Imperialism past and present

US-China trade tensions, Germany’s slide into recession, EU crisis and regional conflicts all bear witness to increasing rivalry between the major powers and trading blocs. They also mean that an understanding of the imperialist stage of capitalism is more relevant than ever. ROBIN CLAPP writes.

When Jeremy Corbyn wrote the foreword to a 2011 edition of John A Hobson’s classic work, Imperialism: A Study, a Guardian reviewer called it a “perfectly decent introductory essay”. Yet in May of this year, Corbyn’s endorsement of this 1902 book was weaponised by a Times journalist, who claimed that Hobson was anti-Semitic and, by extension, the Labour leader must be so too.

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