#81
I'm not the brightest but I've read this pamphlet in the past, and I went through it again here recently, and all it seems to be saying is that China has a shit ton of money so they do a lot of foreign investment and lending (at famously low rates), and this alone must make them culpable of some kind of imperialism. Is anyone really persuaded by this? Wake me up when they're pitchforking babies on bayonets, and lighting entire countries on fire.
#82
the conflation of imperialism under its strict leninist definition with a colloquial one associated only with the consequences of its most barbaric forms is tiresome and a significant obstacle to any real discussion happening
#83
Theyre clearly related? The point of a leninist understanding of imperialism is to ground an understanding of the insane slaughter that continues to this day in terms of their foundations in capitalist accumulation. Reducing a leninist understanding of imperialism to a matter of FDI or whatever and divorcing it from the neverending colonial death in the third world totally defeats the purpose of developing that understanding in the first place.
#84
they're related in the sense of it being an empirical expression of the causal mechanisms we can identify at a theoretical level. but to then exclusively identify it as a category with only its most evident social impacts is resorting to a narrow empiricism which ignores the theoretical foundation. lenin's work critically specifies a working qualitative understanding of what constitutes imperialism, and this isn't simply invalidated when we don't see the very particular phenomena that has accompanied its most obvious examples

lenin's purpose in investigating imperialism is a critical investigation of how capital operates on the international level at its highest stage of development, for which he provides clear and explicit theoretical categories. there's no reduction of understanding by continuing to use this theoretical framework. the idea that it should be redressed and narrowed in favour of an empirical cataloging is the reduction of understanding

you can read into lenin whatever motivations you like but it's always going to be a lot easier to read what he actually wrote and work within that framework

continuing to conflate this with simply a discussion of fdi is also clearly in bad faith when the pamphlet gives you a very clear and direct working definition of what its talking about
#85

oilyechidna posted:

I'm not the brightest but I've read this pamphlet in the past, and I went through it again here recently, and all it seems to be saying is that China has a shit ton of money so they do a lot of foreign investment and lending (at famously low rates), and this alone must make them culpable of some kind of imperialism. Is anyone really persuaded by this? Wake me up when they're pitchforking babies on bayonets, and lighting entire countries on fire.


iT all comes down to needing specific terms to refer to specific phenomena. imperialism as per lenin's theory of imperialism is a term of marxist classification specifically concerned with the objective position and actions of the ruling class in any particular state in relation to economics - are they taking part in the financial strangulation of the rest of the world? do they meet lenin's criteria for classification as imperialist? if so that is very worrying because, among other things, in time this economic structure leads directly to the horrific actions you describe - imperialism is the cause, not the manifestation of these actions

if imperialism is just used as a synonym for the barbarity of colonialism and military excursions from the north then what use is the term really? we already have lots of words to describe and catagorise those actions. Saying that imperialism as a concept does not specifically refer to those things but explains them as consequences of a larger economic phenomenon does not lessen their severity, but it does allow us to use a concept which is more than just those things and to think about causes and even make vague inferences about the future

there is a lot of value in detailed economic analysis within a pre-existing theoretical framework: lEnin's theory of imperialism; what you can't really do is take lenin's theory of imperialism, redefine it to mean something different while still calling it lenin's theory of imperialism, then say that a publication specifically rooted in analysis using lenin's theory of imperialism to study the economic system of china is doing it wrong, unless you are clear in either contextualizing your objections in terms of an alternate theory of imperialism rather than lenin's or in explaining how the analysis makes mistakes in application of lenin's theory of imperialism to its subject

#86
absolutely tears. my biggest frustration with the revisionist arguments is their perpetual retreat to this kind of heterodoxy and eclecticism of concepts as an often post-facto rationalisation. heterodox approaches are not necessarily flawed at all but the difficulty is when they're presented as commensurate with the orthodoxy. all that this results in is people speaking two different languages. this failure in communication ends up getting leveraged to the exacerbating point where committed revolutionary orgs end up being slandered as in the service of u.s. imperialist designs or whatever due to a perceived rhetorical failure
#87

blinkandwheeze posted:

absolutely tears. my biggest frustration with the revisionist arguments is their perpetual retreat to this kind of heterodoxy and eclecticism of concepts as an often post-facto rationalisation. heterodox approaches are not necessarily flawed at all but the difficulty is when they're presented as commensurate with the orthodoxy. all that this results in is people speaking two different languages. this failure in communication ends up getting leveraged to the exacerbating point where committed revolutionary orgs end up being slandered as in the service of u.s. imperialist designs or whatever due to a perceived rhetorical failure


Is it a "perceived" rhetorical failure when you argue from a lexicon and theory that's totally alien to the masses, but also consists of the same terms people have been using colloquially for decades before Marx or Lenin were even born? That seems more like an absolute rhetorical failure.

