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• n!"f>v'4M', 

i?tate College of Agriculture 
Sit Cornell ^Bnibecsitp 

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Cornell University Library 
HB 501.M5B8 

Imperialism and world economy, 

3 1924 013 841 154 

Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 92401 3841 1 54 




Author of Historical Materialism, The Economic 
Theory of the Leisure Class, etc. 

With an introduction by 



All Rights Reserved 

Printed in the United States of America 

This book is composed and printed b; union labor. 



Introduction by V. I. Lenin 9 

Preface 15 


World Economy and the Process of Internationalisa- 
TioN of Capital 


World Economy Defined 17 

I. Imperialism as a problem of world economy. 2. Intetnational 
division of labour as a case of social division of labour. 3. Natural 
and social prerequisites for international division of labour. 4. Inter- 
national exchange of commodities as a necessary and regular 
process. 5. The world market of commodities. 6. The world mar- 
ket of money capital. 7. World economy as a system of produc- 
tion relations. 8. Various forms of establishing production relations. 
9. Social economy in general and world economy (subject of eco- 
nomic activity). 

Growth of World Economy 28 

I. Extensive and intensive growth of world economy. 2. Growth 
of productive forces of world economy; technique. 3. Production 
of coal, iron ore, cast iron, copper, gold. 4. Production of other 
goods. S- Transport industry: raih-oads, ocean transport. Tele- 
graph and ocean cables. 6. Growth of foreign trade. 7. Migration. 
8. Movement of capital (capital export) and its forms, g. Partici- 
pation in, and financing of, foreign enterprises (activities of indus- 
trial enterprises and banks). 

Organisation Forms of World Economy S3 

I. Anarchic structure of world economy. 2. International syndi- 
cates and cartels. 3. International trusts. 4. International bank syn- 
dicates. S. Nature of international, purely capitalist organisations. 
6. Internationalisation of economic life and intemationalisation of 
capitalist interests. 




World Economy and the Process of Nationalisation 

OF Capital 



The Inner Structure of "National Economies" and the 

Tariff Policy 63 

I. "National economies" as intersections of world economic rela- 
tions. 2. Growth of monopoly organisations; cartels and trusts. 
3. Vertical concentration; combined enterprises. 4. Role of the 
banks. Transformation of capital into finance capital. 5. Banks and 
vertical concentration. 6. State and communal enterprises. 7. The 
system as a whole. 8. The tariff policy of finance capital, and 
capitalist expansion. 


World Sales Markets and Changed Sales Conditions 81 

I. Mass production and overstepping of state boundaries. 2. Price 
formation under conditions of exchange between countries with 
different economic structures, and formation of superprofit. 3. 
Colonial policy of great powers, and division of the world. 4. 
Tariff policy of powers, and sales markets. J. Sharpening of com- 
petition in world sales market, and capitalist expansion. 


World Market for Raw Materials, and Change in the 

Conditions of Purchasing Materials 89 

1. Disproportion between parts of social production. 2. Monop- 
oly ownership of land, and growth of disproportion between in- 
dustry and agriculture. 3. Dearth of raw materials and .contraction 
of the market for raw materials. ""4. Sharpening of competition in 
the world market for raw materials and capitalist expansion. 


World Movement of Capital, and Change in the Eco- 
nomic Forms of International Connections ... 96 


1. Overproduction of capital and its growth. 2. Moving forces 
of capital export. 3. Cartels and capital export. 4. Capital export 
and loans. S. Capital export and commercial treaties. 6. Capital 
export and commodity export. 7. Sharpening of competition for 
capital investment spheres; capitalist expansion. 


World Economy and the "National" State . . . . 104 

I. Reproduction of world capital and the roots of capitalist ex- 
pansion. 2. Overproduction of industrial goods, underproduction 



of agricultural products, and overproduction of capital as ttiree 
facets of the same phenomenon. 3. Conflict between world economy 
and the limitations of the "national" state. 4. Imperialism as the 
policy of finance capital. 5. Ideology of imperialism. 


Imperialism as the Reproduction of Capitalist Com- 
petition ON A Larger Scale 


Imperialism as an Historic Category no 

^ "^i. The vulgar understanding of imperialism. 2. Role of politics 
^in social life. 3. Methodology of classification in social sciences. 

4. Epoch of finance capital as historic category. 5. Imperialism 
is historic category. 


Reproduction of the Processes of Concentration and 

Centralisation of Capital on a World Scale . . 116 

I. Concentration of capital; concentration of capital in single 
enterprises; concentration of capital in trusts; concentration of 
capital in organised "national economies" ("state capitalist trusts"). 
2. Centralisation of capital. 3. Struggle between individual enter- 
prises; struggle between trusts; struggle between "state capitalist 
trusts." 4. Present-day capitalist expansion as a case of capital 
centralisation; absorption of similar structures (horizontal centrali- 
sation) ; absorption of agrarian regions (vertical centralisation, 
combine) . 


Means of Competitive Struggle, and State Power . . 122 

I. Means of struggle between individually owned enterprises. 
2. Means of struggle between trusts. 3. Means of struggle between 
state capitalist trusts. 4. Economic significance of state power. 

5. Militarism. 6. Change in the structure of state power. 


The Future of Imperialism and World Economy 

"Necessity" of Imperialism, and "Ultra-imperialism" , 130 

I. Conception of historic necessity; historic necessity and prac- 
tical Marxism; historic "necessity" of imperialism. 2. The economic 
approach to the problem of ultra-impenaiism (agreement between 



the state capitalist trusts) ; abstract economic possibility of a world 

trust. 3. Concrete prognosis; economic conditions under which 
; trusts are formed, and their stability; internationalisation and 

nationalisation of capitalist interests; what imperialist policies mean 
xto the bourgeoisie. 4. Overcoming of imperialism and condition 

iinder which this overcoming is possible. 

War and Economic Evolution 144 

1. Change in economic relations among state capitalist trusts 
(increased importance of America; elimination of small states). 

2. World economy and economic autarchy. 3. Change in the inner 
structure of state capitalist trusts (disappearance of intermediary 
groups, growth of power of finance capital, growth of state inter- 
ference, state monopolies, etc.). 4. State capitalism and sharpening 
of struggle between state capitalist trusts. 5. State capitalism and 
the classes. 


World Economy and Proletarian Socialism . . . . 161 

I. The capitahst and the worker as opposite poles of social rela- 
tions. 2. Class antagonism of interests, and their relative solidarity. 

3. Lasting interests and interests of the moment. 4. The so-called 
patriarchal relations between labour and capital. 5. The working 
class and the bourgeois state. 6. The working class and the im- 
perialist politics of the bourgeois state (relative form of "solidarity"). 
7. The working class and the war. l8. Collapse of "collaboration" 
with the bourgeois state, and regeneration of revolutionary 


Conclusion 168 

Index 171 


By V. I. Lenin 

The importance and timeliness of the topic treated in the 
work of N. I. Bukharin require no particular elucidation. The 
problem of imperialism is not only a most essential one, but, 
we may say, it is the most essential problem in that realm of 
economic science which examines the changing forms of capi- 
talism in recent times. Every one interested not only in 
economics but in any sphere of present-day social life must 
acquaint himself with the facts relating to this problem, as 
presented by the author in such detail on the basis of the latest 
available data. Needless to say that there can be no concrete 
historical analysis of the present war, if that analysis does not 
have for its basis a full understanding of the nature of im- 
perialism, both from its economic and political aspects. With- 
out this, it is impossible to approach an understanding of the 
economic and diplomatic situation of the last decades, and with- 
out such an understanding, it is ridiculous even to speak of 
forming a correct view on the war. From the point of view of 
Marxism, which most clearly expresses the requirements of 
modern science in general, one can only smile at the "scientific" 
value of a method which consists in culling from diplomatic 
"documents" or from daily political events only such isolated 
facts as would be pleasant and convenient for the ruling classes 
of one country, and parading this as a historic analysis of the 
war. Such is the case, for instance, with Plekhanov, who parted 
ways with Marxism altogether when, instead of analysing the 
fundamental characteristics and tendencies of imperialism as 
a system of the economic relations of modern highly developed, 
mature, and over-ripe capitalism, he started angling after bits 
of facts to please the Purishkeviches and the Milyukovs. 
Under such conditions the scientific concept of imperialism is 

♦This introduction was originally signed by Lenin with the pseudonym 
V. l\ym.—Ed. 



reduced to the level of a cuss-word addressed to the immediate 
competitors, rivals, and opponents of the two above-mentioned 
Russian imperialists, whose class basis is entirely identical 
with that of their foreign rivals and opponents. In these times 
of forsaken words, renounced principles, overthrown world con- 
ceptions, abandoned resolutions and solemn promises, one must 
not be surprised at that. 

The scientific significance of N. I. Bukharin's work consists 
particularly in this, that he examines the fundamental facts of 
world economy relating to imperialism as a whole, as a definite 
stage in the growth of most highly developed capitalism. There 
had been an epoch of a comparatively "peaceful capitalism," 
when it had overcome feudalism in the advanced countries of 
Europe and was in a position to develop comparatively tran- 
quilly and harmoniously, "peacefully" spreading over tremen- 
dous areas of still unoccupied lands, and of countries not yet 
finally drawn into the capitalist vortex. Of course, even in 
that epoch, marked approximately by the years 1871 and 1914, 
" peaceful" capitalism created conditions of life that were very 
far from being really peaceful both in the military and in a 
general class sense. For nine-tenths of the population of the 
advanced countries, for hundreds of millions of peoples in the 
colonies and in the backward countries this epoch was not one 
of "peace" but of oppression, tortures, horrors that seemed the 
more terrifying since they appeared to be without end. This 
epoch has gone forever. It has been followed by a new epoch, 
comparatively more impetuous, full of abrupt changes, catas- 
trophes, conflicts, an epoch that no longer appears to the 
toiling masses as horror without end but is an end full of 

It is highly important to have in mind that this change was 
caused by nothing but the direct development, growth, con- 
tinuation of the deep-seated and fundamental tendencies of 
capitalism and production of commodities in general. The 
growth of commodity exchange, the growth of large-scale pro- 
duction are fundamental tendencies observable for centuries 
throughout the whole world. At a certain stage in the develop- 
ment of exchange, at a certain stage in the growth of large- 
scale production, namely, at the stage that was reached ap- 


proximately at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of 
the twentieth centuries, commodity exchange had created such 
an internationalisation of economic relations, and such an in- 
ternationalisation of capital, accompanied by such a vast in- 
crease in large-scale production, that free competition began 
to be replaced by monopoly. The prevailing tj^es were no 
longer enterprises freely competing inside the country and 
through intercourse between countries, but monopoly alliances 
of entrepreneurs, trusts. The typical ruler of the world be- 
came finance capital, a power that is peculiarly mobile and 
flexible, peculiarly intertwined at home and internationally, 
peculiarly devoid of individuality and divorced from the im- 
mediate processes of production, peculiarly easy to concen- 
trate, a power that has already made peculiarly large strides 
on the road of concentration, so that literally several hundred 
billionaires and millionaires hold in their hands the fate of 
the whole world. 

Reasoning theoretically and in the abstract, one may arrive 
at the conclusion reached by Kautsky (who, like many others, 
has parted ways with Marxism, but in a different manner), 
that the time is not far off when those magnates of capital will 
unite into one world trust which would replace the rivalries 
and the struggle of nationally limited finance capital by an 
internationally united finance capital. Such a conclusion, 
however, is just as abstract, simplified, and incorrect as an 
analogous conclusion, arrived at by our "Struveists" and 
"Economists" of the nineties of the last century. The latter, 
proceeding from the progressive nature of capitalism, from its 
inevitability, from its final victory in Russia, at times became 
apologetic (worshipping capital, making peace agreements with 
it, praising it instead of fighting it); at times became non- 
political (i. e., rejected politics, or the importance of politics, 
denied the probability of general political convulsions, etc., this 
being the favourite error of the "Economists") ; at times even 
preadhed "strike" pure and simple ("general strike" to them 
was the apotheosis of the strike movement; it was elevated to 
a position where other forms of the movement are forgotten or 
ignored; it was a salto mortale from capitalism to its destruc- 
tion by strikes alone). There are indications that the undis- 


puted progressiveness of capitalism, compareH with the semi- 
philistine "paradise" of free competition, and the inevitability 
of imperialism with its final victory over "peaceful" capital in 
the advanced countries of the world, may at present lead to 
political and non-political errors and misadventures no less 
numerous or varied. 

Particularly as regards Kautsky, his open break with Marx- 
ism has led him, not to reject or forget politics, nor to skim 
over the numerous and varied political conflicts, convulsions 
and transformations that particularly characterise the im- 
perialist epoch; nor to become an apologist of imperialism; 
but to dream about a "peaceful capitalism." "Peaceful" capi- 
talism has been replaced by unpeaceful, militant, catastrophic 
imperialism. This Kautsky is compelled to admit, for he ad- 
mitted it as early as 1909 in a special work^ in which he drew 
sound conclusions as a Marxist for the last time. If it is thus 
impossible simply, directly, and bluntly to dream of going from 
imperialism back to "peaceful" capitalism, is it not possible to 
give those essentially petty-bourgeois dreams the appearance 
of innocent contemplations regarding "peaceful" ultra-im- 
perialism? If the name of ultra-imperialism is given to an 
international unification of national (or, more correctly, state- 
bound) imperialisms which "would be able" to eliminate the 
most unpleasant, the most disturbing and distasteful conflicts 
such as wars, political convulsions, etc., which the petty bour- 
geois is so much afraid of, then why not turn away from the 
present epoch of imperialism that has already arrived — ^the 
epoch that stares one in the face, that is full of all sorts of 
conflicts and catastrophes? Why not turn to innocent dreams 
of a comparatively peaceful, comparatively conflictless, com- 
paratively non-catastrophic ultra-imperialism? And why not 
wave aside the "exacting" tasks that have been posed by the 
epoch of imperialism now ruling in Europe? Why not turn in- 
stead of dreaming that this epoch will perhaps soon be over, 
that perhaps it will be followed by a comparatively "peaceful" 
epoch of ultra-imperialism which demands no such "sharp" 
tactics? Kautsky says directly that at any rate "such a new 
[ultra-imperialist] phase of capitalism is thinkable. Whether, 

iThis is his pamphlet, Der Weg zur Macht [The Road to Power'\. 


however, it can be realised, to answer this question we have 
not yet sufficient data." {Neue Zeit, April 30, 1915, p. 144.) ^ 

In this tendency to evade the imperialism that is here and to 
pass in dreams to an epoch of "ultra-imperialism," of which 
we do not even know whether it is realisable, there is not a 
grain of Marxism. In this reasoning Marxism is admitted for 
that "new phase of capitalism," the realisability of which its 
inventor himself fails to vouch for, whereas for the present, the 
existing phase of capitalism, he offers us not Marxism, but a 
petty-bourgeois and deeply reactionary tendency to soften con- 
tradictions. There was a time when Kautsky promised to be 
a Marxist in the coming restless and catastrophic epoch, which 
he was compelled to foresee and definitely recognise when 
writing his work in 1909 about the coming war. Now, when 
it has become absolutely clear that that epoch has arrived, 
Kautsky again only promises to be a Marxist in the coming 
epoch of ultra-imperialism, of which he does not know whether 
it will arrive! In other words, we have any number of his 
promises to be a Marxist some time in another epoch, not 
under present conditions, not at this moment. For to-morrow 
we have Marxism on credit, Marxism as a promise, Marxism 
deferred. For to-day we have a petty-bourgeois opportunist 
theory — ^and not only a theory — of softening contradictions. 
It is something like the internationalism for export prevailing 
in our days among ardent — ever so ardent! — internationalists 
and Marxists who S5nnpathise with every expression of inter- 
nationalism in the enemy's camp, anywhere but not at home, 
not among their allies; who sympathise with democracy as 
long as it remains a promise of their allies; who sjonpathise 
with the "self-determination of nations" but not of those that 
are dependent upon the nation honoured by the membership 
of the sympathiser — in a word, this is one of the thousand and 
one varieties of h37pocrisy prevailing in our times. 

Can one, however, deny that in the abstract a new phase 
of capitalism to follow imperialism, namely, a phase of ultra- 
imperialism, is "thinkable"? No. In the abstract one can 
think of such a phase. In practice, however, he who denies 

1 This passage is taken from Kautsky's article entitled "Zwei Schritte zum 
Umlemen", (Two Steps to Unlearn), Neue Zeit, No. s, i9iS- 


the sharp tasks of to-day in the name of dreams about soft 
tasks of the future becomes an opportunist. Theoretically it 
means to fail to base oneself on the developments now going 
on in real life, to detach oneself from them in the name of 
dreams. There is no doubt that the development is going 
in the direction of a single world trust that will swallow up 
all enterprises and all states without exception. But the devel- 
opment in this direction is proceeding under such stress, with 
such a tempo, with such contradictions, conflicts, and convul- 
sions — not only economical, but also political, national, etc., 
etc. — ^that before a single world trust will be reached, before 
the respective national finance capitals will have formed a 
world union of "ultra-imperialism," imperialism will inevitably 
explode, capitalism will turn into its opposite. 

December, 1915. 


The essay to which we here call the attention of the reader 
represents an elaboration of an article published abroad in the 
almanac Commtmist. In due time, about two years ago, the 
manuscript was shipped from abroad to Russia. First it was 
subjected to a raid by the military censor, then it was mis- 
takenly transmitted to the wrong publisher. After the Revolu- 
tion of February-March, 1917, the manuscript was "found." 
It was supposed to see the light of day in July, but the intel- 
ligence men and the cadets who raided our party printing 
plant, also took care of my manuscript. Much later it was 
rescued in a mutilated form; a large and highly valuable 
introduction by Comrade Lenin, to whom I here pay the debt 
of deep gratitude, was missing.^ 

Due to the fact that the composition of this work dates 
back two years, the statistical figures are, naturally, anti- 
quated, especially those relating to the effects of the war. 

Unfortunately, I have had no occasion as yet to revise the 
manuscript and to furnish it with fresh statistical material. 
I have only re-written the missing pages and added the last 
chapter, which could not have appeared under the censor's 

The manuscript was written at a time when Socialism, cru- 
cified by capital and the "Socialist" traitors, was suffering the 
greatest possible humiliations. Soon after he had sent it to 
Russia, the author had ample time to ponder over revolution- 
ary perspectives in the Swedish king's prison. 

This preface is written at a moment when revolutionary 
Socialism has achieved its greatest victory in Russia. 

It is the most ardent wish of the author that this book 
should soon be transformed from a weapon against imperial- 
ism into an historic document relegated to the archives. 

November 25, 1917. 

1 The manuscript of the introduction, included in the present volume, was 
subsequently found and first published in the Pravda, January 21, 1927. — Ed. 



World Economy and the Process of 
Internationalisation of Capital 


World Economy Defined 

I. Imperialism as a problem of world economy. 2. Inter- 
national division of labour as a case of social division of 
labour. 3. Natural and social prerequisites for interna- 
tional division of labour. 4. International exchange of 
commodities as a necessary and regular process. 5. The 
world market of commodities. 6. The world market of 
money capital. 7. World economy as a system of production 
relations. 8. Various forms of establishing production rela- 
tions. 9. Social economy in general and world economy 
(subject of economic activity). 

The struggle between "national" states, which is nothing 
but the struggle between the respective groups of the bour- 
geoisie, is not suspended in the air. One cannot picture this 
gigantic conflict as the conflict of two bodies in a vacuum. 
On the contrary, the very conflict is conditioned by the spe- 
cial medium in which the "national economic organisms" live 
and grow. The latter, however, have long ceased being a 
secluded whole, an "isolated economy" a la Fichte or Thiinen. 
On the contrary, they are only parts of a much larger sphere, 
namely, world economy. Just as every individual enterprise 
is part of the "national" economy, so every one of these "na- 
tional economies" is included in the system of world economy. 
This is why the struggle between modern "national economic 
bodies" must be regarded first of all as the struggle of various 
competing parts of world economy — just as we consider the 
struggle of individual enterprises to be one of the phenomena 
of socio-economic life. Thus the problem of studying imperial- 
ism, its economic characteristics, and its future, reduces itself 



to the problem of analysing the tendencies in the development 
of world economy, and of the probable changes in its inner 
structure. Before we approach this problem, however, we 
must, first of all, agree as to what we understand by the 
expression "world economy." 

The basis of social life is the production of material goods. 
In modern society, which produces not products as such but 
commodities, i.e., products destined for exchange, the process 
of the exchange of various products expresses the division of 
labour between the economic units that produce those com- 
modities. Such division of labour, in contradistinction to the 
division of labour within the framework of a single enterprise, 
is termed by Marx the social division of labour. Social 
division of labour can obviously assume various forms; there 
may be, for instance, division of labour between various enter- 
prises within a country; or there may be division of labour 
between various branches of production; there may also be 
division of labour between such large subdivisions of the entire 
economic life as, for instance, industry and agriculture; and 
there may be division of labour between countries that repre- 
sent separate economic systems inside of the general sys- 
tem, etc. 

It is possible to propose various divisions, to advance more 
than one basis for the classification of economic forms, depend- 
ing upon the aims pursued by the investigation. What is 
important for us in this connection is the fact that, alongside 
of other forms of social division of labour, there exists a 
division of labour between "national economies," between 
various countries, a division of labour which oversteps the 
boundaries of the "national economy," — ^an international divi- 
sion of labour. 

There exist two kinds of prerequisites for an international 
division of labour: natural prerequisites conditioned by the 
differences of the natural medium in which the various "pro- 
duction organisms" live, and prerequisites of a social nature 
conditioned by the differences in the cultural level, the eco- 
nomic structure, and the development of productive forces 
in the various countries. 

Let us start with the former. 


Different communities discover in their natural environment dif- 
ferent means for production and subsistence. Consequently their 
methods of production, modes of life, and products, are different. 
It is owing to the existence of these spontaneously developed dif- 
ferences that, when communities come into contact, there occurs 
an exchange of their several products one for another, so that these 
products gradually become transformed into commodities. Exchange 
does not create the difference between the spheres of production; 
it brings the differing spheres of production into relation one with 
another, and thus transforms them into more or less interdependent 
branches of a social collective production.^ 

This difference in the spheres of production results here 
from the differences in the natural conditions of production. 
It is not difficult to find numerous illustrations for this asser- 
tion. Let us, for example, take the vegetable kingdom. 

Coffee can be produced only under certain climatic condi- 
tions. It is grown mainly in Brazil, partly in Central America, 
to a much lesser degree in Africa (Abyssinia, British Central 
Africa, German East Africa), and in Asia (Dutch India, 
British India, Arabia, Malakka). Cocoa can be produced only 
in tropical coimtries. Rubber, a product playing a very large 
part in modern production, also requires certain climatic con- 
ditions, and its production is limited to a few countries (Brazil, 
Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Guiana, etc.). Cotton, a product occu- 
pying the first rank among all fibrous plants due to its 
importance in economic life is produced in the United States, 
India, Egypt, China, Asia Minor, and the Russian Central 
Asia territories. Jute, which takes the second place, is ex- 
ported from one country only, namely, from India. If we take 
the production of minerals, we find the same picture, since 
we deal here to a certain extent with what is known as the 
"natural resources" of a country. Coal, for instance, is ex- 
ported from countries with large coal deposits (England, Ger- 
many, United States, Austria, etc.); kerosene is produced in 
countries having an abundance of oil (United States, the Cau- 
casus, Holland, India, Roumania, Galicia); iron ore is ex- 
tracted in Spain, Sweden, France, Algeria, Newfoundland, 

^Karl Marx: Capital, Vol. I (English translation by Eden and Cedar Paul), 
p. 371. In the following examples we do not cite the countries where a 
given article is merely produced; we cite only those countries from which 
it is exported. 


Cuba, etc.; manganese ore is to be found mainly in the Cau- 
casus and Southern Russia, India, and Brazil; copper deposits 
are in abundance mostly in Spain, Japan, British South Africa, 
German Southwest Africa, Australia, Canada, United States, 
Mexico, Chile, and Bolivia. 

Important as the natural differences in the conditions of 
production may be, they recede more and more into the back- 
ground compared with differences that are the outcome of the 
uneven development of productive forces in the various 

It must be emphasised that natural conditions are only of rela- 
tive importance as regards production relations, as well as commerce 
and transport, i.e., their negative or positive significance depends 
to a high degree upon the cultural level of man. While natural 
conditions . . . (measured by the human yardstick of time and 
space) may be regarded as constant entities, the cultural level of 
man is a changing entity, and no matter how important the dif- 
ferences in the natural conditions of a country may be for production 
and transport, the cultural differences are certainly as important, 
and only the combined action of both forces produces the phenomena 
of economic life.^ 

Coal deposits, for instance, may be "dead capital" in the 
absence of technical and economic prerequisites for their ex- 
traction. On the other hand, mountains formerly obstructing 
communication, swamps making production difficult, and the 
like, lose their negative significance in a country with a highly 
developed technique (tunnels, irrigation works, etc.). Still 
more important for us is the circumstance that the unequal 
development of productive forces creates different economic 
tj^aes and different production spheres, thus increasing the 
scope of international social division of labour. We have in 
mind the difference between industrial countries importing 
agricultural products and exporting manufactured goods, and 
agrarian countries exporting the products of agricultural pro- 
duction and importing the products of industry. 

The foundation of all highly developed divisions of labour that are 
brought about by the exchange of commodities is the cleavage be- 

1 Ernst Friedrich: Geographk des Welthandels und Weltverkehrs, Jena, 
19", P- 7- 


tween town and country. We may say that the whole economic 
history of society is summarised in the development of this 
cleavage. . . .* 

The cleavage between "town and country," as well as the 
"development of this cleavage," formerly confined to one coun- 
try only, are now being reproduced on a tremendously enlarged 
basis. Viewed from this standpoint, entire countries appear 
to-day as "towns," namely, the industrial countries, whereas 
entire agrarian territories appear to be "country." Inter- 
national division of labour coincides here with the division of 
labour between the two largest branches of social production 
as a whole, between industry and agriculture, thus appearing 
as the so-called "general division of labour." ^ This can be 
clearly realised by comparing the localities where the products 
of industry and agriculture are produced. Wheat is mainly 
produced in Canada, in the agrarian sections of the United 
States, in Argentina, Australia, and Western India, in Russia, 
Roumania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary. Rye is produced 
mainly in Russia. Meat is delivered by Australia and New 
Zealand, the United States (agrarian sections) , Canada (which 
specialises in large-scale production of meat), Argentina, Den- 
mark, Holland, etc. Live stock is exported mainly from the 
agrarian countries of Europe into the industrial countries. 
The centres of European production of live stock are Hungary, 
Holland, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Russia, and the Balkan 
countries. Timber is furnished by Sweden, Finland, Norway, 
Northern Russia, partly by some sections of former Austria- 
Hungary; the export of timber from Canada has also begun 
to increase. 

If, then, we were to single out the countries that export 
manufactured goods, they would prove to be the most devel- 
oped industrial countries of the world. Cotton fabrics are 
primarily placed upon the market by Great Britain; then fol- 

iKarl Marx, I.e., pp. 371-372. 

2 "If we keep labour alone in view, we can describe the division of social 
production into its main departments, such as agriculture, industry, etc., as 
the division of labour in general; and we can describe the splitting up of 
these departments of production into varieties and subvarieties as the division 
of labour in particular; while, last of all, we can describe the division of 
labour within the workshop as the division of labour in detail." (Karl 
Marx, I.e., p. 370.) 


low Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, and in the Western 
Hemisphere, the United States. Woolen goods are produced 
for the world market by Great Britain, France, Germany, 
Austria, Belgium, etc. Iron and steel products are manufac- 
tured mainly by Great Britain, Germany, and the United 
States, the three countries that have attained the highest level 
of industrialism; the second place in this respect is occupied 
by a group consisting of Belgium, France, and Austria-Hun- 
gary. Chemicals are produced by Germany, which in this 
respect occupies the first place, then by England, the United 
States, France, Belgium, and Switzerland.^ 

We thus observe a peculiar distribution of the productive 
forces of world capitalism. The main subdivisions of social 
labour are separated by the line that divides two types of 
countries; social labour proves to be divided on an inter- 
national scale. 

International division of labour finds its expression in inter- 
national exchange. 

Inasmuch as the producers do not come into social contact until 
they exchange their labour products, the specifically social character 
of their individual labour does not manifest itself until exchange 
takes place. In other words, the labour of individuals becomes an 
effective part of the aggregate of social labour solely in virtue of 
the relations which the process of exchange establishes between the 
labour products and consequently between the producers.^ 

The social labour of the world as a whole is divided among 
the various countries; the labour of every individual country 
becomes part of that world social labour through the exchange 
that takes place on an international scale. This interdepend- 
ence of countries brought about by the process of exchange is 
by no means an accident; it is a necessary condition for con- 
tinued social growth. International exchange thereby turns 
into a process of socio-economic life governed by definite laws. 
The socio-economic life of the world would be entirely dis- 
organised if America or Australia ceased exporting their wheat 
and live stock; England and Belgium, their coal; Russia, grain 
and raw materials; Germany, its machines and the products 

IE. Friedrich, I.e. 

2 Karl Marx: Capital, Vol. I, p. 46. 


of the chemical industry; India, Egypt, and the United States, 
cotton, etc. On the other hand, the countries that export the 
products of agriculture would be doomed to destruction were 
the markets for those products suddenly closed. This is par- 
ticularly evident as regards the so-called "mono-cultural" 
countries, i.e., such as produce one single product (coffee in 
Brazil, cotton in ^gypt, etc.). How indispensable interna- 
tional exchange is at present for the normal process of economic 
life may be seen from the following examples. During the 
first third of the nineteenth century England imported only 
2.5 per cent of foodstuffs needed for its population. Now it 
imports about 50 per cent of its grain (of wheat even as much 
as 80 per cent), 50 per cent of its meat, 70 per cent of its 
butter, 50 per cent of its cheese, etc.^ 

According to Lexis' calculations, the foreign market has for the 
Belgian manufacturers a significance equal to that of the home 
market; in England, the home market hardly absorbs double the 
amount of manufactured goods, metals, and coal that is to be 
exported; in Germany the home market exceeds the foreign market 
4 to 4.5 times .^ 

According to Ballod, England imports between three-fourths 
and four-fifths of all the necessary wheat, and between 40 and 
50 per cent of its meat; Germany imports 24 to 30 per cent 
of its breadstuff s, about 60 per cent of its fodder, and 5 to 10 
per cent of its meat.' 

The number of examples could be increased indefinitely. 
One thing is clear from the above. There is a regular market 
connection, through the process of exchange, between number- 
less individual economies scattered over the most diverse 
geographical areas. Thus, world division of labour and inter- 
national exchange presuppose the existence of a world market 
and world prices. The level of prices is, generally speaking, 
not determined by production costs as is the case in local or 
"national" production. To a very large extent "national" and 
local differences are levelled out in the general resultant of 
world prices which, in their turn, exert pressure on individual 

^ Bernhard Harms: Volkswirtschaft und Weltwirtschaft, Jena, 1912, p. 176. 
^H. Sieveking; Auswdrtige Handelspolitik, Leipzig, 1910, p. 127. 
2 Karl Ballod: Grundriss der Statistik, Berlin, 1913, p. 118 ff. 


producers, individual countries, individual territories. This is 
particularly manifest in the case of such commodities as coal 
and iron, wheat and cotton, coffee and wool, meat and sugar. 
The production of grains may serve as an example. Condi- 
tions of grain production differ widely in the various countries, 
whereas the price deviations are by no means as great. 

Price Pee Thousand Kilogrammes (in Marks) 
Between 1901 and 1908: 

Markets Rye Wheat Oats 

Vienna 146 168 149 

Paris 132 183 

London 139 138 

New York 141 

Germany 155 183 163^ 

The conditions of wheat production in England and America 
are widely different. Yet wheat prices are almost the same at 
the London and New York markets (139 and 141 marks per 
kilogramme respectively). This is due to the fact that an 
immense stream of American wheat is continually pouring over 
the Atlantic Ocean into England and Western Europe in 

The formation and the movement of these world prices may 
be seen most clearly in the commodity exchanges of the largest 
cities of the world: London, New York, Berlin, where world 
prices are registered daily, information comes in from every 
corner of the world and thus world demand and world supply 
are being taken into account. 

International exchange of commodities is based on the inter- 
national division of labour. We must not think, however, that 
it takes place only within the limits set by the latter. Coun- 
tries mutually exchange not only different products, but even 
products of the same kind. A, for instance, may export into 
B not only such products as are not produced in B, or pro- 
duced in a very small quantity; it may export its commodities 
into B to compete with local production. In such cases, inter- 
national exchange has its basis, not in division of labour which 
presupposes the production of different use-values, but solely 

^ J. Conrad: "Getreidenpreise," in Handworterbuch der Staatswissenschaften. 


in different levels of production-costs, in values having various 
scales in the various countries, but reduced, through inter- 
national exchange, to socially indispensable labour on a world 

How closely the various countries have become knitted by 
the process of the exchange of commodities may be seen from 
the economy in means of payment, i.e., economy in the trans- 
portation of gold bullion. 

If, on the one hand, we were to add the export of bullion of a 
certain country to its import, on the other hand the export of com- 
modities of a country to its import, it would be seen that the value 
of bullion shipments was never more than s per cent of the value 
of commodity shipments. Besides, we must not forget that the 
trade balance of a country is only a portion of its balance of pay- 

Just as there is formed a world commodity market in the 
sphere of commodity exchange, so there is formed a world 
market of money capital. This is expressed in an international 
equalisation of the interest and discount rates. Thus "the 
element of finance also shows a tendency to aid in substituting 
for the market conditions of an individual country, the world 
market conditions {Weltkonjunktur) ? 

The example of the commodity market shows that behind 
the market relations there are hidden production relations. 
Any connection between producers who meet in the process 
of exchange presupposes the individual labours of the pro- 
ducers having already become elements of the combined labour 
of a social whole. Thus production is hidden behind exchange, 
production relations are hidden behind exchange relations, the 
interrelation of producers is hidden behind the interrelation of 
commodities. Where connections established through the 
process of exchange are not of an accidental nature, we have 
a stable system of production relations which forms the eco- 
nomic structure of society. Thus we may define world economy 

^It is true that in the first case the difference in production costs is also 
of importance. However, it expresses the fact that different goods are pro- 
duced, whereas in the second case no such fact is expressed. 

2 JuUus Wolf: Das intemationale Zahlungswesen, Leipzig, 1913, p. 62, (in 
Veroffentlichimgen des mittekuropdischen Wirtschaftsvereins in Deutschland, 
Heft XIV). 

3 Weill: Die Solidaritat der Geldmdrhte, Frankfurt a. M., 1903, p. 115. 


as a system of production relations and, correspondingly, of 
exchange relations on a world scale. One must not assume, 
however, that production relations are established solely in the 
process of commodity exchange. "Whenever human beings 
work for one another in any way, their labour acquires a social 
form"^ (Italics ours. — N.B.); in other words, whatever the 
form of connections established between producers, whether 
directly or indirectly, once a connection has been established 
and has acquired a stable character, we may speak of a system 
of production relations, i.e., of the growth (or formation) of a 
social economy. It thus appears that commodity exchange is 
one of the most primitive forms of expressing production rela- 
tions. Present-day highly complicated economic life knows a 
great variety of forms behind which production relations are 
hidden. When, for instance, the shares of an American enter- 
prise are bought at the Berlin stock exchange, production rela- 
tions are thereby established between the German capitalist 
and the American worker. When a Russian city obtains a 
loan from London capitalists and pays interest on the loan, 
then this is what happens : part of the surplus value expressing 
the relation that exists between the English worker and the 
English capitalist is transferred to the municipal government 
of a Russian city; the latter, in paying interest, gives away 
part of the surplus value received by the bourgeoisie of that 
city and expressing the production relations existing between 
the Russian worker and the Russian capitalist. Thus con- 
nections are established both between the workers and the 
capitalists of two countries. Of particular significance is the 
role of the ever growing movement of money capital, which 
we have noted above. A number of other forms of economic 
relations may be observed, like emigration and immigration; 
migration of the labour power; partial transfer of the wages 
of immigrant labour ("sending money home"); establishment 
of enterprises abroad, and the movement of the surplus value 
obtained; profits of steamship companies, etc. We shall still 
return to this. At present we only wish to note that "world 
economy" includes all these economic phenomena which, all 
in all, are based on the relations between human beings en- 

1 Karl Marx, l.c., p. 44. 


gaged in the process of production. By and large, the whole 
process of world economic life in modern times reduces itself 
to the production of surplus value and its distribution among 
the various groups and sub-groups of the bourgeoisie on the 
basis of an ever widening reproduction of the relations between 
two classes — ^the class of the world proletariat on the one hand 
and the world bourgeoisie on the other. 

World economy is one of the species of social economy in 
general. By social economy the science of political economy 
understands, first of all, a system of individual economies inter- 
linked by exchange. From this point of view it is perfectly 
obvious that "social economy" by no means presupposes an 
"economic subject" guiding the totality of economic relations. 
What political economy has in mind here, is not economy as a 
planned "teleological entity" conducting "economic activities," 
but, first of all, an unorganised system of economies devoid of 
a conscious collective management where, on the contrary, the 
economic laws are the elemental laws of the market and of 
production subordinated to the market. This is why the term 
social economy in general, as well as the term world economy 
in particular, by no means requires "regulation" as an indis- 
pensable defining characteristic. 

"Up to the present time the national economic organisms 
have proved unable to exercise a general regulating influence 
on the international market where anarchy continues to pre- 
vail, since this is the battle-ground of the national inter- 
ests" (i.e., the interests of the "national" commanding classes. 
— N.B.^). Notwithstanding this fact, world economy remains 
world economy.^ 

^ Paul Stabler: Der Giroverkehr, seine Entwickelung und internationale 
Ausgestaltung, Leipzig, 1909, p. 127. 

