Notebook “κ”

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 1916

Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 39, pages 405-436.

(“KAPPA”)[edit source]

Contents[edit source]

J. A. HOBSON, IMPERIALISM[edit source]

Imperialism. A Study by J. A. Hobson (London, 1902).[1]

p. 4. Real colonisation consists in people of the metropolis emigrating to an empty uncolonised country and bringing their civilisation to it, but the forced subjection of other peoples is already a “debasement of this genuine nationalism” (“spurious colonialism”); it is already a phenomenon of an imperialist order. A model example of a real colony is seen in Canada and the self-governing islands of Australasia.


p. 6. The novelty of the recent Imperialism regarded as a policy consists chiefly in its adoption by several nations. The notion of a number of competing empires is essentially modern.”

|| N.B.

p. 9. “Nationalism is a plain highway to internationalism, and if it manifests divergence we may well


suspect a perversion of its nature and its purpose. Such a perversion is Imperialism, in which

|| !!

nations trespassing beyond the limits of facile assimilation transform the wholesome stimulative rivalry of varied national types into the cut-throat struggle of competing empires.”

pp. 17–18. The nucleus of the British Empire is a population of 40 million, living in an area of 120,000 square miles. During the last generation alone, the increase in the possessions of the British Empire = 4,754,000 sq. miles with 88,000,000 people.

p. 19. The British colonies and dependencies in 1900 == 13,142,708 sq. miles with a population of 306,793,919 (*).


N. B. Hobson includes the “protectorates” (Egypt, Sudan, etc), which Morris does not!!


(*) Hobson here quotes Morris, II, 87 and R. Giffen: “The Relative Growth of the Component Parts of Our Empire”, a paper read before the Colonial Institute, January 1898.

(Further, The Statesman’s Year-Book for 1900.)

p. 20. Between 1884 and 1900, 3,711,957 square miles (counting Sudan, etc.) with a population of 57,436,000 were added to the British Empire.[2]

pp. 21–22. In Germany, literature on the necessity for her to have colonial possessions arose in the seventies. The first official aid to the German Commercial and Plantation Association of the Southern Seas was given in 1880. The “German connection with Samoa” belongs to the same period, but real imperialist policy in Germany began from 1884, when the African protectorates arose and the islands of Oceania were acquired. During the next fifteen years, a million square miles, with a population of 14,000,000, in the colonies was brought under the influence of Germany. Most of the territory was in the tropics, with only a few thousand whites.

In France, the old colonial spirit began to revive at the very beginning of the eighties. The most influential economist conducting colonial propaganda was Leroy-Beaulieu. In 1880, French possessions in Senegal and Sahara were extended, a few years later Tunisia was acquired, in 1884 France took an active part in the struggle for Africa and at the same time strengthened her rule in Tonkin and Laos in Asia. Since 1880, France acquired 3 1/2 million square miles with a population of 37,000,000 almost wholly in tropical and subtropical countries, inhabited by lower races and unsuitable for French colonisation.

In 1880, Italy’s Abyssinian expedition came to grief and her imperialist ambitions suffered defeat. Her possessions in East Africa were limited to Eritrea and a protector ate in Somali.

The African agreement of 1884–86 gave Portugal the extensive region of Angola and the Congo Coast, and in 1891 a considerable part of East Africa came under her political control.

The Congo Free State, which became the property of the King of Belgium in 1883 and which has been considerably enlarged since then, must be regarded as a morsel seized by Belgium in the struggle for Africa.

Spain has been kept away from the arena of the struggle for the world.

Holland does not take part in the modern imperialist struggle; her considerable possessions in the East and West Indies are of older origin.

Russia, the only one of the northern countries pursuing an imperialist policy, directs her efforts chiefly to the seizure of Asia, and, although her colonisation of Asia is more natural, since she proceeds by extending her state frontiers, she will soon come into conflict with other powers in regard to the division of Asia.

p. 23. Altogether the European states + Turkey + China + the United States of America, embracing an area of 15,813,201 square miles with a population of 850,103,317, possess 136 colonies with an area of 22,273,858 square miles and a population of 521,108,791. (Taken wholly from Morris, II, 318, as Hobson himself pointed out.)

pp. 26–27. “Expansion of Chief European Powers since 1884[3] :
Great Britain (see p. 20)3,711,957sq. miles57,436,000
France3,583,580” ”36,553,000
Germany1,026,220” ”16,687,100

[[BOX: Russia (?) 114,320 sq. miles (?) 3,300,000 (population) (this is Khiva + Bukhara) (this == Khiva + Bukhara) Russia ((Khiva (1873), Bukhara (1873[4] ), Kwantung (1898) Manchuria (1900)) {{BOX: Although under a heading “since 1884”, Hobson has included both Khiva and Bukhara }} ]]

Belgium (Congo)900,00030,000,000
Portugal (Angola, 1886;

East Africa, 1891, and


N.B. N.B. (Hobson adds, pp. 28–29, two maps of Africa, 1873 and 1902, clearly showing the increase in its partition).

p. 34: Percentages of Total Values:
Imports intoExports fromp. 37Percentages of


Great Britain


Great Britain





into colonies, from


from etc. into









Great Britain
p. 38. Year ending December 1901:
(£000, 000)Imports fromExports to
Foreign countries417.615=80178.450=63.5
British India38.001=739.753=14
British South Africa5.155=117.006=6
Other British possessions7.082=110.561=4
p. 39. Trade of the Empire with Great Britain: (£000)
Annual averageTotal




% of






% of

exports to Britain




ing colo-

Other colo-





ing colo-

Other colo-



From “The Flag and Trade” by Professor Flux, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, September 1899, Vol. LXII, pp. 496–98.

p. 48. “The total emigration of Britons represents no large proportion of the population; that proportion during the recent years of imperial expansion has perceptibly diminished: of the emigrants a small proportion settles in British possessions, and an infinitesimally small fraction settles in the countries acquired under the new Imperialism”....

Since 1884, the emigration figures have been falling[5] :

1884 ... 242,179 (including 155,280 to the United States)

and immigration must also be taken into account!!