Anyways, I know they're arguing that China fits Lenin's model of imperialism, but if that's true, then I'm wondering how relevant that model is. It's getting harder and harder to argue that China is on anything like an imperialist trajectory--least of all one that will result in the kind of brutality I described--purely by virtue of the fact that they're engaging in some kind of finance capitalism. So many of the examples in this document are so weak, outdated, or of dubious accuracy that it's apparent, despite their claims to the contrary, that they began with their conclusion and left no stone unturned trying to legitimize it. And without addressing any countervailing evidence against it. Not a single one of their figures or assertions are sourced or footnoted. It seems to me they just did an audit of every Chinese enterprise in every country and analyzed it in the most cynical way possible.

Edited by oilyechidna ()

#88
then at that point you're just arguing against the conceptual framework of marxism-leninism entirely. which is fine i guess but not a discussion i'm interested in.
#89

blinkandwheeze posted:

then at that point you're just arguing against the conceptual framework of marxism-leninism entirely. which is fine i guess but not a discussion i'm interested in.


Well, maybe it just needs an update.

#90

oilyechidna posted:

blinkandwheeze posted:

then at that point you're just arguing against the conceptual framework of marxism-leninism entirely. which is fine i guess but not a discussion i'm interested in.

Well, maybe it just needs an update.



#91
Talk about reasoning yourself backward from a conclusion lol
#92

oilyechidna posted:

Anyways, I know they're arguing that China fits Lenin's model of imperialism, but if that's true, then I'm wondering how relevant that model is. It's getting harder and harder to argue that China is on anything like an imperialist trajectory--least of all one that will result in the kind of brutality I described--purely by virtue of the fact that they're engaging in some kind of finance capitalism.



This is tautological.

#93

oilyechidna posted:

blinkandwheeze posted:


then at that point you're just arguing against the conceptual framework of marxism-leninism entirely. which is fine i guess but not a discussion i'm interested in.


Well, maybe it just needs an update.



what part of the word immortal don't you get

#94
oily did you catch samuel king's thesis applying the theory to china? also it's worth remembering the point of imperialism whether it's amerikan invaders in fallujah or the world bank, is to control labor, the source of all value
#95

blinkandwheeze posted:

they're related in the sense of it being an empirical expression of the causal mechanisms we can identify at a theoretical level. but to then exclusively identify it as a category with only its most evident social impacts is resorting to a narrow empiricism which ignores the theoretical foundation. lenin's work critically specifies a working qualitative understanding of what constitutes imperialism, and this isn't simply invalidated when we don't see the very particular phenomena that has accompanied its most obvious examples

lenin's purpose in investigating imperialism is a critical investigation of how capital operates on the international level at its highest stage of development, for which he provides clear and explicit theoretical categories. there's no reduction of understanding by continuing to use this theoretical framework. the idea that it should be redressed and narrowed in favour of an empirical cataloging is the reduction of understanding

you can read into lenin whatever motivations you like but it's always going to be a lot easier to read what he actually wrote and work within that framework

continuing to conflate this with simply a discussion of fdi is also clearly in bad faith when the pamphlet gives you a very clear and direct working definition of what its talking about


the pamphlet is very clear that it identifies imperialism with chinese foreign investment thoughtout so idk where you're getting your claims of "bad faith" from. at basically every point it points to chinese FDI as an indicator of colonial intention and a precursor to a future pattern of intervention and colonial wars.

#96
it's very clear that it's discussing foreign investment under the conditions of state monopoly capital as opposed to the mere presence of outgoing fdi, something which is universal among even the poorest nations
#97

Parenti posted:

oilyechidna posted:

Anyways, I know they're arguing that China fits Lenin's model of imperialism, but if that's true, then I'm wondering how relevant that model is. It's getting harder and harder to argue that China is on anything like an imperialist trajectory--least of all one that will result in the kind of brutality I described--purely by virtue of the fact that they're engaging in some kind of finance capitalism.



This is tautological.


blinkandwheeze posted:

Talk about reasoning yourself backward from a conclusion lol



I thought we already established that "imperialism" per lenin is totally different than imperialism in the colloquial. Is this that "perceived rhetorical failure" once again rearing its head? Maybe I wasn't clear enough. My point is only that, even if China fits a single criterion of imperialism under Lenin (export of capital)--and even more--have sinned gravely at times in doing so, I still don't see any good reason to call it capital I imperialism. What kind of world do you think can exist in the present day without investment and lending by countries that have the money to do it? At least they've created an alternative and effectively shifted the balance away from western economic hegemony. Why is it now, when what some might even call a massive triumph over imperialism has only just occurred, we're now suddenly obliged to undercut that advance and impugn it on every level?