^ These remarks are directed against the faulty understanding of the term 
"world economy" which is widespread in literature. Thus Kalwer proposes the 
term "economy of the world market" ("Weltmarktwirtschaft") . According 
to Harms, only international treaties make the term "world economy" ap- 
plicable to the modem epoch. According to Kobatsch (vide his La politique 
iconomigue internationale, Paris, 1913), world economy necessarily presup- 
poses a world state. We may note in passing that when we speak of world 
economy we presuppose classification according to the scope of economic 
connections, not according to the difference in methods of production. This 
is why it is absurd to blame the Marxists (as Harms does) for allegedly seeing 
a Socialist economy behind the capitalist economy, while not seeing world 
economy. Harms simply confuses classifications belonging to entirely different 


Growth of World Economy 

I. Extensive and intensive growth of world economy. 
2. Growth of productive forces of world economy. Tech- 
nique. 3. Production of coal, iron ore, cast iron, copper, 
gold. 4. Production of other goods. 5. Transport industry: 
railroads, ocean transport. Telegraph and ocean cables. 
6. Growth of foreign trade. 7. Migration. 8. Movement 
of capital (capital export) and its forms. 9. Participation 


The growth of international economic connections, and con- 
sequently the growth of the system of production relations on 
a world-wide scale, may be of two kinds. International con- 
nections may grow in scope, spreading over territories not yet 
drawn into the vortex of capitalist life. In that case we speak 
of the extensive growth of world economy. On the other hand, 
they may assume greater depth, become more frequent, form- 
ing, as it were, a thicker net-work. In that case we have an 
intensive growth of world economy. In actual history, the 
growth of world economy proceeds simultaneously in both 
directions, the extensive growth being accomplished for the 
most part through the annexationist policy of the great 

The extraordinarily rapid growth of world economy, par- 
ticularly in the last decades, is due to the unusual development 
of the productive forces of world capitalism. This is directly 
expressed in technical progress. The most important technical 
acquisition of the last decade is the production of electrical 
energy in various forms, and its transmission over distances. 

1 "In the manufacturing period, the division of labour within society was 
greatly accelerated by the expansion of the world market, and by the colonial 
system, both of which form part of the general conditions of existence of 
the period in question." (Karl Marx: Capital, Vol. I, p. 373.) This is true 
also in relation to our present time. 



The transmission of electrical energy over a distance rendered 
production, to some extent, independent of the place where 
the energy is generated; the latter may be utilised where, not 
long ago, this was absolutely impossible. This applies, first 
of all, to the utilisation of water power for the production of 
electrical energy, "white coal" appearing now side by side with 
"black coal" as the major factor in the technical production 
process. Water turbines have come into existence, furnishing 
energy in previously unheard of quantities. The technique of 
electricity has exercised an unusually great influence also on 
the development of steam turbines. Electric light, application 
of an electro-technical process in the metallurgic industry, etc., 
must be noted. Internal combustion motors have also acquired 
a tremendous influence over economic life. The gas motor 
received a great impetus for development when it became pos- 
sible economically to utilise the gases of the blast furnaces. 
Fluid substances here also play the role of sources of energy, 
primarily kerosene and benzine; the Diesel motor has become 
of general use, manifesting a tendency to replace the old steam 
engine as antiquated.^ The use of over-heated steam, numer- 
ous discoveries in the application of chemistry, particularly in 
the dyeing business, a complete revolution in transportation 
facilities (transportation by electricity, automobiles), wireless 
telegraph, telephone, etc., complete the general picture of a 
feverishly rapid technical progress. Never has the union of 
science with industry achieved greater victories. The ration- 
alisation of the productive process has assumed the form of 
very close co-operation between abstract knowledge and prac- 
tical activity. Special laboratories are established in large 
plants; a special profession of "inventors" (vide Edison) is 
being developed; hundreds of scientific societies for the ad- 
vancement of special fields of investigation and research are 
being formed. 

The number of patents applied for may serve as a certain 
indication of technical progress. The number of patents 
granted progressed in the following way: 

^Konrad Matschoss: Grundriss der technisch-geschichtlichen Entwickelung, 
(in Die Technik im XX. Jahrhundert, herausgegeben von A. Miethe) , I. Band. 



Patents Granted 





Years No. of 

Years No. of 

Years No. of 

Years No. of 





1840— 473 

1900 — 8,784 

1860-69 — 21,910 

1850— 1,687 

i860 — 4,778 

1905 — 9,600 

1880-87 — 30,360 

1880— 6,057 


1910 — 12,100 

1900 — 13,170 

1900 — 10,997 

1900 — 26,499 

1911 — 12,640 



1907— 36,620^ 

1912 — 13,080^ 

1908 — 16,284' 

1907 — 12,680* 

Together with technical progress the quantity of extracted 
and manufactured products increases. The figures relating 
to the so-called heavy industry are in this respect most indica- 
tive, since, with the growth of social productive forces, they 
are continually being regrouped in a way as to give preponder- 
ance to the production of constant capital and particularly 
of its basic part. The development of the productivity of 
social labour proceeds in such a way that an ever greater part 
of that labour is applied to preparatory operations for the 
production of the means of production; the production of 
means of consumption, on the contrary, is limited to a rela- 
tively diminishing portion of society's labour as whole, and 
this is the reason why the quantity of the means of consump- 
tions as use-values grows in natttra in monstrous proportions. 
Economically, this process expresses itself, among other things, 
in an ever higher organic composition of social capital, in a 
continuous growth of the constant capital as compared with 
the variable capital, and in a lowering of the rate of profit. 
But while capital, divided into a constant and a variable part, 
continually increases its constant part, the latter reveals an 
unequal growth of its component value elements. If we divide 
the constant capital into fixed and circulating capital (to the 
latter, as a general rule, the variable capital belongs), there 
will be revealed a tendency to an ever greater increase of 

^ Augustus D. Webb: New Dictionary of Statistics, p. 430. 

2 Webb, I. c, p. 4So ; Statistisckes Jahrbuch filr das Deutsche Reich. 

3 Webb, I. c, p. 449. 
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according to which (taking the growth of the productivity of 
labour as a prerequisite) the preliminary production opera- 
tions (the production of means of production) absorb an ever 
greater part of social energy/ 

This explains the gigantic growth of the mining and metal- 
lurgic industries. If the degree of a country's industrialisation 
serves as a general indication of its economic progress (Indus- 
triestaat vs. Agrarstaat), then the specific weight of a coun- 
try's heavy industry may serve as an indication of the eco- 
nomic growth of an industrialised country. This is why the 
rise of the economic forces of world capitalism finds its most 
striking expression in the growth of the heavy industries. 

Thus in a period of a little over sixty years (beginning from 
1850) the production of coal has increased more than 14 
times (1,320 per cent), the production of iron ore, more than 
12 times (1,113 per cent), that of cast iron, over 13 times 
(1,266 per cent), that of copper, more than 19 times (1,834 
per cent), that of gold, over 13 times (1,218 per cent).^ 

If we now turn our attention to other products, mainly con- 
sumption goods produced for the market (Weltkandelsartikel) , 
we find the increase in their production expressed in the figures 
in the table on p. 33. 

In a period of about thirty years (1881-1889 to 19 14) the 
production of wheat has increased 1.6 times (67 per cent), 
that of cotton (1884-1890 to 1914-1915) 2.2 times (127 per 
cent), that of sugar (cane and beet sugar combined) for the 
period 1880 to 1914-1915, more than 3.5 times (261 per cent), 

These figures are more eloquent than words could be. Huge 
masses of products are being thrown out of the production 

^Marx was the first to discover this law, and gave a splendid analysis of 
its function in his examination of the causes of the falling rate of profit 
(Capital, Vol. Ill, Part I). Modern bourgeois political economy which, in 
the person of Bohm-Bawerk, declares Marx's entire theory to be a house of 
cards, plagiarises all the more dihgently certain portions of his theory, covering 
up the traces that lead to the source, such as Bohm-Bawerk's theory of the 
"by-ways of production" (Produktionsumwege) , which is a poor version of 
Marx's law of the growing organic composition of capital. 

2 Vestnik Finansov, No. 6, 1915. Gold serves here as a medium of cir- 
culation. The table shows that its production grows considerably despite the 
tremendous role of credit and the economy in circulation media in general. 
















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1 •§■§ ■ 


process to enter into the channels of circulation. The old 
markets could not have absorbed a hundredth part of what is 
now absorbed by the world market every year. The world 
market presupposes not only a certain level of development 
of production in the strict sense of the word; one of its ma- 
terial conditions of existence is the development of the trans- 
portation industry. The more developed the transport facili- 
ties, the faster and the more intensive the movement of com- 
modities, the faster is the process of welding together the 
individual, local and "national" markets, the faster is the 
growth of the world economy's production organism as a unit. 
Such is in modern economic life the role of steam and electric 
transportation. The railroad mileage by the middle of the 
last century (1850) was 38,600 kilometers; by 1880 the figure 
grew to 372,000 kilometers.^ Since then the length of the 
railroad tracks has grown with astounding rapidity. 

Length of Rah-road Tracks in Kilometers 

End of 1 8 go End of igii 

Europe 223,869 338,880 

United States of America 331,417 541,028 

Asia 33,724 105,011 

Australia 18,889 32,401 

Total 607,899 1,017,320 ^ 

During twenty years (1890-1911), the length of the rail- 
road tracks increased 1.7 1 times (171 per cent). 

The same development may be observed in the merchant 
marine. Marine transportation, be it noted, plays an exclusive 
role, since it alone facilitates the movement of commodities 
from continent to continent ("transoceanic trade"), but its 
role is also greatly due to its comparative cheapness even as far 
as Europe is concerned. Compare the movement of commodi- 
ties between the Black and the Baltic Seas. The following 
figures illustrate the growth of marine transportation: 

^ Professor Wiedenfeld: "Eisenbahnstatistik," in Handworterbuch der Staats- 
^ Statistisches Johrbuch jiir das Deutsche Reich, 1913. 


Marine Transportation 
Increase in Percentages 

Countries i8j2 to igoy 1890 to igoy 

English Merchant Marine 184 106 

German Merchant Marine 281 166 

French Merchant Marine 70 96 

Norwegian Merchant Marine ... 64 7 

Japanese (1885-1907) 1,077 S^ ^ 

World ship-building for commercial purposes has grown in 
the last years as follows: 

World Ship-building 

Years Tons 

1905 2,5x4,922 

1906 2,919,763 

1907 2,778,088 

1908 1,833,286 

1909 1,602,057 

1910 1,957,853 

19" 2,650,140 

1912 2,901,769 

1913 3,332,882 

1914 2,852,7532 

According to Harms,' the tonnage of the world merchant 
marine grew 55.6 per cent between 1899 and 1909 alone. 
This gigantic growth of marine transportation has made it 
possible to unite the economic organisms of several continents 
and to revolutionise the pre-capitalist methods of production 
in the most backward corners of the world, thus accelerating 
world commodity circulation in astounding proportions. The 
latter, however, is accelerated not in this way alone. In reality 
the entire movement of the capitalist mechanism is much more 
complicated, since commodity circulation and the rotation of 
capital do not necessarily presuppose that commodities are 
changing their places in space. 

1 G. Lecarpentier: Commerce maritime et marine marchande, Paris, 1910, 
p. 53. 

"Statesman's Year-Book, 1915. 
3 Harms, I. c, p. 126. 


Within the rotation of capital and metamorphoses of commodities 
which are a part of that rotation, the mutation process of social 
labour takes place. These mutation processes may require a change 
of location on the part of the products, their transportation from 
one place to another. Still a circulation of commodities may take 
place without their change from place to place, and a transportation 
of products without the circulation of commodities or even without 
a direct exchange of products. A house which is sold by A to B 
does not wander from one place to another, although it circulates as 
a commodity. Movable commodity values, such as cotton or iron, 
remain in the same warehouse at a time when they are passing 
through dozens of circulation processes when they are bought and 
sold by speculators. That which really changes its place here is the 
title of ownership, not the thing itself.^ 

Similar processes take place also in modern times in gigantic 
proportions due to the development of the most abstract form 
of capitalism, to the ever growing impersonal character of 
capital, to the growth of the volume of stocks and bonds as an 
expression of the form of property that is characteristic for 
our times, in a word, due to the growth of "stock" capitalism 
(Liefmann) or "finance" capitalism (Hilferding). The inter- 
national leveling of commodity prices and of stock and bond 
values is accomplished by wire (activities of the stock and 
commodity exchanges). The network of telegraphs grows 
with the same feverish tempo as the means of transportation. 
Of particular importance is the increase in the length of cables 
connecting various continents. By the end of 1913, there 
were 2,547 cables (the number has already increased to 
2,583); the length of all these cables was 515,578 kilometers.^ 
The length of the cables is equal to half the length of all the 
railroads of the world (which in 1911 was 1,057,809 kilo- 
meters). Thus there grows an extremely flexible economic 
structure of world capitalism, all parts of which are mutually 
inter-dependent. The slightest change in one part is immedi- 
ately reflected in all. 

We have so far examined the technical and economic pre- 
requisites of world economy. Let us now examine the process 

iKarl Marx: Capital, Vol. II, translated by Ernest Untermann, p. 169. 
2 Statistisches Jahrbuch fiir das Deutsche Reidi, 1913, p. 39 ; The Statesman's 


itself. We have seen that the most primitive form in which 
economic interdependence expresses itself in a system of com- 
modity economy, is exchange. The category of world prices 
expresses this interdependence on a world scale. An outward 
expression of the same phenomenon is the international move- 
ment of commodities, "international trade." Although the 
figures quoted below cannot pretend to be absolutely accurate, 
they correctly reflect the persistent trend towards widening the 
sphere of the world market. 

Foreign Trade (Both Export and Import) of the 
Leading Countries of the World 

Years Millions of Marks 

1903 101,944.0 

1904 104,951-9 

1905 113,100.6 

1906 124,699.6 

1907 133,943-5 

1908 124,345.4 

1909 132,515-0 

1910 146,800.3 

1911 153,870-0^ 

Increase in Foreign Trade Between 1891 and 1910 

Import Export 

Countries {per cent) {per cent) 

United States 78 77 

England 43 52 

Germany 105 107 

France 25 54 

Russia 100 85 

Holland 110 90 

Belgium 105 84 

British India 75 62 

Australia 35 74 

China 64 79 

Japan 300 233 ^ 

Thus, within eight years, from 1903 to 19 n, international 
trade increased 50 per cent — a very substantial increase indeed. 

1 Ihid. 

2 Harms, I.e., p. 212. 


The quicker the pulse of economic life, the faster the growth 
of the productive forces, the wider and deeper goes the process 
of intemationalisation of economy. W. Sombart's thesis of the 
diminishing importance of international relations (abnehmende 
Bedeutung der weltwirtschajtlichen Beziehungen) is therefore 
absolutely incorrect.^ This most paradoxical of modern econo- 
mists had paid a certain tribute long before the war, to the 
imperialistic ideology which, he said, strives towards economic 
"autarchy" and creates a large self-sufficient whole.- His 
"theory" is a generalisation of the fact that the home sale of 
manufactured goods in Germany grew faster than the export 
of such goods. It is from this fact that Sombart drew a queer 
conclusion concerning the diminishing significance of foreign 
trade in general. However, as Harms ^ correctly remarks, even 
assuming that manufactured goods gravitate towards the in- 
ternal market more than towards foreign markets (a conclusion 
to which Sombart arrives from the analysis of German data 
only) , one must not, on the other hand, overlook the increasing 
import of raw materials and foodstuffs which serve as a pre- 
requisite for the home trade in manufactured goods, for the 
internal market, since it is due to such an import that the 
country is not compelled to waste productive forces on the 
production of raw materials and food. Definite conclusions 
can be drawn only after an analysis is made of both sides of 
the international exchange and of the distribution of productive 
forces in all the branches of social production. The tendencies 
of modern development are highly conducive to the growth of 

^W. Sombart: Die deutsche Volkswirtschaft im XIX. Jahrhundert; Berlin, 


2 Sombart, who during the war turned into a raving imperialist, is not an 
isolated phenomenon. In analysing the economic problems connected with 
world economy, one may discern two trends. One is optimistic, the other 
demands first of all a strengthening of the inner forces of an imperialist 
nation fighting for power, hence this trend pays great attention to the prob- 
lems of the internal market. See, for instance. Dr. Heinrich Pudor, "Welt- 
wirtschaft und Inlandproduktion," in Zeitschrift fur die gesamte Staatswissen- 
schajten, herausgegeben von K. Bucher, 71. Jahrgang (1915) 1. Heft, which 
says that "we must strive towards German world economy {deutsche Welt- 
wirtschaft) , insofar only as our production, our industry, seizes ever greater 
markets and unsaddles foreign competition. In that case, [he says] world 
trade expands accordingly. The foundation, however, must be home (heim- 
ische) production" (pp. 147-148). 

^ Harms, I.e., p. 202, footnote; also Sigmund Schilder: Entmckelungsten- 
denzen der Weltwirtschajt, Berlin, 1912-15. 


international relations of exchange (and with them many 
others), in that the industrialisation of the agrarian and semi- 
agrarian countries proceeds at an unbelievably quick tempo, 
a demand for foreign agricultural products is created in those 
countries, and the dumping policy of the cartels is given unusual 
impetus. The growth of world market connections proceeds 
apace, tying up various sections of world economy into one 
strong knot, bringing ever closer to each other hitherto "nation- 
ally" and economically secluded regions, creating an ever 
larger basis for world production in its new, higher, non- 
capitalist form. 

If the international movement of commodities expresses the 
"mutation process" in the socio-economic world organism, then 
the international movement of the populations expresses mainly 
the redistribution of the main factor of economic life, the 
labour power. Just as within the framework of "national 
economy" the distribution of labour power among the vari- 
ous production branches is regulated by the scales of wages 
which tend to one level, so in the framework of world economy 
the process of equalising the various wage scales is taking 
place with the aid of migration. The gigantic reservoir of the 
capitalist New World absorbs the "superfluous population" of 
Europe and Asia, from the pauperised peasants who are being 
driven out of agriculture, to the "reserve army" of the unem- 
ployed in the cities. Thus there is being created on a world 
scale a correspondence between the supply and demand of 
"hands" in proportions necessary for capital. An idea of the 
quantitative side of the process may be gleaned from the fol- 
lowing figures: 

Number of Immigrants Entering U. S. A. 


1904 812,870 

1905 1,026,499 

1906 1,100,735 

1907 1,285,349 

1914 1,218,480^ 

ID. Lewin: Der Arbeitslohn und die soziale Entwickelung, Berlin, 1913, 
p. 141; also U. Philippov: Emigration, p. 13. The last figure is taken from 
the American Year-Book for 1914, p. 385, 


Number of Foreigners in Germany 


1880 276,057 

1900 778,737 

1910 1,259,873 1 

In 19 12, 711,446 emigrated from Italy, 467,762 from Eng- 
land and Ireland, 175,567 from Spain (1911), 127,747 from 
Russia, etc.^ To this number of final emigrants, i.e., of 
workers who relinquish their fatherland forever and look for 
a new country, must be added a number of emigrants of a 
temporary and seasonal character. Thus the Italian emigrants 
are mostly of a temporary character ; Russian and Polish work- 
ers immigrate into Germany for agricultural work (the so-called 
Sachsengangerei, etc.). These ebbs and flows of labour power 
already form one of the phenomena of the world labour 

Corresponding to the movement of labour power as one of 
the poles of capitalist relations is the movement of capital as 
another pole. As in the former case the movement is regulated 
by the law of equalisation of the wage scale, so in the latter 
case there takes place an international equalisation of the rates 
of profit. The movement of capital, which from the point of 
view of the capital exporting country is usually called capital 
export, has acquired an unrivalled importance in modern eco- 
nomic life, so that some economists (like Sartorius von Wal- 
tershausen) define modern capitalism as export capitalism 
(Export kapitalismus) . We shall touch upon this phenomenon 
in another connection. At present we only wish to point out 
the main forms and the approximate size of the interna- 
tional movement of capital which forms one of the most essen- 
tial elements in the process of internationalising economic life, 
and in the process of growth of world capitalism. Export capi- 
tal is divided into two main categories. It appears either as 
capital yielding interest, or as capital yielding profits. 

Inside of this division one can discern various sub-species 

^Lewin, I.e., p. 141. 

^ Statistisches Jahrbuch fur das Deutsche Reich, etc. 


and forms. In the first place, there are state and communal 
loans. The vast growth of the state budgets, caused both by 
the growing complexity of economic life in general, and by the 
militarisation of the entire "national economy," makes it ever 
more necessary to contract foreign loans to defray the current 
expenses. The growth of large cities, on the other hand, de- 
mands a series of works (electric railways, electric light, sew- 
age system and water supply, pavements, central steam heat, 
telegraph and telephone, slaughter houses, etc., etc.), which 
require large sums of money for their construction. These 
sums are also often obtained in the forms of foreign loans. 
Another form of capital export is the system of "participation," 
where an enterprise (industrial, commercial, or banking) of 
country A holds stocks or bonds of an enterprise in country B. 
A third form is the financing of foreign enterprises, creating of 
capital for a definite and specified aim; for instance, a bank 
finances foreign enterprises created by other institutions or by 
itself; an industrial enterprise finances its branch enterprise 
which it allows to take the form of an independent corpora- 
tion; a financing "society finances foreign enterprises.'^ A fourth 
form is credit without any specified aim (the latter calls for 
"financing") extended by the large banks of one country to the 
banks of another country. The fifth and last form is the buy- 
ing of foreign stocks, etc., with the purpose of holding them 
(compare activities of banks of issue), etc. (The last of 
the enumerated forms differs from the others in that it does 
not create a lasting community of interests.) 

In various ways there thus takes place the transfusion of 
capital from one "national" sphere into the other; there grows 
the intertwining of "national capitals"; there proceeds the "in- 
ternationalisation" of capital. Capital flows into foreign fac- 
tories and mines, plantations and railroads, steamship lines 
and banks; it grows in volume; it sends part of the surplus 
value "home" where it may begin an independent movement; 
it accumulates the other part; it widens over and over again 
the sphere of its application; it creates an ever thickening net- 

1 For more about such companies see R. Liefmann: Beteiligungs-und Finan- 
zierungsgesellschaften, Jena, 1913. 



work of international interdependence. The numerical side of 
the process may be partly realised from the following: 

French Capital in 1902 



Billions of 



Millions of 

Russia 9-10.0 

England 0.5 

Belgium and Holland 0.5 

Germany 0.5 

Turkey, Serbia and 

Bulgaria 0.5 

Roumania and Greece 3-4.0 

Austria-Hungary .... 2.0 

Italy i-i-S 

Switzerland 0.5 

Spain and Portugal . . 3.5 

Canada and U. S. A. . . 0.5 

Egypt and Suez .... 3-4.0 
Argentina, Brazil and 

Mexico 2.3-3.0 

China and Japan .... i.o 
Tunis and French 

Colonies 2-3.0 

Total 30-35-S^ 

Trade 995-25 

Real Estate 2,183.25 

Banks and Insur- 
ance Business. . . 551.00 

Railroads 4,544.00 

Mining and Indus- 
try 3,631-00 

Marine Transport, 

Harbors, etc. . . . 461.00 

State and Commis- 
sion Loans 16,553.50 

Miscellaneous .... 936.00 

Total 29,855.00^ 

Leroy-Bolieu computes for 1902 the figure of French capital 
invested in foreign enterprise and loans as equal to 34 billion 
francs.' In 1905 the figure had already reached 40 billion 
francs. The total value of stocks and bonds in the Paris stock 
exchange was, for 1904, 63,990 million francs in French se- 
curities plus 66,180 million francs in foreign securities; for 
the year 1913 the respective figures were 64,104 and 70,761.^ 

1 Harms, I.e., pp. 228-229. 

2 Sartorius von Waltershausen: Das volkswirtskaftUche System der Kapi- 
talanlage im Auslande, Berlin, 1907, p. 56. 

^ Economiste Franfais, 1902, II, p. 449 (quoted by Sartorius). 
* Sartorius von Waltershausen, I.e.; Vestnik Finansov, 191S, No. 4. 




ABROAD (19I1) 


(State Railways, Mining Loans 

and Loans of Various 





Million Pounds 

English Colonies 

and India . . . . 

U. S. A 








Other American 

Countries . . . . 









Other European 

Countries ... 



Other Foreign 

Countries . . . 













Total (excluding 
English Col- 
onies) 1,637,684,000 

Total (including 
English Col- 
onies) 3,191,836,000 





















121. 9 



1 Haims, I. c, p. 235. 



English capital invested in foreign countries, including Eng- 
lish colonies, amounted at the beginning of 19 15, according to 
Lloyd George's statement, to four billion pounds sterling. 

As to Germany, figures relative to the placing of foreign 
securities and to the quotation of foreign securities on the Ger- 
man stock exchange show a decline of the latter (according to 
the Statistisches Jahrbuch fiir das Deutsche Reich for 19 13, 
the nominal value of admitted securities was in 19 10, 2,242 
million marks, in 191 1, 1,208 million marks, in 1912, 835 mil- 
lion marks), but this seeming decline in capital export is ex- 
plained by the fact that the German banks are buying securi- 
ties in increasing quantities at the foreign exchanges, especially 
in London, Paris, Antwerp, and Brussels, and also by the "fi- 
nancial mobilisation of capital" for the purposes of war. The 
total of German investments abroad amounts to some 35 bil- 
lion marks. 



Countries of Marks 

Argentina 92.1 

Belgium 2.4 

Bosnia 85.0 

Brazil 77.6 

Bulgaria ii4-3 

Chile 75-8 

Denmark 595-4 

China 356-6 

Finland 46.1 

Great Britain 7.6 

Italy 141-9 

Japan 1,290.4 

Canada 152.9 

Cuba 147-0 


Countries of Marks 

Luxembourg 32.0 

Mexico 1,039.0 

Holland 81.9 

Norway 60.3 

Austria 4,02 1 .6 

Portugal 700.7 

Roumania 948.9 

Russia 3,453-9 

Serbia 152.0 

Sweden 355.3 

Switzerland 437-6 

Spain II. 2 

Turkey 978.1 

Hungary 1,506.3 

A word or two about Belgian capital whose investment 
abroad amounts to 2.75 billion francs. Its total is distributed 
among the various countries as follows: 



Countries of Francs 

U. S. A 4,945.8 

Holland 70 

France 137 

Erazil 143 

Italy 166 

Egypt 219 

Germany 244 

Argentina 290 

Congo 322 

Spain 337 

Russia 441 

Others 338^ 

The United States, while importing large amounts of capital, 
exports considerable quantities of it into Central and South 
America, especially into Mexico, Cuba, and Canada. 

The finance system of Cuba was the first to attract the attention 
of the capitalists of the United States. Americans own large plan- 
tations in Cuba. American enterprise helped considerably in devel- 
oping the neighbouring Mexican republic, particularly in building 
and utilising the Mexican railroads. It was natural that the Mexican 
5 and 4 per cent loans (amounting to $150,000,000.00) should have 
been placed on the market of the United States. The 4 per cent 
loan of the Philippine Islands was also placed on the American 
market. In Canada the United States placed over $590,000,000.00, 
in Mexico over $700,000,000.00, etc.^ 

Even such countries as Italy, Japan, Chile, and others play 
an active part in this great migration of capital. The general 
direction for the movement is, of course, indicated by the dif- 
ference in the rates of profit (or the rate of interest): the 
more developed the country, the lower is the rate of profit, the 
greater is the "over-production" of capital, and consequently 
the lower is the demand for capital and the stronger the ex- 

^ Harms, I.e., p. 242; Schilder: Entwickelungstendenzen der Weltwirtschaft, 

p. 364 S- 
2M. Bogolepov: "The American Market," in Vestnik Finansov, 1915, No. 39. 


pulsion process. Conversely, the higher the rate of profit, the 
lower the organic composition of capital, the greater is the de- 
mand for it and the stronger is the attraction. 

In the same way as the international movement of commodi- 
ties brings the local and "national" prices to the one and only 
level of world prices; in the same way as migration tends to 
bring the nationally different wage scales for hired workers to 
one level, so the movement of capital tends to bring the "na- 
tional" rates of profit to one level, which tendency expresses 
nothing but one of the most general laws of the capitalist mode 
of production on a world scale. 

We must dwell here with greater detail on that form of capi- 
tal export which expresses itself in "participating in" and 
"financing" of foreign enterprises. Within the framework of 
world economy the concentration tendencies of capitalist de- 
velopment assume the same organisational forms as are mani- 
fest within the framework of "national" economy: namely, 
there come more strikingly to the foreground the tendencies 
towards limiting free competition by means of forming monop- 
oly enterprises. It is in this process of forming monopoly or- 
ganisations that participation and financing play a very large 
part. If we were to follow up "participation" in its various 
stages, to be judged by the number of acquired shares, we 
would realise how complete fusion is gradually being prepared. 
When you own a small number of shares, you can take part in 
shareholders' meetings; when you own a greater number of 
shares, you establish a closer contact with the enterprise (you 
can try to share with the enterprise new production methods 
or patents, you can speak of dividing the market, etc.), a cer- 
tain community of interests is thus established; if you own 
more than 50 per cent of the shares, your "participation" al- 
ready amounts to complete fusion. Quite wide-spread is the 
practice of establishing branches in the form of nominally in- 
dependent corporations whose funds, however, a,re held by 
their "mother" corporation {Muttergesellschajt) } The latter 
phenomenon is often observed in international relations. To 
avoid legal obstacles in a "foreign" country and to be able to 

1 R. Liefmann: Beteiligungs- und Finanzierungsgesellschaften, pp. 47-48. 
It must be noted that under certain conditions "control" and fusion can be 
achieved with much less than so per cent of the shares. 


use the privileges of native industrialists in the new "father- 
land," branches are being established in those countries under 
the guise of independent corporations. 

Thus the cellulose factory of Waldhof in Mannheim has (or 
we may now use the past tense) a Russian branch in Pernov; 
the bronze paint factory, Carl Schlenk, Inc., in Nuremburg, has 
an American "daughter corporation"; the same is true of 
Varziner Papierfabrik, which has an American branch known 
as the Hammer ville Paper Company; the largest cable enter- 
prise on the continent, the Westfalische Drahtindustrie, has a 
daughter corporation in Riga, etc. Conversely, foreign cor- 
porations have branches in Germany and other countries; for 
instance, the Maggi corporation of Kempttal, Switzerland, has 
branches in Singen and Berlin, Germany, also in Paris (Com- 
pagnie Maggie and Societe des boissons hygieniques). In 1903 
the American Westinghouse Electric Company, Pittsburgh, or- 
ganised a branch near Manchester, England; in 1902 the Amer- 
ican Diamond Match Company, having gradually increased its 
participation in an enterprise located in Liverpool, finally ab- 
sorbed it, and reduced it to the state of a branch of the 
American main firm, etc.^ The same is true of numerous Swiss 
chocolate factories and weaving enterprises, English soap fac- 
tories, machine shops and twine factories, American sewing 
machine factories, machine plants, etc. 

One must not think, however, that participation in foreign 
enterprises is limited to this form alone. In reality there are 
a great many forms of "participation" of various degrees, from 
ownership of a comparatively insignificant number of shares, 
particularly when a given enterprise (commercial, industrial, 
or banking) "participates" simultaneously in several enter- 
prises, to ownership of nearly all the shares. The mechanism 
of "participation" consists in the fact that a given corporation 
issues its own stocks and bonds with the purpose of acquiring 
the securities of other enterprises. Liefmann distinguishes 
three forms of such "substitution of securities" (Effektensub- 
stitution) which he classifies according to the aim of the 
respective "substituting corporations" (Substitutionsgesell- 
schajten): i) "Investment Trust" where the "substitution of 

iSartorius von Walterhausen, l.c., p. 174. 


securities" is made with the purpose of receiving dividends 
from more lucrative, if more risky, enterprises; 2) "Place- 
ment Societies" (Effektenilbernahmegesellsckaften) whose aim 
it is to place the securities of enterprises whose stocks and 
bonds, in consequence of legal or material difficulties, cannot 
be placed in the hands of the public directly; 3) "Holding 
Companies" {Kontrollgesellschajten) which buy up the securi- 
ties of various enterprises, eliminating them from circulation 
and replacing them by securities of the holding company, which 
thus acquires influence over these enterprises without spending 
its own capital. The aim is clearly influence, "control," i. e., 
practical domination over given enterprises. 

In all these cases it is assumed that the securities to be re- 
placed are already in existence. Where the latter have to be 
created, we have before us the financing operation which, as 
we have seen, may be carried out by banks, industrial and com- 
mercial enterprises, also special "financing companies." In so 
far as the financing is done by industrial enterprises, it is or- 
dinarily connected with the establishment of foreign branches, 
since it is there that the new securities are being issued. 

The financing enterprises may have a very wide range of 
activities. Thus the mechanical enterprise Orenstein Koppel — 
Arthur Koppel, Inc., has founded ten "daughter companies," of 
which the largest are located in Russia, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, 
and Johannesburg (South Africa); the firm of Korting Bros, 
in Hanover has branches in Austria, Manchuria, France, Rus- 
sia, Belgium, Italy, Argentina; numerous German cement 
plants have "daughter companies" in the United States; Ger- 
man chemical plants have branches in Russia, France, and 
England ; the Norwegian nitrate enterprises are to a very large 
extent financed by foreign capital. The Norwegian, French, 
and Canadian capitalists have formed the Norsk Hydro Elek- 
trisk Kvalstofaktieselskab (also known as Societe Norvegienne 
de 1' Azote et des Forces Hydro-Electriques), which in its turn 
has founded two companies with participation also of German 
capital. The greatest internationalisation of production has 
been attained in the electrical industry. The Siemens Halske 
firm has its enterprises in Norway, Sweden, South Africa, and 
Italy; it has branches in Russia, England, and Austria. The 


famous AUgemeine Elektrizitatsgesellschaft (for short, A-E-G) 
has its daughter companies in London, Petrograd, Paris, Genoa, 
Stockholm, Brussels, Vienna, Milan, Madrid, Berlin, in Ameri- 
can cities, etc; similar activities are shown by the Thomson- 
Houston Company and by its successor, the General Electric 
Company, by the Singer Manufacturing Company, the Dunlop 
Pneumatic Tire Company, etc.* 

The large banks naturally play a very large part in financing 
foreign enterprises. A glance at the activities of those institu- 
tions shows how strong the international connections of "na- 
tional" organisations have already grown. A 19 13 report of 
the Societe Generale de Belgique declares its "national" se- 
curities to be equal to 108,322,425 francs, whereas its foreign 
securities were equal to 77,899,237. The latter capital is in- 
vested in enterprises and loans of such diverse countries as 
Argentina, Austria, Canada, China, Congo, Egypt, Spain, the 
United States, France, Morocco, New Caledonia, Russia, etc.^ 
Data concerning the activities of the German banks have been 
worked out in great detail. We quote here facts relating to 
the largest German banks as typical of the entire banking busi- 
ness of Germany. 

Die Deutsche Bank, i) Founded the Deutsche Ueberseeische 
Bank with 23 branches: 7 in Argentina, 4 in Peru, 2 in Bolivia, 
I in Uruguay, 2 in Spain, i in Rio de Janeiro; 2) founded, 
together with the Dresdner Bank, the Anatolische Eisenbahn- 
gesellschaft (Societe du chemin de fer Ottoman D'Anatolie); 

3) bought, together with the Wiener Bankverein, the shares 
of the Betriebsgesellschaft der orientalischen Eisenbahnen; 

4) founded the Deutsche Treuhandgesellschaft operating in 
America; 5) participates in the Deutsch-Asiatische Bank, 
Shanghai; 6) participates in the Bank fiir orientalische Eisen- 
bahnen, Ziirich; 7) participates in the Banca Commerciale 
Italiana, Milan; 8) participates in the Deutsch-Atlantische, 

^ Liefman, l.c., pp. 99-104. Of course, financing may be extended not only 
to branches of the same firm. Thus the firm of Knop, together with the 
Soloviev Brothers and the Kraft Brothers, financed in 191 2 the Caspian Manu- 
facture, a partnership organisation that had acquired the property of a 
liquidated association formed in the province of Daghestan by the Moscow 
financier Reshetnikov, the Siberian banker Petrokokino and by the Paris- 
Netherland Bank (Birzhevye Vyedemosti, April ij, 191S). 

2 La Vie Internationale, Vol. V, 1914, p. 449 (Published by the 0§ice Centrale 
des Associations Internationales, Brussels). 


Ost-Europaische, Deutsch-Niederlandische Telegraphengesell- 
schaft, the Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke and the Deutsch- 
Sudamerikanische Telegraphengesellschaf t ; 9) participates in 
the Schantung-Bergbau and in the Schantung-Eisenbahngesell- 
schaft; 10) participates, together with Turkish, Austrian, Ger- 
man, French, Swiss and Italian firms, in the Imperial Ottoman 
Society of the Bagdad Railroad; 11) founded the Ost-Afrikan- 
ische Gesellschaft; 12) participates in the Deutsch-Ost-Afri- 
kanische Bank; 13) participates, together with Swiss and Ger- 
man firms, in the Zentral-Amerika-Bank (later known as Ak- 
tiengesellschaft fiir iiberseeische Bauunternehmungen) ; 14) 
participates in the banking firm of Giiterbook, Horwitz & Co., 
Vienna; 15) participates in the firm of Ad. Goerz, Berlin (the 
firm operates mines in Johannesburg). 

Diskonto-Gesellschaft. i) Participates in the Deutsche 
Handels- und Plantagengesellschaf t der Siidseeinseln and in the 
Neu-Guinea-Kompagnie; 2) founded, together with the Nord- 
Deutsche Bank, the Brasilianische Bank fiir Deutschland with 
five branch banks; 3) participates, together with other banks, 
in the Deutsch-Asiatische Bank; 4) participates in the bank- 
ing firm of Ernesto Tornquist, Buenos-Aires, and in the firm 
of Albert de Bary & Co., Antwerp, that is connected with the 
former; 5) participates in the Banca Commerciale Italiana; 
6) founded, together with the Nord-Deutsche Bank, the Bank 
fur Chile und Deutschland, with eight branches; 7) founded, 
together with the firm of Bleichroder, the Banca Generale 
Romana in Bucharest (now has six branches) ; 8) participates, 
together with many firms, in the Banque Internationale de 
Bruxelles; 9) participates in the Schantung-Eisenbahngesell- 
schaft, the Schantung-Bergbaugesellschaft, and in a number 
of cable and telegraph enterprises; 10) founded the Otavi- 
Minen- und Eisenbahngesellschaft, Africa; 11) founded the 
Ost-Afrikanische Eisenbahngesellschaft; 12) participates in 
the Deutsch-Ost-Afrikanische Bank; 13) founded, together 
with Bleichroder, a Bulgarian firm and the Nord-Deutsche 
Bank, the Kreditna Banka in Sophia; 14) founded, together 
with Woermann, Hamburg, the Deutsch-Afrika-Bank; 15) 
participates in the General Mining and Finance Corporation 
Ltd., London; 16) founded, together with other firms, the 


Kamerun-Eisenbahngesellschaft; 17) opened a branch bank 
in London in 1900; 18) financed, together with Krupp, the 
Grosse Venezuela-Eisenbahn ; 19) participated, as a member 
of the Rothschild banking trust, in Austro-Hungarian, Finnish, 
Russian, and Roumanian state railways, loans, industrial en- 
terprises, etc.^ 

Similar activities are shown by the other large banks of 
Germany, the Dresdner Bank, the Darmstadter Bank, Ber- 
liner Handelsgesellschaft, Schaffhausen'scher Bankverein, and 
Nationalbank fiir Deutschland, which also have a number of 
daughter societies in common throughout the countries of the 
world. ^ 

Of course, it is not the German banks alone that develop 
such intensive activities abroad. A comparison of figures 
would show that England and France are in the lead. While 
the foreign banks of German origin numbered only 13 by the 
beginning of 1906 (with 100 million marks of capital, and 70 
branch banks), England possessed by the end of 1910 36 
colonial banks with branches in London, and with 3,358 local 
bureaus in the colonies, also 36 other banks in foreign coun- 
tries with 2,091 branches. France, in 1904-5, possessed 18 
colonial and foreign banks with 104 branches; Holland, 16 
foreign banks with 68 branches, etc. Individual banks of 
France also show great economic power in relation to the 
colonies and foreign countries. Thus, in 191 1, the Credit 
Lyonnais had about 16 branches abroad, and 5 in Algeria; the 
Comptoir National d'Escompt had 12 branches abroad, and 
II in Tunis and Madagascar; the Societe Generale and the 
Credit Industriel have branches only in London, but on the 
other hand they have numerous daughter companies abroad.' 

