The World of Emmanuel and the End of Capitalism


This text takes a holistic view on the work of Arghiri Emmanuel, to explore the connections and inner logic between his major writings. It also applies his work to 21st century capitalism through the lens of historical materialism. This analytic approach is based on the profound contradiction between the development of the productive forces and relations of production. It explains how colonial and imperialist relations of production paved the way for a dynamic development of productive forces in the centre of the world system and why it has blocked development in the periphery. The article examines how this model of accumulation has reached its limits both in terms of exploitation of people and nature, contending that the productive relations of global capitalism are becoming an obstacle for the development of the productive forces, heralding the end of capitalism.



This essay places the ideas and conceptual analysis of Arghiri Emmanuel in today’s economic and political context. Emmanuel is best known for his seminal work Unequal Exchange: The Imperialism of Trade. However, his research also extensively examined other elements of political economy, for example, the fundamental contradictions in the capitalist mode of production, the role of technology in the development of the productive force, and the transition towards socialism. Not surprisingly, in view of Unequal Exchange, Emmanuel’s work displays a distinctive coherence on each of these questions.

Unequal Exchange was first published in 1969 in French and was thereafter, quickly translated into English, Italian Spanish Portuguese and Serbian. The book has had a significant impact on the academic discussion of “dependency theory” as it was the first thoroughly comprehensive and detailed study on international trade that examines inequality through the lens of Marxist value theory.

Profit and Crises

In 1974, Emmanuel’s second major contribution to political economy, Profit and Crisis, Le Profit et Les Crises, was published in French by Éditions Maspero in Paris. Soon after, the book was published in Spanish and Italian. However, Emmanuel had difficulties in securing an English language left-wing publisher for the book. The political implications presented by Emmanuel in Unequal Exchange, on the working class in the imperialist centre, did not make him many political friends in North America and Western Europe.[1] In a letter to Immanuel Wallerstein in 1976, Emmanuel reflected on the problem of finding a publisher for Profit and Crises:

The paradox is, that contrary to Unequal Exchange, which stirred up worldwide hostility, this time reviews are almost 100% favorable? That seems a sufficient reason for people not to get excited over it”.[2]

Identifying a willing English-language publisher for Profit and Crises took about ten years, as Heneman published the work in 1984. Profit and Crises addresses the fundamental contradiction in capitalism, the creation of recurringoverproduction and underconsumption that produces a crisis of capital. As Marx wrote:

Overproduction is specifically conditioned by the general law of the production of capital: to produce to the limit set by the productive forces, that is to say, to exploit the maximum amount of labour with the given amount of capital, without any consideration for the actual limits of the market or the needs backed by the ability to pay.[3]  

 As in Unequal Exchange Emmanuel’s method is a critique of the classic economists, this time, the French J.B. Say (1767-1832). Say argued that production creates its own market, keeping the system in a natural balance.[4] However, historical experience indicated that capitalism did not have a problem in producing commodities, it had a problem selling them. Even if capitalists were able to predict the exact amount and quality of commodities the consumer wants, (which they are not) the consumption power generated by production is not enough to buy all the products, realize profit and continue accumulation.

At first glance, Say’s thesis seems logical. The share of the price the producer has spent on raw materials, auxiliary materials, machines, factories, etc., can secure their part of the purchasing power for the commodities, even before they are even finished. Wages paid and profits made by subcontractors create their part of demand. The workers producing the commodities can buy their share of the finished product, and the profit can buy the rest. All this does indeed seem to guarantee a balance between production and purchasing power.

However, Emmanuel insisted on a structural imbalance between production and purchasing power. The wage component was not a problem. It turns into consumption power as soon as it is paid out. It was the other component, on the consumption side of the balance – the capitalist profit, which constituted the problem. The profits are not available until all commodities are sold, and all commodities are not sold, so the profit is not realized. Purchasing power is therefore always a step behind supply. This is confirmed by the simple fact that you can always get commodities for your money, but not always money for your commodities.