1900 ... 168,825 (including 102,797 to the United States (p. 49)) (author gives annual and more detailed figures).

p. 58. (According to Mr. Mulhall) the size and growth of British foreign and colonial investments since 1862 were:



(thousand million francs)
£per centGreat


1872600,000,00045.61510 (1869)
1882875,000,00027.522(1880) 15?
18931,698,000,00074.842(1890) 20
27 (1902)12.5 (1902)
40 (1910)35 (1910)
19144,000,000,000(75-100(1914))60 (1914)44 (1914)[6]

p. 59. “In 1893 the British capital invested abroad

15% |||

represented about 15 per cent of the total wealth of the United Kingdom: nearly one-half of this capital (£770 mill.) was in the form of loans to foreign and colonial governments; of the rest a large pro portion was invested in railways, banks, telegraphs and other public services, owned, controlled, or vitally affected by governments, while most of the


remainder was placed in lands and mines, or in industries directly dependent on land values.”[7]

The figure £1,698,000,000, according to Sir R. Giffen’s calculations, should be considered less than the actual one.


p. 59. Investments: Loans foreign—£525,000,000, colonial—£225,000,000, municipal—£20,000,000, total of loans ==£770,000,000. Railways: U.S.A.—£120,000,000; colonial—£140,000,000, and various—£128,000,000; total of railways—£388,000,000. Sundries: Banks=£50,000,000; lands==£100,000,000; mines, etc.==£390,000,000.

Σ = 770



}} 1,698


p. 60. “It is not too much to say that the modern foreign policy of Great Britain is primarily a struggle for profitable markets of investment.”

pp. 62–63. “Much, if not most, of the debts are ‘public’, the credit is nearly always private....

“Aggressive Imperialism, which costs the tax-payer so dear, which is of so little value|||

to the manufacturer and trader ... is a source of great gain to the investor....

“The annual income Great Britain derives from commissions on her whole foreign and colonial trade, import and export, is estimated by Sir R. Giffen1) at

||| 18 mill.

£18,000,000 for 1899, taken at 2 1/2 per cent, upon a turnover of £800,000,000.” Great as this sum is, it


cannot explain the aggressive imperialism of Great Britain, which is explained by the income of

||| 90 mill.

“£90,000,000 or £100,000 000, representing pure profit upon investments”.[8]


1) Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Vol. LXII, p. 9. ]]

Investors are interested in lessening the risks connected with the political conditions in the countries where they invest their capital.|| N.B.

The investing and speculative classes in general also desire that Great Britain should take other foreign areas under her flag in order to secure new areas for profitable investment and speculation.”

p. 63. “If the special interest of the investor is liable to clash with the public interest and to induce a wrecking policy,


still more dangerous is the SPECIAL INTEREST OF THE FINANCIER, THE GENERAL DEALER IN INVESTMENTS. In large measure the rank and file of the investors are, both for business and for politics, the cat’s-paw of the great financial houses,

||| N.B.

who use stocks and shares not so much as investments to yield them interest, but as material for speculation in the money market.”

p. 68. “Such is the array of distinctively economic forces making for Imperialism, a large loose group of trades and professions seeking profitable business and lucrative employment from the expansion of military and civil services, from the expenditure on military operations, the opening up of new tracts of territory and trade with the same, and the provision of new capital

which these operations require, all these finding their central guiding and directing force in the power of the general financier”. (Finance capital.)

p. 72. The consequence of markets seized by France and Germany being closed to Great Britain has been that the latter has closed her markets to them. “Imperialism, when it has shaken off the ‘old gang’ of politicians who had swallowed Free Trade doctrine when they were young, will openly adopt the Protectionism required to round off this policy” (72–73)....

p. 78. The manufacturer and trader are satisfied by trading with other nations; the investors of capital,


however, exert every effort “towards the political annexation of countries which contain their more speculative investments”.

Capital investment is advantageous for a country, opening new markets for its trade “and employment for British enterprise”. To refrain from “imperial expansion”


means to hand over the world to other nations. “Imperialism is thus seen to be, not a choice, but a necessity” (= the view of the imperialists)....

pp. 80–81 (trusts). Free competition has always been accompanied by “over-production”, which led to prices falling to such a level as to remove weaker competitors from the arena of competition. The first step in the formation of a trust is the closing down of the worst-equipped and worst-situated factories, and the cutting of production costs by using only the most up-to-date machines.

“This concentration of industry in ‘trusts’ ... at once limits the quantity of capital which can be effectively employed and increases the share of profits out of which fresh savings and fresh capital will spring.” The trust arises as an antidote to over-production, to excessive investment of capital in the given industry; hence not all the capital which the participants in the trust want to put into circulation can be invested within the frame work of the trust. The trusts endeavour to invest the


surplus capital so as “to establish similar combinations in other industries, economising capital still further, and rendering it ever harder for ordinary saving men to find investments for their savings”.

pp. 82–84. America’s home market is saturated, capital no longer finds investment.

“It is this sudden demand for foreign markets for manufactures and for investments which is avowedly

|| N.B.

responsible for the adoption of Imperialism as a political policy and practice by the Republican Party to which the great industrial and financial chiefs belong, and which belongs to them. The adventurous enthusiasm of President Roosevelt and his ‘manifest destiny’ and ‘mission of civilisation’ party must not deceive us.


It is Messrs. Rockefeller, Pierpont Morgan, Hanna, Schwab, and their associates who need Imperialism and who are fastening it upon the shoulders of the great Republic of the West.


They need Imperialism because they desire to use the public resources of their country to find profitable employment for the capital which otherwise would be superfluous. “It is not indeed necessary to own a country in order to do trade with it or to invest capital in it,


and doubtless the United States can find some vent for its surplus goods and capital in European countries. But these countries are for the most part able to make provision for themselves: most of them have erected tariffs against manufacturing imports, and even Great Britain is being urged to defend herself by reverting to Protection. The big American manufacturers and financiers will be compelled to look to China and the Pacific and to South America for their most profitable chances. Protectionists by principle and practice, they will insist upon getting as close a monopoly of these markets as they can secure, and the competition of Germany, England, and other trading nations will drive them to the establishment of special political relations with the markets they most prize.