"Participation," and "financing" as a further step in par- 
ticipation, signify that industry is being moulded to an ever 

1 Dr. Jacob Riesser: Die deutschen Grossbanke:i und ihre Konzentration 
im Zusammenhang mit der Entwickelung der Gesamtwirtschajt in Deutschland, 
fourth edition, 1912, p. 354. [English translation: J. Riesser: The German 
Great Banks and their Concentration in Connection with the Economic De- 
velopment of Germany, Washington, Government Printing Office, 191 r. 
Further references to this volume are to the German edition. — Transl] 

2 Riesser, I.e., p. 371 #. 

^ Ibid., p. 37S. The rapid growth of the German banks deserves attention. 
There were only 4 of them by the end of the nineties, 6 in 1903, with 32 
branch banks, and 13 in 1906, with 70 branch banks. 


growing degree into one organised system. The most modern 
types of capitalist monopoly in their most centralised forms, 
like the trusts, are only one of the forms of "participating 
companies" or "financing companies." They enjoy a more or 
less monopolistic ownership of the capitalist property of our 
times, and they are looked upon and classified, from the point 
of view of the movement of securities, as a specific expression 
of the capitalist property of our times. 

We thus see that the growth of the world economic process, 
having as its basis the growth of productive forces, not only 
calls forth an intensification of production relations among 
various countries, not only widens and deepens general capi- 
talist interrelations, but also calls to life new economic forma- 
tions, new economic forms unknown to the past epochs in the 
history of capitalist development. 

The beginnings of the organisation process that characterises 
the development of industry within "national" economic 
boundaries, become ever more evident also against the back- 
ground of world economy relations. Just as the growth of 
productive forces within "national" economy, on a capitalist 
basis, brought about the formation of national cartels and 
trusts, so the growth of productive forces within world capi- 
talism makes the formation of international agreements be- 
tween the various national capitalist groups, from the most 
elemental forms to the centralised form of an international 
trust, ever more urgent. These formations will be the object of 
our inquiry in the next chapter. 


Organisation Forms of World Economy 
I. Anarchic STRUCTURE OF WORLD ECONOMY. 2. International 


World economy in our times is characterised by its highly 
anarchic structure. In this respect the structure of modern 
world economy may be compared with the structure of "na- 
tional" economies typical till the beginning of this century, 
when the organisation process, briskly coming to the fore in 
the last years of the nineteenth century, brought about sub- 
stantial changes by considerably narrowing the hitherto un- 
hampered "free play of economic forces." This anarchic struc- 
ture of world capitalism is expressed in two facts: world in- 
dustrial crises on the one hand, wars on the other. 

It is a profound error to think, as the bourgeois economists 
do, that the elimination of free competition and its replace- 
ment by capitalist monopolies would do away with industrial 
crises. Such economists forget one "trifle," namely, that the 
economic activities of a "national" economy are now conducted 
with a view towards world economy. As to the latter, it is by 
no means an arithmetical total of "national" economies, just 
as a "national" economy is by no means an arithmetical total 
of individual economies within the boundaries of the state ter- 
ritory. In either case, there is a very substantial element sup- 
plementing all the others, namely, connections, reciprocal 
action, a specific medium which Rodbertus called "economic 
communication," without which there is no "real entity," no 
"system," no social economy, only isolated economic units. 
This is why, even if free competition were entirely eliminated 
within the boundaries of "national economies," crises would 



still continue, as there would remain the anarchically estab- 
lished connections between the "national" bodies, i. e., there 
would still remain the anarchic structure of world economy/ 

What was said about crises is true also about wars. War 
in capitalist society is only one of the methods of capitalist 
competition, when the latter extends to the sphere of world 
economy. This is why war is an immanent law of a society 
producing goods under the pressure of the blind laws of a 
spontaneously developing world market, but it cannot be the 
law of a society that consciously regulates the process of pro- 
duction and distribution. 

Still, notwithstanding the fact that modern world economy 
as a whole represents an anarchic structure, the process of or- 
ganisation is making strides even here, expressing itself mainly 
in the growth of international syndicates, cartels, and trusts. 
We shall, first of all, undertake a general survey of these 
formations of modern times. 

In the transport industry the largest cartels are (barring the 
changes brought about by the war) : i) the Sailing Shipowners 
Documentary Committee (English, German, Norwegian and 
Danish maritime societies); 2) the Internationale Segelschif- 
fahrtkonvention (English, German, Danish, Swedish and Nor- 
wegian sail boats); 3) the Baltic and White Sea Conference 
embracing from 60 to 70 per cent of the total Baltic and White 
Sea tonnage (combining Germans, Frenchmen, Dutchmen, 
Englishmen, Spaniards, Belgians, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, 
Russians, and Finns); 4) the Internationaler Kiistenschif- 
fahrtsverband, Altona; 5) the Nordatlantischer Dampferlinien- 
verband (Germans, Americans, Belgians, Frenchmen, and 
Austrians) ; 6) the International Mercantile Marine Company, 
alias The Morgan Trust (mainly Americans, Englishmen, and 
Germans) which, by the end of 191 1, owned 130 steamships 
with a gross tonnage of 1,158,270 tons. Outside of these car- 

1 This is beginning to dawn even upon bourgeois writers. Thus Mr. Gold- 
stein says: "That the cartels and trusts are in no position to eliminate crises, 
is seen, among other things, from the fact that the steel trust, in whose hands, 
including affiliated enterprises, something Uke go per cent of the U. S. produc- 
tion of steel were concentrated, utilised by the end of the first quarter of 
1908 only one-half of the production capacity of its plants, etc." (I. M. 
Goldstein: Syndicates, Trusts, and Modern Economic Policies, second edition, 
Moscow, 1912, p. s, footnote). Cf. also Tugan Baranovsky: Industrial 


tels of a higher type, there exists a number of important agree- 
ments as to the regulation of freight rates, rebates, etc. 

In the mining and metallurgic industries: i) the Interna- 
tionales Tragerkartell (steel S3mdicates of Germany, Belgium 
and France); 2) the Internationales Schienenkartell (German, 
English, French, Belgian, American, Spanish, Italian, Austrian, 
and Russian rail works); 3) the Internationale Stahlkonven- 
tion (the American Steel Trust, the Bethlehem Steel Company, 
and the Krupp firm); 4) the Internationale Bleikonvention 
(German, Australian, Belgian, American, Mexican and English 
lead manufacturers); 5) the Deutsch-Oesterreichischer Stahl- 
gussverband; 6) the Deutsch-Englische Ferromanganeisenkon- 
vention; 7) the Internationale Vereinigung von Ferrasilizium- 
werke (Norwegians, Swiss, T3nrolians, Bosnians, Savoyians, 
and Germans); 8) the Internationales Metallplattensjmdikat 
(Germans and Austrians) ; 9) the Vereinigung der Zinkplat- 
tenfabrikanten (Englishmen and Americans; very influential 
in the world market) ; 10) the Internationale Zinkkonvention 
(Germans, Belgians, Frenchmen, Italians, Spaniards, English- 
men, and Americans; controls 92 per cent of the European 
output); 11) Internationaler Zinkhiittenverband (Germans, 
Frenchmen, Belgians, Englishmen); 12) Internationales 
Drahtgeflechtekartell (Germans, Belgians, Frenchmen, Eng- 
lishmen); 13) Internationales Abkommen der Kupferdraht- 
ziehereien; 14) Deutsch-Englische Schraubenkonvention; 15) 
Internationales Emaillekartell (Germans, Austro-Hungarians, 
Frenchmen, Swiss, Italians); 16) Internationales Turbinen- 
S5nidikat (mainly Germans and Swiss) ; 17) Vereinigte Dampf- 
turbinengesellschaft (German A-E-G, American General 
Electric Co. and other firms); 18) Automobil trust (Motor 
Trade Association and nearly all the outstanding European 
automobile enterprises); 19) Russisch-Deutsch-Oesterreich- 
isches Syndikat fiir landwirtschaftliche Gerate; 20) Interna- 
tionale Vereinigung von Eisenwarenhandlerverbanden (Ger- 
mans, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Austro-Hungarians, Swiss, Bel- 
gians); 21) Internationaler Verband der Korsettschliessen und 
Federnfabriken (nearly all large factories in existence). 

The stone, clay, etc., industry has six large international 


In the electrical industry, as we have noted above, the 
process of the internationalisation of production finds its most 
salient expression. There are several very large international 
agreements in existence. The largest are: i) an agreement be- 
tween the German A-E-G, the American General Electric 
Company, and the British-French Thomson Houston Company, 
the organisation having a network of enterprises spread over 
every part of the world; 2 ) Internationales Galvanosteginsyndi- 
kat; 3) Verkaufstelle Vereinigter Gliihlampenfabriken (Ger- 
mans, Austro-Hungarians, Swedes, Dutch, Italians, Swiss); 
there are, besides, numerous special agreements between banks 
concerning the financing of electric enterprises etc. 

In the chemical industry, international cartelisation has be- 
come pronounced, mainly in a number of particular fields. The 
more important are: i) Internationales Chlorkalk-kartell (Ger- 
mans, Frenchmen, Belgians, Englishmen, Americans); 2) In- 
ternationales Leimkartell (glue factories in Austria-Hungary, 
Germany, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, and Italy, 
sales office in London); 3) Internationales Boraxkartell (Ger- 
mans, Americans, Frenchmen, Austro-Hungarians, English- 
men) ; 4) Internationaler Verband der Seidenfarbereien (Ger- 
man, Swiss, French, Italian, Austrian and American associa- 
tions of dyers); 5) Internationales Karbidsyndikat (all Euro- 
pean); 6) Internationales Pulver kartell; 7) Deutsch-Oester- 
reichischer Super f osphatkartell ; 8) Kartell der Belgisch-Hol- 
landischen Oleinproduzenten; 9) Internationale Verkaufsver- 
einigung Stickstoffdiinger (German, Norwegian, Italian, and 
Swiss factories of nitrate fertiliser); 10) Internationales Kero- 
sinkartell (Standard Oil Company and Russian firms); ir) 
Verband Deutsch-Oesterreichisch-Italienischer Kipsgerber und 
Kipshandler; 12) Internationales Salpeters5mdikat; 13) Inter- 
nationales Koalinverkaufsyndikat (Austro-Germans) ; 14) 
Europaische Petroleumunion (Germans, Englishmen, Swiss, 
Dutch, Belgians, Austrians, Danes, Americans, East-Asiatic 
oil producers). 

In the textile industry the international agreements concern 
themselves mainly with special branches of production: i) the 
International Federation of Master Cotton Spinners and Manu- 
facturers Association (representing the continental-European 


and American industry); 2) Deutsch-Oesterreichisches Kra- 
vatenstoff kartell; 3) Internationales Samtindustriekartell (all 
the German and French velvet factories) ; 4) Kunstseide Ver- 
kaufskontor (German and Belgian factories of artificial silk) ; 
5) International Cotton Mills Corporation (U. S. A. and the 
rest of America); 6) Konvention der deutschen und schweizer- 
ischen Seidencachenezfabrikanten; 7) Verband der deutsch- 
schweizerischen Cachenez- und Kravattenf abrikanten ; 8) 
Oesterreichisch-Deutsches Jutekartell; 9) Internationaler Ver- 
band der Kratzenfabriken (Germans, Luxemburgians, Bel- 
gians, Dutch, Austro-Hungarians, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, 
Balkanites); 10) Internationale Nahseidekonvention (Aus- 
trian, Belgian, Russian, Spanish and English enterprises); 11) 
Internationale Vereinigung der Flachs- und Werggarnspinner 
(nearly all the large flax spinners of Europe); 12) Interna- 
tionales Kartell der Schappenspinner. 

In the glass and china industry, the largest international 
organisation is the Europaischer Verband der Flaschenfabri- 
kanten (embracing nearly all the European countries) ; also a 
number of large glass and china cartels. 

The paper industry numbers seven large international cartels. 

Ten other agreements concerning six different industries 
(rubber, cabinetmaking, cork, cocoa, etc.1 are also known to 

Besides the above mentioned cartels, there exist hundreds 
of international trusts (mergers and controlling organisations) . 
We shall mention here only the most outstanding, i.e., such 
as have the greatest economic weight in the world market. 

Such a trust is the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey 
which, in 19 10, owned the shares of 62 companies (including 
the Anglo-American Oil Company, the Deutsch-Amerikanische 
Petroleumgesellschaft, and the Romana- Americana) and was 
connected with a very large number of enterprises and com- 
panies (Dutch, German, French, Swedish, Italian, Russian, 
Swiss, etc.).^ The trust "controls" the Amalgamated Copper 

1 The list of international cartels is here reproduced from the above quoted 
book by Harms (p. 254 #.)• We quote this list as well as the list of inter- 
national trusts and bank syndicates because, as far as we know, there is 
no Russian literature dealing with the question. 

^Liefmann, I.e., p. 249 #. 


Company which is intent on acquiring a world monopoly in 
the production of copper. Another large trust is the United 
States Steel Corporation, the largest "controlling company" in 
the world. Of the other trusts, the outstanding are: Reise- 
mijhlen und Handelsaktiengesellschaft in Barmen, with foreign 
participation equalling 6,039,344 marks ;^ the Internationale 
Bohrgesellschaft; the Nobel Trust Company; a number of 
international trusts in the petroleum industry; the banana trust 
organised by the Boston Fruit Company and the Tropical 
Trading and Transport Company; the packing trust; the sew- 
ing thread trust with the English firm of J. and P. Coats, Ltd., 
at its head; the Societe Centrale de la D5mamite; Compagnie 
Generale de la Conduits d'Eau (LUttich) which "controls" 
enterprises in Utrecht, Barcelona, Paris, Naples, Charleroi, 
Vienna; the Trust metallurgique beige- frangais, etc., etc.^ 

Behind all these cartels and trusts, as a rule, stand the 
enterprises that finance them, i.e., primarily the banks. The 
internationalisation process whose most primitive form is the 
exchange of commodities and whose highest organisational 
stage is the international trust, has also called into being a 
very considerable internationalisation of banking capital in so 
far as the latter is transformed into industrial capital (by 
financing industrial enterprises), and in so far as it thus forms 
a special category: finance capital. 

It is finance capital that appears to be the all-p>ervading 
form of capital, that form which, like nature, suffers from 
a horror vacid, since it rushes to fill every "vacuum," whether 
in a "tropical," "sub-tropical," or "polar" region, if only profits 
flow in sufficient quantities. We quote below a number of 
examples of gigantic international banking trusts to illustrate 
the friendly "mutual aid" given by the large "national" banks 
to one another. 

In 19 1 1, a finance trust, the Societe financiere des valeurs 
americaines, was organised at Brussels with the aim of financing 
American enterprises. It included the Deutsche Bank and the 
firm of Warburg Company in Hamburg, the Societe Generale 

1 Ihid., p. 27s. 

2Kobatsch, I.e.; Liefmann, I.e.; Hanns, l.c. 


in Brussels, the Banque de Bruxelles, the Banque de Paris et 
de Pays-Bas, the Societe Generale pour favoriser I'industrie 
nationale in Paris, the Societe Frangais de banques et de 
depots, the Banque Frangaise pour le Commerce et I'industrie, 
Kuhn-Loeb Company, New York, etc., etc. — all of them be- 
longing to the largest banks of the world. ^ The Deutsche 
Bank that forms part of that "finance trust," organises, to- 
gether with the Schweizerische Kreditanstalt and the Speyer- 
EUissen firm, the Aktiengesellschaft f Ur iiberseeische Bauunter- 
nehmungen for the purpose of organising building enterprises 
on the other side of the ocean; it organises centres for the sale 
of kerosene in several countries; it forms an alliance with 
the Russian firm of Nobel; it participates in the European 
Kerosene Union.^ Not so long ago, a banking trust (Con- 
sortium Constantinopel) was organised in Brussels for the 
purpose of financing enterprises in Constantinople. It includes 
the Deutsche Bank, the Deutsche Orientbank (connected with 
the former), the Dresdner Bank, the Schaffhausenscher Bank- 
verein, the NationaJbank, the Societe Generale in Paris, the 
Banque de Paris, the Comptoir National, the Schweizerische 
Kreditanstalt, and the Bank fiir elektrische Untemehmungen.^ 
A special railroad bank is organised in Belgium (the Banque 
beige de chemins de fer) with the aid of the Banque de Paris 
et de Pays-Bas, the Wiener Bankverein, the Schweizerische 
Kreditanstalt, the Societe Generale des chemins de fer 
economiques, the Deutsche Bank, the Dresdner Bank, etc., 
i.e., with the aid of an international banking trust. One more 
example: the Russian Metal Syndicate was aided by four 
groups of "national" banks — the Russian group (Asov Com- 
merce Bank, St. Petersburg International Commerce Bank, 
Russian Foreign Commerce Bank, Russo-Asiatic Bank, and 
Commerce Bank in Warsaw); the French group (Credit 
Lyonnais, Banque de Paris et de Pays-Bas, Societe Generale) ; 
the German group (Deutsche Bank, Bank fiir Handel und 
Industrie, and Dresdner Bank); and the Belgian group 

iLiefmann, I.e., p. 174. 
2Liefmann, l.c., pp. 436-486- 
»Ibid., pp. 497-498. 


(Credit General a Liege, Societe Generale de Belgique, Nagel- 
markers fils a Liege)/ 

It would be a great error to think that all these examples 
are accidental exceptions. Economic life is teeming with them. 
Colonial enterprises, and the export of capital to other con- 
tinents, railway construction and state loans, city railways and 
ammunition firms, gold mines and rubber plantations, all are 
intrinsically connected with the activities of international bank- 
ing trusts. International economic relations are extended 
through countless threads; they pass through thousands of 
cross-points; they are intertwined in thousands of groups, 
finally converging in the agreements of the largest world banks 
which have stretched out their tentacles over the entire globe. 
World finance capitalism and the internationally organised 
domination of the banks are one of the undeniable facts of 
economic reality. 

On the other hand, one must not overestimate the significance 
of international organisations. Their specific weight compared 
with the immensity of the economic life of world capitalism is 
by no means as great as would appear at the first glance. 
Many of them (i.e., of the syndicates and cartels) are only 
agreements concerning the division of markets {Rayonierungs- 
kar telle); in a series of large subdivisions of social economy 
they embrace only very specific branches of production (such 
as the bottle syndicate which is one of the strongest); many 
of them are of a highly unstable nature. Only those interna- 
tional agreements which are based on a natural monopoly are 
possessed of a greater degree of stability. Still, there is a 
tendency towards a continuous growth of international forma- 
tions, and this growth cannot be ignored when analysing the 
development of modern world economy.^ 

1 Zagorsky: Syndicates and Trusts, p. 230. We mention only private inter- 
national economic agreements. It is assumed that state agreements, playing 
an immense economic part (lilie the International Postal Alliance, the railroad 
agreements, etc.), are known to the reader. 

2 Sartorius von Waltershausen puts a very low estimate on the part played 
by international organisations. Compare I.e., p. 100: "That there should be 
created, and there should exist, international companies with centralised 
[einkeitlicher'\ management of production appears unlikely. But, of course, 
one may expect that there would be agreements between large national com- 
panies concerning the distribution of the selling markets." The opposite 
point of view is maintained by Harms. 


We have pursued the main tendencies in the growth of 
world economy from the exchange of commodities up to the 
activities of international banking syndicates. This process 
in all its ramified forms is the process of the internationalisa- 
tion of economic life; the process of bringing separate geo- 
graphic points of economic development closer to each other; 
the process of reducing capitalist relations to one level; the 
process of the growing contrast on the one hand between con- 
centrated property in the hands of the world capitalist class, 
and on the other, the world proletariat. It does not fol- 
low from this, however, that social progress has already reached 
a stage where "national" states can co-exist harmoniously. 
For the process of the intemationalisation of economic life is 
by no means identical with the process of the intemationalisa- 
tion of capital interests. A Hungarian economist was per- 
fectly right when he remarked concerning the works of the 
English pacifist, Norman Angell, that "he" (i.e., Norman 
Angell) "forgets only one thing: that there are classes both 
in Germany and England, and that the thing that may be 
superfluous, useless, even harmful, for the people as a whole, 
can be of very great benefit (sehr gewinnbringend sein kann) 
for individual groups (large financiers, cartels, bureaucracy, 
etc.)."^ This proposition can, of course, be applied to all 
states, for their class structure is beyond any doubt, at least 
from a purely scientific point of view. This is why only those 
who do not see the contradictions in capitalist development, 
who good-naturedly assume the intemationalisation of economic 
life to be an Internationale der Tatsachen, i.e., those who as- 
sume anarchic intemationalisation to be organised intema- 
tionalisation — can hope for the possibility of reconciling the 
"national" capitalist groups in the "higher unity" of peaceful 
capitalism. In reality things take place in a much more com- 
plicated way than appears to the opportunist optimists. The 
process of the intemationalisation of economic life can and 
does sharpen, to a high degree, the conflict of interests 
among the various "national" groups of the bourgeoisie. In- 
deed, the growth of international commodity exchange is by 

1 Erwin Szabo: "Krieg und Wirtschaftsverfassung," in Archiv fiir Sozial- 
wissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, 39. Bd., 3. Heft, pp. 647-648. 


no means connected with the growth of "solidarity" between 
the exchanging groups. On the contrary, it can be accom- 
panied by the growth of the most desperate competition, by a 
life and death struggle. The same is true of the export of 
capital. "Community of interests" is not always created in this 
field. Competitive struggle for the spheres of capital invest- 
ment may here, too, reach a highly acute state. There is only 
one case in which we can say with assurance that solidarity 
of interests is created. This is the case of growing "participa- 
tion" and financing, i.e., when, due to the common ownership 
of securities, the class of capitalists of various countries pos- 
sesses collective property in one and the same object. Here 
we actually have before us the formation of a golden interna- 
tional;^ there is apparent here, not a simple similarity or, as 
one is wont to say at present, a "parallelism" of interests; 
there is actual unity here; but the course of economic develop- 
ment creates, parallel to this process, a reverse tendency to- 
wards the nationalisation of capitalist interests. And human 
society as a whole, placed under the iron heel of world capital, 
pays tribute to this contradiction — in unbelievable torment, 
blood, and filth. 

The perspectives of development can be pointed out only 
after analysing all the main tendencies of capitalism. And since 
the internationalisation of capitalist interests expresses only 
one side of the internationalisation of economic life, it is neces- 
sary to review also its other side, namely, that process of the 
nationalisation of capitalist interests which most strikingly ex- 
presses the anarchy of capitalist competition within the boun- 
daries of world economy, a process that leads to the greatest 
convulsions and catastrophes, to the greatest waste of human 
energy, and most forcefully raises the problem of establishing 
new forms of social life. 

We are thus confronted with the task of analysing the process 
of the nationalisation of capital. 

^ How the ideologists of the present-day bourgeoisie view this golden inter- 
national (we do not speak, of course, of the contradistinction between the 
"top" and the "bottom") may be seen from the following statement by 
Sartorius: "The 'golden international' can never be an ideal for a man who 
has a fatherland, and who believes that in that fatherland are sunk the roots 
of his existence" {I.e., p. 14). This in turn shows the comparative weakness 
of the process of the internationalisation of capitalist interests. 


World Economy and the Process of 
Nationalisation of Capital 


The Inner Structure of "National Economies" 
and the Tariff Policy 

I. "National economies" as intersections of world eco- 
nomic relations. 2. Growth of monopoly organisations. 
Cartels and trusts. 3. Vertical concentration. Combined 
enterprises. 4. Role of the banks. Transformation of capi- 
TION. 6. State and communal enterprises. 7. The system 

AS A WHOLE. 8. The tariff policy OF FINANCE CAPITAL, AND 

World economy, as we have seen above, represents a com- 
plex network of economic connections of the most diverse 
nature; the basis of this are production relations on a world 
scale. Economic connections uniting a great number of in- 
dividual economies are found to become more numerous and 
more frequent as we proceed, within the framework of world 
economy, to analyse "national" economies, i.e., economic con- 
nections existing within the boundaries of individual states. 
There is nothing mysterious about this; we must not attribute 
that fact to an alleged creative role of the "state principle" 
that is supposed to create from within itself special forms of 
national economic existence; neither is there a predestined 
harmony between society and state. The matter has a much 
simpler explanation. The fact is that the very foundation of 
modern states as definite political entities was caused by eco- 
nomic needs and requirements. The state grew on the economic 
foundation; it was only an expression of economic connections; 
state ties appeared only as an expression of economic ties. Like 
all living forms, "national economy" was, and is, engaged in 



a continuous process of internal regeneration; molecular move- 
ments going on parallel with the growth of productive forces, 
were continually changing the position of individual "national" 
economic bodies in their relation to each other, i.e., they influ- 
enced the interrelations of the individual parts of the 
growing world economy. Our time produces highly significant 
relations. The destruction, from top to bottom, of old, con- 
servative, economic forms that was begun with the initial stages 
of capitalism, has triumphed all along the line. At the same 
time, however, this "organic" elimination of weak competi- 
tors inside the framework of "national economies" (the ruin 
of artisanship, the disappearance of intermediary forms, the 
growth of large-scale production, etc.) is now being super- 
seded by the "critical" period of a sharpening struggle among 
stupendous opponents on the world market. The causes of 
this phenomenon must be sought first of all in the internal 
changes that have taken place in the structure of "national 
capitalisms," causing a revolution in their mutual relations. 

Those changes appear, first of all, as the formation and the 
unsually rapid spread of capitalist monopoly organisations: 
cartels, syndicates, trusts, bank syndicates.^ We have seen 
above how strong this process is in the international sphere. 
It is immeasurably greater within the framework of "national 
economies." As we shall see below, the "national" carteling 
of industry serves as one of the most potent factors making for 
the national interdependence of capital. 

^We cannot dwell here at length on the differences between those economic 
forms. For our purposes here, suf&ce it to be said that we do not see any 
fundamental difference between cartels and trusts, the trust in our opinion 
being only a more centralised form of the same phenomenon. All purely 
formal attempts (compare, for instance, Eduard Heilmann, "Ueber Individ- 
ualismus and Solidarismus in der kapitalistischen Konzentration" in Jaffe's 
Archiv, Bd. 39, Heft 3) at defining the difference between the two forms 
by saying that the trust is "autocratic" while the syndicate (or cartel) is 
"democratic," does not in the least tackle the real issue, the latter being 
the outcome of the part played by those formations in the national economic 
life. It does not follow, however, that there is no difference at all between 
them; on the contrary, from a certain point of view, one must emphasise 
the difference. At any rate, the difference does not lie on the level of the 
distinction between the "democratic" and "autocratic" principle. See corre- 
sponding chapters in Hilferding's Finanzkapital. Briefly, the difference is that 
"contrary to the process of trustification, cartelisation by no means signifies 
the elimination of a conflict of interests between the individual enterprises 
belonging to the cartel" (Hilferding: "Organisationsmacht und Staatsgewalt," 
Neue Zeit, 32. Jahrgang, 2. Bd., p. 140^.). 


The process of the formation of capitalist monopolies is, 
logically and historically, a continuation of the process of con- 
centration and centralisation of capital. Just as the free com- 
petition of artisans, arising over the bones of feudal monopoly, 
led to the accumulation of the means of productions in the 
hands of the class of capitalists as their monopoly possession, 
so free competition inside of the class of capitalists is being 
more and more limited by restrictions and by the formation 
of giant economies monopolising the entire "national" mar- 
ket. Such giant economies must by no means be considered 
"abnormal" or "artificial" phenomena springing up in conse- 
quence of state aid like tariffs, freight rates, premiums, sub- 
sidies, or governmental orders, etc. True, all these "causes" 
have materially accelerated the process of monopolisation, but 
they have never been, and are not, its prime condition. What 
is really a conditio sine qua non is a certain degree of con- 
centration of production. This is why, generally speaking, 
monopoly organisations are the strongest where productive 
forces are most developed. A particularly important part was 
played in this respect by joint stock companies, a form that 
has immensely facilitated the investment of capital in produc- 
tion and has created enterprises of hitherto unknown dimen- 
sions. It is therefore most natural that leadership in the cartel 
movement belongs to the two countries that have forged ahead 
with feverish rapidity to the first places in the world market, 
namely, the United States and Germany. 

The United States represents a classic example of modern 
economic development, and it is here that the most centralised 
form of monopoly organisations, the "trusts," have become 
deeply rooted. The following table gives a clear idea of the 
tremendous economic power of the trusts — of the largest trusts 
in particular — as well as of their growth. 

According to Moody, the growth of trusts between 1904 and 
1908 is expressed in the figures in the table below. 

According to Poor's Manual of Corporations and Poor's 
Manual of Railroads for 1910, the total equals 33.3 billion 
dollars.^ By 19 10, the share of the trusts in "national" pro- 

^Ibid. Also George Renard and A. A. Dulac: L'ivolution industrielle el 
agricole deptds cent cinquante ans, Paris, 1912, p. 204. 





Groups of Trusts 

No. of 

Value of Stocks 
and Bonds 

No. of 

Value of Stocks 
and Bonds 

Seven Largest In- 
dustrial Trusts . . 

Smaller Industrial 







Trusts in process 
of Reorganisa- 









Concession Enter- 


Group of largest 







duction was already very large. They produced 50 per cent 
of the textiles, 54 per cent of the glassware, 60 per cent of the 
cotton and printed goods, 62 per cent of the foodstuffs, 72 per 
cent of the alcoholic beverages, 77 per cent of the metal prod- 
ucts (exclusive of iron and steel), 81 per cent of the chemicals, 
84 per cent of the iron and steel.^ Since then their share in 
the national production has grown considerably, for the process 
of concentration and centralisation of capital in the United 
States proceeds with magic rapidity. 

Only a few students of the most recent development of the 
finance organisation of large-scale production and its commercial 
branches can have an idea of the gigantic concentration, and of 
its power over combined and differentiated large-scale enterprises, 
which often include productive forces reaching beyond the boundaries 
of an individual national economy.^ 

iProf. Nazarevsky: Outline of the History and Theory of Capitalist Col- 
lective Economy, Syndicates, Trusts, and Combined Enterprises, Vol. I, part I, 
Outline of the History of Combinations in American Industry, Moscow, 1912, 
pp. 318-319. 

2L. Goldstein: Syndicates, Trusts, and Modem Economic Policy, Moscow, 
1912, p. 51. 

^Eugen von Phillipovich: "Monopole und Monopolpolitik," in Griinberg's 
Archiv fUr die Geschichte des Sozialismus und der Arbeiterbewegung, Bd. VI 
(i9i5),HeftI, p. 158. 


Within the framework of the present study it is impossible 
even to enumerate the chief trusts operating in the various 
countries. Let it be noted only that at the head of all of them 
are the two most colossal trusts, the Standard Oil Company and 
the United States Steel Corporation, respectively representing 
the two financial groups of Rockefeller and Morgan. 

The movement of big capital in Germany proceeds along 
identical lines. By 1905 there were, according to official sta- 
tistics, 385 cartels in the most diverse branches of production.^ 
The well-known theoretician and leader of the cartel move- 
ment in Germany, Dr. Tschierschky, estimates the number of 
cartels in Germany as between 550 and 600.^ The greatest 
among them are: the Rhine- Westphalian Coal Syndicate 
(Rheinisch-Westfalisches Kohlensyndikat) and the Steel Syn- 
dicate (Stahlwerksverband). According to Raffalovich, the 
former produced in 1909, in the Dortsmund region, 85 million 
tons of coal, whereas the production of all the "outsiders" 
amounted to 4,200,000 tons only (4.9 per cent).^ By January, 
19 13, the production of sjmdicate coal amounted to 92.6 per 
cent of the total production in the Ruhr region and 54 per cent 
of the total national production. By that time the steel syndi- 
cate had increased its production to 43-44 per cent of the na- 
tional production. The sugar refining trust, embracing 47 en- 
terprises, produces a very large share of the total output (70 
per cent of the sugar consumed in the country, and 80 per cent 
of the sugar exported abroad).* The electric trust (an Inter es- 
sengemeinschaft between two trusts: the Siemens-Schuckert 
and the A-E-G) control 40 per cent of all the power produced. 

The monopoly organisations in other countries are less 
formidable, but taken in absolute numbers, without compari- 
son with the United States or Germany, the syndication process 
is considerable everywhere. 

France numbers a considerable array of syndicates in the 
metallurgic, sugar, glass, paper, naphtha, chemical, textile, coal, 
etc., industries. Of particular importance are Le Comptoir de 

1 Robert Liefmann: Kartelle und Trusts, Stuttgart, 1910. 

2 Dr. S. Tschierschky: Kartell und Trust, Leipzig, Goschen, 1911, p. 52. 

3 A. Raffalovich: "Les syndicats et les cartels en allemagne en 1910," in 
Revue internationale de commerce, de I'industrie et de la banque, July 30, 1911. 

* Martin Saint Leon: Cartels et Trusts, sme ed., Paris, 1909, p. 56- 


Longway which produces almost all the cast iron manufactured 
in France; the sugar syndicate, which dominates the market 
almost completely; the Societe Generale des glaces de St. 
Gobain, which also occupies an almost absolute monopoly 
situation, etc; a series of agricultural sjmdicates, close to which 
are the agricultural societies,^ must also be noted, as well as 
the large combinations in the transportation industry, namely, 
the three steamship companies (Compagnie Generale Trans- 
atlantique, Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes, and Com- 
pagnie des Chargeurs Reunis), which embrace 41.25 per cent 
of the entire merchant marine of France.^ 

In England, where, despite the great concentration of in- 
industry, the monopoly movement for a long while remained 
very weak due to a number of reasons, the trustification of 
industry ("amalgamations," "associations," and "investment 
trusts") has made tremendous strides in the very last few 
years. Old peculiarities begin to recede, to become a thing of 
the past, both as regards the labour movement in England and 
as regards the traditional English free trade policy (as we 
shall see below, free competition, which is only another name 
for free trade, is being relegated more and more to the back- 
ground in the realm of economic foreign policy). Only igno- 
rance can at present refer to England as a representative of an 
entirely different economic type. Here are a few cases that 
may serve as an example: the Association of Portland Cement 
Manufacturers, producing 89 per cent of the national output; 
the steel trusts; the alcohol trusts; the wallpaper trusts pro- 
ducing 98 per cent of all the wallpaper and other decorative 
materials; the cable trusts (the Cablemakers' Association, pro- 
ducing about 90 per cent of the national output) ; the salt trust 
(Salt Union, about 90 per cent); the Fine Cotton Spinners' 
and Doublers' Trust (practically controlling the entire produc- 
tion of England); the dyers' and bleachers' trust (Bleachers' 
Association and Dyers' Association, about 90 per cent); the 
Imperial Tobacco Company (about one-half of the national 
production), etc.^ 

^ Martin Saint Leon, I.e., p. 89 ff. 

2 G. Lecarpentier: Commerce maritime et marine marchande, Paris, 1910, 
p. 165. 
^Hermann Levy: Monopoly and Competition, London, 1911, pp. 222-267. 


In Austria we find among the large cartels: the coal syndi- 
cate of Bohemia (with 90 per cent of all the production of 
Austria) ; the brick syndicate with a yearly output amounting 
to 400 million crowns (the production of outsiders amounting 
only to 40 million crowns); the iron syndicate; the naphtha 
syndicate (in Galicia, with 40 per cent of the national output) ; 
the sugar, glass, paper, textiles, and other syndicates. 

Even in such a backward country as Russia, with such a 
paucity of capital, the number of higher tj^je syndicates and 
trusts, according to Mr. Goldstein, exceeds 100. There are, 
besides, a number of local agreements of a less developed tj^e. 
Let us note the largest.^ In the coal industry the Produgol 
Trust (producing 60 per cent of the coal dug in the Don area) ; 
19 S5mdicates in the iron industry, among which the most 
prominent are Prodameta (iron implements trusts, controlling 
88-93 P^'' cent of national production), the Krovlia (sheet iron 
trust, with 60 per cent of the national output), and Prodvagon 
(railroad car trust, embracing 14 out of the 16 car construc- 
tion plants) ; in the oil industry almost the entire production 
is concentrated in the hands of four companies, mutually inter- 
locked; noteworthy are also the copper syndicate (90 per 
cent), the sugar syndicate (100 per cent), the textile manu- 
facturers' agreements, the tobacco trust (57-58 per cent), the 
match syndicate, etc. 

The syndicates show a high degree of development in Bel- 
gium; but even such young countries as Japan have also en- 
tered the road of building capitalist monopolies. The old pro- 
duction forms of capitalism have thus undergone a radical 
change. According to F. Laur's figures out of 500 billion 
francs invested in the industrial enterprises of all the countries 
of the world, 225 billions, i.e., almost one-half, are invested in 
production organised in cartels and trusts. (This capital is 
distributed in the various countries as follows; United States, 
100 billion francs; Germany, 50 billion francs; France, 30 
billion francs; Austria-Hungary, 25 billion francs, etc. — all 
these figures being estimated below the actual ones).^ This 
indicates a complete transformation of the old interrelation of 

1 We quote from L. Kafenhaus: Syndicates in the Russian Iron Industry; 
Goldstein, I.e.; Zagorsky, I.e. 

2 Goldstein, I.e., p. 5. 


forces inside every country, which could not fail to entail radi- 
cal changes in the interrelation of the countries themselves. 

