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How the Imperialism and Dependency related to each other ?

Imperialism can be traced from the Greek and Roman empires to its mercantile ‘old’ form in the 16th and 17th centuries to its monopolistic ‘new’ form in the 19th and 20th centuries. Two views of the new imperialism were propounded. One, the radical and Marxist view suggested that imperialism was an outcome of expanding capitalism, necessitated by the contradictions of the capitalist mode of production. The other, the liberal or non-Marxist view, argued that the inequities of the capitalist system could be easily adjusted.

Imperialism | US A Mid-Term Project

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The theories of Hobson, Kautsky, Schumpeter and Galtung contributed to a liberal view of imperialism. Hobson argued that under consumption was the cause of imperialism and that with an increase in domestic consumption in Britain, there would be no need to expand into foreign markets,

Kautsky, a German Social-Democrat, felt that the class conflicts of capitalism would diminish through peaceful methods of reform and the interests of the capitalist class, as a whole, will clash with a minority of powerful capitalists who advocated imperialist expansion.

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Schumpeter emphasized that imperialism was a precapitalist phenomenon which would disappear in a rational and progressive era of capitalism. Galtung proposed a structural theory of imperialism which has broad acceptance today in non-Marxist circles-Luxemburg, Lenin, Bukharin, Baran and Sweezy, and Magdoff may be regarded as important representatives of the Marxist theory of imperialism. Rosa Luxemburg propounded a theory of imperialism in terms of continuous capital accumulation and examined the penetration of capital in backward economies.

Lenin regarded imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism. He studied the rapid concentration of production in large industrial monopolies as well as the growing influence of large banks in the powerful monopolies. Imperialism for Lenin was almost synonymous with monopoly capitalism; He distinguished modern imperialism from mercantile and free trade colonialism of the earlier centuries. Bukharin also characterised imperialism as domination of finance capital. He said-that imperialism was an advanced stage of capitalism and should not be equated with either conquest or political domination alone.

Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy were influenced’ by Hilferding, Luxemburg and Lenin in their formulation of the Marxist theory of imperialism. They focused on the generation of capital surplus and its disposal. They assessed the role of giant corporations and their managers, holding monopoly and oligopoly as responsible for imperialism. Harry Magdoff analysed the patterns of American foreign policy, American political and military presence all over the world, and dominant position of U.S. aid and trade policies as features of an expanding U.S. “empire”.

Theories of dependence have been propounded both by Marxist and non-Marxist writers. Raul Prebisch and the ECLA (The U.N. Economic Commission on Latin America) school of economists represent the nationalist school of dependency. Osvaldo Sunkel, Celso Furtado, Pablo Gonzalez Casanova and Francois Perroux also belong to the non-Marxist, nationalist school of dependency theorists.

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Another tendency of dependency reflects the Marxist approach. Lenin wrote of dependency in his work on imperialism. Trotsky influenced Gilvis Frondizi and other Latin Americans to write about dependency after the Second World War, Theotonis Dos Santos and another Brazilian Ruy Manro Marini attempted to assimilate the concept of dependency into their Marxist theory of capitalism and Leninist theory of imperialism. F. Henrique Cardoso gave a heretical, Marxist interpretation of dependency.

Other writings on dependency, such as Paul Baran’s, Paul Sweezy’s and Andre Gunder Frank’s works fall more clearly into Marxist framework. They tried to update Lenin and gave their own independent interpretations of the phenomena of dependency.

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