Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry

 

The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan

A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective

 

By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), January 2019

 

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Contents

 

 

 

List of Tables

 

List of Figures

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

 

Part 1: Features of Imperialism in the 21st Century

 

 

I. The Historic Crisis of Capitalism

 

 

II. Global Offensive of the Capitalists against the Working Class

 

 

III. Capitalism and the Increasing Relevance of Migration

 

 

IV. The Marxist Criteria for an Imperialist Great Power

 

Main Characteristics of an Imperialist respectively a Semi-Colonial State

 

Is a Transition from Being One Type of State to Another Possible?

 

“Sub-Imperialism” – A Useful Category?

 

 

V. The Emergence of China and Russia as New Great Powers

 

Production and Trade

 

Monopolies and Billionaires

 

Capital Export and Military Spending

 

 

VI. The Acceleration of Inter-Imperialist Rivalry and the Global Trade War

 

At the Onset of a New Cold War

 

Tianxia – China’s Ideological Challenge

 

Protectionism and Militarism

 

The Imperialist Drive for Control of the South

 

Rivalry between U.S. and China as the Main Axis of Inner-Imperialist Contradictions

 

 

VII. Imperialist Great Powers: Some Historical Comparisons

 

Excurse: The Law of Uneven and Combined Development

 

Some Historical Examples about the Unevenness of the Great Powers before 1939

 

Globalization and Great Power Rivalry in the Period before World War One

 

The “Fat” and the “Lean” Cows

 

 

 

Part 2: Modern Revisionist Theories of Great Power Rivalry in Today’s World

 

 

VIII. Revisionist Whitewashing: Stalinist and Bolivarian Admirers of Beijing’s “Socialism”

 

Is China a Unique Case of Capitalist Miracle?

 

Russian Stalinists: Failure to Understand Imperialism in their own Country

 

The Ultra-Stalinist CPGB-ML: “Anti -Imperialist” Russia and China?

 

 

IX. Revisionist Whitewashing: Russia and China are neither Capitalist nor Great Powers (PO/CRFI)

 

Capitalism is still not restored in Russia and China?

 

Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and its Stalinophile Falsification

 

Russia’s and China’s Capital Export: Myth and Reality

 

On the Character of China’s Foreign Investments

 

State-Owned Corporations in China and Russia: Not Capitalist?

 

The Role of Migration

 

 

X. Revisionist Whitewashing: China and Russia are Semi-Colonies rather than Great Powers (LIT / UIT / FT)

 

LIT: Is China Comparable with Brazil, India or Mexico?

 

UIT: China is Super-Exploited by Imperialism?

 

FT: Russia and China can not become Imperialist before a Major War?

 

 

XI. Revisionist Whitewashing: When the Category “Imperialism” has no Meaning (CWI / IMT / IST)

 

CWI: “Forgetting” about Russia’s or China’s Imperialist Character?

 

IMT: A purely formal Recognition of Russia and China as Great Powers

 

SWP: Theoretical Indifference

 

 

 

Part 3: The Program of Revolutionary Defeatism against All Great Powers

 

 

XII. Is World War III Inevitable? (Critical Notes on Michael Roberts)

 

Population Growth and Long Upswings

 

What are the Conditions for Long Upswings?

 

An Element of Kautskyanism

 

 

XIII. The Proletariat as an International Class

 

Internationalism and National Liberation

 

On Aristocratism and the Labor Aristocracy

 

 

XIV. The Internationalist Character of the Struggle against Imperialist War and the Social-Patriotic Nature of the Stalinist Theory of “Socialism in One Country”

 

 

XV. The Meaning of the Dictum “War is the Continuation of Politics by Other Means

 

 

XVI. Revolutionary Defeatism as a Combined Strategy

 

The Contradictory Nature of Imperialism as the Objective Basis for Anti-Imperialism

 

The Marxist Classics on the Combined Strategy

 

 

XVII. The Relationship between War and Revolution

 

“Small” and “Large” Imperialist Wars

 

World War III and Revolution – A Contradiction in Itself?

