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How far Does Lenin's Theory of Capitalist Imperialism Explain the Scramble for Africa - Essay Example

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How far does Lenin's theory of capitalist imperialism explain the Scramble for Africa 1. Introduction The explanation of political decisions in the context of the international community is often based on specific economic and social criteria. Moreover, it seems that these criteria are not standardized, being influenced by the political, economic and social conditions of each era…
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How far Does Lenins Theory of Capitalist Imperialism Explain the Scramble for Africa
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How far Does Lenin's Theory of Capitalist Imperialism Explain the Scramble for Africa

Download file to see previous pages... The development of a specific concept, the capitalist imperialism is reviewed in this paper. Reference is made specifically to the potential use of this concept for explaining the Scramble for Africa, a process developed between the years 1880 and 1900 and which resulted to the colonization of the major part of the particular continent. The above process was initiated mainly by European states, which tried to secure their economies by locating and acquiring important economic resources. Different approaches have been used for describing the content and the use of capitalist imperialism. In the specific study emphasis is given on the Lenin’s theory of capitalist imperialism, as this theory can be applied on the case under examination, the Scramble for Africa. It is proved that Lenin has highlighted the key characteristics of capitalist imperialism, explaining effectively the concept’s creation, as a result of the transformation of capitalism to an advanced social and economic system (Lenin 1999, p.91). Moreover, it seems that the view of Lenin on capitalist imperialism can offer appropriate explanations on the involvement of this concept in the Scramble of Africa, at least in regard to the key aspects of the specific social and political process. 2. Lenin's theory of capitalist imperialism The theory of Lenin on capitalist imperialism is based on the following view: ‘capitalism is imperialism’ (Willoughby 2002, p.7). Moreover, capitalism is an indispensable part of modern societies. Therefore, the development of imperialism worldwide cannot be controlled. The above view of Lenin in regard to the relationship between capitalism and imperialism can be used for explaining the development of capitalist imperialism worldwide taking into consideration the following facts: issues of domination and conflicts among nations may not be clearly explained through the above theory; however, the theory of Lenin on capitalist imperialism explains the use of capitalism in the expansion of imperialism from the beginning of the 20th century onwards. From another point of view, Hall (1986) notes that the theory of Lenin on capitalist imperialism reveals the relationship between the conflicts related to capitalism and the increase of imperialism. Indeed, in accordance with Lenin, when contradictions referring to capitalism are developed within a state, then it is expected that the efforts of this state ‘to be involved in the rest of the world is unavoidable, almost necessary’ (Hall 1986, p.223). In the above case, ‘the imperial possessions are necessary as markets for excess goods’ (Hall 1986, p.223), although it is not made clear whether these possessions, meaning the foreign countries, are considered to be just destinations of goods or resources of important goods, as for example in the case of countries with important energy sources (oil, gas), or valuable assets (gemstones). It is assumed that the involvement of a state in other states worldwide can have one or both of the above forms, aiming to support the development of capitalism within the particular state. In other words, imperialism, as described by Lenin, is used for securing the development of capitalism, therefore the above two frameworks cannot exist separately. On the other hand, it should be made clear that the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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