Preface to "Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism"

V.I. Leninís work "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" is being re-published in many countries of the world. Notwithstanding the changes in international relations and in the political structure of the world, what does make it still actual since the day of its first publication in 1916? One must search the answer to this question in the ongoing conditions of existence of imperialism and in the content of this immense work.

A decade ago, following the collapse of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc, the US President Bush, as the leader of the Western imperialist camp which had gained a "victory over socialism", announced a "new world order". According to this announcement accompanied by the anti-communist campaign of the imperialist propaganda centres, the capitalist world was going into a "new order" where international relations are characterised by the mission of "fulfilling humanityís universal aspirations such as peace and security, and the superiority of freedom and law". In other words, the Western imperialist camp which had found refuge in an alliance against the "socialist camp" was not going to disintegrate as a result of the disappearance of its "opposite", on the contrary, it was going to achieve a greater "unity" and take the world to a "new order". In this "new world", all the "negative" aspects of the past such as "wars", "arms race", "class struggles", "poverty and underdevelopment", etc. would vanish, and the old world would be replaced by a "new" one where there are no crises or conflicts, but "universal harmony, prosperity, peace, democracy", etc.

While the announcement of the "new world order" and the demagogic anti-communist propaganda based on the "defeat of socialism" constituted one aspect of the imperialist campaign of ideological attack, the other aspect was the touting for "globalisation" which expressed the economic relations of this "new order". According to this, with a "stable" and "uninterrupted" development, the "liberal" world capitalism was going into the process of a "global world economy" (whose internal market was the whole world) where there is no "restrictive national barriers" or even "nation states", an economy based on "free international competition". In other words, it was argued, capitalism has not only lost its imperialist character, but it has also entered a "process of structural change", heading towards a "new post-capitalist social structure"!

It did not take long before this campaign of ideological attack, which was designed to distort facts and spread idle hopes, had an influence on the "left" as well. The collapse of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc was considered as "the defeat of socialism" (defeat becoming apparent for everybody). Trotskyism interpreted this as a proof of "it being historically correct, too"; it came to the forefront with the assertion that it has found the most suitable conditions in the "globalised" world for its reactionary strategy and tactics. Some bourgeois and petty bourgeois "left" currents and individuals, on the other hand, discovered "globalisation" as a "new stage" of imperialism. According to them, Leninís theses had become obsolete in many ways, no longer able to explain the world we live in or the "new stage" of monopoly capitalism; thus they argued for the need for a "new theory of world capitalism"!

All these so-called "new theses" have been the main ideological weapon of imperialism and the world reactionary forces for their decade-long campaign of attacks on the peoples of the world, particularly on the workers. Obviously, the same ideological campaign is still going on today. "Theses" such as "globalisation", "adapting to the new order", "development necessities", "reaching universal democracy", etc. are all being used as a veil for the deteriorating living conditions, impoverishment and lack of freedom imposed on the labouring classes and the peoples.

Despite this, the world wide events of the past decade in the political, diplomatic, military, economic and social fields (economic crises; shrinking economic, social and political rights; imperialist interventions; local wars, etc.) have riddled the veil of "fulfilling the universal aspirations of humanity" with holes; they have shown how hollow, baseless and demagogic this propaganda was, and that the promises made were designed to cover up the decaying and aggressive face of imperialism. It is not a secret that the developments of the past few years have shattered the illusions among the workers and labourers, feeding their anger against and their discontent with the attacks of capital. One can also see the initial signs of a new awakening and a new orientation towards the working class on the part of the intellectuals both in the advanced and backward countries. Moreover, criticisms of "globalisation" and capitalism are becoming crystallised as a tendency amongst the intellectuals who are influenced by the present day workersí movement, and we see "a return to Marx", as described in the bourgeois press, although still at a level of an academic approach.