Cuba, the Philippines, and Hawaii are but the hors d’oeuvre to whet an appetite for an ampler banquet. Moreover, the powerful hold upon politics which these industrial and financial magnates possess forms a separate stimulus, which, as we have shown, is operative in Great

N.B. ||

Britain and elsewhere; the public expenditure in pursuit of an imperial career will be a separate immense source of profit to these men, as financiers negotiating loans, shipbuilders and owners handling subsidies, contractors and manufacturers of armaments and other imperialist appliances.”

p. 86. With the introduction of improved methods of production, concentration of ownership and control, the capitalists find it more and more difficult

N.B. ||

“to dispose profitably of their economic resources, and they are tempted more and more to use their governments in order to secure for their particular use some distant undeveloped country by annexation and protection”.

At first sight it seems that the productive forces and capital have outgrown consumption and cannot find application in their own country. Therein, he says,

ha-ha!! the essence of philistine criticism of imperialism


lies the root of imperialism. But... “if the consuming public in this country raised its standard of consumption to keep pace with every rise of productive powers, there could be no excess of goods or capital clamorous to use Imperialism in order to find markets”.

p. 89. “The volume of production has been constantly rising owing to the development of modern machinery.” Wealth can be used by the population or by a handful of rich people. The level of wages puts a limit on use by the population. Personal consumption by the rich, owing to their small number, cannot absorb a very large quantity of products. “The rich will never be so ingenious as to spend enough to prevent over-production.” The chief part of production is devoted to “accumulation”. The stream bearing this huge mass of products “is not only suddenly found to be incapable of further enlargement, but actually seems to be in the process of being dammed up”.

p. 91. “Thus we reach the conclusion that Imperialism is the endeavour of the great controllers of industry


to broaden the channel for the flow of their surplus wealth by seeking foreign markets and foreign


investments to take off the goods and capital they cannot sell or use at home.

|| inevitability of imperialism

The fallacy of the supposed inevitability of imperial expansion as a necessary outlet for progressive industry is now manifest.

|| cf. K. Kautsky

It is not industrial progress that demands the opening up of new markets and areas of investment, but MALDISTRIBUTION of consuming power which prevents the absorption of commodities and capital within the country.”

|| cf. K. Kautsky

p. 94. “There is no necessity to open up new foreign markets; the home markets are capable of indefinite expansion.”

p. 96. “Trade unionism and socialism are thus the natural enemies of imperialism, for they take away from the ‘imperialist’ classes the surplus incomes which form the economic stimulus of imperialism.”

p. 100. “Imperialism, as we see, implies the use of the machinery of government by private interests, mainly capitalist, to secure for them economic gains outside their country.”

“The average yearly value of our foreign trade for 1870–75, amounting to £636,000,000, increased in the period 1895–98 to £737,000,000, the average public expenditure advanced over the same period from £63,160,000 to £94,450,000. It is faster than the growth of the aggregate national income, which, according to the rough estimates of statisticians, advanced during the same period from about £1,200,000,000 to £1,700,000,000.”

pp. 101–02. “This growth of naval and military expenditure from about 25 to 60 millions in a little over a quarter of a century is the most significant fact of imperialist finance. The financial, industrial, and professional classes, who, we have shown, form the economic core of Imperialism, have used their political power to extract these sums from the nation in order to improve their investments and open up new fields for capital, and to find profitable markets for their surplus goods, while out of the public sums expended||

on these objects they reap other great private gains in the shape of profitable contracts, and lucrative or honourable employment.”


p. 103. “While the directors of this definitely parasitic policy are capitalists, the same motives appeal to SPECIAL CLASSES OF THE WORKERS. In many towns most important trades are dependent upon


government employment or contracts; the Imperialism of the metal and shipbuilding centres is attributable in no small degree to this fact.”[9]

p. 114. “In other nations committed to or entering upon an imperialist career with the same ganglia of


economic interests masquerading as patriotism, civilisation, and the like, Protection has been the traditional finance, and it has only been necessary to extend it and direct it into the necessary channels.”


p. 115. “both (*)... will succumb more and more to the money-lending classes dressed as Imperialists and patriots.”

N. B. ||

(*) i. e., Great Britain and the United States.


p. 120. “of the three hundred and sixty-seven!! 1/37


millions of British subjects outside these isles, not more than ten millions, or one in thirty-seven, have any real self-government for purposes of legislation and administration.”

p. 121. “In certain of our older Crown colonies there exists a representative element in the government. While the administration is entirely vested in a governor appointed by the Crown, assisted by a council nominated by him, the colonists elect a portion of the legislative assembly....

“The representative element differs considerably in size


and influence, in these colonies, but nowhere does it outnumber the non-elected element. It thus becomes an advisory rather than a really legislative factor. Not merely is the elected always dominated in numbers by the non-elected element, but in all


cases the veto of the Colonial Office is freely exercised upon measures passed by the assemblies. To this it should be added that in nearly all cases a


fairly high property qualification is attached to the franchise, precluding the coloured people from exercising an elective power proportionate to their numbers and their stake in the country.”


p. 131. “In a single word, the new Imperialism has increased the area of British despotism, far outbalancing the progress in population and in practical freedom attained by our few democratic colonies.

