Hobson And Lenin On British Imperialism

721 words - 3 pages

[Type text] [Type text] [Type text]4GoodHobson and Lenin on British ImperialismJacob GoodHistory 4000Professor David SmithSeptember 17, 2014Hobson and Lenin share a critical view of British Imperialism and the rise of the British Empire. Some have argued that their views should be seen as equally communist while others believe there is a stark difference. This essay will attempt a compare and contrast of the different historical interpretations of the rise of the British Empire by J.A. Hobson and V.I. Lenin. It's first important to identify that while there are some similarities in thought, Lenin is a Neo-Marxist and Hobson is a capitalist, and that their conclusions on the subject we are discussing solidify this fact. Hobson's belief was that Imperialism was a corrupt pseudo-capitalism and that with social reform it could recover. Lenin was with Marxist ideology in that he believed Imperialism was the highest form of capitalism and that would result in Marx's predicted collapse of capitalism. This essay thus argues that Hobson and Lenin's accounts of Imperialism share many similarities but are fundamentally different in ideology and conclusion.Both Hobson and Lenin agree that the role empire has had on Britain has brought wealth to a select few and overall negative effects for the masses. Hobson remarks that the only possible answer for all of it's negative effects are that, "...the business interest of the nation as a whole are subordinated to those of certain sectional interests that usurp control of the national resources and use them for their private gain." Lenin frequently quotes Hobson's work and shares his sympathy for the working class. Lenin even borrows Hobson's ideas when arguing against the Czech-German philosopher Karl Kautsky on his definition of modern imperialism. These ideas are that two "historically concrete" features of modern imperialism are the competition between several imperialisms, and the predominance of the financier over the merchant. Both Lenin and Hobson share this economic definition of Imperialism and agree that increasing monopolies are promoting Imperialism. [1: John A. Hobson, Imperialism: A Study (1902)][2: V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism: A Popular...

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