The all-encompassing embrace of world capitalism at the beginning of the twenty-first century was generally attributed to the superiority of competitive markets. Globalization had appeared to be the natural outcome of this unstoppable process. But today, with global markets roiling and increasingly reliant on state intervention to stay afloat, it has become clear that markets and states aren’t straightforwardly opposing forces.
In this groundbreaking work, Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin demonstrate the intimate relationship between modern capitalism and the American state. The Making of Global Capitalism identifies the centrality of the social conflicts that occur within states rather than between them. These emerging fault lines hold out the possibility of new political movements that might transcend global markets.
Table of contents:
PART I: PRELUDE TO THE NEW AMERICAN EMPIRE
1. The DNA of American Capitalism
2. American State Capacities: From Great War to New Deal
PART II: THE PROJECT FOR A GLOBAL CAPITALISM
3. Planning the New American Empire
4. Launching Global Capitalism
PART III: THE TRANSITION TO GLOBAL CAPITALISM
5. The Contradictions of Success
6. Structural Power Through Crisis
PART IV: THE REALIZATION OF GLOBAL CAPITALISM
7. Renewing Imperial Capacity
PART V: THE RULE OF GLOBAL CAPITALISM
9. Rules of Law: Governing Globalization
10. The New Imperial Challenge: Managing Crises
PART VI:THE GLOBAL CAPITALIST MILLENNIUM
11. A World After Its Own Image
12. American Crisis/Global Crisis
This book is about globalization and the state. It shows that the spread of capitalist markets, values and social relationships around the world, far from being an inevitable outcome of inherently expansionist economic tendencies, has depended on the agency of states — and of one state in particular: America. Indeed, insofar as the relationship between the American state and the changing dynamics of production and finance was inscribed in the very process that came to be known as globalization, this book is devoted to understanding how it came to be that the American state developed the interest and capacity to superintend the making of global capitalism. In this respect, this is emphatically not another book on US military interventions; it is about the political economy of American empire. In this quite distinctive imperial state, the Pentagon and CIA have been much less important to the process of capitalist globalization than the US Treasury and Federal Reserve. This is so not just in terms of sponsoring the penetration and emulation of US economic practices abroad, but much more generally in terms of promoting free capital movements and free trade on the one hand, while on the other trying to contain the international economic crises a global capitalism spawns.
The book has itself been a long time in the making. Indeed, it might be said that its origins go all the way back to the close friendship we forged when we were undergraduates together in the early 1960s. This took root in many common interests but especially important was our mutual awareness of how much historical materialism helped us understand the world. We soon came to appreciate this not in terms of unyielding economic laws and the development of a so-called monopoly capitalism, but rather because it revealed how continuing competition and class conflict, and the contradictions to which they gave rise, not only determined but also were determined by the actions of capitalist states. This perspective proved invaluable as we went on to work, one in academe, the other in the union movement — always drawing strength from this enduring friendship over five decades.
It was just over a decade ago that we set out to produce this book, a project in good part made possible by research funds from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and by the respective posi-tions we held since 2001 as the Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy and the Packer Visiting Chair in Social Justice at York University. It seems invidious to single out for thanks here only some colleagues and staff in the remarkable intellectual community that is York’s political science department. It was there that many of our ideas were gener-ated, and that research reports were first presented and debated, especially at the empire seminar series. The discussions with students in the Globalization and the State graduate course were also extremely helpful. For their especially important contributions to the research teams of graduate students that made our work on this book so productive, particular thanks are due to Martijn Konings, Travis Fast, Ruth Felder, Eric Newstadt and David Sarai; Scott Aquanno, Brad Bauerly, Aidan Conway, Tom Keefer, Adam Schachhuber and Sean Starrs; as well as Khashayar Hooshiyar, Frederick Peters and Angie Swartz.
Apart from stimulating interactions with so many of our colleagues at York whose work overlaps with ours, this book has also benefited from discussions over the years with Giovanni Arrighi, Patrick Bond, Dick Bryan, Vivek Chibber, Jane D’Arista, Gerard Dumenil, Peter Gowan, John Grahl, David Harvey, Ursula Huws, Gretta Krippner, Michael Lebowitz, Jim O’Connor, Fran Piven, Lukin Robinson, William Robinson, Chris Rude, Ellen Russell, Susanne Soederberg and Thomas Sablowski — among others too numerous to mention. We are above all appreciative of all the contributions that our dear friend Colin Leys made to this book: his close reading, generous praise, sharp criticism and insightful suggestions for each chapter were invaluable. The comments on the manuscript from Greg Albo, Scott Aquanno, Doug Henwood, Martijn Konings, Donald Swartz and Alan Zuege were also very rich, as were those from Adam Hilton and Justin Panos in the course of helping us prepare the final manuscript. The strong interest of Sebastian Budgen and Jake Stevens in publishing the book, and the thorough work of Mark Martin and their other colleagues at Verso in preparing it for publication, also deserve special mention here, as does the creative effort of Anne Sullivan in publicizing it.
Finally, we are grateful for the support of our wives and children over the decade that went into the making of this book. Long before we started working on it, Melanie Panitch and Schuster Gindin often used to say we really should have married each other. There were no doubt times over the past decade they wished we had, but in fact it was their love and encouragement that nourished us each day, even while their impatience to have it over with prodded us on. It is to them this book is dedicated.
Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin
Verso Books, published on October 2013
Paperback, 464 pages / 14 x 21 cm / $19.95 - £12.99 - $22.95CAN