mperialism and ational iberation
International Socialism 99
T T-kw statement about the centrality of imperialismto the system is Lenin’s pamphlet
Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism
. It as ritten in the midst of the First world war. Its aimas to be a “popular outline”, shoing ho the resort to ar as aproduct of the “latest stage of capitalism”—the original subtitle tothe or:
Capitalism has gron into a orld system of colonial oppressionand financial strangulation of the overhelming majority of thepeople of the orld by a handful of “advanced” countries. Andthis “booty” is shared by to or three orld-dominating pirates(America, ngland, Japan), armed to the teeth, ho embroilthe hole orld in their ar over the division of their booty.
The capitalist poers, he points out, have partitioned the orld beteen them on the basis of “a calculation of the strength of theparticipants, their general economic, financial, military and otherstrength”. ut “the relative strength of these participants is notchanging uniformly, for under capitalism there cannot be an equaldevelopment of different undertaings, trusts, branches of indus-try or countries”. A partition of the orld that corresponded to therelative strength of the great poers at one point no longer does soa couple of decades later. The partitioning of the orld gives ay tostruggles over the repartitioning of the orld: