- Statements & Documents
The “Imperialist Spectre” of Russia ..!?
The current paper is a study by Mohannad Dlykan, a Secretary of PWP (People’s Will Party, Marxist-Leninist, Syria).
Originally written in Arabic, it was first appeared on the 12th of February 2017, on the Party’s official website
with a summary published simultaneously in Kassioun weekly newspaper (the Damascus-based mouthpiece of PWP): Kassioun paper, issue No. 789, Sun. 12/02/2017.
The full Study was translated into English, edited and designed for publication, by Kassioun’s Team. It is published here after reviewed and updated by the author.
The “Imperialist Spectre” of Russia ..!? We are trying herewith to answer the following question: Is contemporary Russia an imperialist state, or one of the “Peripherals”, meaning one of the nations plundered by the Western imperialist centre within the framework of the “unequal exchange” relation system? We will introduce afterwards an approach to another question: If Russia is not imperialist, is it willing to be so? And if “yes”, is this possible? To give true and scientific answers, away from daily political deliberations, to such questions is quite significant in order to understand what is going on in our contemporary world, and to predict its potential prospects, not only on the general international arena, rather on regional and national ones, as well, including the Syrian crisis, with its details and prospects. Above all of this, answering these questions form an inevitable and compulsory introduction for any revolutionary party in its effort to define its tasks on the short-, medium-, and long runs. Turning a blind eye not to answer, or leaning to wrong answers is fair enough to transform the action of any revolutionary party, regardless of its intentions, into uselessness, at best, if not, at worst, into a completely reactionary practice.
Whom we’re addressing?
First of all, we need to clarify that here we depend upon the Leninist definition of Imperialism, which, as far as we know, has not been replaced by any other scientifically solid definition that combines both economic and political features of imperialism. We do believe that this economic-political definition is still valid in essence, as despite the huge development the world had witnessed throughout the 20th Century, the main five features Lenin had used in describing Imperialism remain useful and applicable. By depending on Lenin’s definition, we put an easy tool that defy all what we are saying in the hands of those who deny the Marxist-Leninist analysis of Imperialism by choosing the easy way of following unscientific logic. On the other hand, the actual danger of telling that “Russia is imperialist” comes from those who claim referring to Lenin and his 5-point famous definition. The flagrant bourgeois ideologists do not form a real threat. Even so they do use “imperialism or imperialist” as vocabularies they add to Russia, this comes usually within a series of synonymous ones, like “Russian chauvinism”, Tsarist, or oriental despotism(1), etc. this would make out of repeating such a word on their tongues just another adjective on a long propaganda list, which is easy to explore how shallow and even rootless it is, and the clarity of its direct political aims.
A - What is “Imperialism”?
A-1) Imperialism – Lenin’s Definition:
Lenin defines imperialism in his book “Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism- 1916” with five characteristics(2):
1) The concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life;
2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this ‘finance capital’, of a financial oligarchy;
3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance;
4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and
5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed.”
In his book “Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism”, Lenin explains how the huge concentration and centralization of the industrial production, along with the consequent wealth concentration, had not only produced a commodity surplus, rather an accumulation of capital. This, along with “the tendency of the profit rate to fall with increasing complexity of organic composition of capital”, had created a desperate need for more centralization and rival destruction, allowing the rise of monopolies (the surplus production crises, of 1873 and 1900 in particular, had largely contributed in accelerating and consolidating through the liquidation of large portion of small and medium sized producers). Monopoly itself, on the other hand, increased the capital surplus and decreased the capital profit rates on the national levels. This had created the necessity for exporting capital abroad in order to gain higher profit rates (cheaper raw materials and labour, and most importantly, lesser development in the capitalist accumulation and centralization, all allowing higher profit rates). This required colonial means that managed ultimately to conclude the division of the world amongst the cartels and major powers till pre-WWI, and then re-dividing it during the war, in a conduct that repeated itself over and over ever-after, making out of the entire world a one system, with a plundering imperialist “Centre” and plundered subordinate “Peripherals”.
A-2) Imperialism Today:
A-2-1) Centre- Peripherals, Dollar
The process itself has developed into a more complicated and intermingled form after WWII, with the rise and consolidation of post-traditional plunder mechanisms, i.e., the form of plunder that follows the direct military occupation (within the formula of the direct military occupation, they needed to seize raw material resources, expand the capitalist market to comprise the peoples of the colonies through transforming them into consumers- the formula equivalent to “trade capitalism” stage, or the capitalism of commodity exportation, which is a much more simple formula than that of imperialism where there are both financial capital and capital exportation).
This new plunder system (Neo-Colonial System) was completed in mid 1960s. In its concrete historical rise, this system depended upon the combination of two essential factors: 1- The four, most renowned, mechanisms for unequal exchange(3) : (Debts, Price Scissors, Technological dependency and Brain Drain(4)).
2- Bretton Woods: The US $ is a recognized global currency, that kept this position even after the abolition of the Bretton Woods system.
Although both the unequal exchange mechanisms and the crisis of the dollar have attained much study and analysis, what should be referred to here, nonetheless, is their interrelation. That’s why, we’re going to focus a little bit on the dollar and its crisis.
Bretton Woods system (July 1944), being one of the outcomes of WWII, hailing the USA as the greatest triumphant (here, we let alone the political aspect of the question and concentrate on the economic one, allowing us to say that the U.S. was the major triumphant in the capitalist world), established the US $ as a worldwide general equivalent, besides the gold, but the treaty didn’t exempt it from attaining its own gold coverage.
History has revealed, and actually General de Gaulle of France was among the forerunners in declaring this discovery (he beard the consequences) that the USA had been putting its $-printing-machines on nonstop ever since Bretton Woods system was agreed upon, neglecting the gold standard. The process has continued with a constantly rapid pace, even after the United States cancelled Bretton Woods system (August 15, 1971), covering its dollar with military and political force.
This special historical position of the dollar is unprecedented. The US dollar has not only become a value measurement, a mean for exchange, saving and payment and a global currency(5), like any other currency, but it turned to be a commodity of a special type, as its plays the roles of a currency, and coercively of general equivalent, while it lacks such functions. Why? Because it is a monopolistic commodity produced by one side, needed and requested by everybody else(6). Above all, the monopolists of the currency produce it almost at zero cost, sell it at its par value, with a profit rate exceeding 64000%(7).
The entire unequal exchange mechanisms essentially run through the international trade and its dominant institutions (e.g., the plundering debts accumulated through debt service protocols- IMF speciality- that turn the original debt intentionally into a Non-refundable one). As the international trade run through the dollar, the dollar owners moved to commit double plundering: stealing the peoples of the peripheral countries, on one hand, and get to themselves significant portions from the plunder by other imperialists to their own peoples and also the peoples of the peripheral states.
This interlacement between the unequal exchange and the role of the dollar has created a “global value siphon”, namely the US dollar. The major consequence for this is that the American financial capital turned to be an internationally dominant financial capital, that gets monopolistic profits, not only like the other financial capitals, rather from themselves, as well, as the former is the dollar monopolist. This last feature characterizing today’s dominant international financial capital, resulting from the above-mentioned interlace, forms the most outstanding characteristic of today’s imperialism.
In this sense, saying that there is, generally speaking, a “western imperialist centre” remains true, but it is also true that there emerged the “centre of the centre” that plunders not only the peripherals, rather also its own allies within the “general western imperialist centre(8)”. Members of that “centre of the centre” are, among other finance, political and military institutions, those who get the economic revenues of the US dollar, the American state being a political centre for spreading hegemony through the UN, the NATO, the IMF and World Bank, and the ITO.