“It has not made for the spread of British liberty and for the propagation of our arts of government. The


lands and population which we have annexed we govern, insofar as we govern these at all, by distinctively autocratic methods, administered chiefly from Downing Street, but partly from centres of colonial government, in cases where self-governing colonies have been permitted to annex.”


p. 133. “The pax Britannica, always an impudent falsehood, has become of recent years a grotesque monster of hypocrisy; along our Indian frontiers, in West Africa,


in the Sudan, in Uganda, in Rhodesia, fighting has been well-nigh incessant.”

p. 134. “Our economic analysis has disclosed the fact that it is only the interests of competing cliques of business men—investors, contractors, export manufacturers, and certain professional classes—that are antagonistic; that these cliques, usurping the authority and voice of the people, use the public resources to push their private businesses, and spend the blood and money of the people in this vast and


disastrous military game, feigning national antagonisms which have no basis in reality.”


pp. 135–36. “If we are to hold all that we have taken since 1870 and to compete with the new industrial nations in the further partition of empires or spheres of influence in Africa and Asia, we must be prepared to fight. The enmity of rival empires, openly displayed throughout the South African war,


is admittedly due to the policy by which we have forestalled, and are still seeking to forestall, these


rivals in the annexation of territory and of markets throughout the world.”

pp. 143–44. “The organisation of vast native forces, armed with ‘civilised’ weapons, drilled in ‘civilised’ methods, and commanded by ‘civilised’ officers, formed one of the most conspicuous features of the latest stages of the great Eastern Empires, and afterwards of the Roman Empire. It has


proved one of the most perilous devices of parasitism, by which a metropolitan population entrusts the defence of its lives and possessions to the precarious fidelity of ‘conquered races’, commanded by ambitious pro-consuls. !!


“One of the strangest symptoms of the blindness of Imperialism is the reckless indifference


with which Great Britain, France and other imperial nations are embarking on this perilous dependence. Great Britain has gone farthest. Most of the fighting by which we have won our Indian Empire has been done by natives; in India, as more recently in Egypt,


great standing armies are placed under British commanders; almost all the fighting associated with our African dominions, except in the southern part, has been done for us by natives.”[10]

p. 151. “In Germany, France, and Italy the Liberal Party, as a factor in practical politics, has either disappeared or is reduced to impotence; in England it now stands convicted of a gross palpable betrayal of the first conditions of liberty, feebly fumbling after programmes as a substitute for principles.... This surrender to Imperialism

!! ha-ha!! |||

signifies that they have preferred the economic interests of the possessing and speculative classes, to which most of their leaders belong, to the cause of Liberalism.”

p. 157. “Amid this general decline of parliamentary government the ‘party system’ is visibly collapsing, based as it was on plain cleavages in domestic policy which have little significance when confronted with the claims and powers of Imperialism.”


pp. 158–59. “Not merely is the reaction possible, it is inevitable. As the despotic portion of our Empire has grown in area, a larger and larger number of men, trained in the temper and methods of autocracy as soldiers and civil officials in our Crown colonies, protectorates, and Indian Empire, reinforced by numbers of merchants, planters, engineers and overseers, whose lives have been those of a superior caste living an artificial life removed from all the healthy restraints of ordinary European


society, have returned to this country, bringing back the characters, sentiments, and ideas imposed by this foreign environment.”


Chapter II (162–206)—twaddle. It is headed “The Scientific Defence of Imperialism” and devoted to a “scientific” (in reality, commonplace-liberal) refutal of Darwinist “biological”, etc., “scientific justifications” of imperialism.

|| peace and colonies

pp. 204–05. “Suppose a federal government of European nations and their colonial offspring to be possible in such wise that internal conflicts were precluded, this peace of Christendom would be constantly imperilled by thelower races’, black and yellow, who, adopting the arms and military tactics now discarded by the ‘civilised races’, would overwhelm them in barbarian incursions, even as the ruder European and Asiatic races overwhelmed the Roman Empire.”

[[DOUBLE-BOX-ENDS: Two causes weakened the old empires: (1) “economic parasitism”; (2) formation of armies recruited from subject peoples.[11] ]]

p. 205. “There is first the habit of economic parasitism, by which the ruling State has used its provinces, colonies, and dependencies in order to enrich

N.B. ||

its ruling class and to bribe its tower classes into acquiescence.”[12]

pp. 205–06. “This fatal conjunction of folly and vice has always contributed to bring about the downfall of Empires in the past. Will it prove fatal to a federation of European States?

“Obviously it will, if the strength of their combination is used for the same parasitic purposes, and the white

N.B. || N.B.

races, discarding labour in its more arduous forms, LIVE AS A SORT OF WORLD ARISTOCRACY BY THE EXPLOITATION 0F ‘LOWER RACES’, while they hand over the policing of the world more and more to members of these same races.”


p. 207. “Analysis of the actual course of modern (N. B. concept) Imperialism has laid bare the combination of economic and political forces

!! ||

which fashions it. These forces are traced to their sources in the selfish interests of certain industrial, financial, and professional classes, seeking private advantages out of a policy of imperial expansion, and using this same policy to protect them in their economic, political, and social privileges against the pressure of democracy.”

pp. 210–11 (note 2). “How far the

| on the question of self- determina- tion

mystification of motives can carry a trained thinker upon politics may be illustrated by the astonishing argument of Professor Giddings, who, in discussing ‘the consent of the governed’ as a condition of government, argues that ‘if a barbarous

!! |

people is compelled to accept the authority of a State more advanced in civilisation, the test of the rightfulness or wrongfulness of this imposition of authority is to be found, not at all in any assent or resistance

|| !!

at the moment when the government begins, but only in the degree of probability that, after full experience of what the government can do to raise the subject population to a higher plane of life, a free and rational consent will be given by those who have come to under stand all that has been done’ (Empire and Democracy, p. 265).

|| ethical socialist

Professor Giddings does not seem to recognise that the entire weight of the ethical validity of this curious doctrine of retrospective consent is thrown upon the act of judging the degree of probability that a free and rational consent will be given, that his doctrine furnishes no sort of security for a competent, unbiassed judgement, and that, in point of fact,


IT ENDOWS ANY NATION WITH THE RIGHT TO SEIZE AND ADMINISTER THE TERRITORY OF ANY-OTHER nation on the ground of a self-ascribed superiority and self-imputed qualifications for the work of civilisation.”

pp. 212–18 (a reply to those defending imperialism on the ground of ‘Christian’ missionary activity): “What is the mode of equating the two groups of results?

|| bien dit!

how much Christianity and civilisation balance, how much industry and trade? are curious questions which seem to need an answer.”

p. 214. “He” (Lord Hugh Cecil in his speech on May 4, 1900, in the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (!!!)) “thought that by making prominent to our

|| gem!

own minds the importance of missionary work we should to some extent sanctify the spirit of Imperialism.”

p. 224.The controlling and directing

||| “finance capital”

agent of the whole process, as we have seen, is the pressure of financial and industrial motives, operated for the direct, short-range, material interests of SMALL, ABLE, AND WELL-ORGANISED groups in a nation.”

