the result is bourgeois reformism instead of Marxism" . Lenin
Ignoring the fact that the monopolies, finance capital, dominate the economic field in the United States of America, and that it is precisely they who dictate the home and foreign policy, the Chinese revisionists talk about a peaceful imperialism which no longer seeks expansion and indeed is on the retreat. The Chinese leaders ."forget" Stalin's words that the main features and requirements of the fundamental economic law of present-day capitalism are,
"...the securing of the maximum capitalist profit through the exploitation, ruin and impoverishment of themajority of the population of the given country, through the enslavement and systematic robbery of the peoples of other countries, especially backward countries, and., lastly, through wars and militarization of the national economy, which are utilized for the obtaining of the highest profits". Stalin
Thus, the "new" theories of the Chinese leaders show that they are singing Kautsky's old song to a new tune.
While exposing the chieftains of the Second International, who wanted to make a distinction between imperialist powers on the basis of which were more aggressive and which less aggressive, Lenin stressed that this stand was anti-Marxist. This attitude impelled the parties of the Second International to the positions of chauvinism, to open betrayal of the cause of the proletariat and the revolution. In our epoch, said Lenin, there can be no question of which of the imperialist states involved in the First World War, on one side or the other, is the "greater evil".
"Present-day democracy," says he, "will remain true to itself, only if it joins neither one nor the other imperialist bourgeoisie, only if it says that 'the two sides are equally bad', and if it wishes the defeat of the imperialist bourgeoisie in every country. Any other decision will in reality be national-liberal and have nothing in common with the genuine internationalism." Lenin
In the present conditions, if the Chinese thesis, according to which Soviet social-imperialism is more aggressive than American imperialism, were to be accepted, this would lead to open betrayal of the revolution, of the historic mission of the working class, to going over to the positions of the Second International. The two imperialist superpowers represent to the same degree the main enemy and danger to socialism, the freedom and independence of the peoples, and the sovereignty of nations. They are the main defenders of world capitalism .
In order to conceal their betrayal of the peoples, the Chinese leaders say that the relations of the big monopolies with some countries which possess great wealth create a situation in which even conflicts between the monopoly powers and the peoples can be avoided. This is a monstrous absurdity, an attempt to present ferocious imperialism as tame, to create a false situation of euphoria that allegedly the investment of capital will create wellbeing for the people of the country in which the investment is made, and thus the antagonistic contradictions between the imperialists and the peoples of these countries will no longer exist. This false theory, which is now being trumpeted by the Chinese leaders, has been concocted by imperialism in order to extend its domination everywhere in the world and to assist the reactionary cliques ruling in the various countries to oppress their own peoples and to sell their countries to the foreigners.
These "theories" are a repetition, in new, refined forms, of the reactionary theories of the opportunists of the Second International. At the time of the First World War, Lenin exposed Rautsky's anti-Marxist theory of multra-imperialisni-. Kautsky alleged that wars could be prevented under imperialism through an agreement among the capitalists of various countries.
In his polemic with Kautsky, Lenin said:
"...in the realities of the capitalist system, and not in the banal philistine fantasies of English parsons or of the German `Marxist' Kautsky, 'inter-imperialist' or 'inter-imperialist' alliances, no matter what form they may assume, whether of one imperialist coalition against another, or a general alliance embracing all the imperialist powers, are inevitably nothing more than a 'truce' in periods between wars". Lenin
These teachings of Lenin's are very relevant in the present conditions when the Chinese revisionists are talking about, and making feverish efforts to set up, an alliance and a great world front of all the fascist and feudal, capitalist and imperialist states and regimes, including the United States of America, against Soviet social-imperialism.
Alliances between imperialist countries, Lenin stressed, are possible, but they are created for the sole purpose of jointly crushing the revolution and socialism, of jointly plundering the co. lonies and dependent and semi-dependent countries.
The Chinese revisionists, like the chieftains: of the Second International, have substituted thepragmatic slogan, "Let us unite with all those who can be united" against Soviet social-imperialism, for the slogan of the Communist Manifesto, Proletarians of all countries, unite!-.
The theory of the "three worlds>,> invented by the Chinese leaders does not analyse the his torical development of imperialism from the Marxist-Leninist class standpoint, but sees it in a distorted light, ignoring the contradictions of our time which Marx and Lenin defined so clear ly. Following this "theory", "socialist". China unites with American imperialism and the second world., that is, with other imperialists who ex ploit the peoples, and calls on the "third world", the peoples who aspire to fight against world imperialism and capitalism, whether American imperialism or Soviet social-imperialism, to unite, against Soviet social-imperialism only.
The Titoite theory of non-aligned. countries, too, is just as anti-Marxist as the theory of' the" three worlds".
These two "theories" are the rails of the one railroad on which the train of American imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism is running, a train loaded with the wealth plundered from the. peoples of the world. The Titoites and the Chine revisionists are trying to open some holes in the. trucks of this imperialist and social-imperialist train, so that a little oil, sugar, a few dollars, pounds, francs or rubles may leak out. These rails which have been laid over the backs of the oppressed peoples, and which are intended to keep these peoples in permanent bondage, are two theories just as reactionary as all the other anti-Marxist theories of the Trotskyites, anarchists, Bukharinites, Khrushchevites, of the supporters of Togliatti, Carrillo, Marchais, etc., etc.
Life is constantly confirming Lenin's theses ,of genius on imperialism. Capitalism has entered the phase of its decay. This situation is arousing the revolt of the peoples and impelling them to revolution. The struggle of the peoples against imperialism and the bourgeois capitalist cliques is building up in various forms, with varying intensities. Quantity will inevitably turn into qualiIty. This will happen first in those countries which ,constitute the weakest link of the capitalist chain and where the consciousness and organization of the workingelass have reached a high level, where there is a deep political and ideological understanding of the problem.
Imperialism has stepped up its barbarous op-pression and exploitation of the peoples. But, at the same time, the peoples of the world are becoming more and more conscious that they cannot go on living in capitalist society, where the working masses are no less oppressed and exploited -than in the pre-War period.
Despite all the efforts by imperialism and its hangers-on, it will find no stability, now or in the future, in its struggle to establish its hegemony over the peoples. It cannot find stability because of the awakening consciousness of the working class and the masses of oppresed working people who want liberation, as well as because of the inevitable inter-imperialist contradictions.
The peoples are seeing, and later they will see ever more clearly, that world imperialism and capitalism are not based solely on the economic, military, political and ideological strength of the two superpowers, but are based also on the wealthy classes which keep the peoples of their own countries in bondage, under exploitation and under fear so they will not rise up to gain their true freedom and independence.
The broad masses of various peoples of the world have also begun to understand that the present-day bourgeois-capitalist society, the exploiting system of world imperialism, must be overthrown. For the peoples this is not just an aspiration, in many countries they have taken up arms.
Therefore, there is no need to concoct theories which divide the world into three or four parts, into "aligned" and "non-aligned", but the great objective historical process must be seen and interpreted correctly, according to the teachings of Marxism-Leninism. The world is divided in two, the world of capitalism and the new world of socialism, which are locked in a merciless struggle with each other. In this fight the new, the socialist world, will triumph, while the old capitalist society, the bourgeois and imperialist society, will be overthrown.