Friday July 25th, 2014, 11:07 pm (EDT)

Europe vs. America

Contradictions of Imperialism

Europe vs. America
Paperback, 160 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0-85345-221-8
Released: January 1970

Price: $15

The focus of this book is the emerging economic confrontation between European and U.S. capitalism at the end of the “golden age” of capitalism in the late 1960s. Ernest Mandel here paints a remarkably clear, comprehensive, and detailed portrait of trends at that critical period. Mandel moves with ease from the most general international problems to the specifics of corporate activity, and few developments in the business and economic worlds seem to have escaped his attention.

His story starts with the erosion of the enormous power possessed by American capitalism at the close of World War II. Compelled by the exigencies of its counter-revolutionary role to revive the European and Japanese economies, the U.S. then found itself confronted by formidable competitors in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. But this competition was constrained by the process of international concentration of capital; capital, spilling over outmoded national boundaries, interpenetrated to modify the competition both between Europe and America and among the European states themselves. Despite this, capital proved very far from being able to free itself from national attachments, from the interests of a specific national bourgeoisie.

Ernest Mandel (1923-1995) was born in the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium, and lived in Brussels. He began political activity in the left Paole (Labor) Zionists, but at eighteen became a Marxist. He was active in the resistance in World War II, was captured by the Nazis and imprisoned in a concentration camp, and escaped only to be recaptured and imprisoned again. A founder and editor of La Gauche, a left socialist weekly, he contributed to many of the leading economic and political journals throughout the world, and was the most prominent global Trotskyist of the post-war generation.