(( from the side-lines, from afar, they look on and whip up passions, as during the Boer war.[13] ))

pp. 227–28.Jingoism is merely the lust of the spectator, unpurged by any personal effort, risk, or sacrifice, gloating in the perils, pains, and slaughter of fellow-men whom he does not know, but whose destruction he desires in a blind and artificially stimulated passion of hatred and revenge. In the Jingo all is concentrated on the hazard and blind fury of the fray. The arduous and weary monotony of the march, the long periods of waiting, the hard privations, the terrible tedium of a prolonged campaign, play no part in his imagination; the redeeming factors of war, the fine sense of comradeship which common personal peril educates, the fruits of discipline and self-restraint, the respect for the personality of enemies whose courage he must admit and whom he comes to realise as


fellow-beings—all these moderating elements in actual war are eliminated from the passion of the Jingo. It is precisely for these reasons

quaint! |

that some friends of peace maintain that the two most potent checks of militarism and of war are the obligation of the entire body of citizens to undergo military service and the experience of an invasion.

\dots“It is quite evident that THE SPECTATORIAL LUST OF JINGOISM


is a most serious factor in Imperialism. The dramatic falsification both of war and of the whole policy of

[CONT.: ||| ]

imperial expansion required to feed this popular passion forms no small


portion of the art of the real organisers of imperialist, exploits, the small groups of businessmen and politicians who know what they want and how to get it.


“Tricked out with the real or sham glories of military heroism and the magnificent claims of empire-making,

|| sic!

Jingoism becomes a NUCLEUS OF A SORT OF PATRIOTISM which can be moved to any folly or to any crime.”

pp. 232–33. “The area of danger is, of course, far wider than Imperialism, covering the whole field of vested interests. But, if the analysis of previous chapters is correct, Imperialism stands as a first defence of these interests: for the financial and speculative classes it means a pushing of their private businesses at the public expense, for the export manufacturers and merchants a forcible enlargement of foreign markets and a related policy of Protection,


for the official and professional classes large openings of honourable and lucrative employment, for the Church it represents the temper and practice of authority and the assertion of spiritual control over vast multitudes of lower people,

|| “diversion”

for the political oligarchy it means the only effective diversion of the forces of democracy and the opening of great public careers in the showy work of empire-making.”

|| !!

p. 238. Mr. Kidd, Professor Giddings and the Fabian” (N.B.) Imperialists ascribe the need for “a control of the tropics by ‘civilised’ nations” to material necessity. The natural riches of tropical countries “are of vital importance to the maintenance and progress of Western civilisation.\dots Partly from sheer growth of population in temperate zones, partly from the rising standard of material life, this dependence of the temperate on the tropical countries must grow”. Ever larger areas of the tropical countries have to be cultivated. At the same time, owing to the characteristics which the hot climate develops in the local inhabitants, the latter are incapable of progress: they are feckless, their wants do not grow larger. “The resources of the tropics will not be developed voluntarily by the natives themselves” (239).

pp. 239–40. “We cannot, it is held, leave these lands barren; it is our duty to see that they are developed for the good of the world. White men cannot ‘colonise’ these lands and, thus settling, develop the natural resources by the labour of their

!!! ||

own hands; they can only organise and superintend the labour of the natives. By doing this they can educate the natives in the arts of industry and stimulate in them a desire for material and moral progress, implanting new ‘wants’ which form in every society the roots of civilisation.”

p. 251. “In a word, until some genuine international council exists, which shall accredit a civilised nation with the duty of educating a lower race, the


claim of a ‘trust’ is nothing else than an impudent act of self-assertion.”

[[BOX: (*)!! trust (the colonies “trust” that they will be educated, they trust this “business” to the metropolises)!! ]]

pp. 253–54. A trust of the chief European powers would mean the exploitation of the non-European countries. The Europeans’ rule in China “sufficiently exposes the hollowness in actual history of the claims that considerations of a trust for civilisation animate and regulate the foreign policy of Christendom, or of its component


nations.\dots When any common international policy is adopted for dealing with lower races it has partaken of the nature, not of a moral trust, but of a businessdeal’”.

((( On the question of a United States of Europe!! )))

pp. 259–60. “The widest and ultimately the most important of the struggles in South Africa is that between the policy of Basutoland and that of Johannesburg and Rhodesia; for there, if anywhere, we lay our finger on the difference between|| /

a ‘saneImperialism, devoted to the protection, education and self-development of a

|| /

‘lower race’, and an ‘insaneImperialism, which hands over these races to the economic exploitation of white colonists who will use them as ‘live tools’, and their lands as repositories of mining or other profitable treasure.”

p. 262 (note). “In the British Protectorate of Zanzibar and Pemba, however, slavery still

|| !!

exists ... and British courts of justice recognise the status”.... Liberation proceeds too slowly, many being interested persons. “Out of an estimated population of 25,000 slaves in Pemba, less than 5,000 had been liberated so far under the decree.”

