Saturday, April 5, 2014

Questions on Lenin's "Imperialism"

-Lenin states that monopoly stems from economic competition (pg. 213). What exactly does he mean when he claims that  "progress in the socialisation of production" (213) is a result of monopolization?
-As a result of the formation of monopolies and increased concentration, Lenin argues that we are able to make better estimates of a country's resources and the capacity of markets (213). Is this estimate of capacity determined by the division of labor? Is it the division of labor that creates this "new social order" (213) that Lenin mentions?
-By categorizing banks as "powerful monopolies" (214), and by stating that "the industrial capitalist becomes more completely dependent on the bank" (217), is Lenin endorsing the rise in power of large banks, and more generally, "new capitalism?" (217).  


  1. As Lenin states, the rise of monopolies are the result of a concentrated production which is a "general and fundamental law of the present stage of development of capitalism." This ultimately led to a competition that created imperialism through the different phases of monopolization, ultimately leading to this "progress in socialization of production." I think what Lenin means by this is that it was the first time monopolies were working collectively for production and the last time that manufactures were scattered and producing products for an ambigious, disconnected market. This time, the progress in socialization of production would mean that far less people would obtain private property and production created a new kind of social order which forced capitalists into a complete sort of socialized productive society. Monopolization even makes specialized labor a desired entity and helped with socializing production because their was a medium of the standard of labor now established.

  2. I don't feel that Lenin's categorization of banks as "powerful monopolies" stands as an endorsement of the rise of power in large banks, in that I feel his attitude toward monopolies is not a positive one. Lenin's description of the rise of bank power as a shift from "modest middlemen" to powerful entities with the whole of the financial capital in their control seems to evoke a frightening image of entities with too much power for their own good.
    Being that Lenin does not present Imperialism is a overwhelmingly positive light, his assertion that the concentration of power in banks can be linked to the growth of capitalist imperialism seems to be more of a statement condemning the power of monopolistic bank branches and, thus, "new capitalism."


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.