#98
you would use that criterion presumably because youre a marxist-leninist.
#99

oilyechidna posted:

I thought we already established that "imperialism" per lenin is totally different than imperialism in the colloquial. Is this that "perceived rhetorical failure" once again rearing its head? Maybe I wasn't clear enough. My point is only that, even if China fits a single criterion of imperialism under Lenin (export of capital)--and even more--have sinned gravely at times in doing so, I still don't see any good reason to call it capital I imperialism. What kind of world do you think can exist in the present day without investment and lending by countries that have the money to do it? At least they've created an alternative and effectively shifted the balance away from western economic hegemony. Why is it now, when what some might even call a massive triumph over imperialism has only just occurred, we're now suddenly obliged to undercut that advance and impugn it on every level?




if you're not using the leninist definition of imperialism then what does "capital I imperialism" actually mean?

#100

lo posted:

if you're not using the leninist definition of imperialism then what does "capital I imperialism" actually mean?


To most people, it just means plundering other countries of their natural wealth and land, enslaving their people, and erasing their culture.

#101

blinkandwheeze posted:

you would use that criterion presumably because youre a marxist-leninist.


The masses aren't marxist-leninists so how do you explain to them that this country that's building roads and schools in Africa is doing the same thing as nazi germany?

#102
probably by explaining in clear terms what we mean when we talk about imperialism. which thankfully we have a coherent and concrete definition for.
#103

oilyechidna posted:

The masses aren't marxist-leninists so how do you explain to them that this country that's building roads and schools in Africa is doing the same thing as nazi germany?


You tell them about the 3 million Uyghurs in concentration camps.

#104

oilyechidna posted:

blinkandwheeze posted:


you would use that criterion presumably because youre a marxist-leninist.


The masses aren't marxist-leninists so how do you explain to them that this country that's building roads and schools in Africa is doing the same thing as nazi germany?


You direct them to the nearest us embassy and they'll take care of the rest

#105

I thought we already established that "imperialism" per lenin is totally different than imperialism in the colloquial. Is this that "perceived rhetorical failure" once again rearing its head? Maybe I wasn't clear enough. My point is only that, even if China fits a single criterion of imperialism under Lenin (export of capital)--and even more--have sinned gravely at times in doing so, I still don't see any good reason to call it capital I imperialism. Why is it now, when what some might even call a massive triumph over imperialism has only just occurred, we're now suddenly obliged to undercut that advance and impugn it on every level?


because the symptoms of imperialism are the strategic necessities of capital at this high level and not identical with "imperialism" itself

edit:poorly worded, i meant that since a variety of strategies are necessary depending on the political situation it's not sufficient to say "this particular instantiation of force is missing, so it's not imperialism"

What kind of world do you think can exist in the present day without investment and lending by countries that have the money to do it?


not sure, but if I were going to investigate this question I might start by looking at the half century of economic relations between non-capitalist countries we have on record instead

Edited by neckwattle ()

#106
So is China Imperialist now?

#107
always has been *cocks pistol*
#108

Themselves posted:

So is China Imperialist now?


Does this ansewr your question?

#109
ppl more concerned or curious about chinese imperialism than french, japanese, german finance imperialism are showing ass fyi
#110

blinkandwheeze posted:

what on earth are you talking about, of course lenin was concerned with international finance capital & international capitalism at its highest stage


No Lenin was concerned about the entrenchment of intersecting national financial/industrial/state interests within the populations of colonising nations through the promotion of socialistic chauvinism/imperialism, entailing rivalry between imperialist powers in their quest for 'economic territory' and the re-partitioning of an already partitioned world. Analysing that socialistic-imperialist trend is literally the point of the book and its most significant contribution. Capitalism has been a global phenomenon since like the 18th century; what does that have to do with this. Tbh I don't want to know, so I'll just expand on the points I made earlier.

The least that should be expected of a general theory of capitalist imperialism (which Lenin never claimed to have developed) is recognition of capitalism's structural dependence on the commodities producible exclusively or sufficiently only in tropical lands. If capitalism were free market/competition-based at any point in its development, the prices of commodities producible or sufficiently producible only in the tropical areas of the world would be set by the people living in those areas. That was as true in the 1600s as it is today. Even today when the US and most EU countries are self-sufficient (minus heavy subsidies) in certain crops, first world economies would be severely affected if third world countries collectively started dictating the prices of fruits, stimulants, cotton, rubber etc. on their own terms. And that is just agriculture. More to the point, this structural dependence wasn't accounted for by Lenin, Luxemburg or any other western theorists of imperialism. Parasitism and the need for colonies are equally important to all the stages of capitalism, not just during the 'highest' one.

