Hobson’s Imperialism: Its Historical Validity and Contemporary Relevance
Hobson’s Imperialism: A Study2 is an enduring classic of international political economy. In spite of criticism from the right and left, in spite of the development of Keynesian economics as the sophisticated successor of underconsumption theory, in spite of world-system models of the capitalist state system, Hobson’s book continues to be, by academic standards of success, enormously popular. Imperialism is widely available in paperback, and an Internet search reveals the book’s regular appearance on syllabi. Imperialism may be classified as one of the great British polemical works of the last two centuries: as brilliant, profound, and passionate a statement as Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France and Keynes’ Economic Consequences of the Peace. It invites attack and defense; it polarizes its readership and comes to be read not just in terms of its historical content but in terms of the generalized applicability of its message: Was it true then? Is it true now? If so, how is it true now?
KeywordsForeign Investment Free Trade Full Employment Social Democracy Military Spending
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