Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lenin Imperialism Thoughts

"Imperialism is the eve of the social revolution of the proletariat" (210). Lenin chooses to leave us with this sentiment before he describes how imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism. His idea of the labour aristocracy, or workers-turned-bourgeois, is interesting. He calls them a social prop. Meaning they don't even truly understand what they're being used as in the large scale of things, to make people pick "Versaillese" over "Communards" without understanding why they're picking it.
The way that Lenin discusses other authors, publications, newspapers, etc. usage of the word 'imperialism' really proves that he thinks the media had a huge (incorrect) sway over the public, and he has to right that wrong. He explains why the transformation of competition into monopoly is the biggest and most important phenomena of the modern capitalist economy. He uses a lot of numbers to prove that almost all of the money is going to a tiny sliver of the highest up people, and not the millions working for them. He makes a good point, but so far he isn't giving any suggestions as to how to change that, other than complete social reform where there is no competition - which I still believe would create more chaos and destruction in the long run. It's our basic human instinct to compete and be better than others - why else would we notice our property, enter a state of war and then enter civil society? In every situation, that's where we end up. We can't curb that basic human intuition.

1 comment:

  1. Reading this blog post, in addition to our reading and discussions on Marx and this Lenin reading, made me really think about how we read these texts. Jordan (and I) disagree with Lenin's critique of modern capitalism, and although I can't speak for her I also disagreed with Marx's fundamental argument against capitalism (although I did see some admittedly valid points...I'm with him on the whole wage-labor-as-alienation idea), and I think our opinions (or at least mine; again, can't really speak for her!) have to do with the baggage we carry as we read and discuss these works. I've grown up a player in a capitalist society and have, for the most part, benefited from it. It's what I'm used to. And in history lessons we learn about how communism is bad and capitalism is the best, because it's what we have and what works for us. I think these texts are difficult for us to wrap our heads around because of our naturalized bias against these ideologies. This is more of a broad reflection than a specific look into the text, but I think it's important to acknowledge the inherent conflicts that exist between us as readers and the current documents that we are reading in order to be able to consciously put them aside so we can start to understand the texts.


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