The process, however, is not limited to individual branches 
of production. There is going on a continuous process of 
binding together the various branches of production, a process 
of transforming them into one single organisation. This ex- 
presses itself, first of all, in the form of combined enterprises, 
i.e., enterprises combining the production of raw materials and 
manufactured goods, the production of manufactured goods 
with that of unfinished products, etc., which process can 
and does absorb the most diverse branches of production, 
since under the prevailing division of labour in our times every 
branch depends upon the other to a larger or lesser degree, 
directly or indirectly. For instance, when a trust produces 
outside of its main product also a by-product, it shows a 
tendency to monopolise this latter branch of production, which 
in turn serves as a stimulus to monopolising the production of 
goods used as substitutes for the by-product; then comes the 
tendency to monopolise the production of raw materials used for 
the production of the substitute, and so on and so forth. Thus 
combinations are created which, at first glance, seem astound- 
ing, like iron and cement, oil and glucose, etc.^ This vertical 
concentration and centralisation of production, in contradistinc- 
tion to the horizontal centralisation which is going on within one 
branch of production, signifies, on the one hand, a diminution of 
the social division of labour, since it combines in one enterprise 
the labour that was previously divided among several enter- 
prises; on the other hand, it stimulates the division of labour 
inside of the new production unit. The entire process, taken 
on a social scale, tends to turn the entire "national" economy 
into a single combined enterprise with an organisation connec- 
tion between all the branches of production. The same process 
is going on with great rapidity in another way: banking capital 
penetrates industry, and capital turns into finance capital. 

We have seen in the preceding chapters what tremendous 
significance is attached to participation in and financing of in- 
dustrial enterprises. The latter is one of the functions of 
modern banks. 

1 Nazarevsky, Ij:., p. 354 #. 


An increasingly large section of industrial capital does not belong 
to the industrialists who apply it. The right to manipulate the 
capital is obtained by them only through the bank which, in rela- 
iton to them, appears as the owner of that capital. On the other 
hand, the bank is compelled to place an ever growing part of its 
capital in industry. In this way the bank becomes to an ever 
increasing degree an industrial capitalist. Bank capital, i.e., capi- 
tal in money form, which has thm been in reality transformed into 
industrial capital, I call finance capital.^ 

Thus by means of various forms of credit, by owning stocks 
and bonds, and by directly promoting enterprises, banking 
capital appears in the role of an organiser of industry. This 
organisation of the combined production of a whole country is 
the stronger, the greater; on the one hand, the concentration 
of industry, on the other, the concentration of banking. The 
latter has of late assumed colossal proportions. Here are a 
few examples. In Germany an actual monopoly of banking 
is in the hands of six banks: the Deutsche Bank, the Diskon- 
togesellschaft, the Darmstadter Bank, the Dresdner Bank, the 
Berliner Handelsgesellschaft, and the Schaffhausenscher Bank- 
verein; the capital of those banks amounted in 1910 to 1,122.6 
million marks.^ The growth of the power of those banks may 
be seen from the growth of the number of their institutions 
inside of Germany (counting the main banks and their 
branches, deposit banks and currency exchange offices, also 
their "participation" in the German stock company banks) : in 
1895, 42; in 1896, 48; in 1900, 80; in 1902, 127; in 1905, 
194;. in 1911, 450.* Within 16 years the number of those 
institutions grew eleven times. 

In the United States there are only two banks of such im- 
portance: The National City Bank (the Rockefeller firm) and 
the National Bank of Commerce (the Morgan firm). Those 
two banks hold sway over countless industrial undertakings 
and banks, intertwined in all sorts of ways. "The size of the 
bank operations of the Rockefeller and Morgan groups may 

1 Rudolf Hilferding: Das Finanzkapital, Vienna, 1910, p. 283. 

2 Werner Sombart: Die Deutsche V olkswirtschaft in XIX. Jakrhundert, 
Berlin, 1913, chapter x. According to recent newspaper reports (the Vor- 
wdrts, Berlin), the Diskontogesellschaft has already swallowed up the Schaff- 
hausenscher Bankverein. 

3 J. Riesser: Die Deutschen Grossbanken, Appendix VIII, p. 745. 


be approximately judged by the fact that, in 1908, the first 
group counted among its clients, and held reserves of, 3,350, 
and the latter of 2,757, national, state and other banks." No 
new trust can be founded without the aid of these banks, they 
being a "monopoly of monopoly making." ^ 

Corresponding to this unique. economic tie between the vari- 
ous production branches and the banks, is a special form of 
higher management of both. As a matter of fact, the repre- 
sentatives of the industrialists manage the banks, and vice 
versa. Jeidels is authority for the statement that, in 1903, the 
six above mentioned German banks held 751 seats in the super- 
vising councils of the industrial stock companies.^ Conversely, 
there were (in December, 1910) 51 representatives of industry 
in the supervising councils of the banks.^ 

As to America, the following fact is highly characteristic. 
From a list submitted to the Senate during the debate over 
the bill for the improvement of the banking business (La 
FoUette's commission in 1908), it was evident that 89 persons 
held over 2,000 directors' posts in various industrial, trans- 
portation, and other companies, all of which companies were 
directly or indirectly controlled by Morgan and Rockefeller. 

Mention must be made here also of the important part played 
by state and communal enterprises, which enter into the gen- 
eral system of "national economy." Among state enterprises 
we find, first of all, mining (in Germany, e.g., out of 309 coal 
mines with an output of 149 million tons, 27 mines with an 
output of 20.5 million tons belonged to the state in 1909; the 
total value of state production amounted to 235 million marks; 
salt mines and others also belong to this category; the gross in- 
come from all state enterprises of Germany in 19 10 amounted 
to 349 million marks, while the net income was 25 million 
marks) ; * next to mining are state railroads (only in England, 
and only prior to the war, were the railroads exclusively in the 
hands of private owners) ; then the post office, the telegraph, 

^Nazarevsky, I.e., p. 362. 

2 Parvus: Der Stoat, die Industrie und der Sozialismus, p. 77 (Written 
when Parvus was still in the "first stage" of his transformations). Riesser, 
I.C., Beilage IV, p. 651 g. 

' Riesser, I.e., p. 501. 

* K. T. Eheberg: Fmanzwissensehaft, 1922, p. 99. [The author quotes here 
from an early Russian translation. — Trans.'] 


etc., also forestry. Among communal enterprises of great eco- 
nomical importance are mainly the water system, the gas sys- 
tem, and the electric constructions, with all their ramifications/ 
The powerful state banks also form part of this system. The 
interrelation between those "public" enterprises and the enter- 
prises of a purely private character assumes various forms; 
the economic connections, in general, are numerous and vari- 
egated, and credit is not the least among them. Very close 
relations arise on the basis of the so-called mixed system (ge- 
mischte Unternehmtmgen) where a certain enterprise is com- 
posed of both "public" and private elements (participation 
of large-scale, usually monopolistic, firms) — ^a phenomenon 
not infrequent in the realm of communal economy. The exam- 
ple of the German Empire Bank (Reichsbank) is of particular 
interest. This bank, whose part in the economic life of Ger- 
many is tremendous, appears so closely connected with "pri- 
vate economy" that there is an unsettled dispute going on as 
to whether it is a stock company or a state institution, whether 
it is subject to the laws governing private or public under- 

All parts of this considerably organised system, cartels, 
banks, state enterprises, are in the process of growing to- 
gether; the process is becoming ever faster with the growth 
of capitalist concentration; the formation of cartels and com- 
bines creates forthwith a community of interest among the 
financing banks; on the other hand, banks are interested in 
checking competition between enterprises financed by them; 
similarly, every understanding between the banks helps to tie 
together the industrial groups; state enterprises also become 
ever more dependent upon large-scale financial-industrial for- 
mations, and vice versa. Thus various spheres of the con- 
centration and organisation process stimulate each other, cre- 
ating a very strong tendency towards transforming the entire 
national economy into one gigantic combined enterprise under ^ 
the tutelage of the financial kings and the capitalist state, an 

1 See Kotnmunales Jahrbuch for 1913-14, published by Lindemann, Schwander 
and Siidekum, p. 566 #. 

2 See Willy Baumgart: Vnsere Reichbank. Ihre Geschichte und ihre Ver- 
fassung, Berlin, 1915. The role of the state as an organiser of industry has 
grown tremendously during the war. We shall discuss this later, when dealing 
with the future of national and world economy. 


enterprise which monopolises the national market and forms 
the prerequisite for organised production on a higher non- 
capitalist level. 

It follows that world capitalism, the world system of pro- 
duction, assumes in our times the following aspect: a few 
consolidated, organised economic bodies ("the great civilised 
powers") on the one hand, and a periphery of undeveloped 
countries with a semi-agrarian or agrarian system on the other. 
The organisation process (which, parenthetically speaking, is 
by no means the aim or the motive power of the capitalist 
gentlemen, as their ideologists assert, but is the objective result 
of their seeking to obtain a maximum of profit) tends to over- 
step the "national" boundaries. But it finds very substantial 
obstacles on this road. First, it is much easier to overcome 
competition on a "national" scale than on a world scale (inter- 
national agreements usually arise on the basis of already exist- 
ing "national" monopolies) ; second, the existing differences of 
economic structure and consequently of production-costs 
make agreements disadvantageous for the advanced "national" 
groups; third, the ties of unity with the state and its boundaries 
are in themselves an ever growing monopoly which guarantees 
additional profits. Among the factors of the latter category, 
let us first of all turn our attention to the tariff policy. 

The character of the tariff policy has undergone a total trans- 
formation. Old-time customs duties aimed at defence; present- 
day customs duties aim at aggression; old-time tariffs were 
secured for commodities whose production was so little devel- 
oped at home that they could not stand competition on the 
world market; in our days "protection" is accorded to those 
branches of production which are most capable of withstand- 
ing competition. 

Friedrich List, that apostle of protectionism, in his National 
System of Political Economy, dealt with educational customs 
duties, looking upon them as upon a temporary measure. 

We shall speak here [he says] of tariff legislation only as a 
means to educate industry. . . . Protectionist measures can be 
justified only as a means of encouraging and protecting the home 
manufacturing power, and only among those nations which are . . . 
called to secure for themselves a position equal to that of the fore- 


most agricultural, manufacturing, and trading nations, the great 
maritime and continental powers.^ 

Nothing of the kind exists at present despite the assertions 
of some bourgeois scholars. Present-day "high protectionism" 
is nothing but the economic policy of the cartels as formulated 
by the state; present-day customs duties are cartel duties, i.e., 
they are a means in the hands of the cartels for obtaining 
additional profit, for it is quite obvious that if competition 
is eliminated or reduced to a minimum in the home market, 
the "producers" can raise the prices inside the home market, 
adding an increment equal to the tariff. This additional profit 
makes it possible to sell commodities on the world market 
below the cost of production, to practice dumping, which is 
the peculiar export policy of the cartels. This explains the 
apparently strange phenomenon that present-day tariffs "pro- 
tect" also export industries. Already Engels saw clearly the 
connection existing between the growth of cartels on the one 
hand and modern tariffs with their specific characteristics on 
the other. 

The fact [he says] that the rapidly and enormously growing 
productive forces grow beyond the control of the laws of the capi- 
talist mode of exchanging commodities, inside of which they are 
supposed to move, impresses itself nowadays more and more 
even on the minds of the capitalists. This is shown especially 
by two symptoms. First, by the new and general mania for a 
protective tariff, which differs from the old protectionism especially 
by the fact that now the articles which are capable of being exported 
are the best protected. In the second place, it is shown by the 
trusts of manufacturers of whole spheres of production.* 

It was in our time that a gigantic stride forward was made 
in this direction. Consolidated industry, led by the heavy 

^ Friedrich List: Gesammelte Schrijten, herausgegeben von Ludwig Hauser in 
3 Teilen, Stuttgart und Tiibingen, 1851. Das nationale System der politischen 
Oekonomie, pp. 302-311. [English: The National System of Political Econ- 
omy, New York, 1904. — Trans.] 

2 Karl Marx: Capital, Vol. Ill, Untermann's translation, p. 142, Note 16 
(by Engels). This, however, is of little aid to Prof. Josef Gruntzel, who does 
not understand the above-mentioned phenomena. See his Handelspolitik, 
Part IV, of Grundriss der Wirtschaftspolitik, p. 76. In justice, it must be 
noted, however, that the difference between educational and cartel duties 
is commonplace in economic literature, from Brentano to Hilferding. See, 
for instance, Josef Hellauer: System der Welthandelslehre, Vol. I, 1910, p. 37; 
Tschierschky, I.e., p. 86, etc. 


industries, appears as the most ardent advocate of a high 
tariff system, for the higher the tariff the greater is the ad- 
ditional profit, the easier is it to conquer new markets, and 
the greater is the general volume of profits obtained. The 
limit is reached only when the demand shrinks to such an 
extent that the loss is no longer compensated by the high prices. 
Inside of these limitations, however, the tendency to higher 
tariffs is an undisputed fact. 

When we now survey world economy as a whole, there ap- 
pears before our eyes the following picture. Cartel tariffs and 
the dumping system practiced by the foremost countries pro- 
voke resistance on the part of the backward countries which 
raise their defencive tariffs; ' on the other hand the raising of 
tariffs by the backward countries serves as a further stimulus 
to raise the cartel duties that make dumping easier. Needless 
to say that the same action and counteraction take place both 
among the foremost countries in relation to each other and 
among backward countries in their mutual relations. This 
endless screw, perpetually applied by the growth of cartel or- 
ganisations, has called forth the "tariff mania" of which Engels 
spoke, and which has grown even more pronounced in our days. 

From the end of the seventies of the last century, there can 
be observed in all countries distinguished by modern develop- 
ment a turn from free trade to a tariff system. The latter, 
rapidly evolving from a. system supposed to "educate" indus- 
try into a system safeguarding the cartels, finally becomes the 
high protectionism of our days. 

In Germany this turn takes a definite form with the introduc- 
tion of the tariff of 1879. Since then we see in Germany a 
continuous growth of tariff duties (compare, for instance, the 
tariff of 1902 with the later tariffs) ; in Austria-Hungary, the 
turn dates back to 1878; the subsequent tariffs reveal a similar 
rising tendency (particularly the tariffs of 1882, 1887, 1906, 
etc.); in France, a decisive turn towards protectionism was 
taken by the general tariff of 1881 which raised the duties on 

1 We must not forget that when we speak of the policies of countries we 
mean the poUcies of their governments as determined by the social forces on 
which the governments are based. Unfortunately, it is still necessary to 
remind one of this truth, for there are gentlemen Uke Mr. Plekhanov & Co., 
whose point of view is the "scientifically absolutely untenable 'national' point 
of view." 


industrial imports 24 per cent; mention must be made also of 
the high protectionist tariff of 1892 (with duties on manu- 
factured goods amounting to 69 per cent ad valorem, and on 
agricultural goods, 25 per cent) and its "revision" in 19 10. 
In Spain, the tariff of 1877 already contains high duties on 
industrial goods; particular attention is due the tariff of 1906 
with its general increase of duties. In the United States, that 
classical country of trusts and of the modern tariff policy, the 
characteristic features of protectionism are most salient. An 
increase of import duties begins in 1883 in connection with 
the growth of trusts, and reaches 40 per cent of the value 
of the imported goods; in 1873-74, the general duties were 
38 per cent; in 1887, 47-ii per cent; in 1890 (the McKinley 
Bill) we have a further increase of the tariff (91 per cent 
on woolen goods, and even as much as 150 per cent ad valorem 
on fine grades of woolens, 40-80 per cent on metals, etc.);^ 
there follow later the Dingley Bill (1897), and the Payne 
Tariff of 1909 which is one of the striking expressions of high 
protectionist tendencies. England, that citadel of free trade, 
is in a period of transition; there is an increasing number of 
ever sharper and more persistent voices demanding fair trade 
instead of free trade, i.e., the introduction of a protectionist 
system (see, for instance, the activities of Chamberlain, the 
Imperial Federation League, and the United Empire League, 
etc.). A partial realisation of these tendencies is the system 
of preference tariffs between the mother country and the 
colonies. Beginning with 1898, Canada exchanged tariff 
privileges with England; in 1900, and again in 1906, those 
tariffs were developed and "improved"; at present, the privi- 
leges amount to 10-50 per cent compared with foreign coun- 
tries. In 1903, the example of Canada was emulated by the 
South African colonies (6.25-25 per cent); in 1903, and again 
in 1907, New Zealand followed suit; in 1907, the Union of Aus- 
tralian Colonies joined (5-10 per cent). At the so-called 
Imperial Conferences {i.e., conferences of representatives of 
the colonies and of the British Government) the note of pro- 

^Isayev: World Economy, pp. 1 15-116. Prof. Isayev's explanation of these 
phenomena are unique. The raising of the tariffs in 1862-4 he explains, e.g., 
by "the protectionist inclinations of the persons who managed American 
finances." He says so verbatim (pp. 114-115). See also Gruntzel, Ix. 


tectionism becomes more clearly audible each time. "Only a 
second-rate thinker can be in favour of free trade at the 
present time and still be optimistic in relation to England," 
quoth with limitless bourgeois conceit the well-known econ- 
omist, Aschli, thus expressing the sentiment of the English 
ruling classes.^ 

It is well known that the war has brought out all tendencies 
in the sharpest form; the tariff policy has become a fact. 
We must also mention the unusually high tariffs prevailing in 

The new policy [says Mr. Kurchinsky] has its origin in the tariff 
of 1877. Since then the country is passing to higher and higher 
tariffs. In 1877 an increase was effected by levying the duties in 
gold currency, which at once raised them 40 per cent. The subse- 
quent years brought further increases in duties levied upon a great 
number of commodities, thus developing the protectionist principles 
more and more; in 1890 all tariffs were raised 20 per cent. The 
movement culminates in the extremely protectionist tariff of 1891, 
in which the duties levied upon many commodities were increased 
100-300 per cent and even more above the duties of 1868" {italics 
ours.- — N.B.]. "The tariff now in effect was promulgated in 1903 
and became effective February 16, 1906. According to this tariff, 
many duties were still further increased^ [italics ours. — N.B.]. 

There is not the slightest doubt that we have before us a 
general tendency towards protecting the "national economies" 
by a high tariff wall. The fact that in individual cases there 
may be a lowering of the tariffs or mutual concessions stipu- 
lated in treaties, does not alter the general rule; all such facts 
are only exceptions, temporary halts, an armistice in the ever- 
lasting war. The general tendency is in no way disturbed 
by such facts, since the tendency is not a simple empirical 
fact, not an accidental phenomenon, not something irrelevant 
as regards modern relations; on the contrary, the very struc- 
ture of modern capitalism gives birth to this form of economic 

iW. J. Aschli: "La conference imperiale britannique de 1907," in Revue 
economigue internationale, 1907, Vol. 4, p. 477. 

2 Kurchinsky 's addenda to Prof. Eheberg's book quoted above (p. 411). 
As to the increase in the duties levied upon German manufactured goods in 
1904, even Mr. Kurchinsky says, that "it was hardly advantageous for Rus- 
sian national business" (p. 412). He thus distinguishes between business and 
the businessman. This ad notam of those who unlearn in old age. 


policy; together with that structure it comes into being, and 
together with it it will fall. 

The important economic part now played by tariffs brings 
about also the aggressive character of the policy of "modern 
capitalism." Indeed, it is due to the tariffs that monopoly 
organisations gather additional profit, to be utilised also as 
export premiums in the struggle for markets (dumping). This 
additional profit may grow, generally speaking, in two ways: 
first, through more intensive selling inside the limits of the 
existing state territory; second, through the growth of the 
latter. As regards the former, there is an obstacle here in 
the shape of market capacity; one cannot imagine that the big 
bourgeoisie would begin to increase the share of the working 
class, in order thus to drag itself out of the mire by the hair. 
Cunning businessmen that they are, they prefer to follow the 
other way, the way of enlarging economic territory. The 
greater the economic territory, other conditions being equal, 
the greater will be the additional profit, the easier it will be 
to pay export premiums and to practice dumping, the larger 
consequently will be the foreign sales, and the higher the rate 
of profit. Let us imagine that the volume of commodities 
prepared for export is unusually large compared with the 
volume that can be absorbed in the home market. Under 
such conditions it is impossible to compensate the losses sus- 
tained on the foreign market by the monopoly prices at home: 
dumping then proves senseless. On the other hand, where 
there is a "correct" ratio between internal sales and exports, 
a maximum of profits can be squeezed out. This is possible 
only when the internal market has a certain capacity, which, 
assuming demand to be equal, is determined by the size of the 
territory included within the tariff walls, i.e., the state bounda- 
ries. While in former times, in the era of free competition, it 
was sufficient simply to penetrate the foreign market with 
commodities, and such economic occupation satisfied the capi- 
talists of the exporting coimtry, in our era the interests of 
finance capital demand, first of all, an expansion of the home 
state territory, i.e., it dictates a policy of conquest, a pressure 
of military force, a line of "imperialist annexation." It is 
perfectly clear, however, that wherever the old liberal system 


of free trade has been preserved to a considerable degree in 
consequence of a special combination of historic conditions, 
and where on the other hand the state territory is sufficiently 
large, there we have, together with the policy of conquest, a 
tendency towards combining the disunited parts of the state 
organism, towards fusing the colonies wilJi the metropolis, 
towards forming a vast single empire with a general tariff wall. 
Such is the policy of English imperialism. There is nothing 
behind the discussions about the creation of a middle European 
tariff alliance but the wish to create a vast economic territory 
as a monopoly system allowing more successful competition 
on the external market. In reality this is a product of the 
interests and the ideology of finance capitalism which, pene- 
trating into all the pores of world economy, creates at the same 
time an unusually strong tendency towards secluding the na- 
tional organisms, towards economic autarchy as a means of 
strengthening the monopoly situation of the respective capital- 
ist groups. Thus, together with the internationalisation of 
economy and the internationalisation of capital, there is going 
on a process of "national" intertwining of capital, a process of 
"nationalising" capital, fraught with the greatest consequences.^ 
This process of "nationalisation" of capital, i.e., the creation 
of homogeneous economic organisms included within state 
boundaries and sharply opposing each other, is also stimulated 
by changes taking place in the three large spheres of world 
economy: the sphere of markets for the sale of commodities, 
the sphere of markets for raw materials, and the sphere of 
capital investment. From these three points of view we must 
analyse the changes that are taking place in the conditions of 
the reproduction of world capital. 

1 When we speak of "national" capital, "national" economy, we have in mind, 
here as elsewhere, not the element of nationality in the strict sense of the word, 
but the territorial state conception of economic life. 


World Sales Markets and Changed Sales Conditions 

I. Mass production and overstepping of state boundaries. 
2. Price formation under conditions of exchange between 
countries with different economic structures, and forma- 
tion OF super-profit. 3. Colonial policy of great powers, and 


MARKETS. S- Sharpening of competition in world sales market, 


Every "national" capitalism has always manifested a ten- 
dency to expand, to widen the scope of its power, to overstep 
the boundaries of the nation, the state. This follows from 
the very structure of capitalist society. 

The conditions of direct exploitation and those of the realisation 
of surplus value are not identical. They are separated logically as 
well as by time and space. The first are only limited by the pro- 
ductive power of society, the last by the proportional relations of 
the various lines of production and by the consuming power of 
society. This last named power is not determined either by the 
absolute productive power nor by the absolute consuming power, 
but by the consuming power based on the antagonistic conditions of 
distribution, which reduce the consumption of the great mass of 
the population to a variable minimum within more or less narrow 
limits. The consuming power is furthermore restricted by a ten- 
dency to accumulate, the greed for an expansion of capital and a 
production of surplus value on an enlarged scale. This is the law 
of capitalist production. . . . The market must, therefore, be 
continually extended. . . . This internal contradiction seeks to 
balance itself by an expansion of the outlying fields of production.^ 

This law of mass production, which is at the same time the 
law of mass overproduction, must not be understood to mean 
that the overstepping of "national state boundaries" is some- 
thing like an absolute necessity; this necessity is created in 
the process of profit formation, and the amount of the profit 

^ K. Marx: Capital, Vol. Ill, Untemann's translation, pp. 286-287. 



serves as the regulating principle of the whole movement. The 
amount of the profit depends upon the mass of commodities 
and the amount of profit accruing to one commodity unit, 
which amount is equal to the selling price minus production 
cost. If we use for the volume of commodities the letter V, 
for the price of a commodity unit the letter P, and for the cost 
of production per unit of commodity the letter C, we find that 
the sum total of the profit is expressed by the formula V(P — C) . 
The smaller the production cost, the lager will be the prof- 
its per unit of commodity, and, assuming the sales market to be 
stationary or growing, the larger will be the volume of profit. 
The cost of production, however, is the lower, the greater 
the volume of commodities brought into the market. 
Improved methods of production, expansion of productive 
forces, and consequently increase in the volume of goods pro- 
duced, are factors decreasing the cost of production. This 
explains the selling of commodities abroad at low prices. Even 
if such sales yield no profits at all, even if the commodities are 
sold at production cost, the volume of profit is still increased, 
since thus the cost of production is made lower. (We do not 
speak here of sales made at a loss for "strategic purposes," 
i.e., for a rapid conquest of the market and for the annihilation 
of the competitors.) In the general formula V(P— C), the 
volume of production costs will not be that amount which cor- 
responds to the volume of goods designated as V, but a much 
smaller amount corresponding to the formula V-|-E, where E 
is understood to be the amount of exported commodities. It is 
in this way that the movement of profits compels commodities 
to overstep the boundaries of state. The very same regulating 
principle of capitalism — rate of profit — acts in still another 
way. We have in mind the formation of super-profit under 
the conditions of commodity exchange between countries hav- 
ing different economic structures. 

Even in the epoch of commercial capital this process of the 
formation of additional profit is perfectly clear. 

So long as merchants' capital [says Marx] promotes the exchange 
of products between undeveloped societies, commercial profit does 
not only assume the shape of outbargaining and cheating, but also 
arises largely from these methods. Leaving aside the fact that it 


exploits the difference in the prices of production of the various 
countries . . . those modes of production bring it about that mer- 
chants' capital appropriates to itself the overwhelming portion of 
the surplus product, either in its capacity as a mediator between 
societies, which are as yet largely engaged in the production of use- 
value for whose economic organisation the sale of that portion of 
its product which is transferred to the circulation, or any sale of 
products at their value, is of minor importance; or, because under 
those former modes of production the principal owners of the surplus 
product, with whom the merchant has to deal, are the slave owner, 
the feudal landlord, the state . . . and they represent the wealth 
and luxury.^ 

In these conditions "outbargaining" and "cheating" were 
able to play such an important part because the process of 
exchange was irregular, because it was not the necessary process 
of "metabolism" in a society with a world wide division of 
labour; on the contrary, it was a more or less accidental 
phenomenon. However, additional profit is obtained also at 
a time when the international exchange of commodities already 
becomes a regularly recurring moment in the reproduction of 
world capital. Marx gave a complete explanation of the eco- 
nomic nature of this super-profit in the following statements: 

Capitals invested in foreign trade are in a position to yield a 
higher rate of profit, because, in the first place, they come in com- 
petition with commodities produced in other countries with lesser 
facilities of production, so that an advanced country is enabled to 
sell its goods above their value even when it sells them cheaper 
than the competing countries. To the extent that the labour of the 
advanced countries is here exploited as labour of a higher specific 
weight, the rate of profit rises, because labour which has not been 
paid as being of a higher quality is sold as such. The same condition 
may obtain in the relations with a certain country, into which com- 
modities are exported or from which commodities are imported. 
This country may offer more materialised labour in goods than it 
receives, and yet it may receive in return commodities cheaper than 
it could produce them. In the same way a manufacturer, who ex- 
ploits a new invention before it has become general, undersells his 
competitors and yet sells his commodities above their individual 
values, that is to say, he exploits the specifically higher productive 
power of the labour employed by him as surplus value. By this 

^Ibid., p. 389. 


means he secures a surplus profit [italics ours. — N.B.] ; on the 
other hand, capitals invested in colonies, etc., may yield a higher 
rate of profit for the simple reason that the rate of profit is higher 
there on account of the backward development, and for the added 
reason that slaves, coolies, etc., permit a better exploitation of 
labour. We see no reason why these higher rates of profit realised 
by capitals invested in certain lines and sent home by them should 
not enter as elements into the average rate of profit and tend to 
keep it to that extent.^ 

Marx, proceeding from the theory of labour value, gives here 
an explanation of super-profits, trom this point of view, 
additional profit has its source in the difference between the 
social value of the goods (understanding under "society" 
world capitalism as a united whole) and their individual value 
(understanding under "individual" the "national economy"). 
Furthermore, Marx foresaw and explained cases where a cer- 
tain fixation of additional profit goes on, namely when a certain 
territory is dominated by monopoly organisations — cases that 
are particularly important in our times. 

It is thus obvious that not the impossibility of doing busi- 
ness at home, but the race for higher rates of profit is the 
motive power of world capitalism. Even present-day "capi- 
talist plethora" is no absolute limit. A lower rate of profit 
drives commodities and capital further and further from their 
"home." This process is going on simultaneously in various 
sections of world economy. The capitalists of various "na- 
tional economies" clash here as competitors; and the more 
vigorous the expansion of the productive forces of world 
capitalism, the more intensive the growth of foreign trade, the 
sharper is the competitive struggle. During the last decades 
quantitative changes of such magnitude have taken place in 
this realm that the very quality of the phenomenon has as- 
sumed a new form. 

Those changes proceed, so to speak, from two ends. On 
the one hand, the process of mass production is becoming 
extremely accelerated, i.e., the volume of commodities seeking 
for a foreign market is increasing — a phenomenon highly char- 
acteristic of recent times; on the other hand, the free market, 
i.e., that section of it which has not been seized by the "great 

^ Ibid., p. 279. 


power" monopolies, becomes ever narrower. Moved by the 
requirements of home capital, the great powers very quickly 
subjugated the free territories; beginning from 1870-1880 the 
process of "territorial acquisitions" went on at a feverish 
tempo. For our purposes it is sufficient to give a brief account 
of the results of the "colonial policy" which has become a 
veritable mania of all modern capitalist states. 

England, a country with a vast state territory, has, after 
1870, succeeded in annexing a whole series of new territories: 
Baluchistan, Burma, Cyprus, British North Borneo, Wei- 
hai-Wei, the territories adjoining Hongkong in Asia; it in- 
creased the Straits Settlements; it took Koweit under its pro- 
tectorate (1899); it acquired the Sinai peninsula, etc.; it 
annexed some islands in Australia, also the southeastern part 
of New Guinea, the major portion of the Solomon Islands, and 
the Tonga Islands. In Africa, where competition and seizures 
were going on with particular intensity, England acquired 
Egypt, the Egyptian part of Sudan with Uganda, British East 
Africa, British Somali, Zanzibar, and Pemba; in Southern 
Africa, the two Boer republics, Rhodesia, British Central 
Africa; in Western Africa, outside of increasing the former 
colonies, it occupied Nigeria.^ Such were the "successes" of 

France acted no less "successfully." 

Beginning with 1870 [we read in a work of a French imperialist] 
we witness an actual colonial regeneration. The Third Republic 
placed Annam under its protectorate, it conquered Tongking, it an- 
nexed Laos, it extended a French protectorate over Tunis and the 
Comoro Islands [near Madagascar — N.B.] , it occupied Madagascar, 
it increased its possessions in Sahara, Sudan, Guinea, the Ivory 
Coast, Dagomea, the Somali coast, out of all proportions [de- 
mesurement], and it founded a new France extending from the 
Atlantic Ocean and Congo to Lake Chad.^ 

By the end of the nineteenth century the area of the French 
colonies was nineteen times the area of France proper. 

German imperialism appeared later in the arena, but it 
made haste to regain lost time. The beginning of Germany's 

IS. Schilder, l.c., i47f- , , „ ^ . 

2 Paul Gaffarel: L'histoire de I'expansion coloniale de la France deputs 1870 
jusqu'en 1915; avant-propos. 


colonial policy dates back to 1884. It conquered Southwestern 
Africa, Cameroon, Togoland, East Africa, it "acquired" New 
Guinea and a number of islands (Emperor Wilhelm's Land, 
"The Bismarck Archipelago," the Caroline Islands, the 
Marianas, etc.); in 1897 it seized Kiaochow, it made ready to 
grab sections of Turkey and Asia Minor — all this "evolution" 
being accomplished with feverish haste.^ 

As to the Russian colonial policy, we wish to remind the 
readers of the conquest of Central Asia, of the Russian policy 
in Manchuria and Mongolia, and lately in Persia, the latter 
being accomplished with the aid of England (Colonel Liakhov 
is its hero).^ The same policies are pursued also by countries 
in other hemispheres, the most important of which are the 
United States and Japan. In consequence of this "division" of 
free lands, and with them, to a large extent, of free markets, 
world competition among the "national" capitalist groups was 
bound to become exceedingly sharpened. The present distri- 
bution of territories and populations is illustrated by the fol- 
lowing table: 

Colonial Possessions of the Great Powers 
(In mUlions of square kilometers and in millions of inhabitants) 

colonies "home" totals 

1876 1914 1914 1914 

Area Pop. Area Pop. Area Pop. Area Pop. 

Britain 22.5 251.9 33.5 393.5 .3 46.5 33.8 440.0 

Russia .... 17.0 15.9 17.4 33.2 5.4 136.2 22.8 169.4 

France 9 6.0 10.6 55.5 .5 39.6 11. i 95.1 

Germany 2.9 12.3 .5 64.9 3.4 77.2 

U. S. A .3 9.7 9.4 97.0 9.7 106.7 

Japan .3 19.2 .4 53.0 .7 72.2 

Total ... 40.4 273.8 65.0 523.4 16.5 437.2 81.5 96C.6 

Colonies of other powers (Belgium, Holland, etc.) 9.9 45.3 

Semi-colonial countries (Persia, China, Turkey) 14.5 361.2 

Other countries 28.0 289.9 

Total Area and Population of the World 133-9 1657.0^ 

1 B. von Konig: "Le developpement commercial, economique et financier 
des colonies allemandes," in Revue economique Internationale, 1907, Vol. 4, 
p. 130. 

^M. N. Pokrovsky, "Russia's Foreign PoUcy at the End of the Nineteenth 
Century," in his History of Russia in the Nineteenth Century. 

2 The table wasi compiled by Comrade V. Ilyin [V. I. Lenin] and is quoted 
from one of his recent works. [Imperialism As the Final Stage of Capitalism.] 


Thus between 1876 and 1914 the great powers acquired 
about 25 million square kilometers of colonial lands, in area 
twice the size of Europe. All the world is divided among the 
"economies" of the great nations. This explains why compe- 
tition is becoming unbelievably sharp, why the pressure of 
capitalist expansion on the remaining free lands increases in 
the same ratio as the chances for a grandiose free for all among 
the large capitalist powers.^ 

The tariffs only tend to increase such chances. The tariffs 
are barriers that stand in the way of the import of commodi- 
ties; they can be overcome in one way only: through pres- 
sure, through the use of force. Tariff wars are sometimes 
practiced, as a preliminary, i.e., rates are increased in order 
to extort concessions. Such tariff wars, for instance, were 
waged by Austria-Hungary against Roumania (1886-1890), 
Serbia (1906-1911), Montenegro (1908-1911); by Germany 
against Russia (1893-1894), Spain (1894-1899), and Canada 
(1903-1910); by France against Italy (1888-1892) and 
Switzerland (1893-1895), etc. The quicker the free markets 
are "distributed," the quicker are they included within the 
tariff walls; and the more ferocious competition becomes, the 
sharper are the tariff clashes between great powers. Tariff 
wars, however, are only partial sorties, they are only a sort 
of testing the ground. In the long run the conflict is solved 
by the interrelation of "real forces," i.e., by the force of arms. 
Thus the race for sales markets inevitably creates conflicts 
between the "national groups of capital." The enormous in- 
crease in the productive forces, coupled with the shrinking to 
a minimum of free markets in recent times; the tariff policy 
of the powers, connected as it is with the rule of finance 
capital, and the mounting difficulties for realising commodity 
values — all this creates a situation where the last word belongs 
to military technique. 

The contradictions of capitalist development, as analysed by 
Marx, become apparent. The growth of productive forces 

iThis is why, beginning from 187 1, all international conflicts are caused 
by colonial policy. See loaquin Fernandez Prida; Historia de los confiictos 
internationales del siglo XIX, Barcelona, 1901, p. 118 §. That the expansion 
policy is directed in the first place towards the free territories is explained 
by the tendency of the bourgeoisie to follow the line of least resistance. 


clashes with the antagonistic form of distribution and with the 
disproportion between the various parts of capitalist produc- 
tion — hence capital expansion; on the other hand, socialised 
labour clashes with the organisation of capital as private busi- 
ness, which expresses itself in competition between national 
capitalisms. Equilibrium and a harmonious development of 
all parts of the social mechanism are lacking; in recent times 
more so than at any other; hence terrific crises and precipitous 


World Market for Raw Materials, and Change in the Con- 
ditions of Purchasing Materials 

i. dispropoktion between parts of social production. 2. 
Monopoly ownership of land, and growth of disproportion 
between industry and agriculture. 3. dearth of raw ma- 

4. Sharpening of competition in the world market for raw 
materials, and capitalist expansion. 

We have seen in the last chapter how recent developments 
in capitalism, making it more and more difficult to realise 
commodity values, force the ruling classes of the various 
"national" groups to embrace the policy of expansion. The 
reproduction process of capital is not limited, however, to the 
phase of sale alone. In the reproduction formula M-C . . . 
P . . . C'-M' only the latter part expresses the realisation of 
the price of the product (C'-M'). As a rule, only the diffi- 
culties inherent in the process C'-M', i.e., in the process of 
sale, are stressed. The race for sales markets, and the indus- 
trial crises in particular, have induced the economists to analyse 
the difficulties met by capital when passing through the phase 
C'-M'. Difficulties, however, may arise also in the first phase, 
namely, when money is exchanged for means of production 
(M-C). It is a fact that the recent development of capitalist 
relations creates ever growing difficulties also in this sphere of 
the reproduction of social capital. 

It is well known that the operation M-C consists of two 
parts: M-L and M-MP, where L signifies labour power and 
MP signifies means of production, so that in its developed form 
the formula reads M-C(L-MP). We have to examine each 
part of the formula separately. 

