CHAPTER III
THE MARXIAN THEORY TESTED

1 Criteria of Verification

IN the last chapter, after a brief survey of the earlier forms which have been assumed by the theory that the root cause of war is the existence of capitalism, we examined in some detail that form which has now become the settled orthodoxy of communism, Lenin's theory of imperialism. We found that this theory suffered from none of the logical deficiencies to which its predecessors were subject and that it represented a coherent explanation of what might happen, if its assumptions corresponded with reality. In this chapter, therefore, we must proceed to inquire whether this correspondence is actually to be discovered. Does the Leninist theory fit the known facts of history? That is the question we have to answer.

Let us first remind ourselves shortly of the essential assumptions which it makes, the assumptions whose justification must be demonstrated if the hypothesis is to have validity. Broadly speaking there are two: firstly, the pressure of 'finance capital' operating through the mechanism of the export of capital; secondly, the inevitability and the universality of this type of causation within the period, let us say, since about 1870. Our task, therefore, is to discover whether, during this period, wars or the danger of war have actually been engendered by this mechanism and whether its operation has been sufficiently widespread to justify the claim that it has been all important.

To do this is necessarily a somewhat difficult matter, demanding at all stages a broad feeling for evidence and a

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