l othe: basis.
Saturday, May 17, 1919 THE REVOLUTIONARY AGE Imperialism the Final Stage of Capitalism. ontinuotion. the first months of 1904 the steel syndicate of Germany was organized: in November 1904 the international rail combine was reorganized on the follow ing basis: England 53. Germany 28. 83 and Belgium 17. 67. France joined the combine on a basis of 80, 80. and of the profits above 100 for the first. second and third years. respectiveIV. In 1905 the Steel Trust of America. the United States Steel Corporation) joined the combine and so did Austria and Spain. Now. wrote Vogelstcin in 1010. the division of the earth is completed. and the large consumers. especially the national railroad systems. can live like the poet 011 Jupiter cloud. for in that division of the world their interests have. not been taken into account. 70)
We may also mention the international zinc syndicate founded in 1909. which divided up the business among five groups of mills, German. Belgian. French.
Spanish and English. Also the international powder trust which. to quake Lieimann. was a close combine of all the explosive plants of Germany and which agreed with similar French and American factories for the production of dynamite to divide up theworld.
so to sneak. 71)
Liefmann listed in 1897 some 40 internationalcombines. including Germany. that number rising to 100 111 1910.
Some bourgeois writers have expressed the opinion that international combines. being one of the most striking features of the tintemationalization of capital.
justify one in expecting peace among the nations under the capitalist system. Theoretically, such an idea is absurd: practically, it is a peace of sophistry and can be used to justify the lowest kind of opport mnsm.
lntemational combines reveal the growth of capitalistic monopolies and also what groups of capitalists are fighting for among themselves. The latter point is the most important, but it only throws light upon the historical and economic meaning of the past, for the fight may assume and does continually assume a shape, for various reasons, more or less local or temporary; but the essence of the fight itself.
itsvclass character. cannot change as long as class listinctions remain. Of course. it may be of interest. some bourgeois. let us say, the German bourgeoisie, misrepresent the essential 0f the modern economic ht (for the division of the world) and to insist now one detail. now on another detail of the fight. This the mistake Kautsky makes. For after all. it is the German bourgeoisie which is under consideron. but the bourgeoisie of the entire world. Cap;alists divide up the world. not out of any malicious intent. butsimoly because the degree of business concentration which we have reached compels them to resort to that device in order to make any profits.
And they divide it up according to their capital.
to their power. for under a capitalist system of production. the division cannot be made upon any Power does not vary according to economic and political development: in order to understand the past one must know what questions are settled by variations of power, but whether those variations are: purely economic or extra economic (for instance due to wars) is after all a secondary question which cannot in any war change the essential aspects of the latest stage of Capitalism. To neglect the essentials of the fight and of the division of the world among capitalists in order to discuss the outward appearance that fight and of that division (world wide one day.
are restricted the next day. and then again world idel is to dally with sophisrn. glance at our 1odern Capitalism will show us that groups of cap talists reach certain agreements among themselves on the basis of an economic division of the world, but that concurrently, and in connection with them.
political groups. or governments reach certain agreements on the basis of a territorial division of the world, of a struggle for colonies, for exclusive territones.
VI The Division of 11 World Among the Cred Powers.
The geographer. Supan, in his book 011 The THritarial Development of European Colonic. 75) gives us in a condensed form a clear idea of that development at the end of the 19th century.
Area occupied by colonies of the various European Power: and of the United States: 1876 1900 (Iiain Less 10. 90. 79. 10. 90. 79. in Africa In Africa Polynesia 56. 98. 42. Asia 51. 56. 5. Australia 100 100 America 27. 27. 0. By Lenin Translated from flu! Russian by Andrr Triduti The most noticeable fact of that period. the author says in his conclusion, is the division of Africa and Polynesia.
As there are no unoccupied lands. that is. no lands belongingg to no power in particular. in Asia and in America. we might go farther than Supan and say that the most noteworthy fact of the period in question is that the division of the world is complete. not in the sense that a. redistribution of territories is henceforth impossible. on the contrary that redistribution is possible and inevitable) but in the sense that the colonialpolicy of the capitalist nations has attained its object.
which was to take possession of all the unoccupied lands on the planet.
The world has been divided up. and what is coming now is a redistribution of lands. that is. the passage of land from one domination under another, not from independence into dependence.
We are living through a peculiar era of world wide colonial expansion which is intimately related to the latest phase in the development of Capitalism. with finance capital. Vc must therefore dwell at length noon concrete facts which will enable us not only to show wherein this era differs from the one precedin. it. but also to visualize clearly the actual state of affairs at the present day.
And first of all we must answer two definite questions: Do we notice a keener struggle for colonies in our eooch of finance capital? flow is the world divided up at the present time, from the point of view of colonies?
An American writer. Morris. in his book on the history of colonization. gives 11s an idea of the growth of the colonial empires of England. France and Ger many in the course of the 10th century.
Here are. in condensed form. the figures he arrives at: England rca Ponnlmillions ation France Germany Area olnul Area Populmillinns ation millions ation Yra rs miles miles miles 1815 3o. 126. 0. 02 1860 145. 0. 3. 1880 267. 0. 7. 1899 309 3. 56 1. 1 It was between 1860 and 1880 and. sinnificantlv enough. in the last twenty years of the 10th century also. that England entered her greatest period of colonial connuests. while France and Germany secured most of their colonial possessions between 1880 and 1900.
