Systemic Cycles of Capital Accumulation

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"At the turn of XX — XXI centuries G. Arrighi, based on research by the French historian F. Braudel and principles of the world-system analysis, developed the theory of Systemic Cycles of Capital Accumulation (SCCA). F. Braudel drew attention to the fact that the centers of capital accumulation are constantly changing their geographical “registration”. In the middle Ages they were in the North of Italy, in the XVII century they moved to Holland, from the beginning of the XIX century — in Britain, and in the 20th century to the USA. These studies F. Braudel served as an impetus for the development of the theory of SCCA by G. Arrighi.

Since the main thing for capitalism is the infinite accumulation of capital, it is precisely the qualitatively special cycles of this accumulation that, according to G. Arrighi, have become milestones in the development of this system. In his monograph “The Long XX century” G. Arrighi identified four SCCA: Genoese-Iberian (XV — early XVII century), Dutch (mid XVII — late XVIII century), British (early XIX century — early XX century) and American (from the beginning of the 20th century). In his last work, “Adam Smith in Beijing”, G. Arrighi predicted the completion of the American SCCA and the coming of the Asian SCCA to replace it." (


The Two Phases of a SSCA


"Any SCCA, according to the analysis of G. Arrighi, consists of two phases. G. Arrighi called the first phase the phase of material expansion, since it is formed in the sphere of material production, when a new center of capital accumulation in a new region of the world is formed on the basis of the newest technologies. In the second phase of the SCCA, the expansion of capital accumulation enters the financial sphere, and the material sphere plays a secondary and subordinate role.

G. Arrighi called the second stage of SCCA as a phase of financial expansion, which ends with a crisis of overproduction due to compression of consumer demand and the collapse of financial markets as a result of the collapse of financial pyramids. It is precisely this phase of historical development associated with the crisis of over-production that the world economy is currently experiencing." (


The World Economic Systems Hypothesis of Glazyev


"to understand why there is a change of SCCA, it was necessary to investigate the action of the internal mechanism of SCCA, which was carried out by academician S. Glazyev — put forward a scientific hypothesis about the formation within the SCCA of world economic structures (WES).

In accordance with the scientific hypothesis of S. Glazyev, WES is “a system of interrelated international and national institutions that ensure the reproduction of the economy and determine the mechanism of global economic relations.”

At the same time, “the main role is played by the institutions of the leading country, which have a dominant influence on international institutions regulating the world market and international trade, economic and financial relations.” The foundations of the current Imperial (Monopolistic) WES of the American SCCA were laid at the Bretton Woods monetary and financial conference in 1944, where the Bretton Woods gold-dollar monetary and financial system, the IMF, the IBRD and so on were formed. In 1947, GATT was created, later transformed into the WTO, in 1949, NATO and other institutions of the Imperial (Monopolistic) WES were created.

The downward wave of the K-cycle of the 1970s and 1980s made its adjustments to the Imperial WES. The United States abandoned the free exchange of dollars for gold, and the Bretton Woods financial system was replaced by the Jamaican financial system based on freely floating exchange rates, marking the transition from material to financial expansion.

And since the 1980s, the American SCCA entered the final phase of its development — the phase of financial expansion, which recorded a historical record for the level of inequality in the world. The mainstream of this phase of the American SCCA was neoliberalism, embodied in the ideology of the Washington Consensus, which is a guide to action for governments and countries of the world.

On the downward wave of the new K-cycle, which started with the crisis of 2008, in the “take-off phase”, the basic technologies of the 6TS and a new paradigm of economic development are already being formed, the painful search for which is taking place nowadays. Neo-liberalism is already visibly dying, and the new economic doctrine has not found its clear outlines yet. In the 2020s, the “take-off phase” will pass into the “growth phase,” and the rapid development of the world economy in the new Center for World Capital Accumulation is in Asia." (