Global Capitalism and American Empire

From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search

* Global Capitalism and American Empire. By Leo Panich and Sam Gindin. Vol 40: Socialist Register 2004: The New Imperial Challenge



Reading notes from Michel Bauwens, 2004:

Panich sees three great structural crises of capitalism:

   - 1. 1870s: inter-imperialist rivalry, leads to war (WWI) and revolution
   - 2. 1930s: WW2, and the Bretton-Woods regulation of the world order
   - 3. 1970's: extension of globalization

We must 'historicize theory', i.e. "not write as if concrete history is simply derivative of abstract laws". Nor must we write history of the present tense, i.e. ignore developments of the past. The authors also stress that imperialism is not so much a automatic result of economic processes, but the result of an active role of the state.

Panich distinguishes formal empire (colonies), from informal empire. Crucial in post WWII re-globalization has been the role of the American state, successful in creating an informal empire, which innovatively was also based on an extensive North-North linkages under its aegis.

The system, so the argument goes, is now about the global reproduction of capital, through a system of states which is under the clear hegemony of the US state. This is the new form of imperialism that exists today. What has changed, is that it has now shown its full face, because it has lost patience with the weak international order.