For this reason, the recent common re-publishing of V.I. Leninís "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" by the advanced detachments of the international proletariat in various countries is very meaningful and important. It is meaningful because it coincides with a period when the contradictions of the "new world order" declared by the world reactionary forces on the basis of their "victory over socialism" have become apparent. Also, the ripening problems and weaknesses of imperialist capitalism have begun to manifest themselves more clearly and directly. It is important because this immense work provides a unique light and an infallible guide to disperse the foggy atmosphere created in the ideological sphere by the advocates of imperialism in regard to the quality, contradictions and tendencies of the world monopolist capitalism.


Lenin wrote this work in the spring of 1916. However, on the part of Lenin, it was a long-standing need to explain in a Marxist point of view the question what he described as "the new phenomena of modern capitalism". This was because the economic, political and social phenomena as an expression of capitalism having entered its monopoly stage had begun to become apparent in the late 19th and the early 20th century. These questions had also reflected themselves in the bourgeois writings of political economy; questions such as "monopolies", "imperialism", "banks", "world market", etc. had become subjects of many books and researches. Lenin dealt with these questions closely from the early years of the 20th century to the war years, and developed original views and theses in the pamphlets and articles he wrote in connection with the aspects that were important for the struggles of that period.

What made it for Lenin an immediate task to explain this fundamental question (the new phenomena of modern capitalism) in details was the outbreak of the First World War and the emergence of the two main tendencies in the ranks of the international socialist movement: the tendency which defended social-chauvinism and opportunism on the one hand, and on the other, the tendency of the Bolsheviks, which represented proletarian internationalism and the revolutionary fight against its own bourgeoisie. It is for this reason that in the preface of his work Lenin says "this pamphlet will help the reader to understand the fundamental economic question, viz., the question of the economic essence of imperialism, for unless this is studied, it will be impossible to understand and appraise modern war and modern politics".(1)

Here, one should also mention that Lenin, with his characteristic modesty, calling his work a "pamphlet" has been used by some so-called "socialist" and "Marxist" intellectual circles, mainly the Trotskyists, as a pretext to denigrate the value of this immense work, the intention being, in fact, to deny in a "sly" way Leninís huge contribution to the science of Marxist political economy.

Despite all distortions, Leninís work is one of the most extensive and ingenious products of Marxís approach to political economy, which is "to take contradicting phenomena and real oppositions as a basis instead of conflicting dogmas".

First of all, "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" is the product of a very extensive work. The most apparent indicator of this is Leninís Notebooks on Imperialism which was published by the decision of the 9th Congress of the Bolshevik Party and of the Second Soviet Congress of the USSR. This 900-page work covers notes and quotes from 148 books, 232 articles and 49 journals published in German, French, English and Russian. The actual work being short proves nothing but how dense and profound it is.

Lenin makes the analysis of imperialist capitalism from two aspects: The first is the economic analysis of the question where Lenin gives the definition of the "basic, purely economic concepts" of imperialism ("five of its basic features"). "Imperialism is capitalism in that stage of development in which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital has established itself; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun; in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed."(2) The second is "the historical place of this stage of capitalism" (monopoly capitalism) "in relation to capitalism in general".(3) From this aspect, Lenin emphasises the following three features of imperialism, i.e., capitalism which has grown ripe, engendering the objective conditions for the transition to socialism: monopoly capitalism; parasitic or decadent capitalism and moribund capitalism. From there Lenin comes to the conclusion that imperialism is the "final stage of capitalism" and the "eve of socialist revolution".

Lenin draws these analyses and theses from a meticulous study of the economic bases of the new phenomena of modern capitalism. He analysed them with a Marxist method, giving particular importance to the determinations and predictions in the late works of Marx and Engels (in relation to the signs of monopolisation), as well as "Capital". Lenin condemns the evaluations of the bourgeois economists who explain the monopolisation as a "diversion" from "free competition". He demonstrates that the emergence of monopolies which constitute the "economic essence" of imperialism is a result of "free competition" inevitably turning into "its opposite". With Leninís work, the concept of "imperialism" which was being used more widely in order to "point to the basic characteristic of the epoch" finds its real scientific basis in the economic and political literature. He strongly objects the bourgeois liberals and opportunists reducing this concept to a level of "swear word" or a "chosen policy", and refutes their reactionary views by putting forth the objective laws and inevitable tendencies of imperialist capitalism. One can say that while the bourgeois political economy was sinking down in the swamps of vulgarisation and arbitrariness, Leninís work reaffirmed the fact that the Marxist political economy is the only scientific one.