In other words, the two issues of the “centre/peripherals” and “global” aspect of the dollar, have become totally interrelated with “Imperialism”. Thus, having one or more of the five imperialism characterizing features in a given state in today’s world is not, and has not been, sufficient to mark this state as imperialist. When the five characteristics had appeared among the states of the imperialist club, those same states were in their early rise, and mere appearance was, to a certain extent, enough to speak about “imperialism”. Later on, nonetheless, imperialism spread amongst so many countries all over the globe, as we’ll illustrate within the context. It’s not possible anymore to label one state as imperialist just because of its capital exportation operations, or because it has high levels of monopoly, or because it has a dominant financial capital, or even if added to all of these having extraterritorial military presence or control over certain areas or markets. Dealing with such criteria and features with a “rigid text” mentality, would for example allow considering Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or India as imperialist states, along maybe with dozens of other countries(9). That’s why, in today’s world and depending on Lenin, the actual and scientific distinction between the “states of the imperialist centre” and the “circumference states” should not only start from having the five features within the given state, rather from the nature of that existence and how does it relate to the compound characteristic (Centre/ peripherals- Dollar), and from its ultimate result. Having a financial capital and monopolies within a given state, as a tool to plunder the same state by other states and bourgeoisies, leaving small bits and crumbs for the local bourgeoisie (as the case with all peripheral countries), do not make that state “imperialist”. On the contrary, this exposes it to a wider and much more savage plunder by imperialism.
A-2-2) Colonialism + Neo-Colonialism=?
One of the common mistakes is to directly link colonialism to imperialism, and even sometimes to use the two words as synonyms. Actually, colonialism as a phenomenon dates back not only earlier than imperialism, rather than capitalism itself. If the question of dating colonialism earlier than capitalism is something disputable(10), yet it is doubtless that what is in common between colonialism of early capitalism and pre-capitalism colonialism is the aim of holding grabs at the wealth and resources of other countries through direct control and with the use of force (this includes precious metals along with the different raw materials that were useful in any age, accordingly, leading to stealing the agricultural and handcraft products of the colonized nations).
This direct form of colonialism enters a new era with capitalism, only when the latter’s “heavy artillery”(11) starts bombing. Colonialism is assigned with an additional and unprecedented qualitative task: expanding the capitalist market in order to get rid of production surplus crises, through turning the peoples of the colonies consumers for goods exported to them by their colonizers.
The direct (or old) colonialism, continued with its characterising double-shape (resource plunder/ commodity export) till the end of the 19th Century and early 20th Century, as it entered the imperialist stage, where exporting capital to the colonies was added to the previous functions. Britain’s figures in particular revealed that crystal clear(12). Probably, the last decades of the 19th Century in particular had witnessed the first seed of the formation of the Neo-colonial system(13).
With the eruption of October Revolution, the emergence of the Soviet Union and its victory in WWII, the colonial system started a rapid dismantlement process. A large number of colonies gained political independence. After a short period of “colonial vacuum”, Post- or Neo-colonialist structure was completed as early as mid 1960s(14). Neo-colonialism used indirect plunder mechanisms.
The continuation with the forms of military presence, whether by occupation or mandate, was not possible anymore with the existence of the Soviet Union, the rise of the National Liberation Movements in “Third World” countries, and with the two conflicting sides possessing nuclear weapons(15). The earlier-mentioned economic mechanisms represented the indirect plunder mechanisms. After the dismantlement of the Soviet Union and commodificating a large portion of the inflated dollar through plundering the continent-size country, the same inflation had soon been discovered, and a dramatic role change in the stock markets took place. Rather than being marginal, speculations moved to be a major phenomenon in stock market functions(16). The stock markets focused on accelerating currency circulation in an attempt to cover inflation(17). The attempt didn’t work, however. In 2001, the USA, accompanied by other imperialist states, moved to another colonial wave, entitled “War against Terrorism”.
The new wave formed something similar to a “negation of the negation” process for the colonial history: a combination of both old and neo-colonialism(18), that restored some core elements of the old to be added to huge qualitatively developed elements of the neo. Direct control through direct military force is was back to stage once more, added to ongoing plunder indirect mechanisms; current age imperialism attained a new appearance: Ultra neo-Colonialism(19).
This new colonial warfare appearance of Imperialism, accessorized with a number of intra wars, managed and/or contributed with by the imperialist states, forming in sum a “tiny world war”, does not reflect the mere characteristics of pre imperialist traditional warfare aimed at controlling over colonies, stealing their resources and expand the markets, nor does it reflect the sheer features of the direct wars amongst the different imperialisms with the aim of re-dividing the world, rather it reveals both, within their combination. In terms of expansion, this form reveals a new attempt to expand, vertically rather than horizontally; the latter lacks future prospects. Vertical expansion in this sense is not only a fortification and maximization of plunder, but first it is a destruction of the production forces that have developed and enlarged to the extent that it is no longer possible for them to cope with the ongoing production relations. The vertical expansion turns to be the practical exercise of Neo Malthusianism(20). As in terms of re-dividing the world, the depth of the crisis endured by world capitalism, hitting its centre this time, would raise the lethal conflict among the imperialist states to its highest levels. But this lethality expresses itself through waging wars on third party lands, expanding them viciously, and through reviving the yellow demons of fascism and nourishing them endlessly(21).
Under the concrete circumstances, addressing imperialism can’t ignore in any way the two previous appearances/ characteristics.
B- Is Russia Imperialist?
Before October 1917, Russia used to be a member of the world imperialist club. True that it was the most underdeveloped part, yet it was part of the club. With the advent of October, the breaking of the weakest point, Russia’s exist out of the club, the rise of the Soviet Union and the Socialist Bloc- expressing in sum an aspect of the General Crisis(22) of Capitalism, where the Soviet Union incompletely(23) drove segments of the world map away from the imperialist plunder system, causing a compulsory fall in plundering rates within the countries of the imperialist centre(24)- and afterwards with the collapse of the Soviet Union, some circles started to theorise for the Russia’s return to the same club is a “must”. The argument of some of those some was, rarely, too naïve(25). Hereafter, we’ll discuss to which extent the five imperialist characteristics apply to contemporary Russia.
The two Russian companies, Gasprom and Rosneft rank 53 and 75, respectively, in Forbes List(26) for the largest 2000 companies in the world for the year 2016. The two companies are owned in large by the Russian state. The overall list include 25 Russian companies only. This figure is close to Brazil’s 19 companies, but it falls far beyond India that lists 56 companies of the entire list. There’s no way, of course, to compare these figures with those of the USA, China, France, or Britain.
Anyway, what should be noted here are not the figures only, rather the following points, as well:
• Long ago, the major monopoly corporations were not limited to the states of the imperialist centre. Even within “peripheral states”, the nature of the inner evolution and its subordination to the Centre, have created high monopoly levels. Talking about monopoly and its levels turned to be very casual, the world over. The imperialist label has no longer been concise to merely having monopoly, rather this depends on its amount and weight within the globe, and also on its nature that we’ll partly tackle in the following point.
• While the two largest Russian monopolists rank 53 and 75 internationally, they are also of a specific nature: extraction. In other words, they are two monopolists that depend on exporting raw materials, besides being “subordinate” and underdeveloped, seeing them from interfaced angles: they export commodities and not capitals (as done for example by the financial and banking monopolists), and the goods they export have very small amounts of the added value, meaning that their exportation falls a part of the unequal exchange relation, in which Russia loses for the benefit of the importing states, that finish their manufacturing and resell them at far higher prices, as it is the case with the exports of all other “peripheral states” (some figures will be shown when exporting capitals is discussed).