In so far as the growth of productive forces has called forth 
changes in the structure of society and in the interrelation of 
class forces, it has expressed itself, among other things, in the 



fact that social antagonisms become exceedingly sharp, that 
the organised forces of class opponents face each other 
squarely. The state of apparent equilibrium here implies an 
extraordinary pressure of social forces upon one another. The 
tendency towards lowering the rate of profit calls forth the 
tendency to intensify labour on the one hand, to seek for cheap 
hands and a long labour day on the other. The latter, too, is 
achieved in the sphere of colonial policy.^ 

The other side of the issue, however, is of still greater 

We have in mind the disproportion between the development 
of industry and the development of agriculture as a source of 
raw material for the manufacturing industry. The latter re- 
quires greater and greater volumes of raw materials, namely 
wood (paper industry, building trades, cabinet making, rail- 
road construction, etc.), animal products (hides, wool, bristles, 
horsehair, furs, bones, intestines, animal fats of all sorts, meat 
as material for the manufacturing of foods, etc.), raw materials 
for the textile industry (cotton, flax, hemp, etc.), finally such 
commodities as rubber, which plays a colossal part in all phases 
of industrial life, etc. The development of agriculture, how- 
ever, does not keep pace with the impetuous development of 
industry, hence, as a fundamental fact, the high prices which 
have become an international phenomenon of prime importance, 
particularly in the recent period of capitalist development, 
when the industrial process has become so rapid that even the 
production of agriculture on the other side of the ocean could 
not keep pace any longer with the demand of the foremost 
capitalist countries for agricultural products, and the fall of 
world prices was followed by their rapid rise. The table 
below gives some idea as to the rise of prices of different 

Within one decade (1903-19 13) the jute price rose 128 per 
cent, that of cotton 13 per cent, that of cow hides 55 per cent, 
of calf hides 25 per cent, of bacon 31 per cent.^ 

1 We shall not dwell here on the methods of exploitation with which this 
policy has besmirched itself. We only caU attention to the fact that it is not 
all in the "past," that, to a large degree, it is also in the present. 

2 On the relation between industry and agriculture as expressed in high 
prices, see a small but excellent pamphlet by Otto Bauer, Die Teuerung. 


Price in Rubles per Pood 


Raw Jute 

on London 







Hamburg Market 



1 90s 































It is true that under all circumstances, and even in a 
socialised society, the development of the productive forces 
would tend towards the production of means of production. 
(We have seen that in capitalist society this process assumes 
the form of a higher organic composition of capital.) But 
under normal conditions this would not mean a disproportion in 
the distribution of the productive forces of society. On the 
contrary, the course of development would be smooth and 
harmonious, the "demand" for raw materials growing as rap- 
idly as their "supply." What matters here is not the relative 
growth of industry in general, but the disproportion in the 
growth of its various parts. On the other hand, this course 
of development must not be looked upon as the expression of 
an "absolute" and "natural" law, which hampers the develop- 
ment of agricultural products in the manner pictured by Mai-, 
thus and by his numerous avowed and secret followers. The' 
main obstacle here lies in a special social category — the 
monopoly of land ownership. 

^List of Prices in Principal Russian and Foreign Markets for IQ13, pub- 
lished by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Petrograd, 1914. 


The mere legal property in land [says Marx in his chapter on 
absolute ground-rent] does not create any ground-rent for the 
landlord. But it gives him the power to withdraw his land from 
exploitation until the economic conditions permit him to utilise it 
in such a way that it will yield him a surplus whenever the land 
is used either for agriculture proper or for other productive pur- 
poses, such as buildings, etc. He cannot increase or decrease the 
absolute quantity of its field of emplo3mient, but he can do so with 
its marketable quantity. For this reason, as Fourier has already 
.remarked, a characteristic fact in all civilised countries is that a 
comparatively considerable portion of the land always remains un- 

Private property in land is then the barrier which does not permit 
any new investment of capital upon hitherto uncultivated or un- 
rented land without levying a tax, in other words, without demand- 
ing a rent, although the land to be taken under new cultivation may 
belong to a class which does not produce any differential rent, [i.e., 
rent obtained in consequence of the difference in the quality of the 
pieces of land, etc. — N.B.] and which, were it not for the inter- 
vention of private property in land, might have been cultivated at 
a small increase in the market price, so that the regulating market 
price would have netted to the cultivator of this worst soil nothing 
but his price of production [i.e., production cost plus average 
profit— N.B.] 2 

The difference between agriculture and manufacturing is 
this, that while the rise of prices for the products of the manu- 
facturing industry ordinarily entails a shrinking of the demand, 
so that the demand curve changes rapidly in accordance with 
the fluctuation of prices, the demand in the sphere of distri- 
bution of agricultural products remains comparatively more 
stable. (One must not forget that the production of raw 
materials for the manufacturing industry is in a great number 
of cases a by-product of the production of foodstuffs, such as 
the production of hides, of intestines, partly of wool, etc., 
being connected with the meat packing industry.) This is why 
competition plays a substantially smaller part in agriculture, 
notwithstanding the fact that monopoly organisations in the 
strict sense of the word are very little developed there. The 
laws of mass production, of an accelerated accumulation of 

1 Capital, Vol. Ill, pp. 878-879. 

2 Ibid., pp. 884-885. 


capital, etc., apply to agriculture much less than to industry. 
Thus to the disproportion between the branches of produc- 
tion of capitalist economy in general, as emanating from the 
anarchical economic structure of capitalism and continuing to 
exist despite the processes of cartelisation, trustification, etc., 
there is added the specific and ever growing disproportion 
between industry and agriculture. It is not surprising that 
this latter disproportion has become most pronounced in recent 
times. We have noted above the intensive growth of produc- 
tive forces in the last decade. The trans-oceanic countries, in 
the first place the United States, have developed their own 
industry, and consequently their own demand for an ever 
growing amount of agricultural products. The same took 
place in other agrarian countries. In Austria-Hungary, for 
instance, the import of breadstuffs, etc., outgrew their export 
in a very short time. The general rise of the productive forces 
of world capitalism in the last decade has so shifted and 
changed the interrelation between industrial and agricultural 
production that here, too, quantitative changes have reached 
a point beyond which qualitative changes begin. This is why 
the epoch of dearth, of a general rise in the prices of agricul- 
tural products ever3nvhere, is a phenomenon of the most recent 
phase of capitalism The rise in the prices of raw materials in 
turn reveals itself directly in the rate of profit, for, other condi- 
tions being equal, the rate of profit rises and falls in inverse 
ratio to the fluctuations in the prices of raw material. Hence a 
growing tendency on the part of the capitalists of the individual 
"national economies" to widen their markets for raw materials. 
The same process, however, which caused the sales markets 
to shrink immensely, affected in like manner the markets for 
raw materials, since the markets for raw materials have been, 
and are, mainly the same countries that serve as a "foreign" 
market for the sale of manufactured goods, i.e., the countries 
of a lower development, including the colonies. The interests 
of the capitalists of the various great powers clash here as 
strongly as in the competition in the sphere of sales. There is 
nothing surprising in this since the process of the reproduction 
of social capital presupposes the importance not only of those 
changes that may take place in the last phase of the circulation 


chain, M-C . . . P . . . C'-M', i.e., in the phase of sale, but 
also of those that may take place in the phase M-L, i.e., in the 
phase of purchasing means of production. A capitalist "pro- 
ducer" is not only a vendor but also a buyer. He is not a 
vendor and a buyer pure and simple, but a capitalist vendor 
and a capitalist buyer; the acts of buying and selling are 
included here in the formula of capital circulation. They are 
parts of that formula. Hence it is perfectly obvious that 
Franz Oppenheimer's theory concerning the "peaceful char- 
acter" of the buyers' competition and the hostile relations 
between vendors is entirely artificial.^ He takes as a basis for 
his argument the thesis that the vendor ordinarily brings into 
the market only one commodity, and that his fate is connected 
with that commodity alone, i.e., with its price, whereas, says 
Oppenheimer, "the buyer is interested in a great variety of 
goods and their prices, and his interests depend comparatively 
little upon each one of those commodities since the price of 
one commodity may rise while the price of the other falls," etc. 
Oppenheimer fails to realise the most essential point, namely, 
that a present-day buyer is largely a capitalist buyer. Personal 
consumption is relegated to the rear compared with productive 
consumption on the basis of a widening reproduction. For 
production purposes, however, a mass purchase of a compara- 
tively small number of commodities is required. As a rule, 
large masses of staple goods are being purchased, and one 
commodity often plays a highly important part. (Compare 
the importance of cotton for the textile industry.) ^ 

Thus there are no reasons why we should consider the 
struggle for raw material less acute, as Oppenheimer would 
wish us to do. The immense growth of competition in this 
field is a fact which takes on still greater significance due to 

1 See his reasoning on the causes of the war in Die Neue Rundschau, August, 
191S (Franz Oppenheimerr "Die Wurzel des Krieges"). His general view 
concerning the course of social development, and his "positive solution of 
the problem," which, in our opinion, do not go far beyond the views of 
Henry George and the bourgeois "land reformists," are expounded in his 
"critical" work entitled, Die Soziale Frage und der Sozialismus, Jena, 1912. 
No one but Mr. P. Maslov is under the strong influence of this economist. 

2 Even the "producers" in concrete produce more than one commodity, 
not to speak of vendors in general. Department stores are a case in point. 
By this we do not mean to deny the importance of specialisation. We only 
wish to rehabilitate the "besmirched reputation" of the buyers. 


the tendency of annexing territories containing deposits of 
coal, iron ore, copper ore, oil deposits, etc. Branches of indus- 
try that play an enormous role and that depend on natural 
conditions, are easily monopolised, and once they have fallen 
into the hands of certain "national" groups, they are lost for 
the others. Of course, this applies also to agricultural pro- 
duction in so far as there appears on the arena a consolidated 
"national" group which has at its disposal the means of "occu- 
pation." England's policy in Egypt, the transformation of all 
of Egypt into a gigantic cotton plantation furnishing raw ma- 
terial for the English textile industry, may serve as a striking 

It follows that the recent phase of capitalism sharpens the 
conflicts also in this sphere. The faster the tempo of capitalist 
development, the stronger the process of industrialisation of 
the economic life and urbanisation of the country, the more 
disturbed is the equilibrium between industry and agriculture, 
the stronger is the competition between industrially developed 
countries for the possession of backward countries, the more 
unavoidable becomes an open conflict between them. 

Here, too, capitalist expansion is a "way out" of contradic- 
tions that leads with impeccable logic to the decisive moment 
of imperialist policy — war. 

We have so far analysed the changes that have taken place 
within the conditions of the world circulation of commodities 
and which have extraordinarily sharpened the competition be- 
tween "national" capitalisms, and consequently also their 
aggressive policy. However, the changes that characterise our 
epoch are not confined to these spheres alone. The develop- 
ment of the productive forces of world capitalism has brought 
to the fore other forms of international economic relations. 
We have in mind the international movement of capital values, 
which we shall presently analyse. 


World Movement of Capital, and Change in the Economic 
Forms of International Connections 

I. Overproduction of capital and its growth. 2. Moving 


Capital export and loans. 5. Capital export and commercial 
TREATIES. 6. Capital export and commodity export. 7. Sharp- 
ening OF competition for capital INVESTMENT SPHERES ; CAPITAL- 
IST expansion. 

The international movement of capital may be looked upon 
from the point of view of the country that exports, or from 
the point of view of the country that imports capital. 

The export of capital from a country presupposes an over- 
production of capital in that country, an overaccumulation of 
capital. The overproduction would be absolute were the in- 
crement of capital to yield nothing from the capitalist point 
of view, namely, if capital, C, having increased to C+AC, 
were to yield as much profit as it would without the increment 
AC.^ For the export of capital, however, it is not necessary 
that overproduction should have reached that limit. "If capi- 
tal is sent to foreign countries, it is not done because there 
is absolutely no employment to be had for it at home. It is 
done because it can be employed at a higher rate of profit in 
a foreign country." ^ It is therefore easy to understand why 
we observe capital export almost throughout the history of the 
development of capitalism. However, it is only in the last 
decades that capital export has acquired an extraordinary sig- 
nificance, the like of which it never had before. The specific 
weight of this form of international economic intercourse has 
so increased, that to a certain degree we may even speak of a 
new type of economic interrelationship between countries. 

Two sets of causes have been and are operating here. In the 
first place, the accumulation of capital proceeds with an un- 

1^ Capital, Vol. Ill, p. 295- 
• Ibid., p. 300- 



usually rapid tempo, due to large-scale capitalist production 
accompanied by incessant technical progress which makes 
gigantic strides and increases the productive power of labour, 
and to the unusual increase in the means of transportation and 
the perfection of means of circulation in general, which also 
hastens the turn-over of capital. The volumes of capital that 
seek emplo3mient have reached unheard of dimensions. On 
the other hand, the cartels and trusts, as the modern organi- 
sation of capital, tend to put certain limits to the employment 
of capital by fixing the volume of production. As to the 
non-trustified sections of industry, it becomes ever more un- 
profitable to invest capital in them. For monopoly organi- 
sations can overcome the tendency towards lowering the rate 
of profit by receiving monopoly superprofits at the expense of 
the non-trustified industries. Out of the surplus value created 
every year, one portion, that which has been created in the non- 
trustified branches of industry, is being transferred to the co- 
owners of capitalist monopolies, whereas the share of the 
outsiders continually decreases. Thus the entire process drives 
capital beyond the frontiers of the country. 

In the second place, high tariffs put tremendous obstacles in 
the way of commodities seeking to enter a foreign country. 
Mass production and mass overproduction make the growth 
of foreign trade necessary, but foreign trade meets with a 
barrier in the form of high tariffs. It is true that foreign trade 
keeps on developing, foreign sales grow, but this is taking place 
notwithstanding the difficulties and in spite of them. This does 
not mean, however, that the tariffs do not make themselves felt. 
Their influence is, first of all, expressed in the rate of profit. 
Tariff barriers, making the export of commodities very difficult, 
do not interfere in any way with the export of capital. Obvi- 
ously, the higher the wave of duties, the larger, other condi- 
tions being equal, is the flight of capital from its home country. 

The protection of industry [!] does not stimulate foreigners to 
establish a factory inside the tariff frontiers. Only when the for- 
eign manufacturer and importer has lost part or all of his sales, 
does a moment arrive when he resorts to the establishment of fac- 
tories in foreign countries — ^an undertaking always connected with 
great expense and risks. Prohibitive tariffs bringing about such 


consequences are contained in the McKinley and Dingley Bills of 
the U. S. (1890 and 1897) '> in the Russian legislation of 1877, 1881, 
1885, and 1891; also in the French laws of 1881 and 1892.^ 

Tariff duties influence capital export also in another way. 
They themselves become an attraction for a capitalist. In so 
far as capital has been imported and begins to function in a 
"foreign" country as capital, it receives as much "protection" 
from the tariff as the capital of native businessmen.^ This in 
turn causes a tremendous increase in capital export. 

Capital export, however, must not be taken per se, without 
any connection with other highly important economic and 
political phenomena accompanying it. Let us glance at a few 
of the most significant of those phenomena. 

In case of state or municipal loans, the creditor country 
receives more than interest on the sums advanced. The trans- 
action is usually accompanied by a number of stipulations, in 
the first place that which imposes upon the borrowing country 
the duty to place orders with the creditor country (purchase 
of arms, ammunition, dreadnaughts, railroad equipment, etc.), 
and the duty to grant concessions for the construction of rail- 
ways, tramways, telegraph and telephone lines, harbours, ex- 
ploitation of mines, timberlands, etc. Such transactions are 
either included in the loan contract as one of its conditions, or 
they are an inevitable consequence of the entire "course of 
events." As an example we quote here a description of one 
of the concessions granted by the Persian government to the 
(Russian) Discount and Loan Bank of Persia for the con- 
struction of the railway line Julfa-Tabriz (1913): 

The line gage is Russian. The time of concession is 75 years. 
The Persian government has the option of redeeming the railroad 
after the expiration of 35 years; in this case it pays back all the 
capital that has been spent plus 5 per cent interest, provided the 
concession has yielded so much. The concession grants the bank 
the right to exploit coal and oil deposits within 60 versts on either 
side of the railroad, and also to construct branch lines leading to 
the mines. The bank also obtains the preference right to con- 
struct the railway line Tabriz-Kazoin, and the exclusive right to 

1 Sartorius von Waltershausen, I.e., p. 179. 
^Ibid., p. 180. 


construct a turnpike between the same points within eight years, 
also the right to exploit coal and oil deposits within 60 versts on 
either side of the road. After deducting from the profits of the 
railroad in favour of the concessionaire 7 per cent on all capital 
spent on its construction, the remaining net income is divided 
equally between the concessionaire and the Persian government. 
As to the oil and coal mines, the concessionaire pays to the Persian 
government 5 per cent of the net profits obtained from them. All 
the concessionaire's enterprises are free of taxes and other duties 
for all times.^ 

Among the "measures" intended to restrict foreign capital 
we find the right of the governmental power to prohibit the 
quotation of foreign loans and securities in general. Thus by 
a special law dated February 6, 1880, the French Ministry of 
Finance was empowered to prohibit the traffic in foreign securi- 
ties, also to refuse foreign loans to be quoted in the French 
stock exchanges (in 1909 the French government refused to 
grant a loan to Argentina because in 1908 the latter had placed 
an order with Krupp and not with Schneider in Creuzot; in 
1909, the same government refused to grant a loan to Bulgaria 
for lack of sufficient guarantees — the loan was secured by an 
Austro-German bank syndicate; for four decades German 
securities were not allowed to be quoted in France; in Sep- 
tember, 1 9 10, a loan was refused to Hungary; a loan was 
granted Serbia under the condition of placing orders with 
Schneider; after the Revolution, the Russian Government 
ordered cruisers to be constructed in France in return for 
loans, etc.).^ 

Aside from orders and concessions, definite advantages in 
regard to trade treaties may be secured together with the loan 
contract. (See, for instance, the Russo-French trade treaty 
of September 16-29, 1905, which was prolonged to 1917; the 
treaty of December 2, 1908, between Sweden and France; the 
treaty of 1908 between Sweden and Denmark; the tariff treaty 
of August 19, 191 1, between France and Japan; compare also 
the refusal of France to allow the shares of the United States 
Steel Corporation to be quoted on the Paris exchange in retali- 

^M. P. Pavlovich: The Great Railway and Maritime Lines of the Future, 
St. Petersburg, 1913, p. 143. 
2 S. Schilder, I.e., p. 343 ff. 


ation for duties imposed on wine, silk, and automobiles by 
the Payne Tariff of America in 1909.^ 

When capital is exported by private persons or by industrial 
and banking companies, this again increases the export of 
commodities from the motherland, for the enterprises thus 
created abroad represent a certain demand by themselves, and 
besides, they widen by their very activities the market that is 
mostly dependent upon them. One must bear in mind that 
"foreign" enterprises are, as we have seen in the first section, 
financed by the largest banks or bank trusts and are possessed 
of a colossal economic power.^ Here is one example. One- 
third of the land in the German colony of Cameroon is private 
property, but a very considerable part of this land belongs to 
two companies only: the South Cameroon Company holds 
7,700,000 hectares, the Southwestern Cameroon Company, 
8,800,000 hectares, an area six times the size of the kingdom 
of Saxony (1,500,000 hectares) and larger than Bavaria (7,- 
600,000 hectares).' Wherever the capitalists do not possess 
territory, they possess other forms of financial power. In 
constructing the Bagdad railroad, the Deutsche Bank not only 
uses German material in Turkey, but it also creates a whole 
network of market relations, making it easy for German goods 
to penetrate Turkey. Thus capital export creates favourable 
conditions also for the industry of its home country. 

Capital export unusually sharpens the relations between the 
great powers. Already the struggle for opportunities to invest 
capital, i.e., the struggle for concessions, etc., is always rein- 
forced by military pressure. A government or a "country" 
subjected to the manipulations of the financiers of the great 
powers ordinarily yields to that party which appears to be the 
strongest militarily. When some pacifists (particularly their 
English brand) try to influence the ruling classes by logical 
reasons, when they try to persuade them to disarm on the 
ground that commodities are supposed to find a market inde- 

1 Ibid., p. 353- 

2 Pavlovich cites a number of examples of how the banks act in the lealm 
of railway construction; they actually allow entire countries to be swallowed 
by capitalist sharks. 

5 Compare with a highly curious book entitled, Deutsche Colonialpolitik, 2nd, 
part, Staatsstreich oder Reformen. The author hides under the pseudonym Eiix 
Ausland-Deutscher, Zurich, 1905, p. 1318. 


pendently of the number of dreadnaughts, they will be cruelly 
disappointed. For the "peaceful" policies that were pursued 
before the war, and will be pursued after it, were always and 
everjnvhere reinforced by the threats of military power. To 
use a correct expression of the Englishman Brailsford, "the 
continuous war of steel and gold never ceases for a minute 
even in peace time." More graphically is this atmosphere of 
obdurate competition described by an eminent theoretician of 
German imperialism, Sartorius: 

The growing industrialisation of the world is a fact to be reckoned 
with by every policy of world economy [jede Weltwirtschaftspolitik]. 
... It is given to nobody to stop the course of development, and 
if a state would prohibit its subjects from establishing enterprises 
in other countries, this would only bring advantages to the business- 
men of a third state. It is therefore best of all to have your finger 
in the pie in due time [die Hand rechtzeitig im Spiele haben]. . . . 
The economic world does not stand still. One change precipitates 
another. There is always an opportunity for a strong nation to 
mix in. Here, too, the slogan "Carpe diem" is to be applied.^ 

If the pressure of military power yields concessions and 
various privileges, the further functioning of capital abroad 
also demands specific "protection." Formerly the centre of 
gravity lay in commodity export, whereby the exporters risked 
only their goods, i.e., their circulating capital. Now the situa- 
tion is totally different. What we have in a "foreign" country 
are large sums of money, particularly of fixed capital, invested 
in gigantic constructions: railroads stretching over thousands 
of miles, very costly electric plants, large plantations, etc., etc. 
The capitalists of the exporting country are materially inter- 
ested in "guardmg" their wealth. They are therefore ready 
to go the limit in order that they may retain the freedom of 
further accumulation.^ 

^ Sartorius von Waltershausen, I.e., pp. 190-191. 

2 "Capital is said by a Quarterly Reviewer to fly turbulence and strife, and to 
be timid, which is very true; but this is very incompletely stating the question. 
Capital eschews no profit, or very small profit, just as nature was formerly 
said to abhor a vacuum. With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 
10 per cent will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 per cent certain will 
produce eagerness; 5° per cent, positive audacity; 100 per cent will make it 
ready to trample on all human law; 300 per cent, and there is not a crime 
at which it will scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its 
owner being hanged." P. J. Dunning, quoted by Marx, Capital, Vol. I, note 
to p. 843. 


Where the exploited country is weak also militarily, "peaceful 
penetration" of capital very quickly turns into "peaceful occu- 
pation" or division, or else it entails an armed struggle between 
countries competing for capital investment spheres. The fate 
of Turkey in the light of Franco-German competition is 
very typical in this respect. We wish to quote, in illustration, 
the writings of one French and one German imperialist pub- 
lished long before the war. "The Turkish Empire has been 
overrun by German hordes" {hordes germaniques) "of traders 
and salesmen," says the Frenchman. 

Thus the network of German banks gradually spreads over the 
entire Ottoman Empire, supporting industry, seizing transport facili- 
ties, competing with foreign financial institutions ... in brief, 
those banks, with powerful political support [italics ours — N.B.] 
strive financially to establish German influence over the entire 

Thus a French bourgeois expresses indignation over the 
"German hordes." But a German bourgeois is indignant in 
the very same way: 

The French are systematically striving to make Turkey their 
slave debtor; up to the present they have advanced her two billion 
two hundred million francs. Of this sum, one-half billion was in- 
vested in railroads alone, France having constructed more railroads 
than any other nation. The most important Turkish harbours, like 
Constantinople, Salonika, Smyrna, Beirut, are in French hands. The 
lighthouses along the Turkish coast are in French hands. Last but 
not least, the most important bank of Turkey, the Ottoman Bank, 
operates in Constantinople entirely under French influence. Who 
then can escape the political consequences of such a powerful 
pressure of capital! French diplomacy very intensively utihses its 
privileged position in Turkey, particularly in recent times 1 ^ 

Obviously, capital export in its present volume and impor- 
tance is caused by the peculiarities of economic development 
in recent years. Looked upon from the point of view of the 

1 Dubief : "Le chemin de fer de Bagdad," in Revue economique Interna- 
tionale, 1912, Vol. ii, p. 7 ff. 

^Deutsche Kolonialreform, pp. 1396-1397. One must not forget that the 
book was written in 1905. Since then the interrelation of forces, and the 
map of the world, have undergone material changes. 


spreading of the organisational forms of modern capital, capital 
export is nothing but a seizure and a monopolisation of new 
spheres of capital investment by the monopoly enterprises of 
a great nation or — taking the process as a whole — by the or- 
ganised "national" industry, by "national" finance capital. 
Capital export is the most convenient method for the economic 
policy of finance groups; it subjugates new territories with the 
greatest ease. This is why the sharpening of competition 
between various states is most salient here. The internationali- 
sation of economic life here, too, makes it necessary to settle 
controversial questions by fire and sword. 


World Economy and the "National" State 

I. Reproduction of world capital and the roots of capi- 
talist EXPANSION. 2. Overproduction of industrial goods, 
underproduction of agricultural products, and overproduc- 
tion of capital as three facets of the same phenomenon. 3. 
Conflict between world economy and the limitations of the 
"national" state. 4. Imperialism as the policy of finance 
CAPITAL. 5. Ideology of imperialism. 

From the point of view of the ruling circles of society, fric- 
tions and conflicts between "national" groups of the bourgeoisie, 
inevitably arising inside of present-day society, lead in their 
further development to war as the only solution of the problem. 
We have seen that those frictions and conflicts are caused by 
the changes that have taken place in the conditions of repro- 
ducing world capital. Capitalist society, built on a number of 
antagonistic elements, can maintain a relative equilibrium only 
at the price of painful crises; the adaptation of the various 
parts of the social organism to each other and to the whole 
can be achieved only with a colossal waste of energy, under 
tremendous "faux frais" of this adaptation, which flow from 
the character of capitalist society as such, i.e., from a definite 
historical formulation of the development in general. 

We have laid bare three fundamental motives for the con- 
quest policies of modern capitalist states: increased competition 
in the sales markets, in the markets of raw materials, and for 
the spheres of capital investment. This is what the modern 
development of capitalism and its transformation into finance 
capitalism has brought about. 

Those three roots of the policy of finance capitalism, how- 
ever, represent in substance only three facets of the same 
phenomenon, namely of the conflict between the growth of 
productive forces on the one hand, and the "national" limits 
of the production organisation on the other. 



Indeed, overproduction of manufactured goods is at the same 
time underproduction of agricultvu-al products. Underproduc- 
tion of agricultural products is in this case important for us 
in so far as the demand on the part of industry is excessively 
large, i.e., in so far as there are large volumes of manufactured 
goods which cannot be exchanged for agricultural products; 
in so far as the ratio between those two branches of production 
has been (and is more and more) disturbed. This is why 
growing industry seeks for an agrarian "economic supplement" 
which, within the framework of capitalism, particularly its 
monopoly form, i.e., finance capital, inevitably expresses itself 
in the form of subjugating agrarian countries by force of arms. 

We have just discussed the exchange of commodities. 
Capital export, however, does not represent an isolated phen- 
omenon, either. Capital export, as we have seen, is due to a 
certain overproduction of capital. Overproduction of capital, 
however, is nothing but another formulation for overproduc- 
tion of commodities: 

Overproduction of capital [says Marx] never signifies anything 
else but overproduction of means of production — ^means of produc- 
tion and necessities of life — ^which may serve as capital, that is, 
serve for the exploitation of labour at a given degree of exploitation. 
. . . Capital consists of commodities, and therefore the overpro- 
duction of capital implies an overproduction of commodities.^ 

Conversely, when the overproduction of capital decreases, 
there is also a decrease in the overproduction of commodities. 
This is why capital export, in decreasing overproduction of 
capital, aids also in decreasing the overproduction of com- 
modities. (Let us note parenthetically that if, for instance, 
iron beams are exported into another country to be sold there, 
we have commodity export pure and simple; if, however, the 
beam-producing firm establishes an enterprise in another coun- 
try and exports its commodities to equip the enterprise, we 
have capital export; obviously, the criterion is whether the 
transactions of purchase and sale take place or not.) 

But even aside from simply "relieving the congestion" by 
exporting capital in commodity form, there is also a further 
connection between capital export and the decrease in the over- 

J^ Capital, Vol. Ill, pp. 300-301. 


production of commodities. Otto Bauer has very well formu- 
lated this connection. 

Thus [he says] the exploitation of economically backward coun- 
tries by the capitalists of a European country has two series of 
consequences: directly, it creates new spheres of investment for 
capital in the colonial country, and at the same time more selling 
opportunities for the industry of the dominating power; indirectly, 
it creates new spheres for the application of capital also inside of 
the dominating country, and increases the sale of the products 
of all its industries.^ 

If we thus consider the problem in its entirety, and take 
thereby the objective point of view, i.e., the point of view of 
the adaptation of modern society to its conditions of existence, 
we find that there is here a growing discord between the basis 
of social economy which has become world-wide and the 
peculiar class structure of society, a structure where the ruling 
class (the bourgeoisie) itself is split into "national" groups 
with contradictory economic interests, groups which, being 
opposed to the world proletariat, are competing among them- 
selves for the division of the surplus value created on a world 
scale. Production is of a social nature; international division 
of labour turns the private "national" economies into parts of 
a gigantic all-embracing labour process, which extends over 
almost the whole of humanity. Acquisition, however, assumes 
the character of "national" (state) acquisition where the bene- 
ficiaries are huge state companies of the bourgeoisie of finance 
capital. The development of productive forces moves within 
the narrow limits of state boundaries while it has already out- 
grown those limits. Under such conditions there inevitably 
arises a conflict, which, given the existence of capitalism, is 
settled through extending the state frontiers in bloody struggles, 
a settlement which holds the prospect of new and more 
grandiose conflicts. 

The social representatives of this contradiction are the vari- 
ous groups of the bourgeoisie organised in the state, with their 
conflicting interests. The development of world capitalism 
leads, on the one hand, to an internationalisation of the eco- 

^Otto Bauer: Die Nationalitdtenfrage und die Sozialdemokratie, Vienna, 
1907, p. 464. 


nomic life and, on the other, to the leveling of economic 
differences, — ^and to an infinitely greater degree, the same 
process of economic development intensifies the tendency to 
"nationalise" capitalist interests, to form narrow "national" 
groups armed to the teeth and ready to hurl themselves at one 
another any moment. It is impossible to describe the funda- 
mental aims of present-day politics better than was done by 
R. Hilferding. "The policy of finance capital," he says, "pur- 
sues a threefold aim: first, the creation of the largest possible 
economic territory which, secondly, must be protected against 
foreign competition by tariff walls, and thus, thirdly, must 
become an area of exploitation for the national monopoly 
companies." ^ The increase in the economic territory opens 
agrarian regions to the national cartels and, consequently, 
markets for raw materials, increasing the sales markets and 
the sphere of capital investment; the tariff policy makes it 
possible to suppress foreign competition, to obtain surplus 
profit, and to put into operation the battering ram of dumping; 
the "system" as a whole facilitates the increase of the rate of 
profit for the monopoly organisations. This policy of finance 
capital is imperialism. 

Such a policy implies violent methods, for the expansion of 
the state territory means war. The reverse, however, is not 
true; not every war or every increase in the state territory 
implies an imperialist policy. The determining factor is 
whether the war expresses the policy of finance capital, the 
latter term being taken in accordance with the above definition. 
Here, as ever3rwhere, we find some intermediary forms, whose 
existence, however, by no means vitiates the main definition. 
This is why attempts like those made by the well-known 
Italian economist and sociologist, Achille Loria, are funda- 
mentally incorrect. Loria, namely, has attempted to construct 
two conceptions of imperialism which, he alleges, contain 
"entirely heterogeneous relations" {des rilations tout a fait 
hetiroghnes). Loria distinguishes ^ between "economic" imperi- 
alism (I'impirialisme ^conomique, okonomischer Imperial- 
ismus) and "commercial" or "trade" imperialism {l'imp6rial- 

1 Rudolf Hilferding: Pinanzhapital, p. 412. 

2 Achille Loria, "Les deux notions de I'imperialisme,'' in Revue iconomique 
internaiionale, 1907, Vol. 3, p. 4S9 #. 


isme commercial, Handelsimperialismus) . The object of the 
former, he says, are tropical countries, the object of the latter 
are countries whose conditions make them suitable also for 
European colonisation; the method of the former is armed 
force, the method of the latter, peaceful treaties (des accords 
pacifiques) ; the former has no shadings or grades, in the latter 
they range from the maximum of full assimilation or a single 
tariff to incomplete forms, like preference tariffs between the 
colonies and the mother countries, etc. 

This is Loria's theory. It is quite obvious that it is made out 
of whole cloth. Both the "commercial" and the "economic" 
imperialisms are in substance the expression of the same ten- 
dencies, as we have seen above. A closed ring of tariff duties, 
and the raising of the latter, may not result in an armed con- 
flict immediately; they will, however, bring about such a con- 
flict later. It is thus obvious that we cannot contrast "peace- 
ful treaties" with "armed forces." (Peaceful treaties between 
England and its colonies mean a straining of the relations be- 
tween England and other countries.) Neither can we assert 
that "economic" imperialism is merely of a "tropical" nature. 
The best proof is the fate of Belgium, Galicia, and the prob- 
able fate of South America, China, Turkey, and Persia. 

To sum up: the development of the productive forces of 
world capitalism has made gigantic strides in the last dec- 
ades. The upper hand in the competitive struggle has every- 
where been gained by large-scale production; it has consoli- 
dated the "magnates of capital" into an ironclad organisation, 
which has taken possession of the entire economic life. State 
power has become the domain of a financial oligarchy; the 
latter manages production which is tied up by the banks into 
one knot. This process of the organisation of production has 
proceeded from below; it has fortified itself within the frame- 
work of modem states, which have become an exact expression 
of the interests of finance capital. Every one of the capital- 
istically advanced "national economies" has turned into some 
kind of a "national" trust. This process of the organisation 
of the economically advanced sections of world economy, on the 
other hand, has been accompanied by an extraordinary sharp- 
ening of their mutual competition. The overproduction of 


commodities, which is connected with the growth of large enter- 
prises; the export policy of the cartels, and the narrowing of 
the sales markets in connection with the colonial and tariff 
policy of the capitalist powers; the growing disproportion be- 
tween tremendously developed industry and backward agricul- 
ture; the gigantic growth of capital export and the economic 
subjugation of entire regions by "national" banking combines — 
all this has thrown into the sharpest possible relief the clash 
of interests between the "national" groups of capital. Those 
groups find their final argument in the force and power of the 
state organisation, first of all in its army and navy. A mighty 
state military power is the last trump in the struggle of the 
powers. The fighting force in the world market thus depends 
upon the power and consolidation of the "nation," upon its 
financial and military resources. A self-sufficient national 
state, and an economic unit limitlessly expending its great 
power until it becomes a world kingdom — a world-wide empire 
— such is the ideal built up by finance capital. 

With a steady and clear eye does it [finance capital] view the 
Babylonian confusion of peoples, and above all of them it sees its 
own nation. The latter is real; it lives in a powerful state, which 
keeps on increasing its power and grandeur, and which devotes all 
its forces to making them greater. In this way, the interests of the 
individual are subjugated to the interests of the whole — a condition 
without which no social ideology can live ; a nation and a state that 
are hostile to the people are tied into one whole, and the national 
idea, as a motive power, is subjugated to politics. The class con- 
flicts have disappeared; they have been annihilated, absorbed as 
they are in serving the interests of the whole. In place of the 
dangerous class struggle, fraught for the owners with unknown 
consequences, there appear the general actions of the nation which 
is united by one aim— the striving for national grandeur.^ 

Thus the interests of finance capital acquire a grandiose 
ideological formulation; every effort is made to inculcate it 
into the mass of workers, for, as a German imperialist has 
correctly remarked from his point of view: "We must gain 
power not only over the legs of the soldiers, but also over their 
minds and hearts." ^ 

1 Rudolf Hilferding, ^c, pp. 428-429. 

2 Die deutxhe Finam-Reform der Zukunft, part III of the book Staatsstreich 
Oder Reformen by Ein Ausland-Deutscher, Zurich, 1907, p. 203. 


Imperialism as the Reproduction of Capitalist 
Competition on a Larger Scale 


Imperialism as an Historic Category 

I. The vulgar understanding of imperialism. 2. Role of 
politics in social life. 3. Methodology of classification in 
social sciences. 4. Epoch of finance capital as historic 
category. 5. Imperialism as historic category. 

In the preceding chapters we undertook to prove that imperi- 
alist policies arise only on a certain level of historic develop- 
ment. A number of contradictions of capitalism are here tied 
up into one knot, which is cut by the sword of war, only to 
be tied again more tightly the next moment. The policy 
of the ruling classes, and their ideology inevitably arising from 
this stage of development, must therefore be characterised as a 
specific phenomenon.^ 

In the literature that floods the market at present, there 
prevail two, soi-disant, theories of imperialism. One sees in the 
modern policy of conquest a struggle of races. The "Slavs" 
or the "Teutonic" races are supposed to strive for domination, 
and all virtues and vices are distributed among those "races" 
according to the nationality of the author. Old and vulgar 
as this "theory" is, it persists with a tenacity of a prejudice, 
for it finds a very favourable soil in the growth of "national 
self-consciousness" among the ruling classes who are directly 
interested in utilising the remnants of old psychological strati- 

1 We speak of imperialism mainly as of a policy of finance capital. How- 
ever, one may also speak of imperialism as an ideology. In a similar way 
liberalism is on the one hand a policy of industrial capitaUsm (free trade, etc.), 
on the other hand it denotes a whole ideology (personal liberty, etc.). 



fications for the interest of the state organisation of finance 

A simple reference to facts shatters this theory, leaving not 
a single stone of the entire edifice. The Anglo-Saxons, of the 
same origin as the Germans, are their crudest enemies; the 
Bulgarians and the Serbs, pure Slavs, speaking almost the same 
language, find themselves on different sides of the trenches. 
The Poles are recruiting among themselves ardent partisans of 
both Austrian and Russian orientation. The same is happening 
with the Ukrainians, one section of whom is in sympathy with 
the Russians, while another is in S5mipathy with the Austrians. 
On the other hand, every one of the belligerent coalitions com- 
bines the most heterogeneous races, nationalities, tribes. 
Looked at from a racial point of view, what is there common 
to the English, Italians, Russians, Spanish and the black sav- 
ages of the French colonies, whom the "glorious republic" is 
driving to slaughter, just as the ancient Romans drove their 
colonial slaves? What is there common to the Germans and 
the Czechs, the Ukrainians and the Hungarians, the Bulgarians 
and the Turks who proceed together against the coalition of 
the Entente? It is perfectly obvious that not races but state 
organisations of definite groups of the bourgeoisie are conduct- 
ing the struggle. It is also perfectly obvious that one or the 
other grouping of the great powers is determined, not by a com- 
munity of certain racial tasks, but by a community of capitalist 
aims at a given moment. This is why the Serbs and Bul- 
garians, who only recently fought together against Turkey, 
have now split into hostile camps. This is why England, for- 
merly an enemy of Russia, is now exercising hegemony over it. 
This is why Japan keeps step with the Russian bourgeoisie, 
although only ten years ago Japanese capital fought with arms 
in hand against Russian capital.^ 

From a purely scientific, not falsified, point of view, the 
inadequacy of this theory is striking. Notwithstanding its 
obvious falsity, however, it is assiduously cultivated both in 
the press and in the universities, for the sole reason that it 

^The "racial theory" has been excellently ridiculed by Kautsky. See his: 
Rasse und Judentum, published during the war. [Published in English under 
the title Are the Jews a Race, 1926. — Ed.l 


promises no mean advantages for Master Capital.^ In justice, 
however, we must note that, to the extent that the various 
"races" are being consolidated and united in the iron fist of 
the military state, there appears a less vulgar but no less unten- 
able attempt to advance a territorial-psychological theory. The 
place of the "race" is here taken by its substitute, the "middle 
European," "American," or some other "humanity."^ This 
theory is also far from the truth, because it ignores the prin- 
cipal characteristic of modern society — ^its class structure, and 
because the class interests of the upper social strata are sub- 
stituted for the so-called "general" interests of the "whole." 

