eign competition made free trade imperialism difficult, neomercantile imperialism took over. The two imperialisms confront each other as alternate methods, one more appropriate to the time of British hegemony, the other to the time of keener international rivalry. There is something to be said for this view especially when we look back on Edwardian England from the vantage point of the present. If, however, we scrutinize the ideas of the men of the time who called themselves imperialists, we will discover a period of overlapping conflict, a period when there was visible not merely two different methods of pursuing but a single objective, but two different objectives and two different ideologies corresponding to these objectives, and, more pertinent to the subject of this monograph, two different social-imperialisms corresponding to the two imperialisms.
There are a number of ways in which the two imperialisms can be distinguished. We can speak -- as we have already -- of the 'imperialism of protection' and the 'imperialism of free trade.' They might also, with some justice, be labelled the 'imperialism of finance' and the 'imperialism of industry.' At this point, the Marxist would object -- Luxemburg, Hilferding, and Bukharin did so object -- and suggest that such a distinction was nonsense, that during this period finance capital had taken over industrial capital, that the banks were the controlling forces in industry and the state. It is not our task to assess this analysis with respect to Germany or the United States -and the Marxists take most of their data from these countries. It is, however, possible to cite evidence which would indicate that such a development did not take place in England. Nikolai Bukharin, a prominent exponent of the Marxist view, in his Imperialism and World Economy, has concluded that 'only ignorance can at present refer to England as a representative of an entirely different economic type' -- different, that is, from Germany and the United States. To prove his contention, Bukharin pointed to examples of British industrial concentration, however, not finance's control of industry. 3 Nor are the other Marxists more successful in proving the control of British industry by finance. Schumpeter, a non-Marxist economist,
agreed with the Marxists that 'there has come into being a close alliance between high finance and the cartel magnates, often going as far as personal identity,' this 'although the relation between capitalists and entrepreneurs is one of the typical and fundamental conflicts of the capitalist economy.' 'Monopoly capitalism,' Schumpeter asserted, 'has virtually fused the big banks and cartels into one.' But in an appendage worthy of emphasis, Schumpeter insisted that this had happened 'everywhere except, significantly, in England.' 4 In England the 'fundamental conflict' between capitalist and entrepreneur persisted.
The banks of England, luxuriating in the profits of England's position as the international clearing house, had no interest in going beyond the orthodox commercial banking policy of providing trade and other short-term credit. In many respects, this has remained to this day the position of a large segment of British finance. In England, it was possible for the banker to contemplate the decline of British industry with equanimity, feeling that his own interest was entirely unaffected. We have seen this attitude expressed by Halford Mackinder in his addresses to the Institute of Bankers. In England, then, if we follow Schumpeter, the typical and fundamental conflict of the capitalist economy -- that between the capitalist (the rentier) and the entrepreneur -- continued unabated. The financial interests were prospering under the system of Free Trade and felt that system essential to their successful operations. Naturally they and their political spokesmen, men such as Rosebery, Mackinder, and the other LiberalImperialists, supported Free Trade. Beatrice Webb, a shrewd contemporary observer, pronounced the Liberal-Imperialists as 'desperately in awe of the City.' 5 Elsewhere in her diaries she referred to Winston Churchill -- who quit the Unionists and went over to the Liberals on the issue of Free Trade -- as objecting 'to a self-contained Empire as he thinks it would destroy this cosmopolitan capitalism.' 6 The industrialist (the entrepreneur) on the other hand, opposed Free Trade as injurious to himself and demanded protection. In Schumpeter's
view, in doing this, the entrepreneur had thrown away his capitalist birthright and had joined forces with the dark forces of the feudal past.
We have already noted that as early as the 'eighties two groups had appeared in the Imperial Federation League; one believed that closer imperial relations could be brought about only by preferential trade; the other believed that closer ties were primarily a matter of sentiment -- although they were interested in closer co-operation on matters of defence -- and were convinced free traders. Howard Vincent, aided by the colonial spokesmen in the I.F.L., led the League's preference forces. The Liberal-Imperialist Rosebery was the chief spokesman for the Free Traders. 7 The debate over the Chamberlain programme between 1903-1914 continued this struggle.
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