According to Andrew Linklater, Marx wrote in the mid 1840s that capitalism would spread around the world and eventually destroy the divisions that set nation-states apart, thus creating a world capitalist society that would replace the international state-system. For Marx, colonialism is historically important because it helps capitalism to establish itself in non-capitalist societies. Therefore, Marx views capitalism, which causes the spread of industrial development throughout the whole world, as a precondition for forming a socialist society. He said that private property plays the key role in the transformation process from a traditional into a capitalist and finally into a communist society. According to Marx, colonizing traditional societies advances the conditions for an international socialist revolution because only when private property, which comes along with capitalism, exists in a society can it be abolished, and only with its abolition, can man emancipate himself from his alienated existence. In practice, Marx had examined “the effects of colonialism on Indian society”, which led him to criticize British imperialism, as it oppressively destroyed the Indian textile industry. On the other hand, he believed that “colonial rule is beneficial.”
Linklater writes that Marx failed to understand the immense consequences of nationalism because Marx believed that differences between societies would be reduced through capitalism. Also, he believed that the infrastructure (the economic basis of society) and the division of labor would influence the superstructure and the behavior of classes and states, rather than national consciousness. However, Marx had to deal with different types of nationalism: working class patriotism, bourgeois nationalism, romantic nationalism, and separatist and anti-colonial nationalism. Marx had an assumption, which was contradicted during the mid 19th century, when the English and the Irish proletariat faced each other as...
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