Karl Kautsky on Colonialism (2013)
Mike Macnair, Ben Lewis
With a critical introduction by Mike Macnair.
The approach of the majority of the left on imperialism is drawn from Lenin’s 'Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism' and the conclusions drawn from this by the Communist International: ie unequivocal hostility to imperialist wars and critical support for nationalism in the subordinated countries, even where this takes unattractive forms, like Ba’athism or Islamism.
A small minority has criticised this line as anti-democratic or even pro-fascist, arguing either for support for the “War on terror” or for non-opposition to it.
Both sides of this argument rest on a myth: that in the past there was a non-imperialist capitalism. The origins of this myth can be traced back to Karl Kautsky’s 1898 articles on colonialism. This book publishes these with an introduction exploring the articles and their legacy.