Briefly, one of the most important features of Leninís work "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" is that it covers -- as well as "Capital" -- the political economy of the monopoly stage of capitalism and explains the economic bases of imperialism. It not only clarifies the imperialist stage of capitalism, but also marks a new leap in the science of Marxist political economy.


When capitalism reaches its monopolist and imperialist stage, it "grows ripe", its inherent antagonism between labour and capital aggravates, and its "reactionary" tendency and its "violence" "intensify". It also gives rise to new "antagonisms". Capitalism developing through capital export renders a monopolist and collaborationist character to a section of the bourgeoisie in the "backward" countries; and arises the need for the re-division of the already divided world according to the changing relation of forces as a result of the "uneven and spasmodic development" of capitalism. These are the two of the important results of these new antagonisms among which are the antagonism between the imperialist countries and the colonial and dependent peoples, and between the imperialist monopolies and states themselves. Capitalism completes the conquest of the world, but it cannot refrain from turning the world into a pool of contradictions which will draw itself into revolutionary crises, wars, civil wars and death.

In spite of the fact that the development of capitalism at present is far more rapidly than before, it is no longer a young capitalism developing at a gallop, but monopolist capitalism, suffering in the claws of old age and internal collapse. The predominance of monopolies gives no chance to non-monopoly businesses. A handful of parasitic rentiers oppress the working class and "suffocate" other labouring strata, while creating a layer of bourgeois "workers", as their social prop, fed with the crumbs of imperialist profits. Moreover, the State can no longer remain as the known State of the bourgeoisie; it becomes a "rentier state", an extremely bureaucratic base of the financial oligarchy which decays it and re-organises it through militarisation.

The most "typical" sign of imperialism is the "relations of hegemony" and "violence". "Reaction all along the line", "an extreme intensification of existing antagonisms", and an "intensified yoke of national oppression and the striving for annexations, i.e., the violation of national independence", they all become the rule.(4) It is a "compulsary" consequence of imperialism that we see the emergence of a "fed" layer of workers, the spreaders of opportunism among the workers, and the emergence of the "need" for the support of a "rentier state" in order to rule and "influence the social-political conditions of the country".

A systematic intensification of the exploitation and oppression of the working class and peoples by monopolies and imperialism, and the spread of the struggle for the re-division of the markets and the world among capitalist monopolies and big countries, a fierce struggle which involves every means, including violence... As an expression and a result of this we see, on the one hand, revolutionary crisis, the struggle and uprising of the working class and peoples, and national and social revolutions; and on the other, repression of these developments, elimination of rivals, local conflicts and interventionist wars aimed at establishing hegemony over the markets, and everything else evolving to world wars. Having passed to its monopolist stage, capitalism and capitalist society, which has entered in a "general crisis" and a "stage of collapse", give birth to fierce fights, reactionary wars and revolutionary civil wars.

As we have mentioned before, Lenin analyses not only the monopoly stage of capitalism and the basic characteristics of imperialism, but also -even though he does not "deal with non-economic aspects of the question, however much they deserve to be dealt with"- the manifestations, influences and roles of the monopolies and the "new phenomena" that have emerged with it in societies and in international relations. He comes to the following conclusion: "Imperialism is the eve of proletarian social revolutions."(5) A decayed shell on the back of society and of the world, a parasitic burden; a position that makes more contradictory the already conflicting forces, provoking them to revolt and organise against itself: while becoming dominant in the world, capitalism does not only hinder development and advance, but it also forces the mobilisation of all "the negative/counter social forces" against itself.

