- Created: Sunday, 28 July 2019 13:17
- Written by Carol Brown
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No 30, 15 June/15 July 1983
‘I was in the East End of London yesterday and attended a meeting of the unemployed. I listened to the wild speeches, which were just a cry for ‘bread’, ‘bread’, ‘bread’, and on my way home I pondered over the scene and I became more than ever convinced of the importance of imperialism ... My cherished idea is a solution for the social problem, ie in order to save the 40,000,000 inhabitants of the United Kingdom from a bloody civil war, we, colonial statesmen, must acquire new lands to settle the surplus population, to provide new markets for the goods produced by them in the factories and mines. The Empire, as I have always said, is a bread and butter question. If you want to avoid civil war, you must become imperialists.’ (Cecil Rhodes 1895)
True to his word, Cecil Rhodes played a leading role in acquiring ‘new lands’, in his case Southern Africa, in order to secure the future of capitalist Britain. To do this the imperialists knew that they would have to ensure fresh supplies of raw materials, create a market for more investment and profit-making, and most important of all, by buying off a section of the British working class and creating a labour aristocracy, prevent social revolution. Imperialism is not a choice it is a necessity if capitalism is to survive.