As we saw last week, Capital does not develop a robust theory of the international market or of imperialism. After the boom in imperialism after the publication of Capital in 1867, especially the Scramble for Africa (1876-1902) and Railroad Imperialism in China, others tried to use Capital’s categories to explain the new situation. There were many of these but Lenin’s intervention was key. Here we need to read Lenin’s Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, in two ways. As a framework for us to use in thinking about the Japanese empire, and as a historical source that had significant impact on the history we are analyzing.
Readings: Lenin, Imperialism.
If time, here is Kautsky’s short piece: Ultra-imperialism (1914)