How Imperialism Works Today
Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century: Globalization, Super-Exploitation, and Capitalism's Final Crisis
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/11/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21723
Book review of John Smith's Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century: Globalization, Super-Exploitation, and Capitalism's Final Crisis.
The deepest Marxist work on the general political economy of contemporary capitalism that appeared in the postwar era was the book of Paul Sweezy and Paul Baran, Monopoly Capital. The most interesting and influential work on imperialism, growing out of the anti-colonial movement, was that of the dependency theorists, only a few of whom such as Samir Amin, Arghiri Emmanuel and Andre Gunder Frank were Marxists.
The dependency school claimed that the former colonies referred to as the Third World were held in state of underdevelopment, i.e. lack of industrial development and poverty, because of "unequal exchange" -- that is, their products of raw materials were exchanged below their value for the industrial goods of the advanced capitalist world.
This unequal exchange was acknowledged by international trade economists as the Prebisch-Singer dilemma, but never really explained by mainstream economists.