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The Implosion of Contemporary Capitalism

The Implosion of Contemporary Capitalism

Samir Amin
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: NYU Press,
Pages: 144
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  • Book Info
    The Implosion of Contemporary Capitalism
    Book Description:

    Renowned political economist Samir Amin, engaged in a unique lifelong effort both to narrate and affect the human condition on a global scale, brings his analysis up to the present - the world of 2013. The key events of our times - financial crisis, the emerging nations, globalization, financialization, political Islam, Euro-zone implosion - are related in a coherent, historically based, account. Changes in contemporary capitalism require an updating of definitions and analysis of social classes, class struggles, political parties, social movements and the ideological forms in which they express their modes of action in the transformation of societies. Amin meets this challenge and lays bare the reality of monopoly capitalism in its general, global form. Ultimately, Amin demonstrates that this system is not viable and that the implosion in progress is unavoidable. Whether humanity will rise to the challenge of building a more humane global order free of the contradictions of capital, however, is yet to be seen.

    eISBN: 978-1-58367-423-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
    (pp. 7-14)
    (pp. 15-42)

    Contemporary capitalism is a capitalism of generalized monopolies. By this I mean that monopolies are now no longer islands in a sea of other still relatively autonomous companies, but are constitutive of an integrated system. Therefore, these monopolies now tightly control all the systems of production. Small and medium enterprises, and even the large corporations that are not strictly speaking oligopolies, are locked in a network of control put in place by the monopolies. Their degree of autonomy has shrunk to the point that they are nothing more than subcontractors of the monopolies. This system of generalized monopolies is the...

    (pp. 43-64)

    What is “emerging”? This term has been used by some to mean one thing and by others something entirely different in different contexts, often without any caution regarding precision. I will therefore define the sense that I will give to the set of economic, social, political, and cultural transformations that permit one to speak of the “emergence” of a state, a nation, and a people who have been placed in a peripheral place in the capitalist world system.

    Emergence is not measured by a rising rate of GDP growth or exports over a long period of time (more than a...

    (pp. 65-88)

    The debates concerning the present and future of China—an “emerging” power—always leave me unconvinced. Some argue that China has chosen, once and for all, the “capitalist road” and intends even to accelerate its integration into contemporary capitalist globalization. They are quite pleased with this and hope only that this “return to normality”—capitalism being the “end of history”—is accompanied by development toward Western-style democracy (multiple parties, elections, human rights). They believe—or need to believe—in the possibility that China shall by this means “catch up” in terms of per capita income to the opulent societies of...

    (pp. 89-104)

    Majority opinion in europe holds that Europe has all it takes to become an economic and political power comparable to, and consequently independent of, the United States. Simple addition of its component populations and GDPs makes that seem obvious. As for me, I believe that Europe suffers from three major handicaps that rule out such a comparison.

    First, the northern part of the American continent—the United States and what I call its external province, Canada—is endowed with natural resources incomparably greater than the part of Europe to the west of Russia, as is shown by Europe’s dependence on...

    (pp. 105-148)

    Globalized capitalism, only yesterday having declared the end of history, did not survive more than two decades before imploding. But what other world is being called forth to succeed it? Will capitalism enter a new phase in its deployment, less unbalanced globally and more centered in Asia and South America? Or will we see a truly polycentric world in which various popular democratic alternatives that arise are confronted by violent measures of capitalist restoration? The way to shed light on the nature of the ongoing systemic crisis is to return to a reading of the historical trajectory of capitalism. Such...

    (pp. 149-155)

    In this book i have suggested analyses articulated around my central definition of generalized-monopoly capitalism. It is this concept that allows us to put in their right place, and accord significance to, all the striking new facts that, in all regions (both central and peripheral) of the world, characterize contemporary capitalism. It makes coherent a painting that otherwise would appear to be random and chaotic.

    Monopoly capitalism first took form at the end of the nineteenth century, but it only crystallized as a system in the United States in the 1920s. It then took over Europe and Japan in the...

  10. INDEX
    (pp. 156-160)