Vladimir Lenin created this hugely significant Marxist text to explain fully the inevitable flaws and destructive power of Capitalism: that it would lead unavoidably to imperialism, monopolies and colonialism. He prophesied that those third world countries used merely as capitalist labour would have no choice but to join the Communist revolution in Russia.
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Student Review by Andrea Baltrus, studied English Literature at NUI Galway in Ireland
Vladimir Lenin’s “Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, should be required reading for
all political leaders. Lenin’s writing about capitalism, monopolistic tendencies and the
imbalance of wealth and empiric tendencies resonate with the global economic situation that
exists today. The dictionary definition of imperialism is a means of a country extending its
power and influence through war and acquisition of new territories to increase its power.
Lenin takes this idea and expands it further on with the complexities of capitalism. Capitalism
is the intensive quest for imperialism in the fact that capitalism is the set of circumstances
where a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private magnates to gain wealth and
prestige. It is highly ironic that this essay written almost 100 years ago so closely reflects the
ongoing struggle of current economies to turn around to benefit all not just a select few.
Lenin devotes a chapter entirely to the role of banks and their expectations of gaining wealth
and remaining strong even under the most challenging of circumstances that can be presented.
There is further discussion and controversy banks may have too much power thereby creating
the stronger sense of imperialism of a country and of private industry allowing for too much
control over the economic forefront. The ensuing chapters in “Imperialism” discuss the proper
balances of commerce and trade to avoid what has actually happened in several countries now
where banks have overextended themselves with disastrous results. Lenin’s forward thinking
and writing is actually a refreshing look at just one of many aspects of the divisions of power
and wealth in society. His viewpoints cannot be taken lightly but should be reviewed very
closely. His writing of the past clearly reflects the future.
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