Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century: Globalization, Super-Exploitation, and Capitalism’s Final Crisis
$24.00 – $89.00
Winner of the first Paul A. Baran–Paul M. Sweezy Memorial Award for an original monograph concerned with the political economy of imperialism, John Smith’s Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century is a seminal examination of the relationship between the core capitalist countries and the rest of the world in the age of neoliberal globalization. Deploying a sophisticated Marxist methodology, Smith begins by tracing the production of certain iconic commodities—the T-shirt, the cup of coffee, and the iPhone—and demonstrates how these generate enormous outflows of money from the countries of the Global South to transnational corporations headquartered in the core capitalist nations of the Global North. From there, Smith draws on his empirical findings to powerfully theorize the current shape of imperialism. He argues that the core capitalist countries need no longer rely on military force and colonialism (although these still occur) but increasingly are able to extract profits from workers in the Global South through market mechanisms and, by aggressively favoring places with lower wages, the phenomenon of labor arbitrage.
Meticulously researched and forcefully argued, Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century is a major contribution to the theorization and critique of global capitalism.
John Smith received his PhD from the University of Sheffield and is currently self-employed as a researcher and writer. He has been an oil rig worker, bus driver, and telecommunications engineer, and is a longtime activist in the anti-war and Latin American solidarity movements.
This book is more important than you can imagine. John Smith provides a searing and plausible analysis of the global shifts in production that have marked the neoliberal phase of capitalism. In doing so, he blows open myths about wages being based on productivity, to provide new insights into the actual causes of international wage differentials and declining shares of wage incomes across the world. His analysis is essential to understanding contemporary capitalism.
—Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century is a masterful work on global political economy, the most systematic assessment available of the abiding significance of imperialism in the capitalist world system today. John Smith’s rigorous account of the economic underpinnings of the global system of production and exchange reveals capital’s dependence on the exploitation of hundreds of millions of impoverished workers in the Global South. This highly accessible book is essential reading for an understanding the foundations of the global system of capitalism today.
—Immanuel Ness, City University of New York
—Willis M. Buhle, Midwest Book Review
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