Imperialism

The purpose of this course is to enable participants to develop a firm grasp of the Marxist understanding of imperialism and closely related topics, such as finance capital and monopoly capital. We will begin by briefly brushing up on some basics of Marx’s economic theory of capitalist society before moving on to consider important developments of the Marxian theory on the topic of imperialism up to the contemporary situation. 

All readings will be made available. All are welcome to attend. The only requirement is that every participant prepare and engage in earnest and open-minded discussion and debate. Participants who would simply like to attend and listen but cannot always finish all of the reading etc. are nevertheless more than welcome.

If you are interested in participating, please register online HERE and you will be notified when this course will begin. (It is recommended to have a Google account to register. Please be sure to be logged in to your Google account before clicking on the link above, and choose “Request to join group”.)

All readings listed will be discussed. John Milios’s essay “Classical Theories of Imperialism” is recommended.

Schedule:

1. Introduction: Crash Course Marx

  • A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy [“Preface”]
  • Wage Labor and Capital
  • “The Different Parts Into Which Surplus Value Is Decomposed” [Chapter XI], Value, Price, and Profit

2. J.A. Hobson

  • Imperialism: A Study [Excerpts]
  • “Economics” [Excerpts from Reader]

3. Rudolf Hilferding

  • Finance Capital [Preface, Part V: The economic policy of finance capital]
  • “German Imperialism and Domestic Politics” (1907)

4. Rosa Luxemburg

  • Accumulation of Capital [Introduction, Ch. 32]
  • “Anti-Critique” [chapters 1 & 6]

5. Karl Kautsky

  • Kautsky, “[Ultra]Imperialism”

6. Nicolai Bukharin

  • The Economic Theory of the Leisure Class [Introduction]
  • Imperialism and World Economy

7. V.I. Lenin

  • “Imperialism and the Split in Socialism”
  • Imperialism: the Latest Stage of Capitalism

8. Michael Hudson

  • Super-Imperialism

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