• The major corporations in Russia are in largely owned by the Russian State. Here, we are talking basically about oil, electricity, gas lines and railways. These are monopolies that have not evolved according to spontaneous capitalist competition as the case with the western corporations, rather they are inherited from the Soviet Socialist Planning. They are the same corporations that the western imperialist club, with its American centre in particular, had put in mind their privatization as a task and mission, not for the sake of “raising economic competency”, nor of course for “realizing social justice and combating monopoly”, rather in order to undermine the materialistic background of Russia’s territorial integrity and thus breaking it apart, leading to the continuation of the major plundering operations that took place shortly before the collapse, during it, and ever after throughout the 1990s. They believe that it’s “unfair”(27) that one country possesses 40% of the world’s natural resources. Commodificating parts of the inflated dollar through seizing these resources would be enough to postpone discussing the situation of this currency for a decade or two, and it would be enough to relieve it of its lethal crisis. Those who describe Russia now as a “Mafiosi state” are at least 20 years late in their description. The mafias truly ruled Russia during the 1990s; their foremost mission was to privatize the huge Russian State Sector. The process, however, was fiercely obstructed from within the state apparatus itself and by the society. Explaining this compound and complex thwart leans against many factors, among which: (1-the nature of the ultra structure that prevailed in Russia for almost 70 years, depending on the concepts of the social justice and the long-run establishment of rights such as free education and medication- turning axiomatic to the Russians, where rapidly withdrawing them would be too dangerous for any authority attempting to, which in turn threatens with a quick loaming back by the “communist spectre”. 2- the Russian State Apparatus: six years after the 2011 Egyptian revolution and the removal of President Mubarak, it turns quite likely to say that the political regimes do not change thoroughly, simply because the authority has been overthrown. Today, the Egyptians, on different positions and alignments, besides the observers, do agree to a large extent that the process of “purifying the regime”, “changing” it, or whatever the name is, the process is still hanging. Similarly, the “Soviet regime”, that lasted for 70 years, has not disappeared simply with the overthrowing of the authority. And to avoid having one of the “leftist” fools faulting us with this point, it’s needless to say that we do not mean here that President Putin or his staff are communists, nor do we mean that today’s Russia is “not capitalist rather it is the Soviet Union itself”, but what we are saying exactly is the fact that the impact and strength of the communist thoughts and traditions have not disappeared with the fall of the Soviet Union; they are still an influential power within Russia(28). 3- the nature of the Russian State, with its vast areas, resources, huge diversity of ethnicities, religions and sects, and its harsh weather, all do the continuation of a one nation as something related not only to having a strong state apparatus, but also to the existence of a gigantic state sector capable of providing special-Russian-condition services: “species preservation”! For example, the Russian heating networks are the largest and most complicated ones in the entire world, let alone the lines of transportation, electricity and drainage. To give these sectors away would result in an instant collapse of the Russian state. Nonetheless, preventing privatization is not sufficient only to preserve Russia’s territorial integrity, rather having a minimum level of social justice is a must also, to make this integrity sustainable).
The obstruction, that faced up the mafias that led the collapse process and held key positions within the authority in cooperation and coordination with the western centre, has matured and become decisive, with Putin team officially getting to office. Those who describe now the Russian regime as “Mafiosi” are exactly those who sorrowfully mourn the hit operations by the actual mafias, who attempted pushing the country towards an irreversible fragmentation. Probably, the most ironic issue, here, is the fact that when Russia stood to defend its unity and to prevent being disintegrated and swallowed by the imperialist centre, some European “leftists” started to whoop: Russia of mafias and corporations!, The imperialist Russia!, Russia of the Eastern Tyranny and Dictatorship! They themselves couldn’t help in early 1990s hide their pleasure with: “Stalin’s dictatorship reached to its common sense deadlocks”!. Even in our region, we still have, till now, some “leftists” who are parroting those European sayings, both case.
B-2) Financial Capital
Credit Suisse’ 2016 Databook on world wealth(29) mentions that the share of a Russian individual adult of the financial assets has reached $2197 in mid 2016. During the same period, the figure in Brazil recorded $7936, and in Greece $26886, with mass difference to the figures in the Centre states, (where they reach, for example, $287782 in the USA- doubling by 130 times the figure in Russia, $176940 in Britain, $107953 in France, $160084 in Japan, and $87328 in Germany).
The Relbanks(31) list of the top largest 100 banks in the world, measured against their financial assets, includes one Russian bank. With assets amounting to $420 billion, Sberbank ranks 65 in the list. The same list comprises, for example, 2 Singapore banks, 5 Brazilian and 6 South Korean ones. The assets of the same Russian bank equals one-eighth of those of the 1st ranking bank (The Agriculture and Industry Bank of China/ state-owned), and one-fifth of 10th ranking bank (Wells Fargo-USA).
In the following figure (figure 1), the 21 top countries with the biggest number of top banks. The figure shows the poor position of Russia compared to countries from the so-called (First World) and other (Worlds).
According to the studies and reports on world’s stock markets and their contributions into the overall circulation(31), the toll exchanges in global stock markets ranges at $69- 70 Trillions. The amount of exchanges in Moscow stock market reaches $447 Billions, meaning that Russia’s contributions in world’ exchange is almost 0.0064 or 0.64%, falling far behind less than 1%. In comparison, USA contributions mount to 40%. Of course, one can’t find Russia's two Stock Exchange within the top 80 financial stock markets around the globe(32).
The next figure (Figure2) is taken from visualcapitalist.com just to help making the World's distribution of stock markets more clear. We can note that Russia is too small (in stock markets) to be seen in the figure.
We’ll add to the previous figures the following:
• With the collapse of the Soviet Union, thousands of small- and medium size banks were opened in Russia, part of which were owned by Russian mafias, taking into account that the major ownerships were for the western banks and their branches. The carnival- style, show-like and widened operations of “bank opening” are the bad omen and familiar trade mark along the “prosperous” road of liberalization, well-known by so many countries around the world, including Syria that has endured it largely during the “open up era”, that has in turn formed a major contributor in what the Syrians are suffering from now. In 2015, the Central Bank of Russia closed down many working banks and NGOs throughout the country, among which were major share-holders within Russia’s “banking industry”(33), due to acquired data related to lack of transparency, money laundry, high interest rates on bad loans, besides other practises that prevailed this sector during the 1990s.
• The underdevelopment of the financial sector in Russia, evident through its relatively low-profile contribution in the overall economic life, does not only form a direct reflection of Russia’s retarded capitalism, rather it is a direct result of the Soviet Union’s 70 years lifespan. Throughout the entire Soviet era, the financial tools of different shapes remained weak within the Russian economy. This was deliberate in accordance to the “Socialist Planning”, that placed Russia along a development road that differed from the traditional capitalist one. A part of the Socialist planning depended on solving “commodity exchange” issue, leading to “non-commodity exchange”, although this was not put this way. In “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”, Lenin explains that the continuous development, growth and merge of the banking capital and the industrial one, make out of the banks institutions of “true global nature”. The Russian banks have never reached such positions.
