Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 17:10:16 +0600
Sender: PHILosophy OF HIstory and theoretical history <PHILOFHI@YORKU.CA>
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Organization: Novosibirsk State University
Subject: Fwd: Amin's Agenda for Action

A summary of Professor Samir Amin's agenda for global action

From Gernot Kohler, 15 December 1997

A summary of Professor Samir Amin's agenda for global action is contained in:


Samir Amin,
“The Future of Global Polarization,” REVIEW (Fernand Braudel Center), XVII, 3, Summer 1994, p. 337–47

Professor Amin's project of global socialism is based on the general observation that: “The commanding logic of the capitalist system perpetuates the center/periphery polarization.” (p. 346)

The overall task, according to Amin, is therefore “the construction of a [sc. alternative] global political system which is not in the service of the global market but which defines its parameters...”(p. 342) For the shape of such an alternative world system, Amin insists on two general ingredients, namely:

(a) the world system must be “more authentically democratic” (p. 347)
(b) the world system must be polycentric, meaning “reorganization ... on the basis of large regions” (p. 347) (e.g., region of Europe, Africa, etc.)

Amin's preferred world system is thus democratic, socialist and polycentric/federalist (rather than dominated by “the five monopolies” of the core countries). Based on this general vision, Professor Amin's agenda includes the following, by broad domains (see, p. 342):

“global disarmament”
“world parliament”; “political institutions which would represent social interests on a global scale”
1. “liquidation of ... World Bank, the IMF, GATT, etc.”, to be replaced by “other systems for managing the global economy”
2. “global fiscal system”
3. “flexible economic relationships among the world's major regions which are unequally developed” (i.e. Amin's concept of polycentrism)
“access to the planet's resources in an equitable manner”; “waste reduction obligatory”

How to achieve this: Amin emphasizes “struggle”: “transformation of the world system always begins with struggles at its base” (p. 347). He is not explicit about the use of violence, however.

Which makes me wonder. If his “struggle” means non-violent struggle, then his agenda is not terribly different from what globally and ecologically-minded left-Keynesians believe in.

Note that Professor Amin does not call for an abolition of the market but, rather, for world political institutions which “define the parameters of“ the market. Professor Keynes could agree to that. Which brings me to a general point: Left-Keynesianism is not “Military Keynesianism”. Left-Keynesianism is to Keynes what left-Hegelianism was to Hegel, n'est-ce pas? Left-Keynesianism is one of the ten legitimate tribes of Leftism.


Gernot Kohler
Oakville, Canada