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A.B. Razlatsky

State Imperialism Should be Distinguished from Economic Imperialism

Historically, these periods were superimposed, taking place generally as parallel series of events. Frequently, as a result, the distinction between their natures is simply not noticed and this leads to mistakes; with one process being taken as the causal link to the consequences of another. 

State imperialism is feudalism raised to a higher level. At this level the place of the feudal lord is occupied by, sometimes very sizeable, groups of people. Consider for example the role of Great Britain as the lord of the British Empire. Most frequently it is racism which serves in the capacity of an idea dividing the 'lordly' group from the rest of society. Nationalism too, although this is not obligatory, for there can also be other ideas; religious, party-political, in fact whatever idea, so long as it permits the raising of insuperable barriers and qualifications for entry into the elite. Such 'lordly' groups strive to secure their well-being through the maintenance and exploitation of the rest of society in serfdom. 

Economic imperialism is international monopolism, a purely bourgeois phenomenon. It conducts its struggle, not in society, but in a given branch of production, suppressing and subordinating competitors by means of economic pressure. It prefers not to clash with society. 

It is a widespread mistake to ascribe war to economic imperialism. As a matter of fact, economic empires conduct only economic struggle; though it is true that they do not shrink from bribery, economic espionage and the use of state influence. 

To conduct a war, the more backward state imperialism is needed. This is a relic, a dying survival of the past; as evidence of this take the self-destruction of the colonial empires. Yet it continues to remain a danger, even, to be honest, on the basis of socialism. This is why it is absolutely essential to deal the death blow to its organizing ideas.

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