The second very widespread "theory" of imperialism defines 
it as the policy of conquest in general. From this point of 
view one can speak with equal right of Alexander the Mace- 
donian's and the Spanish conquerors' imperialism, of the im- 
perialism of Carthage and Ivan III, of ancient Rome and 
modern America, of Napoleon and Hindenburg. 

Simple as this theory may be, it is absolutely untrue. It is 
untrue because it "explains" everything, i.e., it explains abso- 
lutely nothing. 

Every policy of the ruling classes ("pure" policy, military 
policy, economic policy) has a perfectly definite functional 
significance. Growing out of the soil of a given system of pro- 
duction, it serves to reproduce given relations of production 
either simply or on an enlarged scale. The policy of the 
feudal rulers strengthens and widens feudal production rela- 
tions. The policy of trade capital increases the sphere of 
domination of trade capitalism. The policy of finance capi- 
talism reproduces the production basis of finance capital on 
a wider scale. 

It is perfectly clear that the same thing can also be said 
about the war. War serves to reproduce definite relations of 
production. War of conquest serves to reproduce those rela- 

^ "Scientific" literature of the war period abounds with monstrous examples 
of barbarous violations of the most elementary truths. All possible methods 
are being picked up to show the cultural bankruptcy and the inborn meanness 
of the enemy's "race" (minderwertige Nationen). A French magazine has 
published a so-called "investigation" earnestly proving to its readers that the 
German urine is one-third more poisonous than that of the Entente nations 
in general, that of the French in particular! 

2 See F. Neumann: Mitteleuropa. 


tions on a wider scale. Simply to define war, however, as con- 
quest is entirely insufficient, for the simple reason that in doing 
so we fail to indicate the main thing, namely, what production 
relations are strengthened or extended by the war, what basis 
is widened by a given "policy of conquest." ^ 

Bourgeois science does not see and does not wish to see this. 
It does not understand that a basis for the classification of 
various "policies" must exist in the social economy out of which 
the "policies" arise. Moreover, it is inclined to overlook the 
vast differences existing between various periods of economic 
development, and just at the present time, when all the pecu- 
liarities of the historical economic process of our days are so 
striking to the eye, the Austrian and Anglo-American economic 
school, the least historical of all, has built its nest in bourgeois 
economics.^ Publicists and scholars attempt to paint modern 
imperialism as something akin to the policies of the heroes of 
antiquity with their "imperium." 

This is the "method" of bourgeois historians and economists. 
They gloss over the fundamental difference between the slave- 
holding system of "antiquity," with its embryo of trade capital 
and artisanship, and "modern capitalism." The aim in this 
case is quite clear. The futility of the ideas of labour democ- 
racy must be "proven" by placing it on a level with the Lum- 
penproletariat, the workers and the artisans of antiquity. 

From a purely scientific point of view all such theories are 
highly erroneous. If a certain phase of development is to be 
theoretically understood, it must be understood with all its 
peculiarities, its distinguishing trends, its specific character- 
istics, which it shares with none. He who, like "Colonel Tor- 
rence," sees in the savage's club the beginning of capital, he 
who, like the "Austrian" school of economics, defines capital 
as a means of production (which in essence is the same thing) , 
will never be able to find his way among the tendencies of 

^ Clausewitz's declaration that war is a continuation of poEtics by other 
means, is well known. Politics itself, however, is an active "continuation" in 
space of a given mode of production. 

2 It is curious to note that even such scientists as the Russian historian, 
R. Wipper, have an unusual liking for "modernising" events beyond all 
bounds, for obUterating all historical marks. This is no surprise, for in very 
recent times Wipper has revealed himself as an unbridled chauvinist calumni- 
ator, finding hospitality at Mr. Riabushinsky's [Riabushinsky was a promi- 
nent Russian manufacturer. — Ed.'\ 


capitalist development and include them in one theoretical 
structure. The historian or economist who places under one 
denominator the structure of modern capitalism, i.e., modern 
production relations, and the numerous types of production 
relations that formerly led to wars of conquest, will understand 
nothing in the development of modern world economy. One 
must single out the specific elements which characterise our 
time, and analyse them. This was Havoc's method, and this 
is how a Marxist must approach the analysis of imperialism.^ 
/ We now understand that it is impossible to confine oneself 
to the analysis of the forms, in which a policy manifests itself; 
for instance, one cannot be satisfied with defining a policy 
as that of "conquest," "expansion," "violence," etc. One must 
analyse the basis on which it rises and which it serves to 
widen. We have defined imperialism as the policy of finance 
capital. Therewith we uncovered the functional significance of 
that policy. It upholds the structure of finance capital; it 
subjugates the world to the domination of finance capital; in 
place of the old pre-capitalist, or the old capitalist, production 
.relations, it put the production relations of finance capital. 
Just as finance capitalism (which must not be confused with 
money capital, for finance capital is characterised by being 
simultaneously banking and industrial capital) is an histori- 
cally limited epoch, confined only to the last few decades, so 
imperialism, as the policy of finance capital, is a specific 
historic category. 

Imperialism is a policy of conquest. But not every policy of 
conquest is imperialism. Finance capital cannot pursue any 
other policy. This is why, when we speak of imperialism 
as the policy of finance capital, its conquest character is self- 
understood; at the same time, however, we point out what 
production relations are being reproduced by this policy of 
conquest. Moreover, this definition also includes a whole series 
of other historic trends and characteristics. Indeed, when we 
speak of finance capital, we imply highly developed economic 
organisms and, consequently, a certain scope and intensity of 

1 The methodology of Marxian economics was brilliantly explained by Marx 
in his Einleitung zu einer Kritik der politischen Oekonomie, which was pub- 
lished by Kautsky as an appendix to tie latest edition of Zur Kritik der poli- 
tischen Oekonomie, Stuttgart, 1897. [In English translation: A Contribution 
to the Critique of Political Economy, Chicago, 1913. — Ed.} 


world relations; in a word, we imply the existence of a devel- 
oped world economy; by the same token we imply a certain 
state of production relations, of organisational forms of the 
economic life, a certain interrelation of classes, and also a 
certain future of economic relations, etc., etc. Even the form 
and the means of struggle, the organisation of state power, 
the military technique, etc., are taken to be a more or less 
definite entity, whereas the formula "policy of conquest" is 
good for pirates, for caravan trade, and also for imperialism. 
In other words, the formula "policy of conquest," defines 
nothing, whereas the formula, "policy of conquest of finance 
capital," characterises imperialism as a definite historical 

From the fact that the epoch of finance capitalism is an 
historically limited phenomenon, it does not follow, of course, 
that it has stepped into the light of day like Deus ex machina. 
In reality it is an historic continuation of the epoch of indus- 
trial capitalism, just as the latter was a continuation of the 
phase of commercial capitalism. This is why the fundamental 
contradictions of capitalism which, in the course of its develop- 
ment, are continually being reproduced on a wider scale, find 
their sharpest expression in our own epoch. The same is true 
of the anarchic structure of capitalism, which finds its expres- 
sion in competition. The anarchic character of capitalist so- 
ciety is expressed in the fact that social economy is not an 
organised collective body guided by a single will, but a system 
of economies interconnected through exchange, each of which 
produces at its own risk, never being in a position to adapt 
itself more or less to the volume of social demand and to the 
production carried on in other individual economies. This 
calls forth a struggle of the economies against each other, a 
war of capitalist competition. The forms of this competition 
can be widely different. The imperialist policy in particular 
is one of the forms of the competitive struggle. In the fol- 
lowing chapter we intend to analyse it as a case of capitalist 
competition, namely, competition in the epoch of finance 


Reproduction of the Processes of Concentration and Central- 
isation of Capital on a World Scale 

I. Concentration of capital. Concentration of capital in 


Struggle between individual enterprises; struggle between 
trusts; struggle between "state capitalist trusts." 4. Pres- 
TION. Absorption of similar structures (horizontal central- 
isation). Absorption of agrarian regions (vertical central- 
isation, combine). 

The two most important processes of capitalist development 
are concentration and centralisation of capital; they are often 
confused but must be clearly distinguished. This is how Marx 
defines these terms: 

Every individual capital [he says] is a larger or smaller concen- 
tration of the means of production, giving command over a larger 
or smaller army of workers. Every accumulation becomes the 
means of new accumulation. As the mass of wealth which func- 
tions as capital increases, there goes on an increasing concentration 
of that wealth in the hands of individual capitalists, with a resultant 
widening of the basis of large-scale production and of the specific 
methods of capitalist production. The growth of social capital 
is affected by the growth of many individual capitals. . . . Two 
points characterise this kind of concentration which is directly de- 
pendant upon accumidation, or, rather, identical with it [italics 
ours — N£.]. First of all, the increasing concentration of the 
social means of production into the hands of individual capitals, is, 
other conditions being equal, restricted by the extent of social 
wealth. In the second place, the part of social capital domiciled in 
each particular sphere of production is divided among many capi- 
talists, who face one another as independent commodity producers 
competing one with another. . . . This splitting up of social capi- 
tal into a number of individual capitals, or the repulsion of its 



fragments one by another, [Marx here has in mind the division 
of property, etc. — N.B.], is counteracted by their attraction. The 
latter is not simply a concentration of the means of production and 
command over labour identical with accxmiulation. It is the con- 
centration of already formed capitals, the destruction of their indi- 
vidual independence, the expropriation of capitalist by capitalist, 
the transformation of many small capitals into a few large ones. 
This process is distinguished from simple accumulation by this, 
that it involves nothing more than a change in the distribution of 
capitals that already exist and are already at work. . . . Capital 
aggregates into great masses in one hand because, elsewhere, it is 
talien out of my hands. Here we have genuine centralisation 
in contradistinction to accumulation and concentration.^ 

To summarise. By concentration we understand the in- 
crease of capital that is due to the capitalisation of the surplus 
value produced by that capital; under centralisation we under- 
stand the joining together of various individual capital units 
which thus form a new larger unit. Concentration and cen- 
tralisation of capital pass through various phases of develop- 
ment, which we must now survey. Let us note in passing that 
both processes, concentration and centralisation, influence one 
another. A great concentration of capital accelerates the ab- 
sorption of small-scale enterprises by large-scale ones; con- 
versely, centralisation aids the increase of individual capital 
units and so accelerates the process of concentration. 

The primary form in the process of concentration is con- 
centration of capital in an individual enterprise. This form 
predominated up to the last quarter of the nineteenth century. 
The accumulation of social capital is here expressed in the 
accumulation of the capital of individual entrepreneurs who 
oppose one another as competitors. The development of joint 
stock companies, which made it possible to use the capital of 
a considerable number of individual entrepreneurs, and which 
radically undermined the principle of individual ownership of 
enterprises, created the prerequisites for large monopolistic as- 
sociations of entrepreneurs. Concentration of capital assumed 
a new form here, namely, the form of concentration in trusts. 
Capital accumulation no more increased the capital of indi- 
vidual producers; it turned into a means of increasing the capi- 

1 Capital, Vol. I, pp. 690-691. 


tal of entrepreneurs' organisations. The tempo of accumula- 
tion increased to an extraordinary degree. Huge masses of 
surplus value, far exceeding the needs of an insignificant group 
of capitalists, are converted into capital to begin a new cycle. 
But even here the development does not stop. The individual 
production branches are in various ways knit together into 
one collective body, organised on a large scale. Finance capi- 
tal seizes the entire country in an iron grip. "National econ- 
omy" turns into one gigantic combined trust whose partners 
are the financial groups and the state. Such formations we 
call state capitalist trusts. Of course, the latter formations 
cannot be identified with the structure of a trust in the proper 
sense of the word; a trust proper is a much more centralised 
and less anarchic organisation. To a certain degree, however, 
particularly in comparison with the preceding phase of capital- 
ism, the economically developed states have already advanced 
far towards a situation where they can be looked upon as big 
trust-like organisations or, as we have termed them, state 
capitalist trusts. We may, therefore, speak at present about 
the concentration of capital in state capitalist trusts as com- 
ponent parts of a much larger socio-economic entity, world 

It is true that the early economists already spoke of the 
"accumulation of capital in a country," this being one of the 
favourite subjects, as witnessed, for instance, by the title of 
Adam Smith's principal book. At that time, however, the 
expression had a considerably different meaning, for "national 
economy," or the "economy of a country" by no means repre- 
sented a collective capitalist enterprise, a single gigantic com- 
bined trust — a form largely adopted at present by the fore- 
most capitalist countries. 

Parallel with the change in the forms of concentration went 
the change in the forms of centralisation. Where individual 
ownership of enterprises prevailed, individual capitalists op- 
posed one another in the competitive struggle. At that time 
"national economy" and "world economy" were only sum totals 
of those comparatively small units that were interconnected by 
the circulation of commodities and competed with each other 
mainly within "national" limits. The centralisation process 


consisted in small capitalists being absorbed by large ones, 
in the growth of large-scale, individually owned, enterprises. 
With the growth of large-scale enterprises the extensive char- 
acter of competition (within given territorial limits) decreased 
more and more; the number of competitors shrank with the 
growth of centralisation. On the other hand, the intensity of 
the competition increased tremendously, for the smaller num- 
ber of larger enterprises began to place on the market volumes 
of commodities unknown in former times. Concentration and 
centralisation of capital finally brought about the formation of 
trusts. Competition rose to a still higher stage. Where for- 
merly many individually owned enterprises competed with 
one another, there appeared the most stubborn competition 
between a few gigantic capitalist combines pursuing a com- 
plicated and, to a considerable degree, calculated policy. 
There finally comes a time when competition ceases in an entire 
branch of production. But the war for dividing up the surplus 
value between the S5nidicates of the various branches becomes 
fiercer; organisations producing manufactured goods arise 
against syndicates producing raw materials, and vice versa. 
The centralisation process proceeds apace. Combines in indus- 
try and banking syndicates unite the entire "national" pro- 
duction, which assumes the form of a company of companies, 
thus becoming a state capitalist trust. Competition reaches 
the highest, the last conceivable state of development. It is 
now the competition of state capitalist trusts in the world mar- 
ket. Competition is reduced to a minimum within the boun- 
daries of "national" economies, only to flare up in colossal 
proportions, such as would not have been possible in any of 
the preceding historic epochs. Of course, there existed com- 
petition between "national economies," i.e., between their rul- 
ing classes, also in former times. That competition, however, 
was of an entirely different nature, for the inner structure of 
those "national economies" was entirely different. "National 
economy" did not appear on the arena of the world market as 
a homogeneous organised whole endowed with unusual eco- 
nomic strength; inside of it absolutely free competition reigned. 
On the other hand, competition in the world market was ex- 
tremely weak. All this looks entirely different now in the 


epoch of finance capitalism, when the centre of gravity is shifted 
to the competition of gigantic, consolidated, and organised 
economic bodies possessed of a colossal fighting capacity in 
the world tournament of "nations." Here competition holds 
its orgies on the greatest possible scale, and together with this 
there goes on a change and a shift to a higher phase in the 
process of capital centralisation. The absorption of small 
capital units by large ones, the absorption of weak trusts, 
the absorption even of large trusts by larger ones is relegated 
to the rear, and looks like child's play compared with the ab- 
sorption of whole countries that are being forcibly torn away 
from their economic centres and included in the economic 
system of the victorious "nation." Imperialist annexation is 
only a case of the general capitalist tendency towards central- 
isation of capital, a case of its centralisation on that maximum 
scale which corresponds to the competition of state capitalist 
trusts. The arena of this combat is world economy; its eco- 
nomic and political limits are a world trust, a single world 
state obedient to the finance capital of the victors who assimi- 
late all the rest — ^an ideal of which even the hottest heads of 
former epochs never dreamed. 

One may distinguish two kinds of centralisation: the one 
where an economic unit absorbs another unit of the same kind, 
and the one which we term vertical centralisation, where an 
economic unit absorbs another of a different kind. In the 
latter case we have "economic supplement" or combination. 
At present, when the competition and the centralisation of capi- 
tal are being reproduced on a world scale, we find the same 
two tj^es. When one country, one state capitalist trust, ab- 
sorbs another, a weaker one possessed of comparatively the 
same economic structure, we have a horizontal centralisation 
of capital. Where, however, the state capitalist trust includes 
an economically supplementary unit, an agrarian country for 
instance, we have the formation of a combine. Substantially 
the same contradictions and the same moving forces are re- 
flected here as within the limits of "national economies"; to 
be specific, the rise of prices of raw materials leads to the 
rise of combined enterprises. Thus on the higher stage of the 


struggle there is reproduced the same contradiction between the 
various branches, but on a considerably wider scale. 

The actual process of development of modem world economy 
knows both these forms. An example of a horizontal imperial- 
ist annexation is the seizure of Belgium by Germany; an 
example of vertical annexation is the seizure of Egypt by 
England. None the less, it is customary to reduce imperial- 
ism to colonial conquests alone. This entirely erroneous con- 
ception formerly found some justification in the fact that the 
bourgeoisie, following the line of least resistance, tended to 
widen its territory by the seizure of free lands that offered little 
resistance. Now, however, the time has come for a funda- 
mental redivision. Just as trusts competing with one another 
within the boundaries of a state first grow at the expense of 
"third persons," of outsiders, and only after having destroyed 
the intermediary groupings, thrust themselves against one an- 
other with particular ferocity, so the competitive struggle be- 
tween state capitalist trusts first expresses itself in a struggle 
for free lands, for the jtts primi occupantis, then it stages a 
redivision of colonies, and finally, when the struggle becomes 
more intense, even the territory of the home country is drawn 
into the process of redivision. Here, too, development pro- 
ceeds along the line of least resistance, and the weakest state 
capitalist trusts first disappear from the face of the earth. 
This is the general law of capitalist production, which can 
fall only with the fall of capitalist production itself. 


Means of Competitive Struggle, and State Power 

I. Means of struggle between individually owned entee- 
JRISES. 2. Means of struggle between trusts. 3. Means of 


The growth of competition outlined in the last chapter re- 
duces itself to the fact that the continuous elimination of com- 
petition among smaller economic units calls forth a sharper 
competition among large economic units. This process is 
accompanied by curious changes in the methods of struggle. 

The struggle of individually owned enterprises is usually 
conducted by means of low prices; small shops sell cheaper, 
reducing their standards of living to a minimum; capitalists 
strive to reduce the production costs by improving technique 
and lowering wages, etc. When the struggle among individ- 
ually owned enterprises has been replaced by the struggle 
among trusts, the methods of struggle (in so far as it is con- 
ducted in the world market) undergo a certain change; low 
prices disappear in the home market, being replaced by high 
prices which facilitate the struggle in the world market; the 
latter is conducted by means of low prices at the expense of 
the high prices paid in the home market. The importance 
of state power grows: tariff rates, freight rates are taken ad- 
vantage of; the tremendous economic power of the trusts op- 
posing one another, both in the domestic and in the foreign 
market, allows them, under certain conditions, also to apply 
other methods. When a trust represents a large combined 
enterprise, when, for instance, it owns railroads, steamboats, 
electric power, etc., thus forming a state within a state, it can 
pursue a very complicated policy in regard to its competitors 
by regulating railroad rates, water transport rates, by estab- 
lishing prices for the use of electric power, etc., etc. Of still 



greater significance is the closing of an access to raw materials 
and to the sales market, as well as the refusal of credit. The 
road to raw materials is usually blocked where there is a com- 
bined cartel. Raw materials produced by enterprises belong- 
ing to the cartel are not sold to outsiders "as a matter of 
principle" (the so-called ausschliesslicher Verbandsverkehr); 
as to the sales markets, here the organisations belonging to the 
cartel agree to buy nothing from outsiders; moreover, this, 
under the pressure of the cartel, is made binding also for "third 
persons" who usually buy from the cartel (for which they 
sometimes receive premiums, reductions, etc.). We must 
finally note a lowering of prices and selling at a loss to stifle 
the competitor. The trust here declares that "it does not 
wish to make profit on the enterprise itself, that the struggle 
is conducted only to defeat the competitor, and therefore 
without any relation to self-cost. The lower limit is formed, 
not by the production costs, but by the cartel's capital power 
and by the strength of its credit; the question thus reduces 
itself to how long its members wUl be able to stand a struggle 
which, for the time being, offers them no gain." ^ In the home 
market this method is used to stamp out the final resistance 
of the opponent; in the foreign market it appears only as 
an increase of dumping. There are, however, still more strik- 
ing examples of the struggle. We have in mind the struggle 
among the American trusts. The principles applied here went 
far beyond what is permissible in organised government : crim- 
inal gangs were hired to destroy railroad tracks, to damage 
and blow up oil pipes; incendiarism and murder were prac- 
ticed; governmental authorities, including entire judicial bodies, 
were bribed on a large scale; spies were maintained in the 
camp of the competitors, etc., etc. — there is a plethora of 
material in this respect in the history of the giant American 

When competition has finally reached its highest stage, when 
it has become competition between state capitalist trusts, then 

^ Fritz Kestner: Der Organisationszwang. Eine Untersuchung uber die 
Kdmpfe zwischen den Kartellen und Aussenseitern, Berlin, 1912. Commenting 
on Kestner is HUferding's article, "Organisationsmacht und Staatsgewalt," in 
the Neue Zeit, 32, 2. 

2 Cf. Gustavua Myers: History of the Great American Fortunes, Chicago, 


the use of state power, and the possibilities connected with 
it, begin to play a very large part. The state apparatus has 
always served as a tool in the hands of the ruling classes of 
its country, and it has always acted as their "defender and 
protector" in the world market; at no time, however, did 
it have the colossal importance that it has in the epoch of 
finance capital and imperialist politics. With the formation 
of state capitalist trusts, competition is being almost entirely 
shifted to foreign countries; obviously, the organs of the strug- 
gle that is to be waged abroad, primarily state power, must 
therefore grow tremendously. The significance for capitalism 
of high tariffs, which increase the fighting capacity of the state 
capitalist trust in the world market, must increase still more; 
the various forms of "protecting national industry" become 
more pronounced; state orders are placed only with "national" 
firms; income is guaranteed to all sorts of enterprises, which 
present great risks but are "useful" from a social point of 
view; the activities of "foreigners" are hampered in various 
ways. (Compare, for instance, the stock exchange policy of 
the French government as mentioned in Chapter II). When- 
ever a question arises about changing commercial treaties, the 
state power of the contracting groups of capitalists appears on 
the scene, and the mutual relations of those states — reduced 
in the final analysis to the relations between their military 
forces — determine the treaty. When a loan is to be granted 
to one or the other country, the government, basing itself on 
military power, secures the highest possible rate of interest 
for its nationals, guarantees obligatory orders, stipulates con- 
cessions, struggles against foreign competitors. When the 
struggle begins for the exploitation by finance capital of a 
territory that has not been formally occupied by anybody, 
again the military power of the state decides who will possess 
that territory. In "peaceful" times the military state appara- 
tus is hidden behind the scenes where it never stops func- 
tioning; in war times it appears on the scene most directly. 
The more strained the situation in the world sphere of strug- 
gle — and our epoch is characterised by the greatest intensity 
of competition between "national" groups of finance capital — 
the oftener an appeal is made to the mailed fist of state power. 


The remnants of the old laissez jaire, laissez passer ideology 
disappear, the epoch of the new "mercantilism," of imperial- 
ism, begins. 

The tendency towards imperialism combines economic phenom- 
ena with a great political power. Everything is organised on a 
large scale. The free play of economic forces, not so long ago 
highly alluring to thinkers and men of affairs, dies out. There is 
an ebb and flow of migrating people everj^where, and that process is 
supervised by the state. The new economic and social forces require 
powerful protection both inside the country and outside of its fron- 
tiers; for this purpose the state creates new organs, great num- 
bers of officials and institutions. State activities are every- 
where enlarged by new functions. Its influence over the facts of 
home life and over foreign relations becomes more multifarious. 
The government would not decline directly to look after the inter- 
ests of its people [the term "people" must, of course, be under- 
stood conditionally when reading bourgeois economists — N.B.] at 
whatever point of the globe the interests may appear. National 
economy and politics are most closely interlocked. The breach be- 
tween this epoch and the epoch of old liberalism, with its advocacy 
of free play, with its doctrine of the harmony of interests, becomes 
ever wider. This makes one think that there is more cruelty and 
pugnacity in the world as a whole. The world is more united 
than ever: everything is contiguous to everything, everything is in- 
fluenced by everything, at the same time everybody jostles against 
everybody else, and deals blows right and left.^ 

If state power is generally growing in significance, the growth 
of its military organisation, the army and the navy, is particu- 
larly striking. The struggle between state capitalist trusts is 
decided in the first place by the relation between their military 
forces, for the military power of the country is the last resort 
of the struggling "national" groups of capitalists. The im- 
mensely growing state budget devotes an ever larger share 
to "defence purposes," as militarisation is euphemistically 

The following table illustrates the monstrous growth of mili- 
tary expenditures and their share in the state budget. 

iProf. Isayev, I.e., pp. 261-262. 


Cost of Army and Navy 







a 2 
















































4. S3 























United States of 




The present military budgets are expressed in the following 
figures: the United States (1914), $173,522,804 for the army 
and $139,682,186 for the navy, total $313,204,990; France 
(1913), 983,224,376 francs for the army and 467,176,109 
francs for the navy, total 1,450,400,485 francs (in 1914, 
1,717,202,233 francs); Russia (1913, counting only ordinary 
expenditures), 581,099,921 rubles for the army and 244,846,- 
500 rubles for the navy, total 825,946,421 rubles; Great 
Britain (1913-14), 28,220,000 pounds for the army and 48,- 
809,300 pounds for the navy, total 77,029,300 pounds; Ger- 
many (19 13, both ordinary and extraordinary expenditure), 
97,845,960 pounds sterling, etc.^ 

We are now passing through a period when armaments on 
land, on water, and in the air are growing with feverish rapid- 
ity. Every improvement in military technique entails a reor- 
ganisation and reconstruction of the military mechanism; 
every innovation, every expansion of the military power of 
one state stimulates all the others. What we observe here is 
like the phenomenon we come across in the sphere of tariff 
policies where a raise of rates in one state is immediately 

1 0. Schwarz: "Finanzen der Gegenwart," in Handworterbuch der Staats- 
wissenschaften. It must be noted that the author's figures of German and 
Austrian expenditures are incorrect, for they do not include the extraordinary 
budgets and the appropriations made only once; the figures for the U.S.A. 
do not include the "civil expenditure" of the individual states, so that the 
increase (33.5-56.9) is in reality much larger. 

2 We quote from The Statesman's Yearbook for 1915. 


reflected in all others, causing a general raise. Of course, here, 
too, we have before us only a case of a general principle of 
competition, for the military power of the state capitalist trust 
is the weapon to be used in its economic struggle. The growth 
of armaments, creating as it does a demand for the products 
of the metallurgic industry, raises substantially the importance 
of heavy industry, particularly the importance of "cannon 
kings" a la Krupp. To say, however, that wars are caused 
by the ammunition industry,^ would be a cheap assertion. The 
ammunition industry is by no means a branch of production 
existing for itself, it is not an artificially created evil which 
in turn calls forth the "battle of nations." It ought to be 
obvious from the foregoing considerations that armaments are 
an indispensable attribute of state power, an attribute that has 
a very definite function in the struggle among state capitalist 
trusts. Capitalist society is unthinkable without armaments, as 
it is unthinkable without wars. And just as it is true that not 
low prices cause competition but, on the contrary, competition 
causes low prices, it is equally true that not the existence of 
arms is the prime cause and the moving force in wars (although 
wars are obviously impossible without arms) but, on the con- 
trary, the inevitableness of economic conflicts conditions the 
existence of arms. This is why in our times, when economic 
conflicts have reached an unusual degree of intensity, we are 
witnessing a mad orgy of armaments. Thus the rule of finance 
capital implies both imperialism and militarism. In this sense 
militarism is no less a typical historic phenomenon than finance 
capital itself. 

With the growth of the importance of state power, its inner 
structure also changes. The state becomes more than ever 
before an "executive committee of the ruling classes." It is 
true that state power always reflected the interests of the 
"upper strata," ^ but inasmuch as the top layer itself was a 

1 Cf. the above mentioned book by Pavlovich. A more shallow variety of 
this theory is advanced by Kautsky when he asserts (in his Nationalstaat, 
imperialistischer Stoat und Staatenbund, also in numerous articles in the Neue 
Zeit during the war) that the war was caused — by mobilisation. This is, 
indeed, putting things on their heads. 

2 This is recognised also by a few burgeois sociologists and economists. 
Franz Oppenheimer, for instance, views the state as the organisation of the 
classes that own the means of production (in the first place the land) utilised 


more or less amorphous mass, the organised state apparatus 
faced an unorganised class (or classes) whose interests it 
embodied. Matters are totally different now. The state ap- 
paratus not only embodies the interests of the ruling classes in 
general, but also their collectively expressed will. It faces no 
more atomised members of the ruling classes, but their organ- 
isations. Thus the government is de facio transformed into a 
"committee" elected by the representatives of entrepreneurs' 
organisations, and it becomes the highest guiding force of the 
state capitalist trust. This is one of the main causes of the so- 
called crises of parliamentarism. In former times parliament 
served as an arena for the struggle among various factions of 
the ruling groups (bourgeoisie and landowners, various strata 
of the bourgeoisie among themselves, etc.). Finance capital 
has consolidated almost all of their varieties into one "solid 
reactionary mass" united in many centralised organisations. 
"Democratic" and "liberal" sentiments are replaced by open 
monarchist tendencies in modern imperialism, which is always 
in need of a state dictatorship. Parliament at present serves 
more as a decorative institution; it passes upon decisions pre- 
pared beforehand in the businessmen's organisations and gives 
only formal sanction to the collective will of the consolidated 
bourgeoisie as a whole. A "strong power" has become the ideal 
of the modern bourgeois. These sentiments are not "remnants 
of feudalism," as some observers suppose, these are not debris 
of the old that have survived in our times. This is an entirely 
new socio-political formation caused by the growth of finance 
capital. If the old feudal "policy of blood and iron" was 
able to serve here, externally, as a model, this was possible 
only because the moving springs of modern economic life drive 
capital along the road of aggressive politics and the militarisa- 
tion of all social life. The best proof may be found not only 
in the foreign policies of such "democratic" countries as Eng- 

to exploit the masses of the people. His formula to a certain degree ap- 
proaches the Marxian theory — with modifications that impair its value (plac- 
ing the emphasis on the "land," etc.). It is a curious incident that in 
polemic notes against Oppenheimer such an authority of German sociology 
and economics as Adolf Wagner admits to a large extent the correctness of 
Oppenheimer's formula, referring it, however, to the "historic" (!) state. See 
his article, "Staat in nationalokonomischer Hinsicht," in Handworterbuch der 
Stoat swissenschajten, 3rd edition. Vol. 7, p. 731. 


land, France, Belgium (note the colonial policy of Belgium), 
and the United States, but also in the changes that take place 
in their internal policies (militarisation and the growth of 
monarchism in France, the increasing attempts at attacking 
the freedom of labour organisations in all countries, etc., etc.). 
Being a very large shareholder in the state capitalist trust, 
the modern state is the highest and all-embracing organisa- 
tional culmination of the latter. Hence its colossal, almost 
monstrous, power. 


The Future of Imperialism and World Economy 

"Necessity" of Imperialism, and "Ultra-imperialism" 
I. Conception of historic necessity. Historic necessity 


PROGNOSIS. Economic conditions under which trusts are 


Tout comprendre — c'est tout pardonner^ says a French 
adage. Not every adage, however, expresses a correct thought. 
In this instance we deal with an obviously incorrect idea. To 
understand a phenomenon means to establish a causal rela- 
tion between it and another phenomenon or series of phenom- 
ena. From this it does not at all follow that a phenomenon cor- 
rectly understood must be forgiven under all circumstances. 
If this were so, then all phenomena labelled as "evil" in the 
language of "ethical personalities" are forever closed to human 
reason: since evil cannot be forgiven, obviously it cannot be 
understood. In reality matters are not as bad as that. On 
the contrary, only then can we appraise a phenomenon, i.e., 
characterise it as positive or negative, when we understand 
it. Consequently, even when we are by no means inclined to 
"forgive," we must first of all "understand." This elemen- 
tary truth is applicable also to historic events. To understand 
an historic event means to represent it as the consequence of 
a definite historic cause or historic causes; in other words, to 
represent it not as an "accidental" entity caused by nothing, 

1 To understand everything, is to forgive everytliing. — Ed. 



but as an entity inevitably flowing from the total of given 
conditions. The element of causality is the element of neces- 
sity ("causal necessity"). Marxism teaches us that the his- 
toric process, and consequently every link in the chain of 
historic events, is a "necessary" entity. To deduce political 
fatalism from this doctrine is absurd, for the simple reason 
that historic events are taking place not outside of but through 
the will of people, through the class struggle if we deal with 
a class society. The will of the classes is in every instance 
determined by given circumstances; in this respect it is not 
at all "free." However, that will becomes in turn a condition- 
ing factor of the historic process. If we eliminate the actions 
of people, the struggle of classes, etc., we eliminate the entire 
historic process. Fatalist "Marxism" has always been a bour- 
geois-made caricature of the Marxist doctrine, contrived by the 
theoreticians of the ruling class in order more easily to over- 
come Marxism. We have all heard the widely circulated 
sophism that Marxists predicting the inevitable coming of the 
post-capitalist order are like a party struggling for the coming 
of a lunar eclipse. On the other hand there has been a strong 
tendency among bourgeois opportunists, when they sought 
for a "strictly scientific" formulation of their desires, to wrap 
themselves in the cloak of that "Marxism," which, to them, 
elevates everything existing at a given moment to the rank of 
the absolute, and sees in the existing a limit that cannot be 
overstepped. Hegel's formula, "Everything that is is reason- 
able," was more than once utilised by such opportunists for 
their own purpose. Whereas for Marx the "reasonableness of 
everything existing" was only the expression of a causal rela- 
tion between the present and the past, a relation the under- 
standing of which is the starting point for the overcoming of 
the "existing," this "reasonableness" served for the oppor- 
tunists to justify and perpetuate it.^ Die Geschickte hat immer 
Recht, (history is always right), this is how a "Marxist," 
Heinrich Cunow, justifies his "acceptance" of imperialism.^ 

1 Marx once made a caustic remark about the "historic school" saying that 
"history reveals itself to them, as Jehovah, the God of Israel, to Moses, only 
a posteriori." This hits directly at the present-day renegades of Marxism. 

2 C/. Heinrich Cunow: Parteizusammenbruch? Bin ogenes Wort zum in- 
neren Parteistreit, Berlin, 1915. 


Every idea of overcoming it, he says, is only an "illusion"; the 
desire to systematise such ideas is a "worship of illusions" 
{Illusionenkultus) . Of course, nothing is more shallow than 
such an interpretation of Marxism. An excellent reply to 
Cunow is contained in Marx's answer to the bourgeois econ- 
omist, Burke. 

"The laws of commerce" (the latter said) "are the laws of 
nature and therefore the laws of God," to which Marx replied: 
"In view of the abominable lack of principle that we see on all 
hands to-day, and in view of the devout faith in 'the laws of 
commerce,' it is our boundless duty again and again to stig- 
matise the Burkes whose only difference from their successors 
was that they had talent ! " ^ 

But if things existing historically are subject to various 
estimations, what is it then that determines "practice"? 
Where are the limits of the achievable? To answer these 
questions more fully let us suppose two extreme cases. Let 
us first assume that we are dealing with a feebly developed 
proletariat in a country that has only just started on the road 
of capitalist development. The social classes in such a coun- 
try still represent an unorganised mass. The proletariat itself 
has not yet become what Marx terms a "class for itself." 
The economic development is so weak that there are no objec- 
tive conditions for the organisation of the economic life on a 
social scale. In such a case, we can say outright that there 
is an absence of prerequisites necessary for the overcoming 
of capitalist contradictions. While recognising in principle the 
conditional existence of capitalism, the Marxists at the same 
time point out that once it is impossible to divert social devel- 
opment from the capitalist tracks, what remains to be done is 
to reckon with the future of capitalist development and to 
organise the forces for the active overcoming of capitalism in 
the future, utilising at present the comparative progressiveness 
of the latter, fighting against the remnants of feudalism that 
hamper social progress, etc. There are, consequently, two 
decisive moments determining the foundations of "practical 
activity": First an "analysis of objective conditions," i.e., of a 
given state of economic development; second, an analysis of 

1 Capital, Vol. I, p. 843. 


the specific social weight of the progressive social force itself, 
which of course is connected with the first moment. It is 
under conditions just pictured that Marxists speak of the 
necessity of capitalism, meaning the relative impossibility of 
overcoming it. 

Let us now assume, secondly, that we deal with a highly 
developed capitalist organism, which makes the introduction 
of a planned course of social production possible; let us also 
assume the interrelation of social forces to be such that a 
considerable portion of the population belongs to the most 
progressive class. Under such conditions it is perfectly absurd 
to place the emphasis on capitalism as the "necessary" stage 
of development. (The latter to be understood not in the sense 
that capitalism as well as its present stage are products of 
historic development, but in the sense that it cannot be 

If we now approach the question of the necessity of im- 
perialism (the impossibility of overcoming it), we realise at 
once that there is no ground whatever to treat its necessity in 
this sense. On the contrary, imperialism is the policy of 
finance capitalism, i.e., a highly developed capitalism implying 
a considerable ripeness of the organisation of production; in 
other words, imperialist policies by their very existence be- 
speak the ripeness of the objective conditions for a new socio- 
economic form; consequently, all talk about the "necessity" 
of imperialism as a limit to action is liberalism, is in itself 
semi-imperialism. The further existence of capitalism and 
imperialism becomes nothing more nor less than a question of 
the interrelation between mutually struggling class forces. 