In the areas of white settlement, the land itself accommodated the surplus population of the most advanced capitalist nation, Britain, and the rest of Europe to a lesser extent. About half of Britain's 1920s population migrated out of Britain during 1821-1915, for example. That migration was unique not only in scale but also quality, since most of those emigrants settled in free land as free farmers and their outflow facilitated stable capitalist development in the home country itself while also laying the basis for future allies and room for expansion of its markets. For many obvious reasons, it cannot realistically be repeated in terms of scale and quality in the modern world. The genocide of the indigenous Americans, Australians etc and seizure of their lands, as well as black slavery, may be specific historical processes but they are also abiding structural realities common to all stages of capitalism. Theories of modern imperialism do not have any credibility if they fail to identity their role in the modern world economy.

Re capital export: genocidal racist English liberal J A Hobson, in line with virtually all western economists to the present day (regardless of politics) doesn't account for the way in which colonial powers appropriated the trade of the colonies. Though Lenin (relying on Hobson's flawed and ideologically biased data) correctly identified capital export as an important feature of imperialism, he misinterpreted (because Hobson) what it said about the role of colonies. India ran huge trade surpluses and earned gold and foreign exchange from the world. Those surpluses were, literally, stolen by England. Utsa Patnaik in her essay 'Revisiting the drain, or transfers from India to Britain in the context of global diffusion of capitalism' estimated the drain of wealth from India to Britain during 1765-1938 at $45 trillion, using India's export surplus earnings as the measure and compounding at a conservative 5% interest rate.

Further, taking into account the fact that the international prices of the exported commodities were determined by the needs of a 'market' that the colonies producing them had no say in, the real value of the drain is infinite. Commodities that were vitally necessary for the development of capitalism in Europe, yet had to be imported from tropical and subtropical colonies, were in reality worth more than money/gold. The price of all other forms of wealth or assets relative to those commodities would eventually reach 0 in an actual market and money -based system dependent on their supply.

Starting from the 1870s England simultaneously ran massive current account deficits with the US, France, Germany etc. and invested in their industrial infrastructure. That is a very notable example of capital export during the period identified by Lenin as decadent capitalism, not only occurring between rival capitalist/colonialist powers, but substantially if not entirely dependent on the trade and current account surpluses of the colonies. The wealth extracted from the colonial populations through the imposition of deindustrialising exports was small compared to the wealth earned by the colonies themselves.

Both the devaluation of colonial exports (and all that that entails, like the conditions imposed on colonial labour) and the seizure/theft of the wealth earned from selling them are expressions of the reality I'm trying to point out - the colonies were not 'virgin economic territory' fought over by rival imperialists but the source of capitalist development and production in the imperialist countries. Lenin, relying on Hobson, didn't account for this relationship at all. Yet it explains exactly why capital export per se is not only not the main driver of imperialism in the decadent (or any) stage of capitalism but also cannot be validly interpreted as being solely a function of the advanced industrial capacity of real/imagined imperialist countries.

Capitalism as it has developed vitally needs to replace free competition, free wage labour, markets and money with theft, seizure, genocide and centrally planned economies when- and where- ever necessary. Whether that phenomenon is termed capitalism, parasitism, imperialism, colonialism, kinetic herrenvolk communism etc doesn't really matter (to me). What is important is that its role is crucial to all of the stages of capitalism, over and above the distinguishing features of individual stages however they may be defined.

It should go without saying that Lenin's legacy isn't tarnished whatsoever by the recognition that he wasn't able to conduct a proper analysis of imperialism in the middle of WW1, just before the Russian Revolution, under conditions of exile (with for example very limited access to documentation or discussion). Likewise it should be obvious this post is not a proper analysis. I'm just pointing out certain things that are stupidly obvious and should have been recognised by ML parties decades ago, but very often were not (why? is another discussion altogether). Certainly it's no fault of Lenin's that 21st century MLs are trying to fit China-US rivalry into concepts like inter-imperialist rivalry which were created to explain the causes and implications of WWI.

