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Samir Amin

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The Future of Global Polarization

This article argues that history since antiquity has been characterized by social inequality. Yet it is only in the modern era that polarization has become the immanent by-product of the integration of the entire planet into the capitalist system. Modern capitalist polarization has appeared in successive forms during the evolution of the capitalist mode of production, each of which is outlined. The article states that hegemony is not the rule, but is rather the exception. A country’s position in the world pyramid is defined by its capacity to compete in the world market. Competitiveness is a complex product of many economic, political, and social factors. In this unequal fight the centers use “five monopolies” that challenge the totality of social theory. They are: technological, financial control of worldwide financial markets, monopolies of access to the planet’s natural resources, media and communication monopolies, and monopolies of weapons of mass destruction. The author argues that we must develop world organizational forms that are more authentically democratic so as to be capable of reshaping economic relations on the basis of less and less inequality.

international relations, world systems analysis, Amin, Samir, capitalism, economy, global

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 23, Nos. 1-2 (1996): 5-13

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