Global imperialism and the world’s people

Because international finance capital requires stability at the core, all the important capitalist powers endorse the crucial political and economic positions taken by the United States. But the Americans are not providing stability to world markets, even as the countries of South fall prey to predatory capital. As the global economy crushes the poor beneath its heel, the welfare states of the underdeveloped world are further weakened, public services less accessible, employment more insecure and income disparities accentuated. The contradictions of a rapacious imperialism are making themselves felt more acutely, but the ground needs to be prepared for a resistance movement across the countries of the South.

Two features define the capitalist world economy at the start of the 21st century. The first is the continuing, indeed overwhelming, significance of imperialism as the defining feature of global economic relations, with the term broadly defined as the struggle by large capital over control of economic territory of various types. The second is that this current imperialism is different in several crucial ways from that described by Lenin nearly a century ago as the monopoly stage of capitalism. To some extent the differences are simply the result of history, the evolution of both the institutions and processes of capitalism. But they are also the result of the effects of the recent processes of deregulation of trade and capital markets as well as other forms of economic liberalisation (constituting the essence of what is typically called 'globalisation'), which have given the new imperialism its cutting edge.

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Himal Southasian