 

 

XVIII. Revolutionary Defeatism in Conflicts between Imperialist States: The Marxist Classics

 

Marx and Engels in the Pre-Imperialist Epoch

 

The Bolsheviks and the Russian-Japanese War 1904/05

 

The Full Elaboration of Lenin’s Defaitist Program in World War One 1914-17

 

Bolshevik Agitation against the War in Russia

 

Trotsky continues the Revolutionary Struggle against Imperialist War

 

 

XIX. Revolutionary Defeatism in Conflicts between Imperialist States: Programmatic Components (1)

 

For Working Class Independence – No Support for Any Great Power!

 

The Struggle against Chauvinism

 

Changes in Conditions and its Consequences

 

The Moral Crisis in the Western Imperialist Countries

 

 

XX. Revolutionary Defeatism in Conflicts between Imperialist States: Programmatic Components (2)

 

The Issue of Sanctions of one Great Power against Another

 

Global Trade War and Internationalist Tactics

 

Wars between Great Powers respectively their Proxies

 

Siding with the “Lesser” (Imperialist) Evil?

 

The Poverty of Pacifism

 

The Slogan of Disarmament

 

International Courts of Arbitration and United Nations

 

 

XXI. Revolutionary Defeatism in Conflicts between Imperialist States and Oppressed Peoples

 

Imperialist Wars and Occupations of Semi-Colonial Countries

 

Imperialist Non-Military Aggressions against Semi-Colonial Countries

 

Oppression of National Minorities

 

Tactics of Mass Struggle

 

On Complex War Scenarios

 

 

XXII. Revolutionary Defeatism and the Struggle for Full Equality of Migrants

 

 

 

Part 4: The Failure of the Left in the Struggle against Imperialism

 

 

XXIII. The Left Facing Great Power Rivalry: Pro-Western Social-Imperialists

 

General Introductory Remarks

 

The Party of the European Left (PEL)

 

Islamophobia is the new Anti-Semitism of the 21st century

 

The Japanese Communist Party

 

JCP: Advisor for an Alternative Strategy for Japanese Imperialism

 

 

XXIV. The Left Facing Great Power Rivalry: Pro-Eastern Social-Imperialists (Stalinists)

 

The Stalinist Alliance around the “International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties”

 

Defending the Sovereign Rights of Greece”: The Stalinist KKE as an Example of Bourgeois Social-Chauvinism

 

Stalinism and Counterrevolution in Syria

 

Russian Social-Imperialism: The KPRF, the RKRP and the OKP

 

Stalinists Cheer Serbian Chauvinism against Kosovo Albanians

 

The Ultra-Stalinist CPGB-ML: Loyal Cheerleaders of Russian and Chinese Imperialism

 

Excurse: Some Observations on the “Pacifist” and the “Belligerent” Social-Imperialists

 

 

XXV. The Left Facing Great Power Rivalry: Pro-Eastern Social-Imperialists (Non-Stalinists)

 

Boris Kagarlitsky and Rabkor: Great Russian “Marxists” ready to fight for Moscow’s Interests “with Blood and Iron”

 

The Pro-Russian/Chinese Pseudo-Trotskyists (PO/CRFI)

 

The Spartacist sects and their defense of the Chinese “Deformed Workers State”

 

 

XXVI. On Inverted Social-Imperialism and the “Anti-Imperialist” Appeal of Russia and China

 

What are the reasons for the misplaced “anti-imperialist” Appeal of Russia and China?

 

Inverted Social-Imperialism as a Variation of Class-Collaboration

 

What will Inverted Social-Imperialists do in Case of a Major War?

 

 

XXVII. The Left Facing Great Power Rivalry: Deniers of Russia’s and China’s Imperialist Character without Drawing Conclusions

 

 

XXVIII. The Left Facing Great Power Rivalry: Eclectic Social-Pacifists

 

CWI/IMT: Refusal to Defend Semi-Colonial Countries against Imperialism

 

IMT Russia: No Support for “Chechen Separatism”

 

Did Lenin “correct” his Program of Revolutionary Defeatism?

 

The Russian Socialist Movement: Confused Eclecticists

 

 

 

Part 5: The Task of Organizing the Anti-Imperialist Struggle

 

 

XXVIX. Building the Revolutionary World Party in the Age of Great Power Rivalry

 

Changes in the Conditions to Build a Revolutionary World Party

 

Orientation to the New Militant Layers of the Working Class and Youth

 

Reformism and Centrism as Obstacles

 

 

Appendix: Theses on Revolutionary Defeatism in Imperialist States

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

 

About the Author