We have seen in a preceding chapter that the premononolistic era in the develonrnent of Capitalism.
that is Capitalism dominated by free comnetition.
stretched from 1860 to 1870.
We now see that that era preceded an enormous rise in colonial acquisitions. a more and more hittflr struggle for the territorial division of the world.
It is evident therefore that the transition from monopolistic capital to finance capital is bound to make the struggle for the division of the world more and more relentless.
Hobson. in his book n11 Imperialism. characterizes the period from 1884 to 1000 as a period of powerful expansion for the leading European nowers. According to his estimates. England secured during that period million square miles of land with a population of 57 million souls: France million square miles with a population of 36 millions: Belgium. 000. 000 square miles with a population of 20 millions: Portugal 800, 000 souare miles with (1 million people.
The hunt for colonies at the end of the 10th century.
especially in the eighties. on the part of all the capitalist nations. constitutes a generally admitted fact in the history of diplomacy and foreign relations. Vhen free competition was especially lflourishing in England, that is from 1840 to 1860, the bourgeois politicians who were in the saddle opposed any sort of a colonial policy. and considered that it would be necessary for England to grant her colonies their independence, to let them secede entirely. Baer. in an article published in 1898 on the latest developments of English Imperialism. quotes the i111nerialistically minded Disraeli as saving in 1852: Colonies are just a millstone around our neck. the end of the Igth century the men of the day in England were Cecil Rhodes and Joseph Chamberlain the prophets of Imperialism applying purely imperialistic policies with the greatest cynicism It is not without interest to notice that the connection between the purely economic and the social political essentials of the newborn Imperialism was perfectly obvious to those leaders of the English bourgeoisie: Chamberlain stated that Imperialism his the only wise and economical policy, and pointed to the competition which England is now meeting with in the world market 011 the part of Germany. America.
and Belgium. The salvation lies in monopolies. capitalists said. and they organized cartels. syndicates trusts. Salvation lies in monopoly. the bourgeois lead crs repeated. and they endeavored to annex parts of the world which had not as yet been seized by some nation. lint Cecil Rhodes. as his intimate friend Stead tells us. offered in 181. tln: following argument in favor of his i111pcrialistic plans: was yesterday in the East End of London and wilnesscd :1 meeting of the unemployed. After listening to all the wild talk and cries for bread. bread, went homc. and reflected upon what had seen and heard. and came to the conclusion that Imperialism was more imperative than ever. Here is my solution for the social problem: if we are to save the forty million inhabitants of the United Kingdom from a 111nrderous civilwar.
we. the colonialists. must secure new territories to be occupied by the growing population. where we can find new markets for the goods manufactured in our mills and factories. it is all a qucstion of food supply. If you do not want a civil war you must become imperialistic. 74)
Thus spake in 1805 Cecil Rhodes. nullionnairc.
financial magnate. more than any one else responsible for the Transvaal war.
To present a clearer picture of the territorial partition of the world and of the various changes having taken place in the distribution of colonial lands in the course of the last decade. we shall ouote the figures given by Supan in his writings on the colonial pos sessions of all the nations. Supnn figures are for the em 1876 and 1900. We shall start with the year 1876 for it marks the end of the development of pre mononoli stic Capitalism and establish :1 companson with the year 1014. giving for the latter year linebner figures taken from his Geographical studstical Tables.
Sunan only gives us the size and population of the colonies. To make the picture more cmnplctc, we intend to mention also the area and population of noncolonial or Semi colonial lands. such as Persia. China and Turkey: the first of those lands is almost entirely colonized. the second and third are gradually becoming 50.
Colonial nonunion: of the (rim! flurwrr in millionr of square Kilomctntr and millions of population.
Colonies Motherland Total 1876 1914 1014 1914 area pop. area pop. area pop. area pop.
Engand 251. 33. 0. 46. 33. 4 10. R1 ia 17. 15. 17. 5. 136. 22. 169. France 11 (to 10. 39. 1 95. Germany 0. (14. 3. 77. U. 0. 97. 0. 106. Japan 0. 33. 0. 72. T. uals 40. 273. 65. 16. 437. 81. 960. Colonies of other nations (llclginmgHolland etc. 1, 45, Sruii colonia China. an a. 361. Otlhei nations. 48. 11 2M0 lintire world. 139. (157. We see clearly that the division of the world was c0111pleted by the dawn of the zoth century. After 1876 colonial empires grew by gigantic steps and bounds. something like 150 per cent. through the a11nexatinn of between 40 and 65 million square kilometers: six great powers scized the equivalent of 150 of their own area. that is 16. million square kilometres.
ln 1876 three powers had no colonies: and :1 third one. France. had hardly any. in ml. those four powers had acquired a colonial empire of 14. million square kilometres. or approximately one and a half times greater than the area of Furope. with a population of some 100 million souls he new colonial possessions were very unevenly divided. If we compare the colonies of France. Germany and japan. three nations which do not differ greatly in area and population, we see that France acquired three times as much land as Germany and Japan put together.
From the point of view of finance capital. France was probably at the hegining of the period under con rideration several times wealthier than Germany and japan combined. To be continued)