B-3) Capital export:
In the imperialist stage, the basic activity of capital shifts from exporting commodities to exporting capital. This is due, as said before, to capital surplus and to the profit tendency to fall, nationally. This does not mean, however, that commodity exportation stops, but it definitely means that the overwhelming majority of the exported commodities are those of the high added values: the highly manufactured goods. Profit is maximized in commodity exportation not because they are highly manufactured, rather as their exportations fall within unequal exchange equations.
UNCTAD (UN Conference for Trade and Development)(34) statistics say that the overall Russian outward Foreign Direct Investment stock in 2014 reached $258 Billions, 1% of the world’s overall outward FDI stocks. In comparison, the U.S. scored 25% till 2011, while Europe got 51%, out of the entire FDIs.
According to UNCTAD itself, the foreign investment of Russia in 2011 tolled $ 362.101, whereas the foreign investments in Russia reached $ 457.474. This means that Russia recorded in 2011 a $ 95.373 Million deficiency in foreign investments, making the country a pure importer of capital, rather than an exporter of it.
On the other side, the US and European FDI outward stocks in 2011 scored $44.99.962 Millions, and $10.443.870 Millions, on a row, meaning that their joint share of worldwide FDIs reached 70.6%, ranking the USA and Europe as sheer exporters of capital(35).
We would like to add the following to the previous:
• The third feature characterizing imperialism, according to Lenin, has to do not only with exporting capital, rather with this exportation assuming the major activity, instead of exporting commodities. That’s why, getting a better picture for this characteristic entails over viewing some features of Russia’s commodity exportation.
• Russian exports in 2015 reached $285 billion(36), compared to $1454 billion for the U.S.(37), and $408 billion for the UK(38). The point here is not about the difference, quantitatively speaking, between these indicators, but much importantly it is about the qualitative disparity. Amongst Russia’s top exports in 2015 were Mineral fuels including oil at 47.2%, iron and steel at 4.9%, aluminium at 2.1%, Gems and precious metals at 3.1%, copper 1.2% and wood at 2.3%. this illustrates that more than 60% of the Russian exports are raw materials, compared to 10.5% in the U.S. and 13.1% in the UK. The following figure (figure3) shows main Russian exports. It shows that largest proportion of Russian exports are raw materials.
• The abovementioned figures do not just indicate Russia’s capitalist tardiness, rather they also reveal, under the unequal exchange relations prevailing worldwide, that Russia is still subject to the vast plundering operation of its resources by the states of the imperialist centre.
B-4) Territorial Division among the Monopolies
We’ve indicated before that Forbes 2016 data listed top 2000 companies around the world. In some details, this included 25 Russian companies, 19 Brazilian, 21 from Saudi Arabia, 56 Indian, 53 Canadian, 61 French, 50 German, 92 British, 200 Chinese and 540 US companies.
The next figure (Figure4) shows the position of Russia in (World's biggest public companies) compared to the top states in this context.
Having previously indicated that the biggest monopolies in Russia are basically the two oil companies, it’s worth mentioning here that the Russia’s market share within the world oil market in 2015 has reached 12.4%, approximately, lagging behind the USA and Saudi Arabia, each holding 13% of the same market . In addition to the arms, that we’ll discuss in the following point, oil could almost be the one commodity with which Russia scores a serious figure in world markets. Apart from that, Russia’s shares as to other commodities are too minor to be considered.
The following figure (figure5), shows World's oil production share among the main producers by country.
B-5) World Division among Major Powers
The international reports tell that Russia has 9 extraterritorial military bases, India (6), Turkey (4), Germany (2), France (11), Italy (2), UK (17), and the USA has 800 extraterritorial military bases(40).
In 2015, the major shares of arm deals worldwide were as follows(41): 31% for the USA, 27% for Russia, 5% for China, 5% for Germany, 5% for France, 4% for the UK, 3% for Spain, 3% for Italy, 3% for Ukraine, and 2% for “Israel” as shown in (figure6).
Quite notably here is that the military expenditure of NATO member states in 2014 has doubled by ten times the military expenditures of both Russia and China(42).
The fifth feature characterizing imperialism has a compound geo-political-economic nature. It underlines the political form of the state, its area and population, as a tool in the hand of the monopolies, which function is to protect these monopolies, expand their geopolitical, thus economic, shares, if possible. The starting point in this “characteristic” is to say that “the minimum function of Russia’s military strength is to protect Russian monopolies”. We have already clarified that those monopolies, inherited from the USSR, are located within the state sector, and they remain a decisive element for preserving the country’s territorial integrity and preventing its imperialism-desired breakup. Discussing the “maximum” role-play of the Russian military strength would be dealt with in the final part of this study, in which we’ll tackle “Is Russia willing to be imperialist? Can it be? Till then, we would like to add the following ideas:
• Most of the Russian military bases are USSR legacy, meaning that they were not formed on imperialist- development basis, as is the case with the states of the imperialist centre.
• Had classifying imperialism depended on the existence of military bases, Turkey, for example, or India with its 6 bases, would have been considered as imperialist(43).
• Russia “is invading the world to promote its arms and weapons“, and Syria is nothing but “a live expo for the Russian arms”. This is the rhetoric quoted daily in mainstream western media, to be repeated by the European and Arab “leftish” parrots. Anyway, let’s go to the figures, in order to explore the seriousness of such sayings: Russia’s arm exports in 2014 and 2015, were $13 and $15.2 billion, successively. The estimates for 2016 are also $15 billion, approximately(44). This indicates that the arm sales for the last three years have reached $43.2 billion. This is, of course, the figure of the sales and not the profits. Let’s presume, nonetheless, (to appease Russian imperialism opponents) that the entire figure is profit, and let’s ask: what is the cost? The Economic Expert Group has estimated Russia’s loss during 2014-2017, inflicted by the “oil warfare” and economic sanctions, has reached “600 billion(45), more by 14 times the Russian arm sales, and not arm profits..! Do we need to add anything here to this figure?
• Taking into consideration that the minds of the abovementioned “opponents” are top-class geostrategic”, the fall of “arm trade imperialism” notion would not prevent them from saying that “Russia is invading Syria not only for arm, but also as the former is greedy for the gas and oil explorations in the Mediterranean”. Once more, had it ever come to the minds of those people to ask the simple question: If Russia has 40% of the world’s natural resources- it owns them, with zero cost- and it needs tens of years to extract them, then what kind of a craziness that would encourage it to attempt seizing the natural resources of other countries, with all the embedded huge hundreds-of- billions-of-dollar costs, politically, economically and militarily?(46)
B-6) Initial Summary:
The previous review shows to us that the Russian figures, as to the five featuring characteristics, are self-obstinate to the imperialist classification.
What an imperialist country, which raw materials consist 61% of its exports?
What an imperialist country that the figures declare as a sheer importer, other than an exporter, of capital?
What kind of an imperialist country that shares world market domination only with two commodities: oil and arms, out of thousands of other major ones?
Despite all of this, if someone wants to deal with Lenin’s texts as holy and rigid stereotypes, it will be enough to say that the imperialism feature of a certain state drops, with the misapplication of any of the five characteristics. On the contrary, too, adopting text rigidity, the imperialism of a given state could be proved by saying: there are monopolies, there are financial capital, there are capital exportation, there is a certain share in the world market, and there are attempts or intentions to re-divide the world; hence, the concerned state is imperialist..!
