Social Imperialism - Essay Example

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In the following essay, the writer discusses the concept of the idea and meaning of social imperialism. Moreover, the writer focuses on the history of the movement, describing the most significant periods from its origins to contemporary understanding…
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Social Imperialism
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SOCIAL IMPERIALISM By Number: Social-imperialism is a term typically used in an offensive approach to describe people, states that are "socialist in manner imperialist in deeds". The expression is originally used in Leninist circles during the 20th century discussions on the position of the international workers movement towards the war in European and, predominantly in regards to Germany’s social party.
The concept of social imperialism goes hand in hand with Cultural Hegemony, a concept that originated by Karl Marx, stating that a culture with cultural diversification can be dominated or ruled by a given social class amongst many in the same society. It refers to the dominance exhibited by one social group upon others; e.g. the ruling upon the other classes. This concept has further been explained by Antonio Gramsci, who emphasized on the individual’s role of action – workers develop individual cultural institutions via devices such as factory councils.
The introduction of social imperialism was formerly understood in the late nineteenth century when socialists and the lower-class movement became partners in imperialism. Its foundation has been related to the misery of the 1870s and early 1880s and efforts by regimes to recover economic losses as simultaneously exasperating labor agitation and socialist. Advocates of imperialism like Joseph Chamberlain and Jules Ferry; justified it by reasoning that the fruits of the kingdom would financially support social reform, give solution for the stagnation and unsteadiness of mid-nineteenth-century European economies and improve the dilemma of the poor—“the cry of the business population,” ‘n’, Ferrys words--by having the funds for steady employment making goods for confined colonial markets.
Hobson demystified such points of view: overseas investment whether in official colonies or informal areas of influence. He disputed exhausted capital from European-domestic financial system. More contemptuous politicians such as Bismarck merely appealed to regal “crisis ideology,” using abroad military adventures and a focal point on outside enemies to distract attention from the deficiencies of economic arrangements and domestic politics. Benefitting the pursuit of kingdom enabled the German country to put off the democratization of political supremacy and avoid redistribution of wealth.
Perhaps since, unlike Britain, France was in short of a substantial informal kingdom in the mid-nineteenth century, French imperial achieves in the “scramble for Africa” late in the nineteenth century did thrive in generating markets and returns unavailable in the domestic financial system. This success gave France economic equality with Germany, Russia and the Ottomans. In the line of the early-twentieth century, the significance of these economic possessions diminished.
In this recent view, social imperialism is inseparably bound up with the political dynamics of an economic crisis, simultaneously an attempt solution to economy difficulties and a response to threatening social unrest, a means of consolidating the undemocratic structures of the newly founded states.
Eley, G. "Social Imperialism" pages 924-927 from Modern Germany Volume 2.5, New York, Garland, 1998.
Jackson, T, J, Lears. “The Concept of Cultural Hegemony: Problems and Possibilities”.
Wehler, Hans-Ulrich Bismarck under Imperialisms, Kipenheur, Cologne: and Witsch. Read More
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