A Comparison Of J. A. Hobson And V. I. Lenin’s Historical Interpretations Of Imperialism

848 words - 3 pages

Jessica FennellHist 4000September 17, 2014A Comparison of J. A. Hobson and V. I. Lenin's Historical Interpretations of ImperialismAs defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, imperialism is a policy or practice by which a country increases its power by gaining control over other areas of the world. J. A. Hobson and V. I. Lenin constructed their own definition and analysis of the matter. Hobson, an English journalist, addressed his capitalist theories in Imperialism: A Study, and Lenin composed his marxist theory in Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. Both assessments offer unquestionable similarities and unique differences in their imperialistic critiques.The authors agree that Imperialism grew with economic motives for expansion. As a source to Lenin's work, Lenin agrees with Hobson's "underconsumption analysis," which is described in the sense that the production of goods exceed consumptions. It is the analysis of this "underconsumption" in how they differ. Hobson believes that funds have been unfairly distributed to the higher classes and has left the poor working class with nothing to be able to consume with. He describes this as the "taproot" of Imperialism as international investors try to find capital outside of their territory in new lands. In contrast, Lenin sees the financial sector as the main driving force behind imperialist expansion. He constructs a "combination of production," witch is co-dominating monopolists and banks, as the investors. Thus this combination created a "Financial Oligarchy" to produce mobile capitals.They both acknowledge the upper class as the beneficiaries of foreign investments and sympathize with the impoverished proletariat class. Both use examples of massive public expenditures on war objects and how expansion collected fortune ends up in the hands of "financial manipulators." Hobson expresses that, "new Imperialism has been bad business for the nation, it has been good business for certain classes and certain trades within the nation." Lenin refers to how monopolists chastised those who did not submit to them and their dedication as a reflection of the ideas of the bourgeois economists. The petty bourgeois created a "holding system" where it increased the power of the monopolists by using a variety of impure tricks to cheat the public.Lenin and Hobson agree that industry persisted to descend and financial interests began undermining the industrialists. Hobson considered influence relating financial investments and interests as the most important economic factor in Imperialism. He mentions that the income collected as interest with foreign investments enormously exceed that of profits upon ordinary export and import within trade. He believes that the decrease of the British market, due to the non-purchasing lower class, caused the decline of...

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