Topic: Imperialism Today: Understanding Origins, Dynamics and Mechanisms
Dear Friends and Comrades!
We are living in a world where the imperialist wars, loot and plunder are destroying the lives of people, especially in the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Middle East has remained at the centre of US imperialist aggression as well as the theatre of intensifying inter-imperialist rivalry. The working masses of these countries have been going through the horrors of wars for past many decades. The recent US imperialist intervention in Ukraine as well as in certain Latin American countries has destroyed the economy and sovereignty of these countries. For the working people around the world, the US imperialism particularly and Imperialism in general remains the arch enemy.
However, despite the military aggressiveness, Imperialism in general and especially the US Imperialism has become much more fragile than ever. The recent crises have shown its hollowness quite clearly. The unprecedented financialization, integration of world markets, globalization of capital, deregulation of labor markets, phenomenal increase in speculative and unproductive capital has made the entire world capitalist system extremely integrated and prone to recessions and collapse. The present crisis broke out in a cataclysmic fashion in 2007-08. However, various Marxist and heterodox economists have effectively argued that imperialism has remained in recession since the 1970s. It never really recovered after the 1973 crisis. All the booms after that were either extremely short-lived or were due to speculative bubbles. Neoliberalism, globalization and financialization only delayed the cataclysmic collapse by excessive financialization and at the same time made the collapse even more cataclysmic. As a result, now economists are calling it the ‘Great Recession’ or the ‘Long Depression.’
The outbreak of crisis in 2007-08 was followed by various spontaneous anti-capitalist movements throughout the world. However, due to the lack of revolutionary subjectivity, these movements ended either in collapse and dispersal or a mere regime change, rather than a systemic change. These anti-capitalist movements and increasing working class militancy along with the increased military interventionism by imperialism and the threat of a major imperialist war (even if not a world war) proves the prognostications of Lenin correct after a century of publication of his ‘Imperialism: the highest stage of capitalism.’ It must be understood that Lenin is not arguing chronologically, but logically when he is talking about Imperialism as the ‘highest stage’ or ‘eve of proletarian revolution.’ Crude hermeneutics of Lenin have attempted to misappropriate these statements of Lenin as his unnecessary excursus into the realm of prophecy. However, if we read Lenin’s writings on imperialism carefully, the absurdities of these interpretations become evident.
However, it would be equally dogmatic to argue that there have been no changes in the modus operandi of world capitalism since 1916. Imperialism has undergone profound changes since the end of the Second World War and especially since the early-1970s. The crisis of 1973 marked the end of Fordism, Welfarism and the Golden Era of North-western capitalism. This also marked the beginning of what later came to be known as neoliberalism and globalization. These policies were identified with deregulation, financialization, informalization of labor, unhindered flow of capital across national boundaries and unprecedented financial integration. The collapse of the namesake “socialism” of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc gave impetus to this process. The extent of financialization that we are witnessing at present is far beyond anything imaginable in 1916. The integration of world capital markets, the increased dominance of speculative capital, deregulation of labor and capital markets has been unprecedented. And most importantly, we are living in the era of imperialism without colonies. The national question has largely been resolved, barring a few exceptions. The countries of the so-called ‘Third World’ have undergone the transition into capitalism, albeit, a peculiar kind of post-colonial relatively backward capitalism. Although we are still living in the era of imperialism, yet we need to understand the significant changes in the structure and dynamics of Imperialism in the age of Globalization, which might arguably be called ‘the highest stage of imperialism.’ Without understanding these important changes, we would not be able to develop the Marxist-Leninist theory of imperialism. Nor will we be able to develop the strategy and general tactics of proletarian revolution in this latest stage of imperialism.
In view of these significant developments, it has become essential not only for the revolutionary activists but also for serious scholars and academics to theorize these changes and develop a comprehensive theory of imperialism in the age of globalization from a Leninist perspective. The Sixth International Arvind Memorial Seminar is going to be held in Lucknow (India) from 24th November to 28th November 2017 focusing on this very question of Imperialism in the 21st century, Imperialism in the age of Globalization. We invite all serious activists, scholars, academics and students to participate in this seminar.
The themes for paper presentation are as follows, though not limited to the following:
• Critical Reappraisal of Classical Marxist Theories of Imperialism
• Critical Evaluation of the Neo-Marxist Theories of Imperialism
• Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and Imperialism Today
• Post-Marxist Theories of ‘Empire’ and Imperialism
• Implications of Present Inter-Imperialist Rivalry
• Revisionist, Reformist and Social-Democratic Theories of Imperialism
• Present Economic Crisis and Imperialism in the Era of Globalization
• Theories of Globalization: A Critical Assessment
• Imperialism Today and the Problems of Proletarian Revolution
We hope that this exercise will prove productive not only for revolutionary praxis but also for developing a comprehensive understanding of the world we are living in, though, the two can never exist in perfect isolation.
It would be helpful if you intimate us about your arrival plans by October 31st. If you are planning to present a paper in the seminar, we expect you to send a synopsis by September 30 and the complete paper by the November 5th. It would help us to plan the sessions and in preparing copies of the papers.
We cordially invite you to participate in this seminar. Comfortable accommodation and food will be provided for all the participants. Any particular needs of international participants will be taken care of. You can contact on any of the phone numbers or email id given below to share or get any information related to the seminar.
– With warm regards,
Meenakshy (Managing Trusty)
Anand Singh (Secretary)
Katyayani, Satyam (members)
Arvind Memorial Trust
24–28 November 2017
(10 am to 1 pm)
(3 pm to 8 pm)
Lunch Break: 1 pm to 3 pm
Tea Break in the second session: 6 pm
Seminar Hall, International Research Institute of Buddhist Studies, (Opposite Reserve Bank of India), Gomti Nagar, Lucknow
Accommodation for guests
Jawahar Lal Nehru Rashtriya Yuva Kendra campus, Near Roomi Gate, Chowk, Lucknow,
You can contact any of these members of the organizing committee, or the Lucknow office of the Trust:
Abhinav Sinha – Ph: +91-9560130890, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anand Singh – Ph: +91-9971196111, Email: email@example.com
Katyayani – Ph: +91-9936650658, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Satyam – Ph: +91-8853093555, Email: email@example.com
Address of Lucknow office:
69 A-1, Baba ka Purwa, Paper Mill Road, Nishatgunj, Lucknow – 226006
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com