Rigidly invoking Lenin, would not make Russia alone as imperialist. The same would be applied to India, Malaysia, Turkey, Greece, among others. For bickering only, we invite those who have a leisure time, and are “in mode” to play such “games”, to prove that India, for example, is an imperialist state. We guaranty that this would be too easy. The figures would serve them in India’s case, better than they would with Russia’s. The latter figures, as to the five characteristics, are too stubborn to the “imperialist description”, despite any attempt to bend the figures fit. As those whom we are concerned to discuss with, as mentioned at the beginning, are the true Marxists- Leninists- not those who quote Marxism as “literary texts” decorating their politically- oriented, ready-made ideas- we have not stopped at “refuting excuses”, rather our overall discussion is based on the idea of “today’s imperialism”, not the “ imperialism as texted in Lenin’s pamphlet”. Addressing the issue, any other way, has nothing to do with Marxism, by all means.
Today’s imperialism has turned to be a mergence of the five characteristics, and between the concrete and contemporary forms of its appearance, base on two major pillars: 1- Neo- colonialism, or the economic colonialism established on unequal exchange mechanisms, including the centre- peripherals thesis. 2- The US dollar with its organizations, being a tool for world labour plundering. Ignoring this tangible fact is quite enough to forge out the most reactionary political positions, under, among others, “progressive, revolutionary, Leninist adherence” titles. We’ll explain this at the final part of this article, but let’s now go to the second section of this discussion!
C - Is Russia willing to be imperialist? Can it be?
Having so far proved that talking about an “imperialist Russia” is no more than rubbish covered by Marxism and/or Leninism, we will move to a tougher discussion, dealing with the future, rather than with the present only. As we can’t judge intentions, we will depend on their badness! Thus, let’s presume that Russia is willing to be imperialist, and discuss what it does and what it can do, contextually!
C-1) The Nature of Today’s Capitalist Crisis
Comprehending the position of Russia, China, and the rest of the rising peripheral states, towards the ongoing international conflict, can’t be realized without understanding the nature of the crisis endured by capitalism. In order not to make the reader tired with a lengthy narrative on the subject, we refer to our study published in the Lebanese Al-Tareeq periodical magazine, issue No3, entitled “Is there an Exit out of the Great Capitalism Crisis?(47) We’ll list hereafter few major characteristics of the current crisis:
1- The expiration of the horizontal expansion process(48) and the shift towards the vertical type:
The horizontal expansion has formed an essential component of capitalism’s mechanism to exit out of its previous crises. It temporarily solve out surplus problems- that have been represented at first by the commodity surplus, followed by the surplus of capital, and then by arm and dollar surpluses. This expansion process has slowed down after WWII, as the un-capitalized parts of the world have turned very few. The horizontal expansion process has taken a short breath in the aftermath of USSR collapse, through spreading over its area. The same process, however, has been facing a total stop, since late 1990s, as there was no spot on earth outside the capitalist domain(49). Moreover, the size of the horizontal expansion needed by capitalism to get out of its crisis has to do basically with the magnitude of the crisis. Thus, having presumably un-capitalized areas, here or there, wouldn’t be enough to exit the current crisis out, whose indicators surpass by so many doubles those of 1929 crisis(50). Accordingly, the main expansion process has turned to be vertical: destroying the means of production by direct and indirect ways, including deepening of neo-liberalism, neo-Malthusianism, and the formation of neo-Fascism. The leader of this operation is nothing else the world criminal financial capital(51).
2- There is no alternative imperialist centre:
The interrelation we have shown between neo-colonialism, on one hand, and the dollar as a global currency, on the other, added to the end of the horizontal expansion, yield the fact that the entire world has turned to be a one dead-locked bloc. The “hypothetical” emergence of an alternative imperialist centre is not, anymore, a “national policy” issue of a given country, rather it is a world economic and political question, ruled by the dimensions of the same crisis suffered by the existing imperialist centre.
3- Any worldwide future development is governed by the redistribution of wealth(52):
According to Marxism, the essence of capitalism, as a social phenomenon, is its mode of production, where the production forces represent the content, while the production relations reveal the form that defines the relation between the components of the content. As it is the case with any other materialistic phenomenon, capitalism can sustain survival as long as its form allows its content to develop, i.e., as long as the production relations allow the development of the production forces. The development of the growing production forces can’t be realized without a constant growth in production, i.e., in “actual” growth indicators. If we add to this wealth distribution factor, that belongs to the form (production relations), it will turn obvious that the constant and rapid wealth centralization needs, in turn, not only a constant increase of wealth, but a raised-to-multiple-powers wealth increase. As the growth rates of the different countries of the world are what we see today, the highest one with all what it yields of a reproduced value doesn’t utterly fall in proportion with the ongoing scale of wealth centralization. This leads us to say that while high growth rates have been a must to realize a certain level of social justice, nowadays realities necessitate quite the opposite: realizing any growth needs higher levels of social justice, i.e., the redistribution of wealth in a manner that makes its concentration fit the scale of production forces development.
4- If humanity, in the 20th century, endured two world wars, followed by sporadic and on different location ones, for capitalism to get out of its crises, today’s cost would at minimum start from “Russia”, with all this takes, leading to the “actual application of neo-Malthusianism”, fulfilling the verdict of Roma Club for the rich of the world in 1975 to execute almost 5 billion people.
Russia, with its vast 17 million km² area, its huge resources (40% of the world natural resources), represents the “grand prize” for the western imperialism and its American centre. Controlling such an enormous area and resources would be enough to postpone, for a decade or more, putting on table the situation of the dollar, through commodificating parts of its inflation. Accomplishing this, nonetheless, necessitates attempting breaking Russia up, through stirring up the entire “arch of tension” region. This would guaranty two issues: undermining and eliminating Russia, and tying and subjecting the Chinese giant.
The US- western scenario adopted for Russia, is not brand new in essence. It has already been tested in a number of countries, based on the following:
1. Creating economic weakening, mainly through privatization, encouraging mafias, corruption and economic sanctions as an assistance. This means that the core issue here is to hit the social function of Russia’s state apparatus, through undermining “state-sector monopolies”.
2. Having a weak economic position would result in the deterioration of the living standards and social conditions of the Russians. The widely available ethnic, religious and sectarian spices would be added, leading to a colour(ed) revolution, followed by a total fragmentation.
3. Stirring up a number of wars and conflicts in the surroundings of Russia and China, turning them into a tool of pressure, distortion and attrition against the two states, till the wars break inside them.
C-2) What Objective Choices the Russians have?
Regardless of who is ruling the Russian state, and even if the Russian state apparatus is totally nationalistic with bourgeois intentions and heart- although this assumption is incorrect as we’ve referred to earlier, due to the ongoing strength of the communist thoughts and traditions, the Russian people are obligated to work on the following issues, within their strive to survive and keep their country integrated:
1- Preserving the state sector and keeping it intact.
2- Assembling capacities for the battle requires defusing internal detonators. This consequently entails targeting the remaining Mafiosi, preserving the currently “bad” living conditions, in order to improve them remarkably on short runs.
3- Under the circumstances inflicted by the overall world capitalist crisis, and not under the special Russian circumstances, this raise of living standards needs serious operations on wealth redistribution.
4- On its surroundings, as well as on worldwide level, Russia is bound to extinguish the wars stirred up by the West all around it, similarly as it is obligated to rise to face Fascism, once again. The Russian national interests, (as those of China and India), even in accordance to a bourgeois logic, lie in encircling and putting down the engulfing fires. Hence, come their positions with regard to the political solutions.
