There was an earlier discussion on the role of finance capital in the context of industrialisation in Pakistan. We considered it worthwhile to revisit the finance capital in the larger discourse on imperialism by referring to some literature (Gronow 2016, Lorimer Resistance Books 1999, www.massline.org) in this article.Lenin by building up on Marx’s work has called imperialism as “the highest and last stage of the development of capitalism”. Lenin in his publications between 1895 and 1913, described in detail the characteristics of the imperial order. There is struggle between the rival European powers to divide up the world market for extraction of profits. There is rise of monopolistic cartels and trusts in imperialism and an increasing importance of movement of finance capital in comparison with the mere export of commodities. It is the parasitic phase of capitalism. In Imperialism, capitalism has transformed into a world system of oppression of colonialism and extraction of financial resources of the majority of people in the developing countries by few advanced Western countries. This loot and plunder is shared by powerful world powers such as the US, Britain and Japan. Imperialism is not understood merely by looking at the foreign policies of developed Western countries, it is also characterised by the perpetuation of capitalist relations of production. It is the “monopoly stage” of capitalism.The whole edifice of the modern state is used as a “political instrument” by the mechanics of finance capitalSamir Amin, a Marxist theorist, states that imperialism is embedded in the expansion of capitalism. According to him, Europeans and North Americans carried out the imperialist conquest of the world planet in two phases, and now it is entering into its third phase. In the first phase, the European mercantilist powers conquered the Americas in a “devastating enterprise”. In the second phase, they colonised and subjugated Asia and Africa. After the collapse of the Soviet system and populist nationalism in the developing countries, there is third wave of “devastation” underway.Imperialism is characterised by relations of power. In Kautsky’s treatise on imperialism, transformation of economic relations of capitalism into power relationship is its defining character. World powers dominate the developing countries through these relations of power. This monopoly stage of capitalism leads to extraction of monopolistic profits, including from the developing countries. They are made possible either by artificially upping the commodity prices or increasing interests charged on investments to dependent countries or foreign colonies. The whole edifice of the modern state is used as a “political instrument” by the mechanics of finance capital. Economic policy of the state is formulated in the favour of finance capital, cartels and trusts. Imperialist powers also increase the dominance of overproduction of capital and commodities to regulate the production processes in their favour. Big capital in the Western countries dictates its state systems to promote imperialist methods in its pursuit of international politics.As earlier stated, imperialism replaces relations of production of capitalism with the relations of power. It is based on coerced extraction and distribution of surplus production process of the world by the dominance of big capital. The state apparatus sanctions this exploitation of the finance capital. Therefore, monopolisation is the core of imperialism that leads to capital centralisation through transformation of the laws of competition in the functioning of capitalism. Hamza Alavi, the path-breaking political theorist who applied Marxist analysis, is of the view that there is plurality of economically dominant classes in developing countries like Pakistan instead of just one dominant capitalist class. There is indigenous bourgeoisie, metropolitan bourgeoisie, and the salaried class, amongst others.The capitalist class might not be hegemonic in Pakistan internally as Alavi’s analysis shows and it shares power with other classes that are equally significant. However, the overall relations of production in Pakistan as it is the rest of developing countries are characterised by the dominance of global capital underwritten by imperialism of the Western countries. Though, colonialism and imperialism are not synonymous and the former is more likely a stage of imperialist expansion. Yet, in developing countries like Pakistan, relations of production as well as operationalization of state power and its impact on citizens functions in a neocolonial mode.One careful look at the system of education and justice/legal system tells the story. In the education system, we have the public, private, madrassa and non-formal systems of education with a great variation within each tier. In the legal system, we have the formal, informal, parallel legal systems working side by side. This lack of synchronisation of the local power structures with a neocolonial state structure complicates citizens’ access to services and paradigm of state-society relations.It is time that we recognise that imperialist powers dominate our economic, political, social and foreign relations; and come up with an indigenous new social contract to govern our state and society that best promotes the interests of citizens of Pakistan and breaks away from the relations of dominance of imperialist Western powers.The writer is an Islamabad-based social scientist.Published in Daily Times, March 21st 2019.