Theories of Imperialism Assignment 2
2denotes that Lenin did expand, contribute to or, in fact, deviate from, Marxist ideology in hiswriting. Indeed Lenin's rationale, as Bill Warren explicitly argues, was to over turn any previousideas of Karl Marx and Joseph Engels of capitalism as a means to social progress, and his method tothis end was to use the phenomenon of imperialism to explain the origins of the First World Warand the vast support it received from the proletariat.
Even Brewer argues that amid the obvioussimilarities with Hilferding, it was Lenin that declared imperialism as the final stage in capitalism,as opposed to monopoly capitalism, and the stage that would inevitably lead to war beforerevolution in both old and new capitalist states.
What is also interesting about Lenin's work is the substantial commentary it has received on thesimilarities between his ideas and J.A. Hobson's, of whom it is widely known that Lenin read andadmired.
Again, Lenin's concentration on the export of capital as being a direct result of an 'overripe' domestic market links directly to Hobson's theory of under-consumption. Yet the similarityalso requires further investigation not simply because Hobson was not a socialist but because it isalso argued that Hobson's and socialist leader Karl Kautsky's work bore some similarity in terms of their basic liberal ideas providing a starting point for Marxist commentary in general,
and it iswidely thought that Lenin wrote his pamphlet to directly contend Kautsky's ideas of 'ultra-imperialism
amid the disarray of the Second International.In this essay it is therefore intended to argue that Hilferding's discussion in his 1910 publication
formed the core of Marxist-Leninist theories of imperialism. It is also intended,however, to discuss the extent to which Lenin's extension arguments on these ideas distance Leninfrom Hilferding to a further extent than opponents such as Brewer afford.Although John Kautsky suggests that Karl Kautsky was the first Marxist to attempt to explainimperialism after the deaths of Marx and Engels,
Brewer argues that Hilferding is the 'real father'of a classical Marxist theory of imperialism,
with Wolfgang Mommsen similarly claiming that