Imperialism is the political expression of the accumulation of capital in

its competitive struggle for what remains still open of the non-

capitalist environment. Still the largest part of the world in terms of

geography, this remaining field for the expansion of capital is yet

insignificant as against the high level of development already attained

by the productive forces of capital; witness the immense masses of

capital accumulated in the old countries which seek an outlet for their

surplus product and strive to capitalise their surplus value, and the

rapid change-over to capitalism of the pre-capitalist civilisations. On

the international stage, then, capital must take appropriate measures.

With the high development of the capitalist countries and their increas-

ingly severe competition in acquiring non-capitalist areas, imperial-

ism grows in lawlessness and violence, both in aggression against

the non-capitalist world and in ever more serious conflicts among the

competing capitalist countries. But the more violently, ruthlessly and

thoroughly imperialism brings about the decline of non-capitalist civil-

isations, the more rapidly it cuts the very ground from under the feet

of capitalist accumulation. Though imperialism is the historical method

for prolonging the career of capitalism, it is also a sure means of