#111

vimingok posted:

No Lenin was concerned about the entrenchment of intersecting national financial/industrial/state interests within the populations of colonising nations through the promotion of socialistic chauvinism/imperialism, entailing rivalry between imperialist powers in their quest for 'economic territory' and the re-partitioning of an already partitioned world. Analysing that socialistic-imperialist trend is literally the point of the book and its most significant contribution. Capitalism has been a global phenomenon since like the 18th century; what does that have to do with this. Tbh I don't want to know, so I'll just expand on the points I made earlier.


this is an analysis of international finance capital and its operations. i do not understand how what you are discussing here is to be distinguished from such. imperialism as a subject is necessarily a discussion of national-monopolistic finance capital as a concept, this is definitional. and of course capitalism has always been global in character -- i fairly clearly stated that lenin's concern was of international capitalism at its highest stage, not international capitalism in any general sense.

there's a lot of basic confusion throughout this post with a lack of distinction between imperialism in lenin's sense and international exploitation under conditions of capital in general. imperialism simply cannot account for the processes of colonial expropriation and primitive accumulation, as it's a theory of the operations of monopolistic finance-capital, a form which is unique to capitalism as its higher stages of development. it is of course highly reliant on the existing productive structures of colonial & neo-colonial expropriation but is not an explanation of them because they belong to an entirely different category

your discussion on patnaik is curious for the same reasons. it is true that lenin's thesis does not account for the colonial extraction of surplus value by tributary capture, because it's not concerned with colonial production in general but the specific international operations of monopoly-finance capital under conditions of advanced capitalist production. trying to expand it beyond this scope is clearly going to be inadequate

lenin does not allege that capital export is a main driver of imperialism but a primary operation through which imperialist production takes place. patnaik's introduction of the drains of invisible tributary exchange from the colonial nations does not contradict this, as it is a genetic account of the drivers that cause imperialist production to develop. it is not in itself a direct operation of imperialist production as it exists prior to and as a fundamental basis of such

this is implicit in your argument, that conditions of capital export under advanced capitalism were reliant on an existing industrial-commercial base which had been developed through prior colonial extraction. lenin did not simply present existing colonial lands as some virgin territory absent any international value extraction whatsoever, but he addressed the scope of colonial relations in other texts and addresses specifically regarding that question. that's simply not what the concept of imperialism is about

vimingok posted:

Whether that phenomenon is termed capitalism, parasitism, imperialism, colonialism, kinetic herrenvolk communism etc doesn't really matter (to me). What is important is that its role is crucial to all of the stages of capitalism, over and above the distinguishing features of individual stages however they may be defined.


there's never going to be a single universal concept of international seizure of surplus value under capitalism. because while this is always going to be necessary to the functioning of capitalism as a global system, it takes qualitatively distinct forms as the mechanisms of value extraction in general develop and diversify. lenin very clearly and carefully distinguished a particular form as such under the concept of imperialism, the projection of this backward as some trans-historical absolute is simply a terminological confusion

#112

swampman posted:

Themselves posted:

So is China Imperialist now?

Does this ansewr your question?



i honestly cant figure out if we are agreeing with these dudes or if we are saying that lenin's theories can't be applied to china but im thinking china is a pretty big boy so maybe they can at this point. i really like the qiao collective videos tho

#113
The year is 202X. In the aftermath of the Sino-Amerikan war, in the smouldering remains of a western city in which looking like some Akira shit happen, among the rubble of a long-abandoned server room, lights flicker across a lone active rack, as the surviving members of tHE rHizzonE edge ever closer to a definitive conclusion on China Imperialist Or Not
#114
China innocent #JusticeForMothra
#115
we have a ruling, gentlemen

#116
Pompeo Thought making new headway on the Chinese question.
#117

Parenti posted:

we have a ruling, gentlemen





Hmm...

#118
[img fat face pompeo[ me bad man. me berry berry bad man.
#119


This is an interesting example of the ambiguous state of possible criticism of Chinese policy. Of course the obvious aspect is the direct lying by Adrian Zenz who has been the basis of western reporting, but then if we compare Xinjiang to the total Chinese population we see that the correct figure of 8.7 percent is disproportionate. It is true that over time there has been a change in reproductive policies: what was once the one child policy for Han and its lack of enforcement on Uyghur has become a two child policy for both. Whatever side one takes as to whether limiting reproduction is necessary, I think it is fair to say that equality of enforcement cannot be guaranteed. This is the basis for making special rights for national minorities an explicit peg of ML policy, which is to say that the present direction of policy is a regression. This is a very simple example of how to separate the fact that Uyghurs are oppressed from western propaganda, and yet nearly everyone who claims to be an advocate for Uyghurs does not make these distinctions and becomes complicit in these sorts of distortions...
#120
my fact check meter has rated mr pompeo's statement 70 percent right and 30 percent wrong