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In this opening section C. L. R. James surveys the world situation in 1937 and looks at the looming interimperialist war. He notes the betrayal of internationalism and socialism when the Second International supported the Great War of 1914-18, and he notes how the Third (Communist) International looks set to follow suit and support a new war. James argues that only Marxism can explain both world politics and the “new civilisation” represented by the Soviet Union, and it predicts a new process of world revolution unfolding in case of another war.

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