Leninís views and theses with regard to the imperialist stage of capitalism have been verified by the events following the 1917 October Revolution. Despite this, there have always existed some currents or individuals (like Kautsky, Khrushchev, Euro-communism) who denied or distorted the theories and theses of Marx and Lenin on capitalism and imperialism, attributing "progressive" and "peaceful" roles to monopolies. The pro-"New World Order" current, on the other hand, is one of the attacks of this kind, but it differs from the previous attacks by being the hitherto most extensive attack against the working class and Marxism-Leninism; by "unifying" all the "rightist" and "leftist" apologists of imperialism around the "experiences" of the past; and by its extremely brazen claims that capitalism has "changed" and "rid itself" of class struggles and imperialism.

The "victory of the West" vis-a-vis the "collapse of the East"; the "unification" of the world as an "international community"; the "process of globalisation" represented by this "international community" having "changed" capitalism; the establishment of the "New World Order"... These are the "objective developments" on which the advocates of the "New World Order" based their theses. Of course, in order to make their claims "convincing", the same propagandists criticise the capitalism of the past century for its "extremes"! The "grave mistake" of the October 1917, fascism, wars, the "extremes" in the oppression of peoples, etc. The "New World Order", according to them, is an expression of not having to deal with all these anymore!

One must emphasise the fact that, despite all these "critical" and "original" efforts of convincing and the "attraction" of "having unified" large circles, there is no "new order", and that the "excuses" and "promises" put forward are imaginary. There is no new "phenomenon" in regard to the "New World Order", and it is crystal clear that the "essence" and "function" attributed to "globalisation" which is believed to be the "dynamic" of this "new order" is sophistry.

It is obvious that "globalisation" or the "process of internationalisation" is nothing new in the capitalist world. From the beginning capitalism emerged on the stage of history with its "international" character, and its domination in the foremost advanced countries took place on the basis of the conquest of the regions in their reach and of the establishment of a "world market". When it reached its monopolist and imperialist stage, capitalism has become a "world system", having completed the division of the world in terms of territories and markets, viz., the completion of the "capitalist world market"(*) fully connecting all countries.

It is for this reason that Lenin puts a particular emphasis on the fact that "capitalism has grown into a world system of colonial oppression and of the financial strangulation of the overwhelming majority of the population of the world by a handful of Ďadvancedí countries".(6) Moreover, since the publication of the Communist Manifesto, in setting up their programmes and strategies, the Marxist movements have always highlighted the "international character" of capitalism; and they have taken as their starting point the fact that with the advent of the epoch of the monopolies, imperialism has "divided the population of the globe into two camps (the oppressors and the oppressed peoples), while turning individual national economies and territories into the links of the one-piece chain called the world economy".(7) Even if one leaves out of account other information from the theory, programme and tactics of the Internationals, the fact that the working class have been striving for the "world proletarian revolution" for the last 150 years and considering the national liberation movements as "a component" of this revolution proves the Marxist statement about the tendency of capitalism to develop as a "world system".

From whatever angle one looks, a capitalism "purified" itself from imperialism and class struggle, and a "globalised system of harmony, justice and peace" is nothing more than a fable: Daily events prove it hundreds of times that drawing "the hope of peace" from "international cartels, being one of the most striking expressions of the internationalisation of capital" is "theoretically ... absolutely absurd, while in practice it is sophistry and a dishonest defence of the worst opportunism."(8)

With the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, a process of partition of the world has come to an end, and a new one according to the changed balance of power has begun. Moreover, an atmosphere of cosmopolitan "values" has been engendered to hinder the workers to act as an independent class and an oppressed people as a free people, with an effort to guarantee a demagogy such as a "globalised new order" accompanied with the motifs which could turn illusions into "hope". One aspect of what happened with the collapse was expressed in this "guarantee" being provided for the capital.

Those who draw from this event the conclusion that capitalism had "overcome" its crises, class struggles and imperialism, that it had "changed" and become "universal" as a "peaceful society", thus "socialism and Marxism-Leninism had gone bankrupt", are the spokespersons of the imperialist propaganda centres.

