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Colonialism can be defined as the control that a country or government holds over the territory and the people in a foreign country. It can also be defined as the practice of one country acquiring full or partial political control over another country. It is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies of one country in another.
Also, colonialism is a term which refers to the settlement of colonies and migrates there as inhabitants. It is where a powerful country takes over a less powerful country and begins to rule that country as theirs.
Colonialism and imperialism are often used inter changeably, but they are two different words having different meaning. As both colonialism and imperialism means political and economic domination of the other scholars often find it hard to differentiate the two. Although both words discuss suppression of the other, colonialism is where one nation assumes control over the other and imperialism refers to political or economic control either formally or informally.
Colonialism can be thought to be a practice and imperialism as the idea driving the practice. It is also a term where a country conquers and rules over other regions. It means exploiting the resources of the resources of the conquered country for the benefit of conqueror.
Karl Marx and Lenin had different views on colonialism but they both support democracy and equality. Karl Marx views colonialism as a major moment in the historical process of primitive accumulation and therefore as a precondition for the domination of the capitalist mode of production. Karl Marx influenced colonialism both post colonialism and anti colonialism. Karl Marx influenced the anti colonial independence movement around the world and the post colonial theory.
Karl Marx analyzed colonialism as a progressive force which brings modernization to a society that is feudal. He also discussed how the British colonialism made impact on the Indians. Karl Marx mentioned the Indians as a feudal society who experienced modernization but in a painful manner or way.
Karl Marx believed that that colonialism did not automatically lead to the prevalence of the capitalist mode of production in the colonies, since the latter as well as capital accumulation have for their fundamental condition the annihilation of that private property which rests on the labor of the individual himself. Karl Marx considered colonialism to be an indispensable feature of imperialism.
The obstacle that the internal of pre-capitalist mode of production oppose to the solvent effect of trade is apparent in the English commerce with India and China. These social obstacles to capitalism advances more rapidly to wealth and greatness than any other human society. Whereas in colonies inhabited by barbarous nations was actually more difficult to displace the natives.
Karl Marx used oriental despotism to describe a class domination that used the state’s power of taxation in order to extract resources from the peasantry. According to Marx, oriental despotism emerged in India because agricultural productivity depended on large scale public works.
According to Karl Marx he said that the first stage of human development is personal dependence. He believed that every individual should be independent on his or her own. He believed that should be able to do what they want to do on their own without being controlled by someone else.
Karl Marx also talked about the sufferings brought during the transition from feudal to bourgeois society while insisting that the transition is both necessary and ultimately progressive. He said that the penetration of foreign commerce will cause a social revolution in India. This had both negative and positive consequences according to Marx.
Karl Marx argued that colonial control was necessary not as a means of excluding rival industrial nations. Karl also stressed the importance of the colonial states for transforming those non-capitalist modes whose political level was crucial for their reproduction.
Imperialism is thus a tendency to expansion of a developed capitalist power, a tendency created in the last instance by economic processes, but also supported by political and ideological process. Some events like the World War II, show that it was not the economically most developed capitalist country which challenged the British colonial imperialist supremacy, but an imperialist country mainly motivated by national claims against its neighboring states.
After the World War II and the national liberation movements which followed, most former colonies won their national independence, which led to the dissolution of empires and to the end of colonialism.
Marxist approaches to imperialism consider, though that ex-colonies and developing countries are still subordinated to imperialist countries through dependency relations. The dependence created by colonialism is still manifested in all the key spheres of the developing countries’ economic life.
According to Lenin, he defined the struggle for national independence in colonies as essential for these colonies, as the only political course of action which could bring an end to oppression and economic misery. He also defined these struggles as inherently progressive, as the politics of the struggles of working people for social justice and showed why such anti-colonial struggles would win.
In the year 1915 to 1916 argued that colonial liberation struggles were important components of the worldwide revolutionary process and he declared his conviction that many of them would succeed during the lifetime of capitalism. In the year 1917 until the end of his active life, Lenin adopted his fully matured theory of liberation in the colonial world. Lenin’s theory influenced the world decolonization process.
Lenin stated in his theory that colonial liberation movement would succeed in the era of imperialism, that they were progressive and that they would not be bourgeois nationalist to the extent that exploited and revolutionary socialists provided them with directions.
Lenin also demanded of all revolutionary socialists that they fight for the liberation of all colonies and any party in any colony-owning country which did not fight strongly for the liberation of its country’s colonies would be excluded for the international.
Lenin also argued that support for colonial liberation was a direct support for the world’s revolution. As late as 1916, Lenin still hoped that it might be possible to unite political movement in colonies and the countries which own these colonies. Lenin later abandoned this vision and never returned to it. After the year 1916, Lenin never suggested not even once that that working class parties in colonies should be fused to those in the colonizing country, except as they fused into a single international.
Karl Marx and Lenin taught that colonialism resulted from the same logic that drove the economic development and modernization in Europe.
Lenin was skeptical of theories which placed undue emphasis of the unified global nature of capitalism which underplay the role of nations and states. He showed that capitalism cannot be reduced to the economy, by ignoring the state or the political and ideological relations of power. He emphasized that the nation state is an important influence on the way economies are organized in the normal course of capitalist development and that there are important economic forces propelling the reproduction of nation states.
Capitalist power over the working classes is at the same time economic, political and ideological and it is condensed by the capitalist state in each national social formation. Lenin thought that the articulation and intertwining of all existing capitalist powers, each of which possesses a different strength and development level. It forms the world’s imperialist chain, the weakest link of which was Russia in 1917. Lenin suggested that imperialism is a permanent relationship structuring the interactions between two types of countries. Although imperialism took the form of military competition between capitalist countries, it would result in collusion between capitalist interests to maintain a stable system of exploitation of the non-developed world.
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