We’ve already indicated in the chapter that dealt with “Today’s Imperialism” that one of its contemporary aspects/ characteristics is the warfare ultra post colonial. This particular characteristic sums up what we called here the US scenario against Russia. We would like to add: this feature means that the competing imperialists are no more capable to accept each other, with the “cake” of Earth is shrinking due to their constant enlargement of both their crisis and greediness, so how with a new competitor? This means that even if the Russian bourgeoisie wanted to re-join the imperialist club, the door would be closed and the seats would be limited. So, how would it be the case with Russia itself being targeted by these states, as a delicious meal that should be swallowed up completely and as soon as possible?
The neo-warfare-colonial aspect means, too, that the Russian people, along with the entire nations of the peripheral states, are in a self-defence position, exactly in the position of fighting colonialism. Lenin’s prediction, that the peoples in their fight against colonialism would turn to fight capitalism itself, remains quite contemporary, true and applicable.
The Draft Program of the People’s Will Party, written during the 1st half of 2014, said under its “vision” chapter: “.. and in the inner house of capitalism, the greater capitalist crisis has deepened the fractions and divisions within the capitalist camp itself, between the US-European imperialist centre, on one hand, and the rising capitalist forces (BRICS), on the other, leading to a new international balance, with which the US unipolar system ends. This does not mean that the new polarization would be similar to that which prevailed during post cold war era, rather it is a temporal bipolarity, that would not last for long, until it moves and leave the space for the actual duality to rise worldwide: the peoples’ pole, on one side, and the capitalist one, on the other. In their national struggle to defend their territorial integrity and their national interests in the face of imperialism which is doomed to widening war scales and exploitation, the nations of BRICS states, for example, would find themselves gradually turning against capitalism itself, as a socio-economic system. This would go in line with the interests of third world peoples, whose national struggle against the imperialist West and Zionism is becoming more and more integrated with their socio-economic one. This deep interests cohesion would push towards the crystallization of the popular pole against the capitalist one, regardless of any political and international covers that would represent the form of such real bipolarity (peoples/ capitalism)(53).
The fear being spread today from “Russia’s imperialist spectre”, is in-depth nothing but the fear of the spreaders from the “spectre of communism”, which is loaming back not only over Russia, or Europe, alone, rather over the entire world.
- Amin, Samir, "Débâcle financière, crise systémique: réponses illusoires et réponses nécessaires", Mondialisation.ca, 2008.
- Amin, Samir, The Law of Worldwide Value: Second Edition, NYU Press, 2010.
- Central Bank of Russia, the official website, Publications 2015
- Credit Suisse, Global Wealth Report 2016
- Forbes, 2016, "The World's Biggest Public Companies", the official website, available at:
- FRED, "Shares of gross domestic income: Compensation of employees, paid: Wage and salary accruals: Disbursements: To persons", the official website 2015
- IMF, Database 2015, 2016.
- Jamil, Kadri, The humane civilization at a crossroads, form Dar Al-Talia Al-Jadida, 4th edition, Damascus 2015.
- Jamil, Kadri, Economic Issues, Dar al-Taliaa al-Jadida, 1rst ed., Damascus 2016.
- Kassioun paper, Syria (in Arabic): (No. 214, January 23, 2004), (No. 389, January 28, 2009), (No. 619, September 15, 2013), (No. 741, January 17, 2016), (No. 775, September 11, 2016), (No. 780, October 10, 2016).
- Lenin, Vladimir, Selected Works in 10 Volumes, Progress Publishers, 1976, Vol. 5
- Marx & Engels, MEWC, Vol. 6, Vol. 29, issued (1975- 2005) by Progress Publishers (Moscow), & Lawrence and Wishart (London), & International Publishers (New York City).
- Military expenditure IN 2014.
- Mill, J. S., Collected Works, Edited by John M. Robson and R. F. McRae. 33 vols. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 1963-, Vol. 6.
- Mohanna, Issa, Brain Drain in Arab World, MA Thesis for Damascus-based State Planning Institution, introduced by Issa Mohanna, and supervised by Dr. Kadri Jamil, Damascus University, 2004.
- Pitts, Jennifer, A Turn To Empire, Princeton 2005.
- Pollard, Sidney, The Economic History Review- Vol. 38, No. 4 (Nov., 1985).
- PWP (People's Will party- Syria), The Preparatory Committee for the Extraordinary Conference of the Syrian Communist Party in Damascus 18 Dec 2003, Syrian Communist publications, Damascus 2003.
- Relbanks, 2017, "Top 100 Banks in the World", the official website
- The Global Financial Centres Index 20, September 2016.
- Statista, "Share of global crude oil production among the leading oil-producing countries in 2015", the official website
- TRENDS IN INTERNATIONAL ARMS TRANSFERS 2014, March 2015, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
- UNCTAD, Database 2014, 2015, 2016.
- UNCTAD database, FDI (1970-2015).
- US Federal Reserve, Data, the official website, "currency costs"
- WB, Database, 2015, 2016.
1- It should be noted that the term "oriental despotism" although it has been used for a long time in the writings of European thinkers, but it took a specific meaning from the mid-18th century in the writings of Montesquieu, then by Adam Smith, James and John Mel, and others, It was an essential part in the propaganda for Eurocentrism and for the role of Western colonialism, especially the British, and for "Pushing barbarians towards civilization".
2- Lenin, Selected Works in 10 Volumes, Progress Publishers, 1976, Vol. 5, PP. 524-525.
3- To admit dependency as a reality, along with the unequal exchange mechanisms, never means acceptance of the entire theses of the so-called Dependency Theory, especially those on Exploitation Average Rates and on the Value Law. Nonetheless, we see these mechanisms as a new type of the international relations in general, rather than the economic ones only, taking into account the concrete development within the imperialist stage.
4- Classifying brain drain as one of the unequal exchange mechanisms is not one the attribute of those who classically worked on the subject. This was added almost two decades ago. One can refer to a 2004 MA Thesis, for Damascus-based State Planning Institution, introduced by Issa Mohanna, and supervised by Dr. Kadri Jamil. The study said: “Statistics prove that there are more than 450 thousand Arabs, of academy education and post-graduate certificates in Europe, America and Canada. Those were qualified at the expense of Arab nations. Arab League figures estimate the economic and social losses inflicted by this brain drain at approximately $200 billion, mounting to the Syrian annual budgets for more than 20 years”.
With this regard, we’ve proposed to add “outsourcing/ freelancing” as an advanced, much plundering and exploiting formula, within brain drain. For more see this link
5- Distinction should be made between Marx’s “world money function” and the dollar as a global currency. In Das Kapital, Marx explains the role of the world money: “Money is universal commodity, if only because it is the universal form which every particular commodity notionally or actually assumes. As treasure and universal means of payment, money becomes the universal means of exchange on the world market, the universal commodity not only in concept, but also in mode of existence". Collected Works, Vol 29, chapter Two, Money.
6- Ibid. According to Marx's understanding, any local currency might simultaneously be a universal one, on the basis of an exchange ratio with other local currencies. Gold was the criterion embedded in this rate. Bretton Woods, nonetheless, has legalized the position equivalence between the dollar and gold within international trade, abiding the dollar to get a gold coverage, but raising it at the same time above all other domestic currency. The dollar owners benefited from this advantageous and discriminatory position, and started printing the dollar unlimitedly, throwing it to the international market without its gold coverage, as it was not possible at that time to monitor the amounts of printed dollars around the world. After cancelling Bretton Woods, the entire world trade system had been linked to the dollar, starting from the dominant financial institution up to the simplest types of international exchanges. The process has been established by the military and political strength of the USA, and gained further consolidation with the fall of the Soviet Union.