There exists, however, the danger of another opportunist 
deviation, which is outwardly opposed to fatalism — a theory 
now being most assiduously developed in literature by Karl 
Kautsky.^ Starting from the correct notion that the further 

1 We have seen that the absolute impossibility of overcoming capitalism does 
not exist for Marxists. When, however, there is a relative impossibility (e.g., 
capitalism in its initial stages) , Marxists by no means undertake to "cultivate" 
capitalism, "to serve as apprentices in the capitalist system." This they leave 
to the Struves et tutti quanti. The Marxists will find other tasks. 

2 Karl Kautsky : Nationalstaat, imperialistischer Stoat und Staatenbund, also 
articles in the Neue Zeit for 1914-15. It must be noted that even earlier 
Kautsky took the point of view discussed in the text below. Such, for instance, 
was his stand on "disarmament." 


existence of imperialism depends upon the interrelation of 
social forces, Kautsky proceeds along the following line. 

Imperialism, he says, is a definite method of capitalist poli- 
tics; the latter can exist even without forcible methods, in the 
same way as capitalism can exist with an eight-hour work 
day instead of a ten- or twelve-hour day. As far as the work 
day is concerned, the proletariat meets the bourgeois tendency 
towards increasing the labour day with its proletarian tendency 
to shorten the number of labour hours, doing so within the 
framework of capitalism. In the very same manner, says 
Kautsky, it is necessary to meet the bourgeois violent tenden- 
cies of imperialism with the peaceful tendencies of the pro- 
letariat. Thus, Kautsky asserts, the question can be solved 
within the framework of capitalism. Radical as this theory 
may seem at the first glance, it is in fact a thoroughly re- 
formist one. Later we shall deal at length with the analysis 
of the possibility of "peaceful capitalism" a la Kautsky 
("ultra-imperialism"). At present we wish to advance only a 
formal argument. We assert, namely, that from the fact that 
imperialism is a problem of the interrelation of forces, it does 
not at all follow that it can disappear within the framework 
of capitalism, just as the fifteen-hour work day or unregulated 
wages, etc., disappeared. If the problem were to be solved so 
simply, it would be possible to "map out" also the following 
perspective: it is known that capitalism implies the acquisition 
of surplus value by the capitalists; all the new value n is 
divided into two parts, n=v+s; this distribution, looked upon 
from its quantitative side, depends upon the interrelation of 
social forces (the antagonism of interests was early formu- 
lated by Ricardo). With the growth of resistance on the part 
of the working class it is perfectly thinkable that v will increase 
at the expense of s, and that n will be distributed in a propor- 
tion more favourable for the workers. Since, however, the 
gradual increase of the proletariat's share is determined by 
the interrelation of forces, and since there is no limit set for 
this increase, the working class, having reduced the share of 
the capitalist to the size of mere salaries, peacefully "drains" 
capitalism in turning the capitalists into mere employees or — 
at worst — into pensioners of the collective social body. This 


idyllic picture is obviously a reformist Utopia. No less of a 
Utopia is Kautsky's "ultra-imperialism." 

Kautsky and his followers assert that the very process of 
capitalist development is favourable to the growth of elements 
that can serve as a support for ultra-imperialism. The growth 
of international interdependence of capital, they say, creates 
a tendency towards eliminating competition among the various 
"national" capitalist groups. This "peaceful" tendency, they 
say, is strengthened by pressure from below, and in this way 
rapacious imperialism is replaced by gentle ultra-imperialism. 

Let us analyse the question on its merits. Speaking eco- 
nomically, the question must be formulated as follows: how 
is an agreement (or a merger) of the state capitalist trusts 
possible? For imperialism, as we all know, is nothing but 
the expression of competition between state capitalist trusts. 
Once this competition disappears, the ground for the policy of 
imperialism disappears also, and capital divided into many 
"national" groups is transformed into a single world organi- 
sation, a universal world trust opposed by the world proletariat. 

Speaking in an abstract, theoretical way, such a trust is 
perfectly thinkable, for, generally speaking, there is no eco- 
nomic limit to the process of cartelisation. In our opinion, 
Hilferding is perfectly right when, in his Finanzkapital, he 

The question arises as to where the limits of cartelisation can 
actually be drawn. The question must be answered in the sense 
that there is no absolute limit to cartelisation. On the contrary, 
the tendency towards a continuous widening of the scope of cartel- 
isation may be observed. Independent industries are becoming 
more and more dependent upon the cartelised ones, and finally 
join them. As a result of this process, a universal cartel ought to 
emerge. Here all capital production would be consciously regu- 
lated from one centre, which determines the size of production in 
all its spheres. . . . This would be a consciously regulated society 
in an antagonistic form. This antagonism, however, is the antago- 
nism of distribution. . . . The tendency towards creating such a 
imiversal cartel, and the tendency towards establishing a central 
bank coincide, and out of their imification grows the great con- 
centrating power of finance capital.^ 

1 Rudolf Hilferding, l.c., p. 295. 


This abstract economic possibility, however, by no means 
signifies its actual probability. The same Hilferding is per- 
fectly right when he says in another place: 

Economically, a universal cartel to guide all production and thus 
to eliminate crises, would be possible; such a cartel would be think- 
able economically, although socially and politically such a state 
appears unrealisable, for the antagonism of interests, strained to the 
last possible limits, would necessarily bring about its collapse.^ 

In reality, however, the socio-political causes would not even 
admit the formation of such an all-embracing trust. In the 
following we shall attempt to prove this thesis. 

Comparative equality of positions in the world market is 
the first condition for the formation of a more or less stable 
compact. Where there is no such equality, the group occupying 
a more favourable position in the world market has no reason 
for joining a compact : on the contrary, it sees an advantage in 
continuing the struggle, for it has grown to hope that the com- 
petitor will be defeated. This is a general rule for the 
formation of compacts. It is just as applicable to the state 
capitalist trusts, with which we are dealing here, as it is in 
other cases. Two series of conditions, however, have to be 
taken into consideration here. 

First of all, purely economic equality. This includes equality 
in the cost of production. Equality in the cost of production, 
however, reduces itself in the final analysis to equality in 
labour values and therefore to a relatively equal level of 
development of productive forces. Thus equality of economic 
structure is a condition for the formation of agreements. 
Where the difference in economic structure is considerable, 
where there is, as a consequence, inequality in the cost of 
production, there the state capitalist trust that possesses a 
higher technique finds it unprofitable to enter into an agree- 
ment. This is why the highly developed industry of Germany 
— ^to take as an example the practice of agreements as we find 
it in the various production branches — prefers to appear iso- 
lated in the world market as far as its main lines are concerned. 
Of course, when we deal with a state capitalist trust, we take 

1 Ibid. 


into account a certain mean figure relative to all the produc- 
tion branches; we then proceed, not from the interests of the 
capitalist groups owning one or the other production branch, 
but from the interests of "organised industry," where after all 
the dominant note is being struck by the large-scale capitalists 
of the heavy industry, whose relative economic importance 
keeps on growing. Transportation cost is added to production 
cost proper. 

Aside from this "purely economic" equality, a necessary 
condition for the formation of stable agreements is equality 
of economic policies. We have seen above that capital's con- 
nection with the state is transformed into an additional eco- 
nomic force. The stronger state secures for its industries the 
most advantageous trade treaties, and establishes high tariffs 
that are disadvantageous for the competitors. It helps its 
finance capital to monopolise the sales markets, the markets 
for raw materials, and particularly the spheres of capital in- 
vestment. It is therefore easily understood why, when condi- 
tions of the struggle are being taken stock of in the world 
market, the state capitalist trusts reckon not only with the 
purely economic conditions of the struggle but also with the 
economic policies of the respective states. This is why even 
where there are relatively equal economic structures, but the 
military powers of the state capitalist trusts differ considerably, 
it is better for the stronger to continue the struggle rather than 
to enter into a compact or to merge with the others. If we 
view the situation of the struggling "nations" from this point 
of vantage, we realise that there is no reason to expect, at 
least in the more or less near future, an agreement or a merg- 
ing of the state capitalist trusts and their transformation into 
a single world trust. It is sufficient to compare the economic 
structure of France and Germany, of En^and and America, 
of the developed countries in general, with such countries as 
Russia (the latter, though not belonging to the category of 
state capitalist trusts, nevertheless add to the establishment 
of certain relations in the world market) to realise how far 
we are from a world capitalist organisation.^ The same may 

1 To avoid misunderstandings, we must emphasise that this assertion of ours 
by no means contradicts another one which says that the economic develop- 
ment of the foremost countries has created "objective prerequisites" for 


be said also as regards military power. If the present war has 
shown (at least so far) a comparative equality of the opposing 
groups, bne must not forget that we deal here with combina- 
tions of forces, each of which is by no means a stable entity. 
The question of equality must be considered not only stat- 
ically, but mainly d5mamically. The "national" groups of the 
bourgeoisie build their plans not only on what "is" but also 
on what "will probably be." They take into strict account 
every possibility of development which may allow a certain 
group to become superior to all the others in due time, although 
at the present moment it may be economically and politically 
equal to its competitor. This circumstance makes the lack of 
equilibrium still more actue.^ The great stimulus to the forma- 
tion of an international state capitalist trust is given by the 
internationalisation of capitalist interests as described in the 
first section of our work (participation in and financing of 
international enterprises, international cartels, trusts, etc.). 
Significant as this process may be in itself, it is, however, 
counteracted by a still stronger tendency of capital towards 
nationalisation, and towards remaining secluded within state 
boundaries. The benefits accruing to a "national" group of 
the bourgeoisie from a continuation of the struggle are much 
greater than the losses sustained in consequence of that 
struggle. By no means must we overestimate the significance 
of the already existing international industrial agreements. 
As we have noted above, many of them are very unstable, 
representing as they do businessmen's organisations of a rela- 
tively low tjTpe with a comparatively small centralisation, and 
often embracing highly specialised production branches (the 
bottle syndicate). Only companies formed in such spheres of 

the social organisation of production. As far as the possibility of social 
production is concerned, the foremost countries are all on a comparatively 
equal level. There is no contradiction between those assertions, because the 
basis of differentiation is not the same. 

1 The bourgeoisie understands this perfectly well. Thus, a German pro- 
fessor. Max Krahmann (in his book, Krieg und Montanindustrie, Berlin, 191S, 
first volume of the series, Krieg und Volkswirtschaft) says: "As in the present 
small [!] World War, so in the future great war, where North America and 
Eastern Asia will also have their word to say, it is entirely impossible for the 
group of agricultural states to fight the union of industrial states. . . . Thus, 
universal peace [der Weltjrieden] could be secured, were the industrial states 
able to come to terms [sich vertragen konnten]. Since this is excluded for 
the time being, then . " etc. (p. i<). 


production as are based on a natural monopoly (oil) possess 
comparative stability. Of course, the tendency towards inter- 
nationalisation would none the less triumph "in the last analy- 
sis," but it would do so after a considerable period of very 
stubborn struggles between the state capitalist trusts. 

But are not the costs of the struggle, i.e., military expendi- 
tures, perchance so large that it does not pay for the bour- 
geoisie to continue in this way? Is not such a plan as the 
proposed militarisation of England an expression of bourgeois 
"stupidity" which is blind to its own interests? Alas, it is 
not so. We must attribute this quality rather to the naive 
pacifists than to the bourgeoisie. The latter keeps its balance 
sheet in perfect shape. The truth of the matter is that those 
who make such arguments ordinarily lose sight of all the com- 
plex functions of military power. Such power, as we have 
seen above, functions not only in times of war but also in times 
of peace, to back up its finance capital in "peaceful competi- 
tion." The pacifists forget that the war burdens, due to the 
incidence of taxation, etc., are borne mainly by the working 
class, partly by the intermediary economic groupings which 
are being expropriated during the war (which means in the 
process of the greatest centralisation of production). 

It follows from the above that the actual process of eco- 
nomic development will proceed in the midst of a sharpened 
struggle between the state capitalist trusts and the backward 
economic formations. A series of wars is unavoidable. In 
the historic process which we are to witness in the near future, 
world capitalism will move in the direction of a universal state 
capitalist trust by absorbing the weaker formations. Once the 
present war is over, new problems will have to be "solved" 
by the sword. Partial agreements are, of course, possible 
here and there (e.g., the fusion of Germany and Austria is 
quite probable). Every agreement or fusion, however, will 
only reproduce the bloody struggle on a new scale. Were 
"Central Europe" to imite according to the plans of the Ger- 
man imperialists, the situation would remain comparatively 
the same; but even were all of Europe to unite, it would not 
yet signify "disarmament." It would signify an unheard of 
rise of militarism because the problem to be solved would be 


a colossal struggle between Europe on the one hand, America 
and Asia on the other. The struggle among small (small!) 
state capitalist trusts would be replaced by a struggle between 
still more colossal trusts. To attempt to eliminate this struggle 
by "home remedies" and rose water is tantamount to bom- 
barding an elephant with peas, for imperialism is not only a 
system most intimately connected with modern capitalism, it 
is also the most essential element of the latter. 

We have seen in the second section the peculiarities in the 
structure of modern capitalism and the formation of state 
capitalist trusts. This economic structure, however, is con- 
nected with a certain policy, namely, the imperialist policy. 
This not only in the sense that imperialism is a product of 
finance capitalism, but also in the sense that finance capital 
cannot pursue any other policy than an imperialist one, as we 
characterised it above. The state capitalist trust cannot be- 
come an adherent of free trade for thereby it would lose a 
considerable part of its capitalist raison d'etre. We have 
already pointed out that protectionism allows the acquisition 
of additional profits on the one hand, facilitates competition 
in the world market on the other. In the same way finance 
capital, expressing as it does capitalist monopoly organisations, 
cannot relinquish the policy of monopolising "spheres of influ- 
ence," of seizing sales markets and markets for raw materials, 
or spheres of capital investment. If one state capitalist trust 
fails to get hold of an unoccupied territory, it will be occupied 
by another. Peaceful rivalry, which corresponded to the epoch 
of free competition and of the absence of any organisation of 
production at home, is absolutely inconceivable in the epoch 
of an entirely different production structure and of the struggle 
among state capitalist trusts. Those imperialist interests are 
of such magnitude for the finance capitalist groups, and they 
are so connected with the very foundations of their existence, 
that the governments do not shrink before the most colossal 
military expenditures only to secure for themselves a stable 
position in the world market. The idea of "disarmament" 
within the framework of capitalism is particularly absurd as far 
as the state capitalist trusts that occupy the foremost positions 
in the world market are concerned. Before their eyes there 


always shines the picture of subjugating the whole world, of 
acquiring an unheard of field for exploitation — a thing termed 
by the French imperialists V organisation d'iconomie mondiale 
and by the German imperialists, Organisierung der Weltwirt- 
schaft. Would the bourgeoisie exchange this "high" ideal for 
the pot of porridge of disarmament? Where is the guarantee 
for a given state capitalist trust that a pernicious rival will 
not continue the "abandoned" policy in spite of all formal 
agreements and guarantees? Everyone acquainted with the 
history of the struggle among cartels even within the bounda- 
ries of one country knows how often, when the situation 
changed, when the market conditions changed, agreements 
dissolved like soap bubbles. Imagine a strong state capitalist 
trust like the U. S. waging war against a union of all other 
trusts — the "agreement" will then be shattered to pieces in no 
time. (In the latter case we would have a tremendous forma- 
tion constructed after the t5^e of an ordinary syndicate, and 
having the state capitalist trusts as its component parts. Such 
an agreement between the state capitalist trusts would not be 
able at once to skip all intermediary stages, to become a real 
centralised trust. A tj^e of agreement, however, that implies 
intense internal struggle is easily amenable to the influence of 
changing conditions.) We have taken a hypothetical case 
where formal unification is a fact. However, this unification 
cannot take place because the bourgeoisie of every country 
is by no means as naive as many of its bona fide pacifists who 
wish nothing more than to persuade the bourgeoisie and to 
"prove" to it that it does not understand its own advan- 
tages. . . . 

But, one may argue, this is exactly what Kautsky and his 
friends assvmie, namely, that the bourgeoisie will relinquish 
its imperialistic methods when it is compelled to do so by 
pressure from below. Our reply is that two possibilities are 
open in this case: either the pressure is weak, then everything 
remains as before; or the pressure is stronger than the "re- 
sistance," then we have before us not a new era of ultra- 
imperialism but a new era of non-antagonistic social develop- 

The entire structure of world economy in our times forces 


the bourgeoisie to pursue an imperialist policy. As the colonial 
policy is inevitably connected with violent methods, so every 
capitalist expansion leads sooner or later to a bloody climax. 
"Violent methods," says Hilferding, "are inseparably bound 
up with the very essence of colonial policy, which without 
them would lose its capitalist meaning; they are so much an 
integral element of the colonial policy as the existence of a 
proletariat divorced from all ownership is generally a conditio 
sine qua non of capitalism. To be in favour of a colonial 
policy and at the same time to talk about eliminating its violent 
^nethods, is a dream which cannot be treated with more ear- 
-lestness than the illusion that one can eliminate the proletariat 
while retaining capitalism." ^ 

The same thing may be said about imperialism. It is an 
integral element of finance capitalism without which the latter 
would lose its capitalist meaning. To imagine that the trusts, 
this embodiment of monopoly, have become the bearers of the 
free trade policy, of peaceful expansion, is a deeply harmful 
Utopian fantasy. 

But is not the epoch of "ultra-imperialism" a real possibility 
after all, can it not be affected by the centralisation process? 
Will not the state capitalist trusts devour one another gradu- 
ally until there comes into existence an all-embracing power 
which has conquered all the others? This possibility would 
be thinkable if we were to look at the social process as a purely 
mechanical one, without counting the forces that are hostile 
to the policy of imperialism. In reality, however, the wars 
that will follow each other on an ever larger scale must in- 
evitably result in a shifting of the social forces. The centrali- 
sation process, looked at from the capitalist angle, will 
inevitably clash with a socio-political tendency that is antago- 
nistic to the former. Therefore it can by no means reach its 
logical end; it suffers collapse and achieves completion only 
in a new, purified, non-capitalist form. It is for this reason 
that Kautsky's theory is by no means realisable. It looks 
upon imperialism not as an inevitable accompaniment of capi- 
list development, but as upon one of the "dark sides" of 
capitalist development. Like Proudhon, whose philistine 

1 Hilferding, l.c., p. 401. 


Utopia Marx fought so bitterly, Kautsky wishes to eliminate 
"dark" imperialism leaving intact the "sunny" sides of the 
capitalist order. His concept implies a slurring over of the 
gigantic contradictions which rend asunder modern society, 
and in this respect it is a reformist concept. It is a charac- 
teristic feature of theorising reformism that it takes pains to 
point out all the elements of capitalism's adaptation to condi- 
tions without seeing its contradictions. For a consistent 
Marxist, the entire development of capitalism is nothing but 
a process of a continuous reproduction of the contradictions 
of capitalism on an ever wider scale. The future of world 
economy, as far as it is a capitalist economy, will not overcome 
its inherent lack of adaptation; on the contrary, it will keep 
on reproducing this lack of adaptation on an ever wider scale. 
These contradictions are actually harmonised in another pro- 
duction structure of the social organism — through a well- 
planned Socialist organisation of economic activities. 


War and Economic Evolution 

1. Change in the economic relations among state capi- 

of small states). 2. world economy and economic autarchy. 
3. Change in the inner structure of state capitalist trusts 
(disappearance of intermediary groups, growth of power of 
finance capital, growth of state interference, state mo- 
nopolies, ETC.). 4. State capitalism and sharpening of strug- 
gle between state capitalist trusts. 5. State capitalism and 
the classes. 

The war, which was bound to break out because it had been 
prepared by the entire course of events, could not fail to exer- 
cise a colossal influence on world economic life. It has caused 
a complete change in every country and in the relations be- 
tween countries, in the "national economies" and in world 
economy. Together with a truly barbarous squandering of 
production forces, with the destruction of the material means 
of production and of the living labour power, together with the 
devitalisation of economy through monstrous socially harmful 
expenditures, the war, like a gigantic crisis, has intensified the 
fundamental tendencies of capitalist development; it has has- 
tened to an extraordinary degree the growth of finance capitalist 
relations and the centralisation of capital on a world scale. 
The centralising character of the present war (imperialist 
centralisation) is beyond doubt. First of all, there is a col- 
lapse of independent small states whether of high industrial 
development (horizontal concentration and centralisation) or 
of an agrarian t5^e (vertical centralisation) ; the latter have 
also absorbed some of the weaker (and similarly backward) 
formations — ^which, however, is comparatively unimportant. 
The independent existence of Belgium, a highly developed 
country with a colonial policy of its own, is becoming doubtful ; 
the process of a centralising redivision of territory in the 
Balkans is perfectly obvious; it is to be expected that the 



tangle of colonial possessions in Africa will be straightened 
out. On the other hand, we witness a very strong rapproche- 
ment (in the form of a lasting agreement between syndicates) 
of Germany and Austria-Hungary. Whatever the actual out- 
come of the war, it is already clear (and could have been as- 
sumed a priori) that the political map will be changed in the 
direction of greater state homogeneity — this being exactly the 
way in which the imperialistic "nationality states" (Nationali- 
tdtenstaaten) grow. 

If the general tendency of development, only intensified by 
the war, consists in a further process of centralisation, the. war 
has also considerably accelerated the appearance on the world 
arena of one of the largest state capitalist trusts, possessed of 
an unusually strong internal organisation. We mean the 
United States of America. 

The war has placed the United States in an unprecedented, 
exclusive position. With the cessation of the Russian grain 
export, etc., to Europe, the demand for American agrarian 
products has increased; on the other hand, there is a stupen- 
dous demand for the products of the war industry of the 
United States on the part of the belligerent countries.^ To the 
United States is also directed the quest for credit capital 
(foreign loans, etc.). Only recently America was a debtor to 
Europe; in consequence of the war the situation changes 
rapidly: America's debts are being repaid, and in the field of 
current accounts and short term credits America is becoming 
the creditor of Europe. This growing financial importance of 
the United States has another no less significant side to it. 
The secondary American states used to import capital from 
Europe, mainly from England and France, while the import 
of capital from the United States, itself an importer of Euro- 
pean capital, was of little importance. During the war, 
however, Canada, Argentina, Panama, Bolivia, and Costa Rica 

1 The growth of American export for the first four months of igij com- 
pared with the first four months of 1914, may be seen from the following 
figures (in millions of dollars): January, 1914, 204.2; January, 1915, 267.9; 
February, 173.9 and 299.8 respectively; March, 187.S and 296.5 respectively; 
April, 162. s and 294.S {Vestnik Finansov, No. 16). Mr. Pratt, the head of 
the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, characteristically remarked that 
the country faced a new period wherein the expression "domestic market" 
would seem archaic compared with the slogan of a world market {Vestnik 
Finansov, No. 16). 


have placed their loans not in Europe but in the United States. 
"The American countries have received small sums, but what 
is characteristic in this transaction is the fact that the enumer- 
ated countries had usually been clients of the London market. 
Thus New York has replaced London for the time of the war 
and has, as it were, given impetus to the realisation of the 
financial section of a Pan-American programme.^ The con- 
tinuation of the war, the payments for war orders and loans, 
later the immense demand for capital in the post-war period 
(when the reconstruction of fixed capital will have to be under- 
taken, etc.) will increase the financial importance of the 
United States still more. It will hasten the accumulation of 
American capital; it will widen its sphere of influence in the 
rest of America, and will rapidly make the United States a 
prime factor in the world struggle for markets.^ 

The example of the United States of America shows how a 
large state capitalist trust grows and becomes consolidated, 
how it absorbs countries and territories formerly dependent 
upon Europe. Simultaneously with the extension of America's 
world connections, we witness a highly intensive progress of 
"national consolidation." Stronger still are the "nationalising" 
tendencies inside of the belligerent groups: international com- 
modity exchange has been disrupted, the movement of capital 
and labour power from one belligerent country to the other has 
ceased, nearly all relations have been severed. Within the 
boundaries of "national" economy (of which the best example 
is Germany, for Germany is cut off from the rest of the world 
most completely) there goes on a hasty redistribution of pro- 
ductive forces. This relates not only to the war industry (it 
is a well known fact that even piano factories in Germany 
have been adapted to new tasks, namely, they manufacture 
shells), but also to foodstuffs and agriculture in general. Thus 
the war has unusually intensified the tendency towards eco- 
nomic autarchy, towards transforming the "national" economy 
into a self-sufficient whole, more or less isolated from world 

iM. Bogolepov: "American Capital Market," in Vestnik Finansov, 1915, 
No. 39, p. SOI- Cf. his articles on the same subject in Vestnik Finansov, 
Nos. 37 and 38. 

2 At the very beginning of the war, Kautsky, in the Neue Zeit, called atten- 
tion to the growing importance of America. 


connections. Does it follow, however, that this tendency will 
continually prevail, that world economy will be split up into a 
number of independent parts entirely isolated from each other? 
So, or almost so, does Utopian imperialism think. The ideolo- 
gists of imperialism strive towards a state of affairs where a 
country produces ever5^hing "by itself," where it "does not 
depend upon foreigners," etc. Let the country acquire the 
necessary "economic supplements," let it secure for itself the 
sources of raw material, and the task, they say, is achieved. 
Such arguments, however, will not stand the light of criticism. 
The imperialist gentlemen completely forget that the annexa- 
tionist activities they pursue imply the growth of economic 
world connections, the expansion of capital and commodity 
export, the increase of raw materials' import, and so forth. 
Thus, from a certain point of view, the policy of imperialism 
contains a contradiction: the imperialist bourgeoisie must, on 
the one hand, develop world relations to a maximum (remem- 
ber the dumping policy of the cartels), on the other hand, it 
erects a tariff wall between itself and the world; on the one 
hand it exports capital, on the other it cries over foreign 
supremacy; in a word, on the one hand it internationalises 
economic life, on the other hand it strives with all its might 
to bottle it up within "national boundaries." Still, notwith- 
standing all obstacles, the basis of international connections 
keeps on growing, hence Felix Pinner is perfectly right when 
he says : 

Remembering that the unusual expansion of foreign trade took 
place in the period of the most decisive nationalist economic policy, 
we must assume that the war, and the political sentiments of the 
great powers called forth by the war, will destroy international 
relations as little as this was hitherto done by the seclusion tendency 
[Absperrungstendenzen] } 

While the war is going on, the disappearance or the weaken- 
ing of economic connections in one place is accompanied by 
their growth in another. The dominant role played by the 
Germans in Russia has been discontinued, only to give place 
to the dominant role of the Entente powers. Nor is this all. 

1 Felix Pinner: "Die Konjunktur des wirtschaftlichen Sozialismus," in Die 
Bank, April, 1915. 


We must remember that the regulative principle of capitalist 
activity is the accumulation of profits. War is one of the 
"business operations" of the modern bourgeois; once it is 
over, he is as eager as of yore to establish old connections (not 
to speak of contraband operations during the war itself) . Capi- 
talist interest imperatively dictates these steps. The interna- 
tional division of labour, the difference in natural and social 
conditions, are an economic prius which cannot be destroyed, 
even by the World War. This being so, there exist definite value 
relations and, as their consequence, conditions for the realisa- 
tion of a maximum of profit in international transactions. Not 
economic self-sufficiency, but an intensification of interna- 
tional relations, accompanied by a simultaneous "national" 
consolidation and ripening of new conflicts on the basis of 
world competition — such is the road of future evolution. 

Thus if the war cannot halt the general development of 
world capital, if, on the contrary, it expresses the greatest 
expansion of the centralisation process, the war also influences 
the structure of individual "national" economies in such a 
way as to intensify centralisation within the limits of every 
"national" body and, while wasting productive forces on a 
colossal scale, it organises "national economy" in that it places 
it more and more under the combined rule of finance capital 
and the state. 

In its influence on economic life, the war in many respects 
recalls to mind industrial crises, differing from the latter only 
by a greater intensity of social convlusions and devastations. 
Those devastations express themselves economically, first of 
all, in the dying out of the middle strata of the bourgeoisie — 
a process that goes on also during industrial crises. When mar- 
kets are lost, entire branches of production perish; due to the 
absence of a solvent demand, connections hitherto firmly 
rooted are disrupted, the entire credit system is shaken, etc. 
Outside of the workers, however, the most afflicted elements 
are the middle strata of the bourgeoisie: they go bankrupt 
first of all. Large-scale cartel industry, on the contrary, does 
not feel unhappy at all. It is easy to gather abundant statisti- 
cal material to illustrate the rise in the profits of a whole 
series of the largest enterprises, particularly such enterprises 


as are close to army deliveries, i.e., in the first place enter- 
prises in the sphere of heavy industries (so-called "military 
profits"). In spite of the fact that the sum total of surplus 
value produced does not grow (on the contrary, it is diminish- 
ing, due to the fact that a vast number of hands are diverted 
to the army), the profits of the large-scale bourgeois groups 
keep on growing. This goes on to a large extent at the expense 
of the profits of other, small and uncartelised, groups of the 
bourgeoisie. (This increase in profits is, on the other hand, 
explained by the rise in the value of paper securities as a 
draft on the future.) Where there is a colossal expenditure 
of productive forces, where the fixed capital of society is being 
"consumed," ^ there is evident a shifting of groups and a rela- 
tive growth of the large-scale bourgeois categories. This ten- 
dency will not be ended with the war. If the large-scale bour- 
geoisie defends and fortifies its position during the war, the 
post-war gigantic demands for capital will facilitate the rapid 
growth of large-scale banks, and consequently the rapid growth 
of centralisation and concentration of capital. A feverish 
process of healing the wounds inflicted by the war will ensue: 
reconstruction of destroyed or wornout railways, shops and 
factory plants, machines and apparatus, rolling stock in the 
field of transportation, etc.; not the least among these activi- 
ties will be the mending and extending of the military state 
apparatus. This will increase the demand for capital to a 
very high degree, and will strengthen the position of banking 

While the finance capitalist groups are becoming stronger, 
there has increased tremendously the interference of the state 
in economic life.* 

Under this head comes the formation of state (production 
and trade) monopolies; the organisation of so-called "mixed 

iWar loans signify nothing but a consuming of the parts of capital that 
are being worn out; those parts are replaced by paper; the real values in their 
material form are wasted in a non-productive way by being fired into the air. 

2C/. Cunow: "Vom Wirtschaftsleben," in Neue Zeit, 33,2, No. 22 ("Der 
Bank- und Geldmarkt im ersten Kriegsjahr") . Also Dr. Weber: "Krieg und 
Banken," in VolkswirtschaftUche Zeitfragen (Krieg und Volksvoirtschaft) , Heft 
7, 191S, p. 27. 

3 In relation to Germany, see Johann Miiller: "Nationalokonomische Ge- 
setzgebung. Die durch den Krieg hervorgerufenen Gesetze, Verordnungen, Be- 
kanntmachungen, u.s.w.," in Jahrbiicher filr Nationalokonomie und Statistik 
for I 915. 


enterprises" (gemischte Betriebe) where the state or the munic- 
ipalities are partners to the enterprise, hand in hand with 
private syndicates and trusts; state control over the production 
process of private enterprises (obligatory production, regula- 
tion of production methods, etc.): regulation of distribution 
(compulsory deliveries and acceptance of goods; organisation 
of state "central distribution offices;" state warehouses for 
raw materials, fuel, foodstuffs; fixing of prices; bread cards, 
meat cards, etc.; prohibition of import and export of goods, 
etc.); organisation of state credit; lastly, state organisation of 
consumption (communal kitchens).^ 

England has established, besides, state insurance of ocean 
cargoes, state guarantee of merchants' promissory notes, state 
payments of sums belonging to English merchants abroad, when 
they cannot be obtained at the moment, etc. Similar measures 
have been introduced to a greater or lesser degree by all the 
belligerent states. 

The "mobilisation of industry," i.e., its militarisation, was 
achieved with least difficulty where the entrepreneurs' organ- 
isations, cartels, syndicates, and trusts were the strongest. 
Those employers' organisations, in whose interests the war is 
here undertaken, have placed all their regulating apparatus at 
the service of the imperialist state, to whom they are closely 
related. They have thus secured the technical-economic pos- 
sibility of militarising the economic life, beginning with the 
direct process of production and up to the subtleties of credit 
circulation. Where industry was organised into cartels, its 
"mobilisation" assumed grandiose proportions. 

"Large sections of economic life {des Erwerbslebens) ," says 
Mr. Pinner about Germany, "have for decades been very 
closely united, the character of their activities being almost 
collective; they have absorbed a large part of the national 
production and have placed it under single management: these 
are the cartels and trusts." ^ The aims of industrial mobilisa- 
tion as well as its significance have been stressed by the Eng- 
lish minister, Mr. Lloyd George, when he said on June 3, in 

1 Cf. Edgar Jaffe: "Die 'Militarisierung' unseres Wittschaftslebens," in Archiv 
fiir Sozialwissenschaft und SozialpoUtik, 1915, Bd. 40 B, Heft 3. 

2 Pinner: "Organisierte Arbeit," in Handels-Zeitung des Berliner Tageblatts, 
Aug. 23, 1915. 


Manchester, that the law relative to the defence of the realm 
gave the government full power over all the factories; that 
this law made it possible for the government to give precedence 
to work most urgent; that it gave the government a right to 
dispose of every factory, every machine, and that were a 
difficulty to be encountered, the ministry was well supplied 
with arms to make its orders effective.^ Similar measures have 
been adopted also in France ^ and Russia. Aside from direct 
control of state power over the production of private enter- 
prises, the war has established a number of state monopolies. 
In England the railways have become state property; Ger- 
many has introduced bread, potato, nitrate monopolies, etc., 
and has a number of others in prospect (this we shall treat 
later) ; even the coal industry is turning into a "mixed cartel" 
where a syndicate co-operates with the government.^ In all 
these cases the government directly intervenes in the sphere 
of production; there is, however, another and very effective 
governmental intervention through credit relations. Typical 
for the latter is the "financial mobilisation" and related opera- 
tions in Germany. Even at the beginning of the war the 
Reichsbank operated through a series of other large banks; 
later its activities in this respect were greatly augmented. The 
so-called "loan banks" (Darlekenskassen) , as state institutions 
dependent upon the Reichsbank, soon became a very important 
factor in the realm of credit.* A tremendous importance is 
attached to internal military loans that are being placed among 
the public directly by the Reichsbank. Thus the latter, an 
institution endowed with exceptional importance in the eco- 
nomic life of Germany even before the war, has grown tre- 
mendously in importance, becoming as it did a strong centre 
for the attraction of available portions of capital. On the 
other hand, it grows also as an institution that finances the 
ever increasing state enterprises and other state economic or- 
ganisations. The central banking institute of the government 

^ We quote from the Vestnik Finansov, igij, No. 24, p. 518. 

2 Cj. Yves Guyot: "Les Problemes economiques apres la guerre," in Journal 
des iconomistes, Aug. 15, iQiJ. 

^ Cf. E. Meyer: "Die Drohung mit dem Zwangssyndikat," in Neue Zeit, 
33,2, No. 18; also "Die Bergwerksdebatte im Reichstag," in Handels-Zeititng 
des Berliner Tageblatts, No. 43s, Aug. 26, 

•*Dr. Weber: Krieg und Banken, p. 14. 


thus becomes the "golden head" of the entire state capitalist 

One must not think that this evolution is confined to Ger- 
many alone. Mutatis mutandis the same process is taking 
place in all the belligerent countries (also in the «on-belliger- 
ent ones, but to a lesser degree). We must dwell here on one 
question that seems to us of unusual importance, namely, on the 
question of state monopolies and their future. 

"According to calculations," said Dr. Helfferich in the 
Reichstag in August of this year, "the general cost of this 
world war for all its participants must be estimated as equal 
to some 300 million marks a day, i.e., to something like 100 
billion marks" (Hear, Hear!). "This is such a gigantic de- 
struction and shifting of values as world history has never 
known." ^ It is needless to say that the figures quoted by the 
"Marshal of Finance," Dr. Helfferich, give no idea as to the 
real "general cost of the war," for they speak only of the im- 
mediate war expenditures made by the states. However, in 
this connection we are interested in these particular expendi- 
tures, and it will not be out of place to quote a few more 
detailed figures concerning military loans. The states are also 
spending part of their ordinary income on the war, still the 
following figures may give some idea as to the size of the 
military expenditures.^ We use the computations quoted in 
No. 44, Vestnik Finansov for 1915. We must emphasise, 
however, that the figures here quoted tell us only about the 
war loans of the six largest states, whereas the number of states 
involved in the war is twelve. Where such unprecedented 
expenditures are made, and for no other purpose but for the 
further destruction of values, the state debt must grow enor- 

iWe quote from the Vorwarts of Aug. 21, igij. 

2 Those figures are insufficient also in another respect: the states resort to 
the printing press, i.e., they issue paper money in increasing quantites, which 
is also an internal loan, but without interest. The table indicates that up to 
August, jgis, Austria-Hungary obtained some 13 bilhon crowns (and since 
the figures relating to Germany are brought up to, and include, September, 
191S, one may assume that the figures concerning Austria-Hungary extend up 
to October), whereas the military expenditures of the Austro-Hungarian gov- 
ernment amounted up to the end of August to nearly 18 billion crowns, and 
up to the end of September to more than 19 billion crowns. Obviously, there 
must have been some sources to cover the expenses! There is no doubt, 
therefore, that the figures quoted in the table are considerably below the 
actual ones. 







(in millions of 

o o o ^ 

O tN 00 (4 

00 fO M 

Tf tn w 

P) PI M 



5.5% loan, 

Nov., 1914 . . 
6% loan, 

Nov., i9«4 .. 
5.5% loan. 

May, 1915 . . 
6% loan, 

June, 1915 .. 
6% loan in 



Nov., 1914 . . 

July, 1915. •- 
Current Debts. . 



(in millions of 

N f) H ^ 

Tj. 0^ w M rn 

m >^ 0. (sf ^t 



5% loan, 

Sept., 1914.. 
5% obligation, 

Sept., 1914.. 
5% loan, 

Feb., 1915 .. 
5% loan, 

Sept., 1915 . . 



(in thousands of 


00 \n 

00 n 
6 6 *o 

00 N 




4.5% loan, 

Dec, 1914 . . 
5% loan, 

July, 1915 .. 
Loans from 





(in thousands of 














5% loan, 
with obliga- 
tory dis- 
count at 
State Bank . . 