On the other hand, one can establish some changes, though not in essence, in the world of capitalism, i.e., the spread of capitalism to the remotest parts of the world; the working class having become the principal force of society even in the backward countries as a result of the division between the bourgeoisie and proletariat eliminating the remnants of the old classes and embracing the whole world; the emergence of immense developments in the means of production, transport and communication; even the most backward countries getting connected to the world market with many-folded and tighter bonds, etc. However, these changes do not imply a change of the "system". They mean no more than the unlimited socialisation of production in the face of the concentration and centralisation of capital; and the intensification and deterioration of the divisions and contradictions, decay and parasitism in capitalist society. It is no more than a sophistry that the imaginary "new order" talks about "prosperity", "harmony", "justice" and "democracy" in the society, and "peace", "mutual benefit", "equality" and "development" in international relations.

Facts show that what is before our eyes is the monopoly capitalism with all its hundred-year-old features and antagonisms, "a capitalism in transition, or, more precisely, a moribund capitalism".(**)

It is for this reason that, notwithstanding the time past, Leninís analysis in "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" with regard to the place of monopoly in society and history and the political features and tendencies of imperialism has lost nothing from its importance. No matter which economic, political or ideological question of the present day is dealt with, they can only be explained on the basis of the theoretical-political views and theses that Lenin developed in his work in relation to the characteristics of the monopoly capitalism, its contradictions and its inevitable collapse.

We have previously mentioned the theoretical importance of this work for the science of political economy. Another important feature of it is that it is a political work which renews the class positioning of the Marxist understanding of revolution, its strategic and tactical bases with the requirements of the "epoch of proletarian revolutions". Unless one considers this work of Lenin with the above characteristics, it is not possible to explain the path of the process of disintegration and collapse of the capitalist society and world.


We can see the ground for the imperialist world "order" being presented as a "new order", and the kind of previously mentioned "theories" being made up for this presentation in the following context: The monopolies have "increased", "intensified" and "deepened" the contradictions inherent to capitalism; thus making it necessary to conceal "the inseverable bond between imperialism and the trusts, and, therefore, between imperialism and the foundations of capitalism". These "theories" are designed to hide the one-sided fight of the capital and reaction against the world working class and the oppressed peoples whose struggles were in the ebb (to hide also, of course, the inter-imperialist struggles). The aim is to come before the workers and other oppressed people with a "new" platform which would divert them from the struggle against capital and imperialism into a fight against each other, and which would palm them off on and submit them to capital and imperialism for the longest period of time!

However, these invented theories about the "new order" does not have any basis before the realities of the capitalist world. The increasing disputes of "crisis regions" among the imperialist powers; the economic crises following each other since 1993; and the struggle between the monopolies for a "new" redivision of the markets,(***) a struggle which is beginning to draw the states into it and which is manifested in its spread into the main sectors of the world economy; all this does not give any chance of life to these "theories". On the other hand, with the attacks of capital attaining a general character as a result of these phenomena, and becoming a "requisite" for all countries, capitalism and imperialism gradually become "perceivable" to everybody, except those voluntary servants.

However, these facts do not only unmask the concealed characteristics of capitalism, for instance, capitalist contradictions and imperialism, they also expose further facts: around 80 big capital group (and 35 thousand monopolies) and a few big states behind them are drawing the world of capitalism, which they call the "new world", into a period of a new upset, polarisation and power struggle. Apparently, as far as the imperialist monopolies and states are concerned, the "new" period which began in the 1990s is a period of new, systematic attacks designed to take back all of the gained rights of the toiling classes, oppressed peoples, and particularly of the working class; it is also a period of naked struggles for the repartition of the markets and spheres of influence according to the changing balance of forces.

The route of the relations and contradictions between labour and capital, between the oppressor countries and the oppressed peoples, and between the imperialist monopolies and states themselves proves this undeniable fact in an overt and definite way.