7- If we consider that the printing of a single $100 note costs 15.5 cents, as stated in US federal Reserve data, (see this link), the profit average rate of producing each $100 note mounts to ((100/0.155)x100)%, or 64516%. Others estimate that the printing cost per $100 note at 4 cents. If this is true, the profit rate will make 250000%.
8- Some people try to be smart by saying that the classification of “centre of the centre” is a recall of Kautsky’s “Ultra Imperialism”. This saying envisaged “a peace prevailing the world” based on an “accord among imperialisms”. What we are saying here is quite the opposite: it is the conflict itself that has led to this degree of concentration, which is still going on until now, and even more so, if war is "the iron lung of capitalism," all capitalism has now become a rusty "iron lung", and the emergence of nuclear weapons and its continuing evolution have enhanced the option of intra-crumbling wars, and made the option of direct Major wars a crazy option, but it still exists in the theoretical sense at least. Engels' discussion of two options for humankind (barbarism or socialism) has become today (the extinction or socialism).
9- Ironically that these "rigid text" specifications come from those who call for the "renewal of Marxism", and who don't have a problem Reducing Marxism to "method" not "theory", but when there's a political need, they put their nonsense aside and replace it with new nonsense they call it Marxism and even Leninism
10- There is a continuing dispute so far about the history of colonialism: while some dating it to the fifteenth century, specifically since 1415 with the establishment of the first Portuguese colony, in Ceuta, and considers it a European phenomenon, other historians date it much earlier, to the Greeks and even to the Pharaohs.
11- Marx and Engels describe the commodity in the Communist Manifesto [The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls] – MECW, vol. 6, p.488.
12- In his introduction to the explanations of the relative decline of the British economy compared to the US and French in the late 19th century, Sydney Pollard notes that while the GNP savings ratio in these three countries is close to 11-15%, America and France have recruitment In domestic investment is about 12% each, while Britain has employed only 7%... and exported the rest.
Sidney Pollard, The Economic History Review- Vol. 38, No. 4 (Nov., 1985), p. 489.
13- Jennifer Pitts points out that although Adam Smith was not really hostile to British colonial policy, but colonial expansion after his death, and in the second half of the 19th century in particular, "violated many principles of Smith's economic theory: it diverted capital away from where it would 'naturally' be invested". These "violations" were supported by thinkers who argued for their succession to Smith, such as John Stuart Mill and Alexis Tocqueville, which reinforces the assumption that a significant change has taken place in the structure of the colonial system since the late 19th century, thus reinforcing that the seeds of a new colonial system formed in that era.
Jennifer Pitts, A Turn To Empire, Princeton 2005, p.18.
14- In conjunction with this process, there has been an important shift within capitalist development: If the export of goods - and the expansion of the market - resulted spontaneously from a combination of factors: The industrial development and the competition that produced the surplus goods in conjunction with two laws the pursuit of higher profit and The progressive tendency of the general rate of profit to fall followed by the higher organic composition of capital, The Transmission of center of gravity and importance Towards the export of capital in the imperialist stage, didn’t stop the flood of goods. Since the 1930s, however, an important shift has taken place within the concrete development of imperialism, which was finally confirmed during the Second World War, with the singing of Britain Woods argument started a process, non-spontaneous one, to turn surplus goods into surplus weapons and surplus dollars in an attempt to avoid and hide crises, Through the transformation of wars into a part of the thoughtful and planned capitalism Mechanism, not in spontaneity way (for more details on this point, review Dr. Kadri Jamil's lecture)
From that moment onwards, the task of Western weapons, especially the US, has become the defense of financial monopolies and the monopoly of the dollar above all else. This is a crucial factor in distinguishing between Russian weaponry and its objective function, which has nothing to do with defending serious financial monopolies (Does not exist), and the Western and American weapons.
15- The Soviet Union declared its first nuclear test in August 1949.
16- "Since 1995, US imperialism has used the global stock market mechanism, which has become a global gambling club, in order to accelerate the turnover of the dollar surplus of market needs. This is evidenced by the fact that exchanges in Global stock markets were until 1995 (90%) of which were related to the real economy and (10%) to financial speculation, which aims to sell and buy shares quickly far away from real production processes, And reversed the situation after 1995 to the contrary, and became (90%) of the exchanges have nothing to do with the real economy. If we know that the volume of daily exchanges on the global stock exchanges is (1.5) trillion dollars, we know exactly the magnitude of the crisis experienced by the US dollar"
from the Report of "the Preparatory Committee for the Extraordinary Conference of the Syrian Communist Party in Damascus 18 Dec 2003". Syrian Communist publications p.32
you can get this document form Dar Al-Talia in Damascus or by following this link
This document was one of the most important starting points for what is now known as the people Will Party.
17- Dollar inflation is one of the crisis’ aspects, it is enough for the “global currency“ to be a global - not just an American – crisis, , with large rates due to the printing without coverage. Besides, dollar inflation is the base of global monetary inflation. Dr. Samir Amin refers that:” the volume of financial exchanges is two thousand trillion dollars whereas the productive structure and gross national product is 44 trillion dollar, only!” i.e. more than 45 double.
For more see this link
18- Early, in 1994, Dr. Kadri Jameel referred to this point as: “we may say that the neo-colonialism, as economic looting mechanisms in the first place, was finally established in the mid-1960s and was successfully used in the mid-1980s. With the Gorbachev perestroika, the neo-global system became to be clear with an unprecedented phenomenon is the return of the old colonialism with no abolish of the new one, i.e. the merge of both of them (..). The neo-global system is a complex of the tow systems, holds their worst features”. /The humane civilization at a crossroads, Attalia’a Aljadida, 4th edition 2015, P86/
19- A few years ago, we began to read, in some studies and press articles, the expression of ultra-neo-colonialism., although this expression has not yet been translated into a term. Not mention to its return into a concept, its mere presence refers to an unprecedented imperialistic phenomenon.
20- For a broader explanation of Neo Malthusianism, see this link
21- We can add the "sustainable fascist" to the neo-imperialism, as a requisite element for the continuity of capital structure; if the mass base of fascism of the 20th century has shaped of "marginalized: long time-unemployed", the continuation of capitalism has only expanded this base and turned it from a temporally marginalized (within the periods of recession), into a permanent one (within the inflationary recession that has persisted since 1970s, at least) ... For more, see this link
22- The general capitalist crisis is intensified by the emergence of its alternative on the historical arena, the October Revolution and then the emergence of the Soviet Union had constitute a concrete alternative to the capitalist system. (Paris Commune cannot be counted in this context since it has not reached the stabilization phase).
23- An important part of the Soviet's trade with the West remained unequal, particularly with respect to the import of civilian technology and the export of raw materials.
24- Under influence of "the competition of model" and "the cold war", and through the seek of imperial countries to ground the labour movement, they made compromises to for the benefit of labour-class which named (historical bribe). This was the phase that witnessed the birth of "The welfare state Model". Since the mid-1960s, the process of retraction of these gains has begun. Thus, with Thatcher and the transition to neoliberalism, this process of retraction accelerated. It accelerated more in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since 2008, it has entered a new and more difficult phase. This retraction (in the US, for example) can be seen very clearly by monitoring changes in the wage ratio of domestic income over the last 65 years. For more, see this link
25- An example of this is what Salama Kila says in an old article entitled "A Lesson for the Fools about Russian Imperialism", trying to prove that Russia, after Soviet Union’s collapse, is naturally and necessarily imperialist. He says: (Can there be capitalism that is not imperialism? back to Lenin: the title of his book is “Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism ", so we will conclude that capitalism, as a style, has become imperialism. But Lenin wrote, “Imperialism the Newest Stage of Capitalism “as He refers to the original title of the book. He studied the latest form of capitalism and concluded that it was imperialist. That is why he is talking about an economic configuration that rules capitalism. He calls it imperialist, that is, hegemonic. It imposes dominance of centres on the parties and subject them to its logic. Thus, the entanglement with this style inevitably imposes the imperialist perspective. Capitalism has moved from its competitive form to its monopolistic form, and it has become imperialist necessarily, and it is no longer possible to return the capitalist to the initial form of capitalism. Hence, it is not imperialism the country that seeks to achieve capitalist evolution and has not yet become capitalist in the exclusive sense (India, for example).