5% loan, 
Oct., 1914 .. 

5% loan, 
Feb., 1915 .. 

S.s% loan 
May, 1915- • • 

4% series 
Aug., 1914 .. 

4% series. 
Mar., 1915 .. 

Treasury notes 
discounted in 


Same in 


Currency loan, 

April, 191S . . 
5.5 % loan, 






(in thousands of 

a 00000 
0^ o_, 
0" 0" 0" « w 
fn r^ * in in 
ui tn 00 C4 N M 
tC tC N m' w 


Bank of France 

Loans by 
France's Al- 
lies, dis- 
counted by 

3.5% loan, 
July, 1914 . . 


English loans . . 
U. S. A. loans.. 



(in thousands of pounds 

000 00 

0^ vO 0^ 0^ 
0" p? in 4 
,n <^ CO in M 
1*5 m CI 



3.5% loan, 

Nov., 1914.. 
3% bonds. 

Mar., 191S .. 
4.5% loan, 

July, 1915 ■. 
S% American 

loan, Oct., 



1 jn 



mously and the financial organisation of the state is entirely 
deranged. The equilibrium is so seriously impaired that ad- 
ditional sources to replenish the treasury must be looked for, 
if the colossal expenditures which will remain even after the 
war (payment of interest on state loans, aid for the families 
of invalids, etc.) are to be covered. In Germany, to take only 
one country, the income of the state will have to be increased 
more than twice.^ It appears impossible to cover the expenses 
out of the usual sources of state income (state owned enter- 
prises, direct and indirect taxation), and the states will be 
compelled to extend their monopolies. The leading circles of 
the bourgeoisie become more and more reconciled to this idea, 
for in the final analysis the strength of the state is their own 
strength. This is what the "scientific" organ of the German 
banks has to say through the mouth of Dr. Felix Pinner: 

The basic differences of opinion which express themselves sharply 
as to monopolies in general, and one or the other monopoly in 
particular, have disappeared over night [ilber Nacht verschwtmden] , 
and almost everybody agrees that such proposed monopolies as 
monopolies on alcohol, kerosene, electricity [more precisely: elec- 
tric current — N.B.], matches, perhaps even coal, salt, potassium, 
tobacco, and insurance, are near realisation.^ 

Under such conditions the further expansion of monopoly 
tendencies is very probable. Gas production, as we know, is 
competing with the production of electric power, consequently 
a gas monopoly is also probable. More probable still is the 
expansion of state power over enterprises contiguous upon 
monopolies. When the coal industry is monopolised by the 
state, the production of pig iron is affected. Such examples 
could be quoted in large numbers. The question then arises 
as to whether all such proposals would not remain on paper, 
whether they would not encounter the resistance of the bour- 

1 Cf. Adolf Braun in Neue Zeit, 33, 1, p. 584. 

2 Felix Pinner: "Die Konjunktur des wissenschaftlichen Sozialismus," in Die 
Bank, April, pp. 326-327. On separate monopolies in Germany, see Adolf 
Braun: "Elektrizitatsmonopol," in Neue Zeit, 1915, Nos. 19 and 20; also 
Edmund Fischer: "Das Werden des Elektrizitatsmonopols," in Sozialistische 
M.onatshefte, p. 443 f .; partly Kautsky: "Zur Frage der Steuern und Mo- 
nopole," Neue Zeit, 1914-15, I, p. 682 §. 


We have just indicated the change of tone in relation to 
state monopolies. Of course, even now there are sub-classes 
of the bourgeoisie, whose interests are clashing in one or the 
other respect. It is a fact, however, that economic evolution, 
fortified at this point by the war, must and does lead to a 
situation where the bourgeoisie as a whole is more tolerant 
regarding monopolistic interference of the state power. The 
basic reason for this change is the ever growing closeness be- 
tween state power and the leading spheres of finance capital. 
State and private monopoly enterprises merge into one entity 
within the framework of the state capitalist trust. The inter- 
ests of the state and the interests of finance capital coincide 
more and more. On the other hand, a maximum of centralisa- 
tion and a maximum of state power are required by the fierce 
competitive struggle on the world market. The latter two 
causes on the one hand, and fiscal consideration on the other, 
form the main factors making for state organisation of pro- 
duction within capitalist society. 

The bourgeoisie loses nothing from shifting production from 
one of its hands into another, since present-day state power 
is nothing but an entrepreneurs' company of tremendous 
power, headed even by the same persons that occupy the lead- 
ing positions in the banking and syndicate offices. The differ- 
ence is that, under such conditions, the bourgeoisie receives 
its income, not from the office of a ssmdicate, but from the 
office of state banks. On the other hand, the bourgeoisie is 
gaining from such a shift, since only when production is cen- 
tralised and militarised, i.e., organised by the state, can the 
bourgeoisie hope to emerge victorious out of the bloody com- 
bat. Present-day war needs more than mere financial "fund- 
ing." A successful war requires that factories and plants, 
mines and agriculture, banks and stock exchanges — everything 
should "work" for the war. "Everything for the war," is the 
slogan of the bourgeoisie. The exigencies of the war, and of 
imperialist preparations for war, force the bourgeoisie to adopt 
a new form of capitalism, to place production and distribution 
under state power, to destroy completely old bourgeois indi- 

Of course, not all war time measures will remain after the 


war. Such measures as bread and meat rations, the ban on 
the production of a number of commodities, the ban on exports, 
etc., will disappear with the conclusion of peace. There is no 
doubt, however, that the tendency of the state to take hold 
of production will keep on increasing. Co-operation between 
the state and private capitalist monopolies after the type of 
"mixed enterprises" will probably be introduced in a number 
of industries; in military industries, the purely state t57pe of 
production will probably remain. Cunow very correctly de- 
fines the future of the national economies as "domination of 
banking financiers, growth of international concentration, in- 
crease of state control and state enterprises."^ 

The processes of industrial organisation and of the increase 
in the economic activities of the state raises the general ques- 
tion as to the social meaning of this — to use Professor Jaffe's 
expression — change in the very principle of the economic struc- 
ture. So-called State Socialists, whose adherents are recruited 
mainly from the councils of the German university professors, 
were the first to feel a rise of spirits. Karl Ballod in full 
earnestness speaks of the rebirth of Utopia, assuming as he 
does that state monopolies, etc., by themselves introduce a 
new structure of production.^ Jaffe says that the militarisa- 
tion of economic life differs from Socialism mainly in that the 
term "Socialism" is connected with the "eudemonistic trend 
of thought," whereas in war the individual is entirely given to 
the service of the "whole." ' In the writings of Professor 
Krahmann we find a very curious argumentation. The future 
of the mining industry is thus visualised by the professor: 

The present powerful effect of all the measures in support of the 
state and in defence of the country, introduced by the state power 
because of military considerations, brings us, in the sphere of 
mining as well as elsewhere, considerably nearer to State Socialism. 
The road, however, is not that which, prior to the war, was feared 

iH. Cunow: "Die Weltwirtschaftgestaltung nach dem Kriege," in Corre- 
spondenzblatt der Generalkommission der Gewerkschaften Deutschlands, Sept. 
II, igis, No. 37. Cunow arrives at a wholely incorrect liberal conclusion 
in this article. 

2 Karl Ballod: "Einiges aus der Utopienliteratur der letzten Jahre," in 
Archiv fiir die Geschichte des Sozialismus und der Arbeiterbewegung, heraus- 
gegeben von Griinberg, 6. Jg. Heft I, pp. 117-118. 

sjaffd, I.e., p. 523. 


by some, expected by others. This is not internationally diluted 
but nationally consolidated Socialism. Such a Socialism we now 
approach. This is not democratic Communism, less so aristocratic 
class domination, but it is a nationalism that reconciles the classes. 
Since August i, 19 14, we have been approaching it with gigantic 
strides, such as would have been formerly considered entirely im- 

What is that picture of present-day "State Socialism" which 
appears to be a "change in principle"? From the foregoing 
analysis the answer seems to follow with irresistible logic: 
We have here the process of accelerated centralisation within 
the framework of a state capitalist trust, which has developed 
to the highest form, not of State Socialism, but of State Capi- 
talism. By no means do we see here a new structure of pro- 
duction, i.e., a change in the interrelation of classes; on the 
contrary, we have here an increase in the potency of the power 
of a class that owns the means of production in quantities 
hitherto unheard of. To apply to such a state of affairs a 
terminology fit for post-capitalist relations, is not only very 
risky, but also highly absurd. "War Socialism" and "State 
Socialism" are purposely being circulated with the direct inten- 
tion of misleading the people and of covering up by a "good" 
word a very ungainly content. The capitalist mode of pro- 
duction is based on a monopoly of the means of production 
in the hands of the class of capitalists within the general frame- 
work of commodity exchange. There is no difference in prin- 
ciple whatsoever whether the state power is a direct expres- 
sion of this monopoly or whether the monopoly is "privately" 
organised. In either case there remains commodity economy 
(in the first place the world market) and, what is more impor- 
tant, the class relations between the proletariat and the bour- 

iMax Krahman: Krieg and Montanindustrie, pp. 22-23. The opposite view- 
is maintained by Liefmann (see his Stehen wir dent Sozialismus ndher?). 
His book is generally directed against illusions ; this he does not wish to conceal. 

2 Were the commodity character of production to disappear (for instance, 
through the organisation of all world economy as one gigantic state trust, the 
impossibility of which we tried to prove in our chapter on ultra-imperialism) 
we would have an entirely new economic form. This would be capitaUsm no 
more, for the production of commodities would have disappeared; still less 
would it be socialism, for the power of one class over the other would have 
remained (and even grown stronger). Such an economic structure would, 
most of all, resemble a slaveowning economy where the slave market is absent. 


It follows from the above that (as far as capitalism will 
retain its foothold) the future belongs to economic forms that 
are close to state capitalism. This further evolution of the 
state capitalist trusts, highly accelerated by the war, is re- 
flected, in its turn, in the world-wide struggle among state 
capitalist trusts. We have seen above how the tendency to 
turn capitalist states into state capitalist trusts found its re- 
flection in the mutual relations of the states. Monopoly ten- 
dencies within the "national" body have called forth tendencies 
to monopolise territories outside the home state by means of 
annexations; this has sharpened competition and its forms 
terrifically. With the further progress of internal centralisa- 
tion, this acute situation will become more acute by leaps and 
bounds. Added to this is the rapid narrowing of the free 
field for capital activities. There is, therefore, not the slight- 
est doubt that the near future will be fraught with the most 
cruel conflicts, and that the social atmosphere will not cease 
being saturated with war electricity. One of the outward 
expressions of this circumstance is the extraordinary growth 
of militarism and of imperialist sentiment. England, the land 
of "freedom" and "individualism," has already established a 
tariff and is organising a standing army; its state budget is 
being militarised. America is preparing war activities on a 
truly grandiose scale. The same thing is going on in Germany, 
in France, in Japan, and everywhere. The period of an idyllic 
"peaceful" existence has sunk into Lethe; capitalist society 
is whirling in the mad hurricane of world wars. 

It remains for us to say a few words about the future of 
class relations, since it is perfectly clear a pruvi that the new 
forms of capitalist relations cannot fail to be reflected in the 
situation of the various social groupings. The fundamental 
economic question is. What will be the fate of the various 
parts of the "national" income? In other words, the question 
consists in how the "national" product will be distributed 
among the various social classes, in the first place how the 
"share" of the working class will fare. We presume that the 
process is going on more or less alike in all the foremost coun- 
tries, and that what is true for "national" economies is true 
for world economy. 


A deep-going tendency towards decreasing real wages must 
be noted first of all. High prices resulting from the disparity 
of capitalist production not only will not become lower but, 
on the contrary, they will keep on rising (we have in mind 
prices that are distinct from specific "war time" dearth). 
The disparity between world industry and world agriculture 
will grow more and more, for we have entered an era of an 
accelerated industrialisation of agrarian countries. Growing 
militarisation and wars will immensely tighten the tax press, 
straining it to the utmost; "everything taxable will be taxed; 
everything taxed will bear the greatest possible tax burden" 
says a Russian trade paper .^ And this is not an empty phrase. 
Where non-productive expenditures are colossal and the state 
budget is being reconstructed, increased direct and indirect 
taxation is inevitable. The mounting cost of living results 
also from other causes: first, prices are increased due to the 
increased tariff rates; second, there are monopoly prices in 
trustified industries; state monopolies in their turn will raise 
prices for fiscal reasons. The result will be that an ever 
greater part of the national product will be retained by the 
bourgeoisie and its state. 

The opposite tendency, springing from the working class, 
will, on the other hand, be confronted with a growing resistance 
on the part of the consolidated and organised bourgeoisie that 
has grown to be one with the state. Workers' gains that were 
a usual phenomenon in the former epoch, become almost im- 
possible. There takes place, not a relative, but also an abso- 
lute worsening of the situation of the working class. Class 
antagonisms become inevitably sharpened. This will take 
place also for another reason. State capitalist structure of 
society, besides worsening the economic conditions of the work- 
ing class, makes the workers formally bonded to the imperial- 
ist state. In point of fact, employees of state enterprises even 
before the war were deprived of a number of most elementary 
rights, like the right to organise, to strike, etc. A railway 
or postoffice strike was considered almost an act of treason. 
The war has placed those categories of the proletariat under 
a still more oppressive bondage. With state capitalism making 

1 Torgovo Promyshlennaya Gazeta, 191S, No. 217. 


nearly every line of production important for the state, with 
nearly all branches of production directly serving the interests 
of war, prohibitive legislation is extended to the entire field 
of economic activities. The workers are deprived of the free- 
dom to move, the right to strike, the right to belong to the 
so-called "subversive" parties, the right to choose an enterprise, 
etc. They are transformed into bondsmen attached, not to 
the land, but to the plant. They become white slaves of the 
predatory imperialist state, which has absorbed into its body 
all productive life. 

Thus the principles of class antagonisms reach a height that 
could not have been attained hitherto. Relations between 
classes become most clear, most lucid ; the mythical conception 
of a "state elevated above classes" disappears from the peo- 
ples' consciousness, once the state becomes a direct entre- 
preneur and an organiser of production. Property relations, 
obscured by a number of intermediary links, now appear in 
their pristine nakedness. This being the situation of the work- 
ing class in the intervals between wars, it will undoubtedly 
be still worse in war time. The Economist, the organ of the 
English financiers, was perfectly right when it wrote at the 
very beginning of the war that the world was entering an era 
of the most strenuous social conflicts. 

World Economy and Proletarian Socialism 
I. The capitalist and the worker as opposite poles op 


STATE. 6. The working class and the imperialist politics OF 


with the bourgeois state, and regeneration of revolutionary 

The first period of the war has brought about, not a crisis 
of capitalism (the germs of which were visible only to the 
most penetrating minds of both the bourgeois and proletarian 
camps), but a collapse of the "Socialist" International. This 
phenomenon, which many have attempted to explain by pro- 
ceeding solely from the analysis of the internal relations in 
every country, cannot be more or less satisfactorily explained 
from this angle. For the collapse of the proletarian movement 
is a result of the unequal situation of the "state capitalist 
trusts" within the boundaries of world economy. Just as it 
is impossible to understand modern capitalism and its imperial- 
ist policy without analysing the tendencies of world capitalism, 
so the basic tendencies in the proletarian movement cannot be 
imderstood without analysing world capitalism. 

Capital implies the existence of labour. Labour implies the 
existence of capital. The capitalist mode of production is a 
certain relation between people, between social classes, each 
of which implies the existence of the other. Viewed from this 
angle, both capitalists and workers are members, component 
parts, poles of the same capitalist society. In so far as capi- 
talist society exists, there exists also an interdependence of 
these opposing classes, a mutual dependence, expressing itself 
in a relative solidarity of interests that are opposed in sub- 



stance. This "solidarity" of interests is the solidarity of a 
moment, it is not that lasting solidarity which welds together 
the members of the same class. Bourgeois political economy, 
and together with it its "Socialist" followers, present that 
which is passing, momentary, accidental for the class struggle 
on a social scale as essential; they do not see the trees for the 
forest, and they inevitably sink to the role of simple satellites 
of finance capital. 

Here is an example. Everybody knows that at the begin- 
ning of the capitalist era, when the working class had just 
begun to emerge and to separate itself from the small entre- 
preneurs, when so-called patriarchal relations prevailed between 
master and worker, the latter to a considerable degree identified 
his interests with the interests of his exploiter. 

This identification of interests that are in substance totally 
opposed to one another, was, to be sure, not suspended in the 
air. It had a very real basis. "The better the business of our 
shop, the better for me," the worker of that time used to 
reason. This reasoning was based on the possibility of rais- 
ing wages with the increase of the sum total of values realised 
by a given enterprise. 

We find the same psychology in other variations. What, 
in fact, is, let us say, the so-called "craft ideology" of the 
English trade unionists? We find here substantially the same 
idea: our production, they say, our sphere of production, which 
embraces both workers and industrialists, must prosper before 
anything else. No interference of outside elements must be 

In recent times we find an analogy to this purely local 
patriotism in enterprises with highly skilled labour. Such 
enterprises, for instance, are the plants of the well-known 
American pacifist (and, incidentally, war contractor) Ford. 
The workers are carefully selected for the plant. They receive 
higher wages, they are granted various premiums and profit 
sharing under the condition that they be bound to the plant. 
As a result, the bamboozled workers are "devoted" to their 

On a larger scale the same phenomenon may be observed 
in the so-called working class protectionism with its policy 


of safeguarding "national industry," "national labour," etc. 
This ideology permeates a considerable part of the Australian 
and American workers: "We" (i.e., both capitalists and 
workers), they say, are equally interested in our national in- 
dustry, for, the higher the profits of our employers, the higher 
will our wages rise. 

In the process of competitive struggle between the various 
enterprises, their situation is not ever5rwhere the same. Enter- 
prises with highly skilled labour always occupy the first ranks, 
always enjoy exceptional privileges. Their share in the sur- 
plus value that is being produced in society as a whole is dis- 
proportionately large, for they receive differential profits on 
the one hand, cartel rents (as far as we deal with modern 
times) on the other. Thus a basis is created for a momentary 
interlinking of the interests of capital and labour in a given 
production branch, a circumstance which expresses itself in 
the workers giving capital, not the labour of duty, but the 
labour of love. 

It is perfectly obvious that such a "solidarity of interests" 
between the capitalist and the worker is of a temporary char- 
acter, and (from the point of view of what "ought to be") it 
cannot determine the conduct of the proletariat. Were the 
workers eternally to hang on to the coat tails of their masters, 
they would never be able to conduct a single strike, and the 
employers, bribing them individually, would be able individ- 
ually to defeat them. 

However, because the proletariat has not learned yet to dis- 
tinguish local and temporary interests from general and lasting 
ones, it is permeated with such a narrow conception. The 
latter is overcome only when the class struggle achieves great 
scope, destroying local bigotry, welding the workers together, 
and throwing them into sharp opposition as a class to the 
class of the capitalists. In this way the psychology of the 
patriarchal period was overcome when the bond of unity be- 
tween the workers and the master of an individual enterprise 
was severed. In this way the "craft ideology" of the unions 
organising skilled workers was overcome. 

However, the end of the nineteenth century, which to a 
large degree destroyed the bond of unity between capitalists 


and workers, which placed against each other those classes 
and their organisations as classes and organisations hostile to 
each other in principle, has not yet destroyed the bond of 
unity between the working class and the greatest organisation 
of the bourgeoisie, the capitalist state. 

The working class connection with this organisation was 
expressed in the ideology of workers' patriotism ("social-pa- 
triotism"), in the idea of a "fatherland," which the working 
class is supposed to serve. 

After what has been presented above, the material basis of 
this phenomenon will become clear if we turn our attention 
to the whole sphere of world economy. 

We have seen that the competitive struggle was, by the 
end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth cen- 
tury, to a large extent transferred to the foreign markets, 
i.e., it became a competition in the world market. Thus the 
state organisation of capital, the "fatherland," having turned 
into a state capitalist trust, took the place of the individual 
enterprise and appeared on the world arena with all its heavy 
and ponderous apparatus. 

From this angle we must first of all view the colonial policy 
of the imperialist states. 

There is an opinion current among many moderate interna- 
tionalists to the effect that the colonial policy brings nothing 
but harm to the working class and that therefore it must be 
rejected. Hence the natural desire to prove that colonies 5deld 
no profit at all, that they represent a liability even from the 
point of view of the bourgeoisie, etc. Such a point of view 
is being propounded, for instance, by Kautsky. 

The theory unfortunately suffers from one shortcoming, 
namely, it is out and out incorrect. The colonial policy 
yields a colossal income to the great powers, i.e., to their rul- 
ing classes, to the "state capitalist trust." This is why the 
bourgeoisie pursues a colonial policy. This being the case, 
there is a possibility for raising the workers' wages at the 
expense of the exploited colonial savages and conquered 

Such are exactly the results of the great powers' colonial 
policy. The bill for this policy is paid, not by the continental 


workers, and not by the workers of England, but by the little 
peoples of the colonies. It is in the colonies that all the blood 
and the filth, all the horror and the shame of capitalism, all 
the C3m[icism, greed and bestiality of modern democracy are 
concentrated. The European workers, considered from the 
point of view of the moment, are the winners, because they 
receive increments to their wages due to "industrial prosperity." 

All the relative "prosperity" of the European-American in- 
dustry was conditioned by nothing but the fact that a safety 
valve was opened in the form of colonial policy. In this way 
the exploitation of "third persons" (pre-capitalist producers) 
and colonial labour led to a rise in the wages of the European 
and American workers. 

One highly important circumstance must here be noted: in 
their struggle for colonies, for sales markets, and markets for 
raw materials, for capital investment spheres, for cheap labour, 
not all the "state capitalist trusts" achieve an equal success. 
While England, Germany and the United States of America 
forged ahead in their triumphal march over the world market, 
Russia and Italy, all the strenuous efforts of the imperialists 
notwithstanding, proved too weak. It was in this way that 
a few great imperialist powers came to the forefront as pre- 
tenders to worM monopoly. They have proved, as far as the 
others are concerned, "above competition." 

Economically the situation is this. World surplus value is 
being divided in the struggle for the world market. As is the 
case within the framework of "national economy," so also 
within the boundaries of world economy, the stronger competi- 
tor (whose strength is increased by multifarious factors, like 
the structure of production, the strength of the state militarist 
apparatus, convenient location due to the presence of "natural 
monopolies," etc.) receives super-profits, a kind of differential 
profit (due to the superior structure of production) and a kind 
of cartel rent (due to the pressure of the militarist apparatus 
that fortifies monopolies). 

Super-profits obtained by the imperialist state are accom- 
panied by a rise in the wages of the respective strata of the 
working class, primarily the skilled workers. 

Such a phenomenon could also be observed in olden times. 


It was pointed out by Friedrich Engels who referred to the 
monopoly situation of England in the world market and to 
the conservatism of the English proletariat that resulted there- 

It was on the basis of this relative interest of the proletariat 
in colonial plunders that its connection with the masters' or- 
ganisation of the bourgeois imperialist state grew and became 
strong. In Socialist literature this psychology found expres- 
sion in the "national" point of view of the Social-Democratic 
opportunists. This "national wisdom," emphasised on every 
occasion, signified a complete abandonment of the point of 
view of revolutionary Marxism. 

Marx and Engels viewed the state as an organisation of the 
ruling class that crushes the oppressed class with blood and 
iron. They assumed that future society would have no state 
at all, for the simple reason that there would be no classes. 
It is true that, for the transition period of proletarian dictator- 
ship, when the proletariat is the temporary ruling class, they 
most correctly demanded a strong apparatus of working class 
state power to keep the overthrown classes in leash. Still, 
their attitude towards the oppressing state apparatus of the 
bourgeoisie was that of furious hatred, and from this point 
of view they mercilessly criticised the Lassalleans and other 
"statesmen." And a connection undoubtedly exists between 
this revolutionary point of view and the well-known thesis 
of the Communist Manifesto that the workers have no father- 

The Socialist epigones of Marxism have relegated this rev- 
olutionary opposition of Marx and Engels to the archives. In 
its place there emerge the theories of "true patriotism" and 
"true statesmanship," which, however, are in no way dis- 
tinguishable from the most ordinary patriotism and the most 
ordinary statesmanship of the ruling bourgeoisie. Such an 
ideology was an organic outgrowth of the proletariat's partak- 
ing in the "great-nation policy" of the state capitalist trusts. 

No wonder if after the outbreak of the great war, the work- 
ing class of the foremost capitalist countries, chained to the 
chariot of the bourgeois state power, came to the aid of the 
latter. The proletariat was prepared for this by the whole 


preceding development; it was brought to this by its con- 
nection with the state organisation of finance capital. 

However, the war itself, which could be waged only because 
the proletariat gave its tacit consent or showed insufficient in- 
dignation, has proven to it that its share in the imperialist 
policy is nothing compared with the wounds inflicted by the war. 

It is in this way that there comes the crisis of imperialism 
and the rebirth of proletarian Socialism. Imperialism has 
turned its true face to the working class of Europe. Hitherto 
its barbarous, destructive, wasteful activities were almost en- 
tirely confined to the savages; now it thrusts itself upon the 
toilers of Europe with all the horrifying impact of a blood- 
thirsty elemental power let loose. The additional pennies 
received by the European workers from the colonial policy 
of imperialism — what do they count compared to millions of 
butchered workers, to billions devoured by the war, to the 
monstrous pressure of brazen militarism, to the vandalism of 
plundered productive forces, to high cost of living and starva- 

The war severs the last chain that binds the workers to 
the masters, their slavish submission to the imperialist state. 
The last limitation of the proletariat's philosophy is being 
overcome: its clinging to the narrowness of the national state, 
its patriotism. The interests of the moment, the temporary 
advantage accruing to it from the imperialist robberies and 
from its connections with the imperialist state, become of 
secondary importance compared with the lasting and general 
interests of the class as a whole, with the idea of a social 
revolution of the international proletariat which overthrows 
the dictatorship of finance capital with an armed hand, destroys 
its state apparatus and builds up a new power, a power of 
the workers against the bourgeoisie. In place of the idea of 
defending or extending the boundaries of the bourgeois state 
that bind the productive forces of world economy hand and 
foot, this power advances the slogan of abolishing state boun- 
daries and merging all the peoples into one Socialist family. 
In this way the proletariat, after painful searching, succeeds 
in grasping its true interests that lead it through revolution to 



History moves in contradictions. The skeleton of historic 
existence, the economic structure of society, also develops in 
contradictions. Forms eternally follow forms. Everything 
has only a passing being. The dynamic force of life creates 
the new over and over again — such is the law inherent in 
reality. Hegel's dialectics, which Marx placed on its feet, 
is valuable for this very reason that it grasps the dialectics of 
life, that it fearlessly analyses the present without being dis- 
turbed by the fact that every existence hides within itself the 
germ of its own destruction. 

In its mystified form, dialectic became the fashion in Germany 
because it seemed to transfigure and to glorify the existing state 
of things. In its rational form it is a scandal and abomination to 
bourgeoisdom and its doctrinaire professors, because it includes in 
its comprehension an affirmative recognition of the existing state 
of things, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation 
of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every 
historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and there- 
fore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momen- 
tary existence; because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its 
essence critical and revolutionary in spirit. 

Thus Marx in his foreword to the first volume of Capital. 
Many years have passed since; we already hear a new future 
knocking at history's door. Present-day society, which devel- 
oping productive forces to a gigantic degree, while powerfully 
conquering ever new realms, while subjugating nature to man's 
domination on an unprecedented scale, begins to choke in the 
capitalist grip. Contradictions inherent in the very essence of 
capitalism, and appearing in an embryonic state «it the begin- 
ning of its development, have grown, have widened their scope 
with every stage of capitalism; in the period of imperialism 



they have reached proportions that cry to heaven. Productive 
forces in their present volume insistently demand new produc- 
tion relations. The capitalist shell must inevitably burst. 

The epoch of finance capital has made all the elements of 
maladjustment of the capitalist organisation stand out in the 
boldest possible relief. In former times, when capitalism, as 
well as its class sponsor, the bourgeoisie, appeared as a progres- 
sive force, it was in a position partly to conceal its inner defects 
by comparing itself with the backwardness and maladaptation 
of pre-capitalist relations. Large-scale production, equipped 
with gigantic machines, ruthlessly crushed the handicrafts with 
their poor technique. This painful process was nothing but 
the collapse of pre-capitalist production forms. On the other 
hand, the very existence of those forms, of those various "third 
persons" in the capitalist production process, allowed capital- 
ism to extend its power "peacefully," without exposing the 
limits put to economic evolution by its capitalist shell. This 
is why the general features of the contradictions inherent in 
capitalism as such, and forming its "law," appeared in the 
sharpest possible form only at a stage of economic develop- 
ment when capitalism had outgrown its swaddling clothes, 
when it had not only become the prevailing form of the socio- 
economic life, but had even become the general form of eco- 
nomic relations, in other words, when it had appeared as 
world capitalism. It is only now that the inner contradictori- 
ness of capitalism is expressed with dramatic force. The con- 
vulsions of the present-day capitalist world that is drenched 
in blood and is agonised in mortal pain, are the expression of 
those contradictions in the capitalist system, which in the long 
run will cause it to explode. 

Capitalism has attempted to overcome its own anarchy by 
pressing it into the iron ring of state organisation. But hav- 
ing eliminated competition within the state, it let loose all the 
devils of a world scuffle. 

Capitalism has attempted to tame the working class and 
to subdue social contradictions by decreasing the steam pres- 
sure through the aid of a colonial valve. But having accom- 
plished this task for a moment, it thus prepared the explosion 
of the whole capitalist boiler. 


Capitalism has attempted to adapt the development of pro- 
ductive forces to state limits of exploitation by resorting to 
imperialist conquests. But it proved unable to solve that 
problem even through its own methods. 

Capitalism has increased the power of militarism enor- 
mously. It has brought to the historic arena millions of 
armed men. The arms, however, begin to turn against capi- 
talism itself. The masses of the people, aroused to political 
life and originally tame and docile, raise their voices ever 
higher. Steeled in battles forced upon them from above, ac- 
customed to look into the face of death every minute, they 
begin to break the front of the imperialist war with the same 
fearlessness by turning it into civil war against the bourgeoisie. 
Thus capitalism, driving the concentration of production to 
extraordinary heights, and having created a centralised pro- 
duction apparatus, has therewith prepared the immense ranks 
of its own grave-diggers. In the great clash of classes, the 
dictatorship of finance capital is being replaced by the dicta- 
torship of the revolutionary proletariat. "The hour of capi- 
talist property has struck. The expropriators are being 



Accumulation of capital, 96, 116 
Agriculture, 20, 74, 92, 159 
Agriculture and manufacturing, 

difference between, 92 
Anglo-American School of economics, 

Annexation, 79, 85, 121, 158 
Austrian School of economics, 113 

"Backward countries," 76, 84 
Ballod, Karl, 23 
Bauer, Otto, 106 
Bonds, 41, 42 
Bourgeois science, 113 

Cables, 36 

Capital, 30, 32, 35, 36, 39, 41, 4S, loi, 
168; centralisation of, 116, 118, 
139, 149, 170; circulation of, 
94; concentration of, 46, 65, 68, 
73, 116, 118, 149, 170; export 
of, 41, 4S, 60, 98, 100, los, 109; 
industrial, 71 

Capitalist production, 
definition of, 161; general law of, 

Cartels, SS, 60, 61, 64, 69, 73, 75, 76, 
93, 109, 123, 138. 148, ISO 

Cheating, 83 

Circulation, 36 

Class antagonisms, 
sharpening of, 159, 160 

social, 132, ijg; "solidarity" of, 162 

Clausewitz, 113 

Colonial policy, 86, 144, 164 

Combinations, 70, 123 

Commodities, 24, 36, 39, 61 

Communist Manifesto, the, 166 

Competition, 62, 64, 73, 79. 84, 100, 
108, lis, 119; 122-124, iSS 

Concessions, 99 

"Craft ideology," 162, 163 

Credit, 71, 123 

Crises, 88, 148 

Cunow, Heinrich, 131 

Dialectics, 168 

Dictatorship of the Proletariat, 170 

Disarmament, 139 
Distribution, S4, 88, ijo 
Division of labour, 18, 24, 70 
Dumping, 7s, 79 

Economics, 9 
"Economists," 10 
Edison, ThoKias A., 29 
Electrical energy, 
production of, 28; transmission of, 

Electrical industry, s6, 122 
Emigration, 40 
Engels, Friedrich, 75, 166 
Exchange, 10, 19, 36; international, 22, 

23, 61 
Exploitation, 81, 102, 106, 107 
Exportkapitalismus, 40 
External market, 80 

Fichte, Johann G., 17 

Finance capital, 10, 49, 58, 60, 70, 71, 
140; epoch of, 120; ideology of, 
38, 62, 80, 109; policy of, 104, 
IDS, 107 

"Financing," 41, 46, 48, 49, 51, S2. 62 

Ford, Henry, 162 

Foreign investments, 44 

Foreign trade, 
"diminishing significance of," 38 

Free trade, 68, 80 

Friedrich, Ernst, 20, 22 

General Electric Co., 56 

George, Lloyd, 44, 150 

Germany, 22, 23, et passim 

Gold bullion, 25 

"Golden International," 62 

Grain, 24 

"Great Powers," 28 

Harms, Bernhard, 23, 35, 37i 38, 42, 

et passim 
Hegel, Georg, 168 

Hilferding, Rudolf, 64, 13S. 136, 142 
Historical "necessity," 130 

contradictions in, 168 
"Holding company," 48 




Horizontal centralisation, 70, 121, 144 

of finance capital, 80; of imperial- 
ism, 38, 62; of patriotism, 164; 
of ruling class, no 
definition of, 114; "necessity" of, 
132; as "a policy of conquest," 
112; racial theory of, no J. 


rate of, 45 
Intemationalisation of capitalist inter- 
ests, 62, 80, 106, 107 
Interrelation of class forces, 89 
Inventors, 29 

Kautsky, Karl, 10, 11, 12, 13, 133, 134, 
135, 141-143, 164 

Labour power, 39, 40 

LaFoUette Commission, 72 

Laissez faire, laissez passer, 125 

Landed property, 92 

Lenin, V. I., 9, 15 

Lexis, Wilhelm, 23 

Liberalism, 125 

Liefmann, Robert, 46, 49, S7. S9i 67 

List, Friedrich, 74, 75 

Loans, 41, 42 

Loria, Achille, 107 

Lumpenproletariat, 113 

Malthus, Thomas, 91 
Marx, Karl, 18, 21, 132, 166, 168 
Marxian methodology, 114 
Marxism, 9, 10, 12, 131, 132, 166 
Mercantalism, 125 
Merchant capital, 82 
Merchant marine, 35 
Militarisation of industry, 150, iji 
Militarism, 79, 87, 124-127, 139, 170; 

and Socialism, 156 
Milyukov, Paul, 9 
Mixed systems, 73 
Monopoly, 65, 67, 68, 71, 80, 91, 97, 

103, iS4 
Morgan, J. Pierpont, 71 
Muttergesellschaft, 46 
Myers, Gustavus, 123 


concept of, 109 
"National economy," 18, 41, S3, 63, 72. 

73, 84, 93, 108, 118, 119, 158, 

"Nationalisation of capital," 62-64, 80, 


Objective point of view, 106 
Oppenheimer, Franz, 94, 127, 128 
Over-production, 8i, 96, 105 

Pacifism, 141 

"Parallehsm of interests," 62 


crisis of, 128 
"Participation," 46, 47, 49, 51, 52, 62 
Parvus, 72 
Patents, 29, 30 
Pavlovich, M. P., 99, 100 

means of, 25 
"Peaceful capitalism," 10, 61, 134 
Plekhanov, George, 9 
Pokrovsky, M. N., 86 
Population, 39 
Private property, 92 
Production, 32, 38; conditions of, 20; 

method of, 35, 46 
Production of means of production, 91 
Production relations, 25, 26 
Productive forces, 87, 89, 91, 93, 106, 

108, 169, 170 
Profit, 81, 82; rate of, 46, 83, 93 
Protectionism, 74, 76-78, 97 
Proudhon, 142 

Railroads, 34 

Raw materials, 22, 38, 70, 89, 90, 93, 
94, 123, 137, 147, 16S 

Reichsbank, 73 

Reproduction of capitalist contradic- 
tions, IIS 

Reproduction of world capital, 80 

Revolution, 167 

Riabushinsky, 113 

Rockefeller, John D., 71 

Rodbertus, Karl, S3 

Sartorius von Waltershausen, 40 

Smith, Adam, 118 

Social antagonisms, go 

Social economy, 27, 53 

"SociaUst" International, 
collapse of, 161 

Social-Democratic opportunists, 166 

Socialism, is; proletarian, 167 

Society, S4; class structure of, 106 

Sombart, Werner, 58 

Spheres of production, 19 

Standard Oil Co., 56, S7 

State, the 
apparatus, 124; capitalist, 73, 104; 
character of, under imperialism, 
128, 129, 160; growth in signifi- 
cance of state power, 125, 127; 
origin of, 63 

State capitalism, 158, 1S9 



State capitalist trusts, 120, 123-125, 
128, 129, 136, 140, 141, 152, 

State Socialism, 156, 157 

Stock companies, 65, 73 

Stocks, 41 

right of, iS9 

S"truveists, 10 

"Substituting trust," 47 

•'Substitution securities," 47, 48 

Syndicates, 60, 67, 6g, iig, 138, 150, 

Super-profit, 83, 84 

Surplus value, 81, 83, 106, 165 

Tariff, 74> 76, 77, 87, 97; Dingley Bill, 
77, 98; McKinley Bill, 98 
Payne, 77, 100; preference, 77 
Russian, legislation, 98; signifi- 
cance of high, 124 

Technical progress, 97 

Thunen, 17 

Torrence, Colonel, 113 

"Town and country," 
cleavage between, 21 

Transportation, 34, 36, 54, 137, 149 

Treaties, 99 

Trusts, S4> 55, S9. 65-68, 70, 7S, 93, 

117, 122, 138, ijo; American, 


Ultra-imperialism, 11, 13, 130, 134, 

135. 142 
United States, the, 20-22, 145 ff. 
United States Steel Corporation, 5S, 


Vertical concentration, 70, 144 

War, 72, no, 112, 139, 144, 147, iss 

Weltkonjunktur, 25 

World economy, 
anarchic structure of, 53, 54, 62 ; 
definition of, 17, 27; growth of, 
28; organisation of, 53; policy 
of, loi, 118, 120, 141, 158 

World market, 23, 37 

World prices, 23, 37, 46 

World sales market, 81 

World War, 138, 145, 148, iS9 


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