Social Scientist. v 8, no. 95 (June 1980) p. 58.

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Multilateral Imperialism

DAN NABUDERE, THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF IMPERI ALISM, Tanzania Publishing House, ZED Press Ltd, Dar es Salam, 1977.

THE last two decades have shown a steadily growing stream of more or less scientific literature on imperialism. The phenomenon of imperialism stands indeed in the middle of sharp discussions and polemics, not only among Marxist and non-Marxist intellectuals, but also among theoreticians who regard themselves as Marxists, and among communist parties.

Theories of imperialism are, of course, no goals in themselves. A correct understanding of the historical development of imperialism must serve as a compass for tackling it in practice, for the revolutionary struggle for national sovereignty and socialist development. Cognition in order to make responsible social acting possible is the real aim of any social scientist who cares about the whereabouts of human societies, of human future.

Dan Nabudere set himself to this task in his impressive book. The main aim of his study is "to establish the laws of motion specific to the various stages of development of the relevant imperialist and subordinated societies" (p 268). Laws of motion, which can only be grasped and recognized if one remains consequently on the basis of scientific socialism, that is, dialectical historical materialism (p VI).

The scientific and ideological battle over imperialism is naturally not an academic question; it is not a product of a quasi-autonomous superstructure. This battle of ideas is clearly a mirroring of what is going on in social-reality, namely, the historically final assaults on imperialism as a social economic world system. Nabudere ^rigthly points out the tremendous importance of the

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