Forging the Capital Security State
Book Review of Panitch and Gindin's "The Making of Global Capitalism"

Ruff, Allen
Date Written:  2013-11-01
Publisher:  Against the Current
Year Published:  2013
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20288

"The Making of Global Capitalism" recounts how the United States came to rule and continues as the primary architect, coordinator and essential guarantor of the present empire of capital.



Not solely a historical narrative, the book offers interventions on a number of central questions for the left. Among other concerns, Gindin and Panitch map out a position regarding the meaning of "empire." They take up issues of stagnation, U.S. "decline," and the question of challenges to U.S. hegemony, recent and present. They explain the post-1970s "neoliberal turn" not as a retreat from state intervention, but as a state-guided economic restructuring.

Much of their enquiry focuses on class forces, domestic and international, and the division of labor within and among the nation states that came to shape the U.S.-anchored global order. The book also provides a layered historical understanding of the contemporary global crisis.

Placing the U.S. state at the center of the story, the work stands as an important counter to those who posit the existence of some extra-territorial stateless "empire" or supra-national global state. Their analysis also critiques the view of those "horizontalists" or "quasi-anarchists" who imagine a better world is possible without wresting power from "the state."

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