Skip to main content
×
×
Home
  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: August 2014

Introduction

Summary

All men will see what you seem to be; only a few will know what you are.

Machiavelli

Our world is burning. We face a global crisis that is unprecedented in terms of its magnitude, its global reach, the extent of ecological degradation and social deterioration, and the scale of the means of violence. This is a time of great upheavals, momentous changes, and uncertain outcomes; fraught with dangers, including the very real possibility of collapse as well as the growing threat of repressive social control systems that serve to contain the explosive contradictions of a global capitalism in crisis. Certainly the stakes bound up in the raging conflicts of our day are too high for the usual academic complacency. I believe that the most urgent task of any intellectual who considers him or herself organic or politically engaged is to address this crisis. If nothing else, we will all agree that global capitalism is a highly unstable and crisis-ridden system. If we are to avert disastrous outcomes we must understand both the nature of the new global capitalism and the nature of its crisis. This book is an attempt to contribute to such an understanding.

In this book I aspire to analyze and theorize the global crisis from the perspective of global capitalism theory. Wide-ranging debate continues on the nature of the twenty-first-century global order and its contemporary crises. I have been centrally concerned with these matters for over two decades, seeking above all to construct a theoretical framework for situating them – specifically, a theory of global capitalism. The world in which Karl Marx analyzed capital has radically changed. The global capitalism perspective offers a powerful explanatory framework for making sense of the crisis. Analysis of capitalist globalization not only says something about the nature of the crisis but is also a template for probing a wide range of social, political, cultural, and ideological processes in this twenty-first century. Following Marx, we want to focus on the internal dynamics of capitalism in order to understand the crisis. And following the global capitalism perspective, we want to see how capitalism has qualitatively evolved in recent decades. The systemwide crisis we face is not a repeat of earlier such episodes such as that of the the 1930s or the 1970s precisely because world capitalism is fundamentally different in the twenty-first century.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity
  • Online ISBN: 9781107590250
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107590250
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
×
Machiavelli, Niccolo, The Prince (New York: Bantam Books, 1981 [1513]), 63–64
Robinson, William I., A Theory of Global Capitalism (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004)
Robinson, William I., Latin America and Global Capitalism (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008)
Robinson, William I.: Transnational Conflicts: Central America, Social Change, and Globalization (London: Verso, 2003)
Robinson, William I., “The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Cyclical? Structural? Systemic?,” in Konings, Martinj, ed., The Great Credit Crash (London: Verso, 2010)
Robinson, William I., “Beyond the Theory of Imperialism: Global Capitalism and the Transnational State,” Societies without Borders (2007), 2: 5–26
Robinson, William I., “Aqui Estamos y No Nos Vamos!: Global Capitalism and the Struggle for Immigrant Rights, Race and Class (2006), 48(2): 4–29
Robinson, William I. and Barrera, Mario, “Global Capitalism and Twenty-First Century Fascism: A U.S. Case Study,” Race and Class (2012), 53(3): 4–29
Robinson, William I., “Global Capital Leviathan,” Radical Philosophy (2011), no. 165: 2–6
Robinson, William I., “Globalizacion, Crisis, y Escenarios de Futuro,” Estudios Centroamericanos (2009), 63(715–716): 331–344
Robinson, William I., “What to Expect from U.S. ‘Democracy Promotion’ in Iraq,” New Political Science (2004), 26(3): 441–447
Harman, Chris, Zombie Capitalism: Global Crisis and the Relevance of Marx (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2010)
Chossudovsky, Michel and Marshall, Andrew Gavin, eds., The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century (Quebec: Global Research Publishers, 2010)
Marazzi, Christian, The Violence of Financial Capitalism (Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2011)
Meszaros, Istvan and Foster, John Bellamy, The Structural Crisis of Capital (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010)
McNally, David, Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2010)
Tabb, William K., The Restructuring of Capitalism in Our Time (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012)
Theory and Society, (2001), 30(2)
Science and Society (2001–02), 65(4)
Critical Sociology (2012), 38(3)
Historical Materialism (2007), 15
Cambridge Review of International Affairs (2006), 19(3)
Geopolitics, History and International Relations (2009), 1(2) (more on this exchange below)
Historical Materialism (2007), 15 (William I. Robinson, “The Pitfall of Realist Analysis of Global Capitalism,” 71–93, and Ellen M. Wood, “A Reply to Critics,” 143–170)
Corradi, Juan’s ideologically driven discussion of my work, “Review of Latin America and Global Capitalism,” Contemporary Sociology (2009), 28(5): 396–398
Barahona, DianeThe Capitalist Globalization of Latin America,” Critical Sociology (2011), 37(6): 889–895
Cammack, Paul, “Forget the Transnational State,” Geopolitics, History and International Relations (2009), 1(2): 85–98
Carrol, William, “Global, Transnational, Regional, National: The Need for Nuance in Theorizing Global Capitalism,” Critical Sociology (2012), 38(3): 365–373
Robinson, William I., Transnational Conflicts: Central America and Global Change (London: Verso, 2003), 55–56
Hirst, Paul and Thompson, Graheme, Globalization in Question, 3rd ed. (Cambridge: Polity, 2009)
Dicken, Peter, Global Shift, 5th ed. (New York: Guilford, 2007), 13
Harvey, David, The New Imperialism 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005)
Chase-Dunn, Christopher, Global Formation: Structures of the World-Economy (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1998), 215
Jessop, in The Capitalist State (Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1982), 253
Robinson, William I., Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, U.S. Intervention, and Hegemony (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)