Militarism fulfils a quite definite function in the history of capital,

accompanying as it does every historical phase of accumulation. It plays

a decisive part in the first stages of European capitalism, in the period

of the so-called ‘primitive accumulation’, as a means of conquering the

New World and the spice-producing countries of India. Later, it is

employed to subject the modern colonies, to destroy the social organ-

isations of primitive societies so that their means of production may be

appropriated, forcibly to introduce commodity trade in countries

where the social structure had been unfavourable to it, and to turn the

natives into a proletariat by compelling them to work for wages in the

colonies. It is responsible for the creation and expansion of spheres of

interest for European capital in non-European regions, for extorting

railway concessions in backward countries, and for enforcing the

claims of European capital as international lender. Finally, militarism is

a weapon in the competitive struggle between capitalist countries for

areas of non-capitalist civilisation.