Summary: (within the imperialist stage, all imperialism is capitalism). Therefore, according to the logic of Aristotelian rational reasoning used by Salama Kila, which is, unfortunately, used wrongly, we can reach very impressive results such as: (within the capitalist state, the dominant and the prevailing is the bourgeois perspective. So, the labor class is necessarily bourgeois), or such as: (the dominant is the perspective of the great bourgeoisie and therefore, the petty bourgeoisie is necessarily a major bourgeoisie). This is a way to understand the former nonsense, and there is another way, not a turning back from imperialism to the phase of capitalist free competition, but to a purely imaginary place: where there is capitalism in some countries of the world (has evolved to imperialism). There is capitalism in some countries of the world (it has evolved into imperialism), and the rest of the world has not yet been capitalizes. Here is a very important example of India: Do not you know that India has not yet become capitalism (in the exclusive sense)?! Even though Salama himself says in another article entitled "A Different World": (The Soviet Union collapsed ...) and thus the whole world became capitalist.
To be more clear, in the same simulated logic, we wonder how Salama refers to the existence of "hegemony", "centre" and " Peripherals ", as he matches between the centre and the Peripherals! If it is true that "every capitalism is imperialism" and that there is an imperial "centre" or "centres", then who are the Peripherals? There is no other answer except that it is not imperialism or capitalism "in the exclusive sense, India, for example." There are many other examples of pretentious revolutionaries who describe Russia as imperial without any need for interpretation, except for some political rhetoric words, as Gelber Alashqar does. For more, see this link
26- Forbes List²⁶ for the largest 2000 companies in the world for the year 2016.
27- The famous saying of Madeleine Albright: "How fair it is if a territory like Siberia belongs to only one country?” and “It is terribly unfair for Russia to have so much of the world’s natural resources."
28- We don’t deny or ignore the importance and notable effect of Of the communist ideas and traditions in Russia, fearing of some “left” idiots who would say: (look. They think Russia is the Soviet Union!); one of the results of intellectual terrorism on communists, after Soviet Union collapse, by “international socialism”, “European Communist “and their local dependents, which included free insults to the Soviet Union and Stalin for what they called "Soviet Marxism" and else, was leading some of communists to the state of rebound defence, or identification with this terrorism which aimed to dim on the real reasons of the Soviet Union collapse, by focusing the attack on the elements of its success, to destroy it and not to allow the next experiences to base on. Now, it is possible, even necessary, to smash this terrorism up with its intellectual infection resulted, in the era of Great Capitalism and openness to the revolutionary movement; as the next revolutionary experiences must be based on the highest stage of knowledge, reached in 20th century, by our comrades.
29- you can download the report by fowling this link
30- (Relbanks, Top 100 Banks in the World, 2017) accessible on May 3, 2017.
31- we recommend this website for illustrative and graphical data - accessible on May 3, 2017.
32- The Global Financial Centres Index 20, September 2016, table1. One can see that Moscow and St Petersburg stock markets are 84th and 85th respectively.
33- this is an example
34- UNCTAD database 1970-2015.
36- IMF, database 2016, accessible on this link
39- See the link
40- some other resources reports that US has more than 1000 military bases around the world
41- TRENDS IN INTERNATIONAL ARMS TRANSFERS 2014, March 2015, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
42- Military expenditure IN 2014.
43- Ironically, in this regard, that one of the "fearless fighters against Russian Imperialism" has described India literally as "not yet imperialist in the strict meaning of the word"! Aside from the naïve talk about "Imperialism in the strict meaning", the presence of the Russian military bases is considered, in this "fighter's" opinion, an irrefutable evidence of "the Rise of Russian Imperialism". At the same time, however, India with its six military bases, is not considered as imperialist, and even more, it "has not become capitalist in the strict meaning".
44- TRENDS IN INTERNATIONAL ARMS TRANSFERS 2014, March 2015, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
45- Other assessments don't differ considerably from the figure given here. See this link & this link
46- On this matter, as on many other, the circles of the big corruption inside the Syrian regime correspond with the circles inside that faction of the "Syrian opposition" which is sponsored by Western and Gulf countries. This is indicated from the harmonious melodies that both of them play in our ears everyday about the "oil" Russian interests in Syria.
47- Mohannad Dlykan, "the greatest capitalist crisis: is there an exit?", A study in al-Tareek Journal. See this link
48- The "post-colonial" trend – emerged through indo-western academic cooperation – seeks to prove the claim that "capitalist internationalism" has failed. Such a claim makes us understand the propositions of Keileh and others that "India has not become capitalist in the strict meaning". For more information see the following articles:
The Colonial Theory of "Post-Colonialism"
The Future Tree: not Eastern nor Western!
49- We can exclude Cuba, and maybe North Korea, but only partly, as these two states are, in the last analysis, a dependent and plundered part in the duality of "centre -periphery". Anyway their area and size are "microscopic" within the international field.
50- For more details and explanations, the text of a pertinent lecture by Dr. Kadri Jamil in the Economic Thursday Colloquy can be accessed through this link
51- "criminal" here is not used as value judgment , but as an adjective meant to describe the finance capital that operates in sectors like drugs trading and trading in human beings in all its forms and in illegal arms trading. It's important to note here that "criminal" was a part of banks bailout processes after 2008 crisis, so that a part of its finance streamed into "white channels".
52- Under the deep crisis storming the global capitalist system and pressing it to raise rates of plunder of the Third World, we can say that all the reserves of "growth without development" have been depleted, and things went complicated to a degree with which "growth is no longer possible without development". This is a clear expression of the contemporary form in which the law of "correspondence between productive forces and relations of production" manifests itself. This idea is cited and reproduced here from a study by Dr. Kadri Jamil presented before the Syrian Society of Economic Sciences on the last of June 2004, under the title "The Reality of Economic Growth and Distribution of National Income". For the full text of this study see the following book (paperback in Arabic) by Dr. Kadri Jamil: "Economic Issues", Dar al-Taliaa al-Jadida, 1rst ed. 2016, p. 71-72. A similar expression of the same idea can be found in the document cited in endnote 16 above, and from page 36 of that document we quote the following: "contradiction between productive forces and relations of production on a global level, in the period of American globalization has reached a point, beyond which the persistence of the existing inhumane capitalist relations, which based on plunder, assault, and unequal exchange, would be in total contradiction with developmental requirements of the productive forces, and particularly its human component which is threatened by extermination of a part of it, as a necessary condition if the existing relations of production to be preserved. This is the contradiction which was predicted by Marx and Engels when they said that: "every step forward in the development of productive forces under capitalism is a step backward for mankind and nature."
53- The full text of the draft program of PWP is on this link
Centralization and Decentralization – and Right to Self-determination
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Press Release by Russian Foreign Ministry on Bogdanov-Jamil Meeting