[[BOLD-BOX-ENDS: The sultan’s decree on liberation of slaves was promulgated in 1897, but this statement was made in 1902, on April 4, at a meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society.


p. 264. “The real history of Imperialism as distinguished from Colonialism clearly illustrates this tendency” (the tendency to make the natives exploit their land for our benefit).

p. 265. “In most parts of the world a purely or distinctively commercial motive and conduct have furnished the nucleus out of which Imperialism has grown, the early trading settlement becoming an industrial settlement, with land and mineral concessions


growing round it, an industrial settlement involving force for protection, for securing further concessions, and for checking or punishing infringements of agreement or breaches of order; other interests, political and religious, enter in more largely, the original commercial settlement assumes a stronger political and military character, the reins of government are commonly taken over by the State from the company, and a vaguely defined protectorate passes gradually into the form of a colony.”

p. 270. The local inhabitants are forcibly compelled to work for industrial companies; this is

N.B. ||

sometimes done in the guise of organising a “militia” from the local population, ostensibly for defence of the country but in fact it has to work for the European industrial companies.

p. 272. A boat comes to the shore, the chiefs are captivated by gifts of beads and trinkets, in

!! ||

return for which they put their mark to a “treaty”, the meaning of which they do not understand. The treaty is signed by an interpreter and the adventurer who has come to the country, which is thereafter regarded as the ally (colony) of the country from which he has come, France or Great Britain.

p. 280. Where direct slavery has been abolished, taxation is the means by which the natives are forced to go to work. “These taxes are not infrequently applied so as to dispossess natives of their land, force them to work for wages, and even to drive them into insurrections which are followed by wholesale measures of confiscation.”

p. 293. “But so long as the private, short-sighted business interests of white farmers or white mine-owners are permitted, either by action taken on their own account or through pressure on a Colonial or Imperial Government, to invade the lands of ‘lower peoples’, and transfer to their private profitable purposes the land or labour, the first law of saneImperialism is violated, and the


phrases about teachingthe dignity of labour’ and raising races of ‘children’ to manhood, whether used by directors of mining companies or by statesmen in the House of Commons, are little better


than wanton exhibitions of hypocrisy. They are based on a FALSIFICATION OF THE FACTS, AND A PERVERSION


OF THE MOTIVES which actually direct the policy.”


p. 295. “The stamp of ‘parasitism’ is upon every white settlement among these lower races, that is to say, nowhere are the relations between whites and coloured people such as to preserve a wholesome balance of mutual services. The best services which white civilisation might be capable of rendering, by examples of normal, healthy, white communities practising the best arts of Western life, are precluded by climatic and other physical conditions in almost

||| N.B.

every case: the presence of a scattering of white officials, missionaries, traders, mining or plantation overseers, a dominant male caste with little knowledge of or sympathy for the institutions of the people, is ill-calculated to give to these lower races even such gains as Western civilisation might be capable of giving.”

p. 301. “The Rev. J. M. Bovill, rector of the Cathedral Church”, is “the professional harmoniser of God and Mammon”. In his book Natives under the Transvaal Flag, he describes how the natives are allowed to erect tents near the mines, which enables them to “live more or less under the same conditions as they do in their native kraals”. All this is mere hypocritical phrase-mongering; the life of the natives “is entirely agricultural and pastoral”, but they are compelled to labour in the mines for a wage.

p. 304. “The natives upon their locations will be ascripti glebae, living in complete serfdom, with no vote or other political means of venting their grievances, and with no economic leverage for progress.”

||| (( size of peasant holdings in India ))

pp. 309–10. “But millions of peasants in India are struggling to live on half an acre. Their existence is a constant struggle with starvation, ending too often in defeat. Their difficulty is not to live human lives—lives up to the level of their poor standard of comfort—but to live at all and not die....

||| N.B.

We may truly say that in India, except in the irrigated tracts, famine is chronic—endemic.”

p. 323. “The delusion” (that “we are civilising


India”) “is only sustained by the sophistry of

[CONT.: ||| ]

Imperialism, which weaves these fallacies to cover its nakedness and the advantages which certain interests suck out of empire.”

p. 324. “The new Imperialism differs from the older, first, in substituting for the ambition of a single growing empire the theory and the practice of competing empires, each motived by similar lusts of political aggrandisement and commercial gain; secondly, in the dominance of financial or investing over mercantile interests.”[14]

[[BOX ENDS: N.B.: the difference between the new imperialism and the old ]]

pp. 329–30. “It is at least conceivable that China might so turn the tables upon the Western industrial nations, and, either by adopting their capital and organisers or, as is more probable, by substituting her own, might flood their markets with her cheaper manufactures, and refusing their imports in exchange might take her payment in liens upon their capital, reversing the earlier process of investment until she gradually obtained financial control over her quondam patrons and civilisers. This is no idle speculation.” (China may awaken)....

pp. 332–33. “Militarism may long survive, for that, as has been shown, is serviceable in many ways to the maintenance of a plutocracy. Its expenditure furnishes a profitable support to certain strong vested interests, it is a decorative element in social life, and


above all it is necessary to keep down the pressure of the forces of internal reform. Everywhere the power of capital in its more concentrated forms is better organised than the power of labour, and has reached a further stage in its development; while labour

bien dit!! |||

has talked of international co-operation, capital has been achieving it. So far, therefore, as the greatest financial and commercial interests are concerned, it seems quite probable that the coming generation may witness


so powerful an international union as to render wars between the Western nations almost impossible. Notwithstanding the selfish jealousies and the dog-in-the-manger policies which at present weaken European action in the Far East, the real drama will begin when the forces of international capitalism, claiming to represent the civilisation of united

||| (( “a United States of Europe”

Christendom, are brought to bear on the peaceful opening up of China. It is then that the real ‘yellow peril’ will begin. If it is unreasonable to expect that China can develop a national patriotism which will enable her to expel the Western exploiters, she must then be subjected to a process of disintegration, which is more aptly described as ‘the break-up’ of China than by the term ‘development’.