Naturally, one cannot think of "peaceful" aims or reasons for the efforts of other unions (EU) or countries (Germany, France, Russia, Britain, Japan and China) to form a separate army and renew their arms might against the military superiority of the USA, which uses NATO as it wishes, and against its IDS project. The struggle for a "new" redivision of the markets; the widening of the conflicts for "spheres of influence" in the regions such as the Balkans, the Middle East and the Caucasus (as a result of the drive for maximum profit and of uneven and spasmodic development); the generalisation of "monopolising the markets" and of the struggle for a "repartition". All this will inevitably result in the collapse of the international agreements and institutions which "hold together" the big powers. They will also lead to the disintegration of the "new order", which is also a US order, and to the formation of new agreements, institutions and "polarisations".

What is more important is that these facts also point to the emergence of the workersí movement(****) in the advanced capitalist countries, mainly in France and the USA, since 1995, as well as the workersí and popular movement particularly in some Asian, Latin American and African countries against the attacks and impositions of imperialism. Therefore, this is also a process which will lead to a further broadening of the workersí and popular movement and it becoming an independent movement in the course of struggles which will repulse the imperialist dogfights, armament waves, war preparations and interventionist wars. It will also lead to the breaking of the imperialist chain in those weak links where the revolutionary crisis grows ripe; it will lead to the declaration of the collapse of capitalism.

From whatever angle one looks the howls of the representatives of imperialism such as Bush and their "liberal" or "socialist" advocates are baseless fabrications. The "process" we are going through is one of a new intensification and centralisation of capital with all its indications and consequences. The imperialist world is heading towards a period of interwoven revolutionary crises, harsh class struggles, revolutionary outbreaks in its weakest links and reactionary conflicts and wars; towards a new stage of the general crisis of capitalism -the forms and consequences of which cannot be known from today. This path also leads to the opening of a period of a new advance in the emancipation of the working class and peoples and in the construction of socialism.

The only "basis" of the "new order" campaign carried out against the working class and socialism is the political defeat that the working class suffered without realising it for a long time. This defeat and the prolonged retrogress in the workersí movement has constituted a great possibility for the delay of the collapse of capitalism and for the widening of the ground of the demagogy of capital. However, just like that demagogy, the political "victory" won by the capital and the delay in its collapse do not mean that capitalism is "superior to socialism" or that it has become "universal". On the contrary, it implies to an extraordinary increase of its decay and a deepening of the contradiction between capital and the society it has established. "... private economic and private property relations constitute a shell which no longer fits its contents, a shell which must inevitably decay if its removal by artificial means be delayed; a shell which may continue in a state of decay for a fairly long period (if, at the worst, the cure of the opportunist abscess is protracted), but which will inevitably be removed".(9) Also, just like all other classes in history, the working class, too, will unequivocally draw lessons from its defeat and will take the initiative to remove capitalism as a decayed "shell".

The advocates of the "New World Order", in talking about "globalisation", also manifest an unprecedented falsification. What they call "globalisation" means in fact for the working class and toiling masses and the oppressed peoples not being able to be productive, free individuals and independent peoples; it means their complete submission and slavery for the interests of a handful of rich countries and international financial oligarchy under the conditions of an unprecedented "global" alienation, individualism and degeneration (cosmopolitanism) in the history of capitalism.

Globalisation is nothing new and the only obstacle to its development is capitalism itself which is in antagonism with its very creation, the phenomenon of globalisation. This is directly linked with the "delay" of the collapse of capitalism and its elimination from social life; the path of the global advance of humanity will be cleared by the working class overthrowing capitalism and establishing its international political power step by step.

