Tag Archives: imperialism

At the beginning of the 20th century, there was a popular theory that the capitalists of the Earth had reached some sort of detente and would have no further use for war.


Another theory said that the capitalists were no different from gangsters fighting over their “turf.” Creating world wars was an intrinsic part of their very nature.

World War I and then World War II validated the second theory and completely discredited the first. Modern monopolistic capitalists were willing to kill millions in wars to establish their financial control over different parts of the planet. Their national armies were basically at the service of the bankers. Each “nation” was in fact a separate military operation, each opposed to the others.

This was explained in 1916 in a very important booklet named “Imperialism” by V.I. Lenin. There’s a short version on-line.

The big wars temporarily worked out great for the victorious bankers, despite having been hard on the millions killed, imprisoned, or maimed and on the nations who lost.

The New Theory Was Really the Old

Then in the 1980s, a new version of capitalist peace on Earth began to circulate. It was especially boosted when the Soviet Union failed. Opponents of the new theory called it “neoliberalism” rather than the classic name “imperialism.” Those who promoted the idea, which included virtually all the information sources in the rich countries, called it “globalization.” (I called it “gobblelization”).

The new theory, like the old one, held that the capitalists of the world had brought about a new world order based on extending the benefits of the “invisible hand” of capitalist markets to all the world through “free trade.”

Is It “Free?” Is It “Trade?”

The name “free trade” was a tremendous publicity success. Who’s against freedom? Who’s against trade?

Through long hard work, a few workers’ organizations, particularly unions of the world, explained that these so-called trade deals were nothing but agreements between capitalists at the expense of the workers in their respective territories. Time and a flood of actual data proved we were right. The capitalists were only agreeing among themselves that they would move their operations around to obtain the lowest possible wages and the fewest possible pollution controls.

Just as they had previously used their government’s armies to obtain their wishes, the bankers were now using their respective government’s negotiations. The ends were the same. The bankers from the countries with the biggest armies obtained more advantages over the countries with less clout. Only the 1% of any country benefited.

A Lot of People Bought Into the “New” Theory

Nevertheless, the idea that capitalism had established a new and lasting peaceful relationship persisted, and a lot of people thought it was true. Then, in 2016, came super nationalism, came Brexit, came Donald Trump.

The British poked a hole in the European Union from which it may not recover. The Scots tried to leave the British. Polls showed that near-Nazi nationalists were gaining electoral power in several major capitalist states. President Trump declared “America first” and spit in the faces of several other nations.

Will Capitalism Ever Bring Peace?

People must now review the two theories of international relations. We have to ask ourselves, “Are the bankers who control the major capitalist countries creating a peaceful world, or are they actually no different from gangsters fighting over turf?”

–Gene Lantz

I’m on and 89.3FM in Dallas every Saturday at 9 Central Time. If you want to know what I really think, click here.

Some would say that World War III is overdue. If one looks at the basic reasons for the first two world wars, one might get pretty worried about the present situation. bombbang

There have been wars as long as one organization of people has had something worth stealing by another organization. Even some of our classically peaceful, nature loving Native Americans raided one another from time to time.

Capitalism Changed Everything

But capitalism and the modern capitalist nation changed everything, including the nature of war. By 1914, war wasn’t about one-upping another nation, exacting revenge, or even acquiring territory. The first world war came about because the industrialized nations had economically taken over the entire world. The only way any of them could continue to expand was at the expense of the others.

And capitalist economies have to expand. The simple way to explain that may not be theoretically correct, but it’s easy to understand: To make a profit, the capitalist has to sell his product for more than it cost to make it. The workers within his own economy only have what he paid them, which was less than his necessary selling/buying price. So his economy has to grow, somewhere, somehow.

For a better, more exact explanation of imperialism under capitalism, read Marx or, even better, Lenin.

World War II may seem more complicated because of the way they maneuvered to destroy the Soviet Union, but it had essentially the same cause. What did Hitler want? More “room,” Liebensraum!

Americans Have Had It Easy

Most Americans alive today grew up in a very strange period of history. The United States came out of World War II with almost the only productive power on the planet. American capitalists literally dominated everything. Here at home, it seemed like a natural state of affairs, but it wasn’t. It was a weird period, and it distorted our point of view.

By the early 1970s, the world economic situation was different. American cars no longer dominated the streets of the world. Volkswagens and Hondas appeared in our home towns. People laughed at first.

But President Nixon’s administration re-organized the world monetary system to deal with the new situation. The United States continued to dominate and continues today. But when the U.S. capitalists lost their war in Vietnam, a trend of change was apparent to more people.


Where Will They Expand To Now?

Today, the U.S. continues to dominate economically and militarily. But, on the economic side, others are approaching. The Chinese have the second largest economy. The combined Europeans and the Japanese are in competition, too. Where will any of those big capitalist economies expand?

The U.S. is bombing like crazy to hang onto their oil-rich countries. The Chinese are actually building new islands in the South China sea. There are no answers to the questions there. Each of the three major capitalist centers are building trade associations to try to improve their economic clout in opposition to the others.

So, Why No Third World War?

So far, the competing capitalists have only attacked their own workers. In driving down production costs and raising profits, they have slammed us with austerity programs and hit themselves with generous tax giveaways. In theory, they can only go so far with that. Once they have reduced their working class to slavery and starvation, no further profits can be made.

Sane people will never start a Third World War. The first and second world wars took place before the capitalist governments had the ability to destroy the world. Even if the economic conditions that underlay the first and second world wars were met, no rational system would start a third.

The problem is, capitalism isn’t a rational system.

–Gene Lantz