A Comparison of J. A. Hobson and V. I. Lenin’s Historical Interpretations of Imperialism

Essay by jfennel6University, Bachelor'sB, October 2014

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Jessica Fennell

Hist 4000

September 17, 2014

A Comparison of J. A. Hobson and V. I. Lenin's Historical Interpretations of Imperialism

As defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, imperialism is a policy or practice by which a country increases its power by gaining control over other areas of the world.� J. A. Hobson and V. I. Lenin constructed their own definition and analysis of the matter. Hobson, an English journalist, addressed his capitalist theories in Imperialism: A Study, � and Lenin composed his marxist theory in Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism.� Both assessments offer unquestionable similarities and unique differences in their imperialistic critiques.

The authors agree that Imperialism grew with economic motives for expansion. As a source to Lenin's work, Lenin agrees with Hobson's "underconsumption analysis," which is described in the sense that the production of goods exceed consumptions. It is the analysis of this "underconsumption" in how they differ.

Hobson believes that funds have been unfairly distributed to the higher classes and has left the poor working class with nothing to be able to consume with. He describes this as the "taproot" of Imperialism as international investors try to find capital outside of their territory in new lands.� In contrast, Lenin sees the financial sector as the main driving force behind imperialist expansion. He constructs a "combination of production," witch is co-dominating monopolists and banks, as the investors. Thus this combination created a "Financial Oligarchy" to produce mobile capitals.�

They both acknowledge the upper class as the beneficiaries of foreign investments and sympathize with the impoverished proletariat class.� Both use examples of massive public expenditures on war objects and how expansion collected fortune ends up in the hands of "financial manipulators." � Hobson expresses that, "new Imperialism has been bad business for the nation, it has been good business...