“Not until then shall we realise the full risks and folly of the most stupendous revolutionary enterprise history has known. The Western nations may then awaken to the fact that they have permitted certain


little cliques of private profit-mongers to engage them in a piece of Imperialism in which every cost and peril of that hazardous policy is multiplied a hundred-fold, and from which there appears no possibility of safe withdrawal.”

p. 335. ((N.B.: the prospect of parasitism.)) “The


greater part of Western Europe might then assume the appearance and character already exhibited by tracts of country in the South of England, in the Riviera, and in the tourist-ridden or residential parts of Italy and Switzerland, little clusters of wealthy aristocrats drawing dividends and pensions from the Far East, with a somewhat larger group of professional retainers and tradesmen and a larger body of personal servants and workers in the transport trade and in the final stages of production of the more perishable goods: all the main arterial


industries would have disappeared, the staple foods and manufactures flowing in as tribute from Asia and Africa.”[15]

p. 337. “But the economic raison d’êre of Imperialism in the opening up of China is, as we see, quite other than the maintenance of ordinary commerce: it consists in establishing a vast new market for Western investors, the profits of which will represent the gains of an investing class and not the gains of whole peoples. The normal healthy processes of assimilation of increased world-wealth by nations are inhibited by

essence of imperialism ||

the nature of this Imperialism, whose essence consists in developing markets for investment, not for trade, and in using the superior economies of cheap foreign production to supersede the industries of their own nation, and to maintain the political and economic domination of a class.”

p. 346. “For Europe to rule Asia by force for purposes of gain, and to justify that rule by the pretence that she is civilising Asia and raising her to a higher level of spiritual life, will be adjudged by history, perhaps, to be the crowning wrong and folly of Imperialism. What Asia has to give, her priceless stores of wisdom garnered from her experience of ages, we refuse to take; the much or little which we could give we spoil by the|


brutal manner of our giving. This is what Imperialism has done, and is doing, for Asia.

p. 350. “Speaking on Mr. Gladstone’s Home Rule Bill in 1886, Mr. Chamberlain said: ‘I should look for the solution in the direction of the principle of federation. My right honourable friend has looked for his model to the relations between this country and her self-governing and practically independent colonies.’ ”But federation is better, for then Ireland would remain an integral part of Great Britain, whereas with self-governing colonies the connection is only a moral one. At the present time the development of democracy is towards federation, union, and not separation (all this is from Chamberlain’s speech).

[[ Chamberlain is for federation against separation, against “centrifugal” tendencies.[16] ]]


p. 351. “Christendom thus laid out in a few great federal Empires, each with a retinue of uncivilised dependencies, seems to many the most legitimate development of present tendencies, and one which would offer the best hope of permanent peace on an assured basis of inter-Imperialism.”[17]||| N.B. c f. Kautsky on “ultra-imperialism”

Suggests that the idea is growing of pan-Teutonism, pan-Slavism, pan-Latinism, pan-Britishism, etc., there appears a series of “Unions of States”.

[[BOX: The outcome of Kautsky’s “ultra-imperialism” and of a United States of Europe based on capitalism would be: “inter-imperialism”!! ]]

pp. 355–56. The “United Kingdom”, with the present imperialist policy, “cannot bear the financial strain of the necessary increase of ships without substantial colonial assistance”. This can lead to the separation of the colonies, whose interests are not bound up with (Great Britain’s) imperialist policy, in deciding which (policy) they can have no voice. Each of them—as a federal country—would have only an insignificant minority, in view of the huge number of British colonies, which in most cases have very little in common. “Imperial federation” is advantageous to Great Britain and disadvantageous to the colonies.

p. 373. “The new Imperialism kills a federation of free self-governing States: the colonies may look at it, but they will go their way as before.”

pp. 378–79. “The recent habit of investing capital in a foreign country has now

policy of finance capital


grown to such an extent that the well-to-do and politically powerful classes in Great Britain today derive a large and ever-larger proportion of their incomes from capital invested outside the British Empire. This growing stake of our wealthy classes in countries over which they have no political control is a revolutionary force in modern politics; it means a constantly growing tendency to use their political power as citizens of this state to interfere with the political condition of those States where they have an industrial stake.

“The essentially illicit nature of this use of the public resources of the nation to safeguard and improve private investments should be clearly recognised.”

p. 380. “These forces are commonly described as capitalistic, but the gravest

(( petty- bourgeois utopia!! ))

danger arises not from genuine industrial investments in foreign lands, but from the handling of stocks and shares based upon these investments by financiers.”

pp. 381–82. “Analysis of Imperialism, with its natural supports, militarism, oligarchy, bureaucracy, protection, concentration of capital and violent trade fluctuations, has marked it out as the supreme danger of modern national States. The power of the imperialist forces within the nation to use the national resources for their private gain,

petty- bourgeois democrat!! ||

by operating the instrument of the State, can only be overthrown by the establishment of a genuine democracy, the direction of public policy by the people for the people through representatives over whom they exercise a real control. Whether this or any other nation is yet competent for such a democracy may well be a matter

||| democratisation of foreign policy

of grave doubt, but until and unless the external policy of a nation is ‘broad-based upon a people’s will’, there appears little hope of remedy.”

pp. 382–83.Imperialism is only beginning to realise its full resources, and to develop into a fine art the management of nations: the broad bestowal of a franchise, wielded by a people whose education has reached the stage of an uncritical ability to read printed matter, favours immensely the designs of keen business politicians, who,


by controlling the press, the schools, and where necessary the churches, impose Imperialism upon the masses under the attractive guise of sensational patriotism.

“The chief economic source of Imperialism has been found in the inequality of industrial opportunities by which a favoured class accumulates superfluous elements of income which, in their search for profitable investments, press ever farther afield: the influence on State policy of these investors and their financial managers secures a national alliance of other vested interests which are threatened by movements of social reform: the adoption of Imperialism thus serves the double purpose of securing private material benefits for favoured classes of investors and traders at the public cost, while sustaining the general cause of conservatism by diverting public energy and interest from domestic agitation to external employment.”

p. 383. “To term Imperialism a national policy is an impudent falsehood: the interests of the nation are opposed to every act of this expansive policy. Every enlargement of Great Britain in the tropics is a distinct enfeeblement of true British nationalism.

||| à la Cunow and Co.!!

Indeed, Imperialism is commended in some quarters for this very reason, that by breaking the narrow bounds of nationalities it facilitates and forwards internationalism. There are even those who favour or condone the forcible suppression of small nationalities by larger ones under the impulse of

|| Imperialism, because they imagine that this

|| is the natural approach to a

|| world-federation and eternal peace.”

