Samir Amin, director of the Third World Forum, is a frequently cited author is the realm of pro-Third World political economy. The following quotes come from his recent book, ‘The Law of Worldwide Value.’ As always, reposting here does not imply endorsement or affiliation on the part of – Nick Brown

From the introduction:

“Marx is not a philosopher, a historian, an economist, a political scientist, or a sociologist. He is not even a scholar of the first rank in any of those disciplines. Nor even a talented professor who prepared a good multidisciplinary dish cooked with all these ingredients. Marx’s place is quite outside all that. Marx is the beginning of the radical critique of modern times, starting with the critique of the real world. This radical critique of capitalism demands and allows discovery of the basis of market alienation and, inseparable from it, the exploitation of labor. The foundational status of the concept of value derives from this radical critique. … Marx links to this radical critique of the real world the critique of discourses about that reality: those of philosophy, economics, sociology, history, and political science. This radical critique uncovers their true nature, which, in the last analysis, is always an apologetic one, legitimizing the practices of capital’s dominating power.”

From Chapter One:

“In my work I have imagined a capitalism that has reached the furthest limits of its tendency to reduce the amount of labor used for material production (hard goods: manufactured objects and food products) through an imaginary generalization of automation. The departments of production no longer set in motion more than a tiny fraction of the labor force: what is used partly for the production of science and technology (soft goods) needed for that of hard goods and partly for services linked to consumption. In those conditions, the domination of capital is expressed in the unequal distribution of the total income, and value has no longer any meaning except on this integrated global scale. The concept of value would persist only because society would still be alienated, mired in scarcity thinking.

“Would a system that had reached such a stage of its evolution still merit the appellation “capitalism?” It would probably not. It would be a neo-tributary system based on the systemic application of the political violence (linked to ideological procedures capable of giving it the appearance of legitimacy) indispensable for the perpetuation of such inequality. Such as system is, alas, thinkable on a globalized scale: it is already in the course of being built. I have called it “apartheid on the world scale.” The logic of the forces governing capitalist reproduction works in that direction, which is to say, in the direction of making “another possible world,” one even more barbaric than any of the class societies that have succeeded each other throughout history.”

Amin, Samir. The law of worldwide value . English ed. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010. Print.

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