(DP 1980-10) Lenin's Theory of Imperialism

Charles W. Lindsey


Lenin's theory of imperialism is the basis of much contemporarily analysis of the interaction between third world and advanced capitalist countries. This paper examines the theoretical coherence of his theory. In Imperialism, Lenin interwove two theories -- a theory of monopoly and a theory of imperialism. He attempted to prove that the rise of monopoly changed the relationship between the advanced capitalist nations and the rest of the world, as well as qualitatively altering the nature of capitalism within the advanced countries themselves. We argue that he succeeded in the latter, but not in the former. The attempt to equate imperialism and monopoly is untenable.

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