V. I.   Lenin





Joseph Patouillet, American Imperialism, Dijon, 1904. (Thesis.) (388 pp.)

[[BOX ENDS: A thesis. The frail effort of a student. Of no scientific value, apart from abundant quotations and a summary of certain facts. Mostly legalistic prattle; economic coverage poor. ]]

Quotes (at the start) widely known passages from Hobson (Imperialism).

Speaks of the fact of British imperialism (p. 33 et seq.) and German (p. 36 et seq.) (sections I and II of Chapter II).

A few words about Japanese and Russian imperialism (p. 39 in fine).

p. 43: “In practice imperialism means a bid for the keys of the world—not military keys as under the Roman Empire, but the main economic and commercial keys. It means not the rounding off of territory, || ? but the conquest and occupation of the big crossroads of world trade; it means acquiring advantageously located rather than big colonies, so as to cover the globe with a dense and continuous network of stations, coal depots and cables.” (Quoted from de Lapradelle: “Imperialism and Americanism in the United States”, Revue du droit publique, 1900, Vol. XIII, pp. 65–66. Quoted by Patouillet, p. 43.)

Driault (Political Problems, pp. 221–22): “The shattering defeat of Spain was a revelation.... It had seemed to be established that international equilibrium was a matter to be settled by five or six of the chief European powers; now an unknown quantity was introduced into the problem” (p. 49).

“Thus the Cuban war was an economic war inasmuch as its aim was the seizure of the island’s sugar market; in the same way, the purpose of annexing Hawaii and the Philippines || was to gain possession of the coffee and sugar produced by these tropical countries” (p. 51). (Idem, pp. 62–63)....

“Thus, the conquest of markets, the drive for tropical produce—such is the prime cause of the policy of colonial expansion which has come to be known as imperialism. And the colonies serve also as excellent strategic points, the value of which we shall indicate: ... to ensure Asian markets ... they had to have these support points”... (p. 64).

Exports from the U.S.A. (percentages)
($ million)
Year Europe North
Asia Oceania Africa
1870 79.35 13.03 4.09 2.07 0.82 0.64
1880 86.10 8.31 2.77 1.39 0.82 0.61
857.8 1890 79.74 10.98 4.52 2.30 1.92 0.54
1,394.5 1900 74.60 13.45 2.79 4.66 3.11 1.79
1902 72.96 14.76 2.75 4.63 2.48 2.42

[[BOX ENDS: numerous indications of a coming struggle for control of the Pacific ]]

Hawaii is half-way between Panama and Hong Kong.

The Philippines are a step towards Asia and China (p. 118). Idem 119–120–122.

The war with Spain over Cuba was justified by pleading the interests of freedom, the liberation of Cuba, etc. (p. 158 et seq.).

sic! || The constitution calls for equality of all taxes, etc. in all the States of the U.S.A. This has been “interpreted” as not applying to the colonies, for these are not part, but possessions, of the United States (p. 175). “Gradually”, we are told, the rights of the colonies will be enlarged (p. 190) (but equality will not be granted)....

Canada. Economic subordination prepares the way for political “integration” (p. 198).

||| “Germany” (sic) wants to “oppose a United States of Europe” to the United States of America (p. 205).... ||

|| United States of Europe[3] (and Wilhelm II) ...“Ever since 1897, Wilhelm II has repeatedly suggested a policy of union to combat overseas competition—a policy based on a European customs agreement, a sort of continental blockade aimed against the United States” (205).... “In France, a European customs union has been advocated by Paul Leroy-Beaulieu” (206)....

||| “happy result” || ...“An entente between the European states would, perhaps, be one of the happy results of American imperialism” (206).

In America, developments have led to a struggle of the “anti-imperialists” against the imperialists (p. 268, Book II, Chapter I: “Imperialists and Anti-Imperialists”).... Imperialism, he says, contradicts freedom, etc., leads to the enslavement of the colonies, etc. (all the democratic arguments: ||| a number of quotations). An American anti-imperialist quoted Lincoln’s words:

“When the white man governs himself, that is self-government; but when he governs himself and also governs others, it is no longer self-government; it is despotism” (272).

Phelps, United States Intervention in Cuba (New York, 1898) and others have declared the Cuban war “criminal”, etc.

Chapter III, p. 293, is headed: “Present United States Policy: the Combination of Imperialism and the Monroe Doctrine”[4]: both combined, and interpreted!!!

The South Americans reject (p. 311 et seq.) the interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine to mean that America belongs to the North Americans. They fear the United States and want independence. The United States hasdesigns” on South America and combats Germany’s growing influence there....

(Cf. especially Novikov in the source references.[1] )

In annexing the Philippines, the United States cheated Filipino leader Aguinaldo by promising the country independence (p. 373): “The annexation was described as ‘Jingo treachery’”.[2]

N.B. || Atkinson, Criminal Aggression, by Whom Committed? Boston, 1899. ||

[[DITTO: N.B. || ]] The North American Review, 1899, September. Filipino: “Aguinaldo’s Case Against the United States.” [[DITTO: || ]]

N.B. || In South America there is a growing trend towards closer relations with Spain; the (Spanish American) congress in Madrid in 1900 was attended by delegates from fifteen South American states (p. 326) (*). More contacts with Spain, growth of the latter’s influence and of “Latin” sympathies, etc. (**)

sic! || p. 379: “The era of national wars has evidently passed”....
(wars over markets, etc.).

N.B. || (*) Revue des deux mondes, 1901 (November 15).
(**) Slogan: “Spanish-American Union.”


[1] See p. 213 of this volume—Ed.

[2] See present edition, Vol. 22, p. 287.—Ed.

[3] The “United States of Europe” slogan, in its different variations, gained particularly wide currency during the First World War. It was vigorously boosted by bourgeois politicians and the Kautskyites, Trotskyists and other opportunists. In the political manifesto of the R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee, “The War and Russian Social-Democracy”, published in Sotsial-Demokrat on November 4, 1914, Lenin stressed that “without the revolutionary overthrow of the German, the Austrian and the Russian monarchies” it was a false and meaningless slogan (see present edition, Vol. 21, p. 33). In his well-known article “On the Slogan for a United States of Europe”, published August 23, 4915, Lenin wrote that “a United States of Europe, under capitalism, is either impossible or reactionary” (ibid., p. 340), and this was fully substantiated by his economic analysis of imperialism. p. 211

[4] Monroe Doctrine—a declaration of United States’ foreign policy principles formulated by President James Monroe in a message to Congress on December 2, 1823. Based on the “America for Americans” slogan, the doctrine has been used by the U.S. as a cover for its colonialist plans in Latin America, for constant interference in the affairs of Latin American countries, the imposition of shackling treaties, the establishment and support of anti-popular regimes subservient to the U.S. monopolists, and aid for these regimes in their struggle against the national liberation movement. p. 211


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