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What is imperialism?

The Workers Party is holding a day conference for party members on March 18 in Birmingham. Amongst the many issues that are being discussed on the day, is the question of imperialism and war.

As Britain hurtles head first toward the very real risk of WW3, our party is focusing lots of resource and effort in helping to get the new No2Nato anti-imperialist campaign off the ground. It is unsurprising then that members have asked for a session to discuss the question of war and imperialism.

The party is currently receiving written contributions from members on this topic. The short article below has been sent in by Rob Amos, with thanks.

What is imperialism?

Imperialism, known as the highest stage of capitalism, is essentially a global economic system of financial domination by a handful of wealthy countries, backed up by military power.

‘Imperialism’ has not been a particularly popular term to describe this system, having fallen out of favour on the socialist left some decades ago. Ironically, it has recently started cropping up in mainstream corporate news sources to describe Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine.

The term most often used to talk about the imperialist system in common parlance is ‘globalist’ and this is sometimes connected to the idea of the ‘deep state’ – an embodiment of the underlying class establishment which no election, in either the US or Britain, is capable of shifting. Neither of these terms make much sense – globalist only conveys a meaning when compared with the concepts of national economic protectionism and the ‘deep state’ is really just ‘the state’.

Often, the concept of a ‘globalist cabal’ is rather confused, and people using such terminology may subscribe to the idea that all governments of nation states are actually on the same side, somehow secretly aligned with each other to bamboozle and exploit the general mass of humanity as if the political leaderships of all countries were part of a fraternal elite. However, there must be something to work with here. Anyone who has some idea about the predatory nature of western finance capital must be brought to the understanding that the so-called enemies of the west, i.e., Russia, China, Iran etc are not enemies at all, but actually represent a genuine stand for independence and national sovereignty in the face of a bloated, domineering alliance of historically wealthy states that seek to preserve their exploitative and destructive system by force of arms.

It needs to be regularly pointed out that it’s the political-financial establishment of the west which actually demands total obedience and submission from peoples and nations far beyond their own borders, not any of the examples of apparently ‘authoritarian’ regimes we’re constantly being told to worry about.

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