In its analysis of imperialism and its tendencies, Leninís work "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" attaches particular importance to the "tendency and problems of internationalisation". This work conducts a frontal fight both against the apologists of imperialism and against the Kautsky-like "socialists" who conceal the fundamental contradictions of capitalism and its most typical tendencies hindering the unification of the world for peace (tendency towards a single monopoly), as well as against the "theories" they represent (such as the theory of ultra-imperialism). Among the topics that this work gives great importance, analyses carefully and sheds light on are the parasitism and decay intensified by the "delayed" collapse of capitalism; the reflections of this parasitism and decay within the working class and the oppressed peoples; the firm connections between the defeats of the workersí and popular movement and the decayed strata in the ranks of the workers and the people; the tendencies within the working class movement; the links between the labour aristocracy and the trade union bureaucracy on the one hand, and the tendencies such as opportunism, reformism and chauvinism on the other; and the problems of the struggle against capital and imperialism and against opportunism, reformism and revisionism.

Capitalism, the political power of capital and the history and future of socialism are being "taught" and "told" to the present day generation of the workers and young intellectuals by the rotten "socialist" individuals and currents who were directly responsible for the defeat of the working class and of socialism. This in itself makes "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" an inalienable work for the enlightenment and the guidance of the young revolutionary intellectuals and the advanced sections of the workers. We must emphasise that notwithstanding the 85 years since this work was first written, it is as much valid as if it was written today. This is because Leninís theory and line is based on the profound analysis of not temporary phenomena but fundamental facts which mark the period as a whole. Moreover, his position is one which does not only "interpret the world" but envisages its "change"; thus, his work does not limit itself with "enlightening", but takes the tasks of the workers and peoples as a starting point and mobilises them.

Another important characteristic of Leninís work "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" is its actuality in explaining the present state of the world, and its sound, plain and clear presentation of the collapse of capital and the tasks required for this. Therefore, it is a unique source for the workers and the generation of young revolutionaries who are under the demagogic bombardment of bourgeois liberalism and revisionism in co-operation with it.


V.I. Lenin spent all his life in the fight against capitalism and all kinds of capitalist theory, against the bourgeois stratum and all shades of opportunist and revisionist trend emerged in the workersí movement. It is in this great fight that his immense work came into being and marked an advancement in Marxism, which was later identified with his name. Leninism, as the Marxism in changing conditions, the "Marxism of the epoch of imperialism and of proletarian revolutions", took shape in harsh theoretical and practical struggles and was tested in difficult conditions. "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism", which is being re-published recently in many countries, is one of the most important links of this process of struggles. It has also been one of the most important cornerstones for the development of Leninism and for its taking shape.

This immense work will open new horizons to the young and older generations of workers and revolutionaries, and it will add strength to their struggles.

Murat Yildiz
On behalf of the Int. Conf. of ML Parties and Organisations
March 2001

Footnotes:

(1) V.I. Lenin, "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism" (Turkish ed.), p.8
(2) ibid. p. 108
(3) ibid. p. 108
(4) ibid. p. 146
(5) ibid. p. 15
(6) ibid. p. 11
(7) J. Stalin, Collected Works, vol. 6, p. 97
(8) V.I. Lenin, "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism", p. 90
(9) ibid., p. 153

(*) Those who advocate the "New Order" present capital export as present-day basis of "globalisation". Yet, the capital export already played its role in capitalism having turned into a world system in the beginning of the last century. In his work, Lenin draws particular attention to this fact.

(**) It is argued that capitalism has become liberalised and shrunk the state as a result of privatisations and measures and "changes" to "facilitate" the distribution of commodity and capital. This is not true; the present day capitalism, while completely shrinking the state in terms of some of its "social" features gained before as a result of social pressure, expands and arms the state with ever increasing missions for its expansionist aims and for the protection of capitalism.

(***) This struggle between the monopolies manifested itself in the mergers, alliances, take-overs and repositioning in order to eliminate the rivals summing up to 3,300 billion dollars only in 2000, more than the total amount in 1995-2000 period. It is observed that monopolies follow a strategy of targeting first of all the most developed markets and the focal point of their rivals and getting the backing of the government of the countries they belong to.

(****) The first gain of the movement is that the speed of the attacks lessens, the "second" being the weakening of the influence of the demagogues about "the death of the working class and of class struggles".

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