Lewis Feuer, a distinguished philosopher and social critic, has presented a remarkable thesis in Imperialism and the Anti-Imperialist Mind. Feuer regards imperialism as a natural political process, and one that is endemic to all nations under all political and social systems. The significant distinction to make is whether a given imperialistic period is progressive or regressive. The greatest historical advances, maintains Feuer, have been made during progressive imperialistic eras, such as the Hellenic-Macedonian, the Roman, and the modern British periods. Retrogression took place under the Tartar and Spanish imperialisms.
Feuer claims that neo-Marxists are wrong when they cite the relative backwardness of colonial peoples and blame the condition on the imperialism of advanced Western nations. History tells a different tale. As John Stuart Mill demonstrated in the case of India, the actual historical record shows the British imperialistic era to be one of remarkable development, and one that prompted democracy.
In a sure-to-be controversial passage, Feuer asserts that the results of imperialistic interventions differ as to result in predictable ways. Therefore, the relative "participatory imperialism" practiced by the United States and Britain has achieved positive results, while the authoritarian imperialism of the Soviet Union has resulted in retrogression. He cites the Belgian Congo as a prime example of authoritarian imperialism.
Imperialism and the Anti-Imperialist Mind by Lewis S. Feuer