Thursday, June 22, 2017

William I. Robinson — Global Capitalism: Reflections on a Brave New World

We are in the throes of a transition to a qualitatively new stage of world capitalism. Its essence is the emergence of truly transnational capital, a transnational capitalist class (TCC) made up of the owners and managers of transnational corporations, and transnational state apparatuses through which the TCC attempts to exercise global political authority. This corporate-driven globalization has brought a vast new round of global enclosures as hundreds of millions of people have been uprooted and converted into surplus humanity. The extreme global inequality that has resulted erodes social cohesion and fuels unrest. In response, the more enlightened members of the transnational elite clamor for a powerful transnational state to resolve the ecological, social, economic, and political crises of global capitalism, but instead a global war economy and a global police state may be in the offing. If we are to avoid a civilizational collapse and reach a Great Transition, we will need an accurate reading of the new global capitalism to guide our social practice....
Tags: #global capitalism, #transnational capitalist class, #transnational corporate totalitarianism, #corporate statism, #fascism

Someone tell the people.

BTW, this is a really good article. If no time now, save it for the weekend.

It underscores what I have been saying for some time. Just looking at national economies in a globalized world is insufficient. Economics now must be pursued from the perspective of closed globalized economy rather than a collection of open national economies.

This is the way that the transnational capitalist class, "Davos man," is already viewing it. These are people commanding integrated supply chains and global markets, to whom borders are inconveniences.
Global capitalism does not consist of the aggregation of “national” economies, but their integration into a greater transnational whole.…
Economic globalization entails the fragmentation and decentralization of complex production chains and the worldwide dispersal and functional integration of the different segments in these chains. Yet this fragmentation and decentralization is countered by a reverse movement: the centralization and concentration of worldwide economic management, control, and decision-making power in a handful of ever more powerful transnational corporations (TNCs).
It's pretty clear from the article that socialism of some type is needed to counter the trend. This actually accords with the principle of dialectical logic that a form is not subsumed by the dominant emerging form in the succeeding moment until the initial form has exhausted its potential and succumbs to rising internal contradictions.

Radical Political Economy
Global Capitalism: Reflections on a Brave New World
William I. Robinson | Professor of Sociology, Global Studies and Latin American Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara

18 comments:

Bob said...

The spiraling crisis of global capitalism has reached a crossroads. Either there will be a radical reform of the system (if not its overthrow), or there will be a sharp turn toward twenty-first-century fascism, the fusion of reactionary political power with transnational capital.

Yes. The author could have boiled the article down to this conclusion.

So much for the myth of progress.

Bob said...

As conditions deteriorate, the local economy will play an increasingly important role in ordinary people's lives. It may be our best chance for survival. Transnational systems that claim to work for the benefit of all are a pipe dream.

Kaivey said...

As mankind rises up to great heights, as our maths and science becomes a miracle in itself, as civilisations become a great marvel, we eventually reach a point where it collapses again under its contradictions.

Tom Hickey said...

"Civilization hangs by a thread."

Tom Hickey said...

Because civilization is fragile, gradual change is generally preferable to sudden change.

Kaivey said...

There used to be a group called, American Empire, who were young graduate film makers. They made some mini documentaries about the American Empire and they felt that socialism would only come after capitalism had destroyed the world. They said that mankind would never embrace capitalism again. Well, that may not be true, but I can see why they took that point of view.

I think 'capitalism' is all propaganda, it's drummed into us all our lives so we get to believe that there is no other system. Ordinary people are turned into mini capitalists and we are all made to compete with each other. We are all competitive, but something has gone. The ones at the to drum capitalism onto us, and people get to work very hard, but they are the ones to make the greatest gains.

The happiest people are simple tribesmen, as long as they have food, shelter, and water. What makes them happy is family life and their friendships. Nowadays parents and families of often live a long way apart. Old age can be lonely.

Kaivey said...

My friends and family live in bliss. Most have no interest in politics, but my two best friends do, but they get their news from the Guardian. When I tell them about what we read here they think I'm a conspiracy theorist. They think our leaders are normal, not the psychopaths we know them to be, so they sleep soundly at night.

Paul Craig Roberts and Stephen Lendman must feel troubled sometimes because of all the horrors they read about.

One of my brothers won't watch the news at all. In fact, research has been done that shows that people who don't read or watch the news are happier.

Bob said...

I don't watch horror movies because they upset me. If world politics had a similar effect I wouldn't follow them. Both genres are an acquired taste.

Canadians don't follow Canadian politics because it is boring. It is also viewed as irrelevant to our daily lives.

Tom Hickey said...

Because Canadians apparently aren't paying attention, you have appear to have a neo-Nazi foreign minister.

Bob said...

With the voice of a little girl. Who can take her seriously?

If Trump had succeeded in building better relations with Russia, Canada would have followed suit. Whatever is in vogue in the US is imitated to a certain degree over here. Canadians have come to expect this formula.

Tom Hickey said...

Naïve again.

Bob said...

We just don't care. We don't have a huge military or an excuse to get ourselves into these sort of messes. Canadians are not reckless like Americans.

Bob said...

You should enjoy this:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-latvia-russia-1.4169568

Russian invasion thwarted!

Tom Hickey said...

This is basically Canadian politics. Canada has a lot of refugees and offspring of refugees from Eastern Europe who want Canada "to do something" to stop the Russian hordes from descending on their former homelands. The foreign minster is leading the charge.

Many of these people are benign. But some of them are not, supporting the "nationalists," and Christina Alexandra "Chrystia" Freeland is one of them.

Bob said...

Well she can lead the charge personally. We don't have that many troops to spare.

Tom Hickey said...

Well she can lead the charge personally. We don't have that many troops to spare.

Not so much troops but support of "nationalists." Some of this support is financial and some of it is political.

Most people are unaware of the tangled history of central and eastern Europe and the long history of what amounts to tribalism there. Some of the his racial, some of it religious, and some of it is national.

Central and eastern Europe are also a hotbed of neo-Nazism.

Freeland is up to her neck in this.

It doesn’t reflect well on the PM.

Bob said...

History of Europe is that they tend to go to war and kill each other. If Canadians of European descent want to remain involved in disputes from their former homelands there is little that can be done about it. So far it hasn't resulted in terrorism against Canadians.

It doesn’t reflect well on the PM.

Just so you know, Justin Trudeau is perceived as a lightweight. Freeland is a joke, appointed as much to fulfill Trudeau's gender quota as for her views.

If it's any consolation, the Conservatives would be more hawkish on Russia.

Tom Hickey said...

History of Europe is that they tend to go to war and kill each other. If Canadians of European descent want to remain involved in disputes from their former homelands there is little that can be done about it. So far it hasn't resulted in terrorism against Canadians.

It's helping to fuel havoc in those countries, in particular Ukraine. If this thing blows up, it will affect everyone.