[[BOX: The defenders of imperialism favour swallowing up small nations!! ]]

p. 384. “The hope of a coming internationalism enjoins above all else the maintenance and natural growth of independent nationalities, for without such there could be no gradual evolution of internationalism, but only a series of unsuccessful attempts at a chaotic and unstable cosmopolitanism. As individualism is essential to any

hodge- ||| sane form of national socialism, so

podge ||| nationalism is essential to

||| internationalism: no organic conception of

world-politics can be framed on any other supposition.

pp. 384–85. Insofar as the possibility exists of true national governments representing the interests of the people and not of a handful of oligarchs, to that extent clashes between nations will be eliminated and peaceful internationalism (along the lines of postal conventions, etc.) based on common interests between nations will increasingly develop. “The economic bond is far stronger and more reliable as a basis of growing internationalism than the so-called racial bond” (pan-Teutonic, pan-Slav, pan-British, etc.) “or a political alliance constructed on some short-sighted computation of a balance of power.

pp. 385–86. “We have foreshadowed the possibility of even a larger alliance of Western

||States, a European federation of

|| Great Powers which, so far from

|| forwarding the cause of world-civilisation, might

|| introduce the gigantic peril

|| of a Western parasitism, a group

of advanced industrial nations, whose = upper classes drew vast tribute from Asia =

N.B. # # # #and Africa, with which they supported

# # # # great tame masses of retainers, no longer engaged

# # # # in the staple industries of agriculture and

manufacture, but kept in the performance of personal or minor industrial services under the control of a new financial aristocracy. Let those who would scout such a theory[18] as undeserving of consideration examine the economic and social condition of districts in Southern England today which


|| reflect upon the vast extension of such

|| a system which might be rendered feasible

|| by the subjection of China to

|| the economic control of similar groups of

|| financiers, investors, and political

|| and business officials, draining the greatest

|| potential reservoir of profit the world has ever

|| known, in order to consume it in

|| Europe. The situation is far too complex, the

play of world forces far too incalculable, to render this or any other single interpretation of the future very probable; but the influences which govern the Imperialism of Western Europe

true |||today are moving in this

||||direction, and, unless counteracted or

diverted, make towards some such consummation.[19]

“If the ruling classes of the Western nations could realise their interests in such a combination (and each year sees capitalism more obviously international), and if China were unable to develop powers of forcible resistance, the opportunity of a parasitic Imperialism which should reproduce upon a vaster scale many of the main features of the later Roman Empire visibly presents itself.”

p. 389. “The new Imperialism differs in no vital point from this old example” (the Roman Empire). It is just as much a parasite. But the laws of nature, which doom parasites to destruction, apply not only to individuals, but to nations. The complexity of the process and disguising its substance can delay but not avert final collapse. “The claim that an imperial state forcibly subjugating other peoples and their lands does so for the purpose of rendering services to the conquered equal to those which she exacts is notoriously false: she neither intends equivalent services nor is capable of rendering them.”


  1. The extracts and accounts of various passages from Hobson’s book were made by N. K. Krupskaya. In going though the extracts, Lenin underlined some passages, wrote comments and made notes in the margin. The pages of the notebook were numbered by Lenin. His underlining is shown by the following type variations: a single underlining—italics; a double underlining—spaced italics; three lines—small heavy italics; a single wavy line—CAPITAL LETTERS; a double wavy line—SPACED CAPITAL LETTERS. All Lenin’s additions have been set in a heavy face; where these were once underlined—heavy italics, where twice underlined—spaced heavy italics.
    In the preface to Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin pointed out that he had made use of the book by I. A. Hobson with all the care it merited. John Atkinson Hobson (1858–1940) was a well-known British economist, whose point of view was that of a bourgeois reformist and pacifist. The best-known of his writings are Problems of Poverty, The Evolution of Modern Capitalism and Imperialism. Lenin described the last-named as the “principal English work on imperialism” and a typical example of the petty-bourgeois criticism of imperialism. Lenin points out that Hobson’s book “gives a very good and comprehensive description of the principal specific economic and political features of imperialism” (see present edition, Vol. 22, p. 195). In the Notebooks on Imperialism, Lenin writes that “Hobson’s book on imperialism is useful in general, and especially useful because it helps to reveal the basic falsity of Kautskyism on this subject” (see p. 116 of this volume). While making use of Hobson’s rich factual data, Lenin criticised his reformist conclusions and his attempts, albeit veiled, to defend imperialism. p. 405
  2. See present edition, Vol. 22, pp. 255–56.—Ed.
  3. Ibid., pp. 255–56.—Ed.
  4. So given in Hobson’s took. It should be 1868.—Ed.
  5. See present edition, Vol. 22, p. 282.—Ed.
  6. Ibid., p. 242.—Ed.
  7. See present edition, Vol. 22, p. 277.—Ed.
  8. Ibid., p. 277.—Ed.
  9. See present edition, Vol. 22. p. 279.—Ed.
  10. See present edition, Vol. 22, p. 279.—Ed.
  11. Ibid., p. 279.—Ed.
  12. See present edition. Vol. 22, p. 279.—Ed.
  13. The Boer war (1899–1902)—a colonial, predatory war of Great Britain against the South African republics, the Transvaal and Orange Free State, as a result of which these became British colonies. p. 422
  14. See present edition, Vol. 22, p. 289.—Ed.
  15. See present edition, Vol. 22, pp. 279–80.—Ed.
  16. Lenin inserted here in the manuscript: “see the addition above, p. 7 of this notebook”. And at the top of p. 7 he wrote: “(see p. 41 of this notebook)”. Following this indication, the extract from p. 7 of the notebook has been included in the volume according to the sequence of the extracts from Hobson’s book, and not according to the pagination of the notebook. p. 431
  17. Ibid., pp. 293–94.—Ed.
  18. In Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin inserts in brackets: “It would be better to say: prospect” (see present edition, Vol. 22, p. 280, and Vol. 23, p. 109).—Ed.
  19. See present edition, Vol. 22, p. 280.—Ed.