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Title: Super-imperialism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Imperialism, Bourgeois socialism, Revolutionary base area, American imperialism, Feudal fascism
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Super-imperialism is a Marxist term with two possible meanings. It refers either to the hegemony of an imperialist great power over its weaker rivals, who then are called sub-imperialisms, or to a comprehensive supra-structure above a set of (theoretically) equal-righted imperialist states. – The latter meaning is the older one and had become rare by the middle of 20th century.

Origin of the term

The expression super-imperialism first appeared in November 1914 as an (inaccurate) translation of the newly coined German term Trust (monopoly)s – and the word ultra, which in English means exaggerated or extreme. Thus, he paraphrased Kautsky’s ideas in terms more familiar to American readers,somewhat distorting Kautsky's statement.

Recent meanings

Together with the revival of the imperialism debates in the 1970s the term super-imperialism recovered, but got modified in its content. It served now to describe the domination by the super-power USA within a system of imperialism, in which the other imperialist powers were set back in their abilities and thus were second-class.[3] Since the same time, the German term Ultraimperialismus was translated into English literally with ultra-imperialism and was now used to describe a rather equal-righted inter-imperialist cooperation.


  1. ^ Karl Kautsky: Der Imperialismus. In: Die Neue Zeit. 32 (1914), vol. 2, p. 908–922.
  2. ^ Vgl.: Karl Kautsky, Imperialism and the War, in: International socialist review, 15 (1914), 286.
  3. ^ Bob Rowthorn, Imperialism in the Seventies: Unity or Rivalry?, in: New Left Review, 59 (1971), 31; Michael Hudson: Super imperialism : the economic strategy of American empire, New York, 1972.


  • Michael Hudson: Super imperialism : the economic strategy of American empire, New York, 1972.
  • Karl Kautsky: Imperialism and the War, in: International socialist review, 15 (1914).
  • Karl Kautsky: Der Imperialismus, in: Die Neue Zeit. 32 (1914), vol. 2, p. 908–922.
  • Holm A. Leonhardt: Bibliographie zur Ultraimperialismus-Theorie [Bibliography on Ultraimperialism Theory], in: Homepage of the Institute of History of Hildesheim University, Ultraimperialismustheorie.pdf (available since 1-20-2008).
  • Holm A. Leonhardt: Zur Geschichte der Ultraimperialismus-Theorie 1902–1930. Die Ideengeschichte einer frühen Theorie der politischen Globalisierung [On the History of Ultra-Imperialism Theory], in: Homepage of the Institute of History, Hildesheim Universität (Germany) (available since 1-20-2008).
  • Bob Rowthorn: Imperialism in the Seventies: Unity or Rivalry? , in: New Left Review, 59 (1971).
  • Martin Thomas: Introduction to Kautsky's "Ultra-imperialism". Workers Liberty.
  • In the Belly of the Beast: Challenging US Imperialism and the Politics of the Offensive'Dan Jakopovich,

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