Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Dr. J. Martin Ryle
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, devoted revolutionary and architect of the Soviet state, ranks as the foremost exponent of Marxist economic and political thought. As a theorist Lenin interpreted and amplified the teachings of Marx and contributed several concepts to Communist doctrine. Chief among those contributions was his theory of imperialism as the highest, final, decadent stage of capitalism.
Lenin's definitive essay on the subject, "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism," was written in 1916 and culminated several years of intensive thought and reading. The essence of the "new" imperialism that Lenin described was the competition among several modern world powers for colonial possessions. The idea of empire dates far back to the earliest attempts of a single nation to dominate the known world. The conquests of Rome were prime examples of "old" or simple imperialism. But the concept of more than one empire in competition for dominance distinguished the modern or "new" imperialism examined by Lenin and others.
Musick, Robert L., "The development of Lenin's theory of imperialism" (1969). Honors Theses. 606.