“Lenin’s major purpose in writing the [Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism] (…) was to counter the propaganda of Kautsky and other ex-Marxists (he includes Hilferding in this category) who were, in his view, leading the shattered remnants of the Second International in entirely the wrong direction. From this point of view, the most important sections of the work are those directed against Kautsky’s theory of ‘ultra-imperialism’ and those describing the rise of a ‘labour aristocracy’ which was, Lenin argued, the material base for the support that Kautsky’s revisionism had gained in the major imperialist countries” [pag 109]; “Immediately before the First World War, Kautsky come up with a further reason for optimism about the prospects for peace, in the theory of ‘ultra-imperialism’, that is, the possibility that the major powers would find it preferable to agree to exploit the world jointly, rather than fighting over the division of the world. A similar line of argument had been advanced earlier by Hobson (as Lenin points out), using the term ‘inter-imperialism’. (…) When the war broke out, Kautsky transferred his hopes for peace to the post-war period. In a key article, published soon after the start of the war, he wrote: “What Marx said of capitalism can also be applied to imperialism: monopoly creates competition and competition monopoly. The frantic competition of giant firms, giant banks and multi-millionaires obliged the great financial groups… to think up the notion of cartel. In the same way the result of the World War between the great imperialist powers may be a federation of the strongest, who renounce their arms race. Hence from the purely economic standpoint it is not impossible that capitalism may still live through another phase, the translation of cartellisation into foreign policy: a phase of ultraimperialism, which of course we must struggle against as energetically as we do against imperialism, but whose perils lie in another direction, not in that of the arms race and the threat to world peace (Kautsky, 1970, p. 46)” [pag 123]; “Both Bukharin and, especially, Lenin wrote about imperialism primarily to challenge Kautsky’s view, and to repair the damage done to the international socialist movement by the capitulation of the parties of the Second International at the outbreak of the war. As far as they were concerned the intimate connection between capitalist development, imperialism and war was the central theoretical basis of their stand against abandoning the struggle for socialism for the duration. No compromise on this issue was possible. Lenin vehemently rejected any idea of ultra-imperialism: ‘development is proceeding towards monopolies, hence towards a single world monopoly…as completely meaningless as is the statement the “development is proceeding” towards the manufacture of foodstuffs in laboratories’ (‘Imperialism’, p. 530)” [pag 125] [Anthony Brewer, Marxist theories of imperialism. A critical survey, 1980]  [V.I. Lenin – Materiali Bibliografici] [LBM*]