The development of “unequal exchange” became the historical solution to mediate the contradiction between capitalism’s need to expand production on one hand, and the ability of consumption power to absorb the produced commodities on the other hand. To be more specific: The development of colonialism using super-exploitation in the periphery, generated the value transfer needed to raise the wage-level in the centre, necessary to consume the growing production, and thereby realizing the profit by the sale. This was not a cunning plan by capital. It was the result of the development of colonialism and the struggle of the working class in Europe. Emmanuel writes: “Overproduction…is always latent in capitalism and it does become manifest under certain conditions…After 1870, the trade-union struggle and the rise in salaries helped advanced capitalism out of this dilemma, at any rate to a certain extent”.[5]

In this specific way “history” found a way in which the contradiction in the capitalist mode of production could move ahead and continue the development of the productive forces. It created a dynamic economic development in the centre and a permanent crisis in the periphery. To understand the dynamic of global capitalism, the role of consumption power deserves as much attention as the power of production.[6]

The Global Development of the Productive Forces

The centre-periphery structure created by European colonialism releases the forces of production. In a dialectic way,Marx on the one hand affirms the positive, progressive features of capitalism: new technology and development of science, industrialization, urbanization, mass literacy, and so on. On the other hand, he denounces the exploitation, the human alienation, the commodification of social relations, the false ideology, colonialism and its connected mass extermination, all of which are inherent in the modernization process.

This dialectical conception of capitalism permeated Marx’s writings. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx describes the rise of capitalism as a progressive stage of historical development. In the first pages he describes ‘modern industry’, ‘modern bourgeois society’, ‘modern workers’, ‘modern state power’, ‘modern productive forces’, and ‘modern relations of production’.[7]  In the preface to “Capital”, Marx writes that the “purpose” of the book is to ‘disclose the economic law of motion of modern society’.[8] Marx defended modernity because it prepared the way to a more fully developed modernity – socialism.[9] In 1847, Friedrich Engels writes about the progressive role of capitalism, paving the way for socialism:

Even in quite barbarous lands the bourgeoisie is advancing. … What of all the glorious advances of ‘civilisation’ in such lands as Turkey, Egypt, Tunis, Persia, and other barbarous countries? They are nothing else but a preparation for the advent of a future bourgeoisie. … Wherever we look, the bourgeoisie are making stupendous progress. They are holding their heads high, and haughtily challenge their enemies. They expect a decisive victory, and their hopes will not be disappointed. They intend to shape the whole world according to their standard; and, on a considerable portion of the earth’s surface, they will succeed. We are no friends of the bourgeoisie. That is common knowledge. …We cannot forbear an ironic smile when we observe the terrible earnestness, the pathetic enthusiasm with which the bourgeois strive to achieve their aims. They really believe that they are working on their own behalf! They are so short-­sighted as to fancy that through their triumph the world will assume its final configuration. Yet nothing is clearer than that they are everywhere preparing the way for us, for the democrats and the Communists; than that they will at most win a few years of troubled enjoyment, only to be then immediately overthrown. Behind them stands everywhere the proletariat, sometimes participating in their endeavours and partly in their illusions, as in Italy and Switzerland, sometimes silent and reserved, but secretly preparing the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, as in France and Germany; finally, in Britain and America, in open rebellion against the ruling bourgeoisie. … So just fight bravely on, most gracious masters of capital! We need you for the present; here and there we even need you as rulers. You have to clear the vestiges of the Middle Ages and of absolute monarchy out of our path; you have to annihilate patriarchalism; you have to carry out centralisation; you have to convert the more or less propertyless classes into genuine proletarians, into recruits for us; by your factories and your commercial relationships you must create for us the basis of the material means which the proletariat needs for the attainment of freedom. In recompense whereof you shall be allowed to rule for a short time. You shall be allowed to dictate your laws, to bask in the rays of the majesty you have created, to spread your banquets in the halls of kings, and to take the beautiful princess to wife—but do not forget that ‘The hangman stands at the door!’ (Heinrich Heine, ‘Ritter Olaf’)”.[10]

As we know, the hangman’s face remains well hidden. At the time of the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels believed that capitalism would be a rather short affair of decades rather than centuries. However, the contradiction in the capitalist mode of production between expansion of production and consumption power promoted globalization. Marx wrote: “the more capitalistic production develops, the more it is forced to produce on a scale which has nothing to do with the immediate demand but depends on the constant expansion of the world market” [11].

 In the Communist Manifesto, Marx describes this early tendency to globalization:

The need for a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere. … The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.[12]

It was not just a question of new markets; Marx saw capitalism’s development as a centrifugal process that would spread quickly across the globe. English capital would venture far and wide and turn the rest of the world into a mirror image of England. In Capital, he wrote: “The country that is more developed industrially only shows to the less developed, the image of its own future”. [13]  

The first phase of industrialization ended in England around 1830, when industrialization had barely started in the countries of continental Europe and in the USA. The European countries and the US, however, never turned into a periphery.

English capital helped them to become developed capitalist countries themselves. So far, Marx’s predictions were correct. By about 1880, the industrial development of both Germany and the USA had surpassed that of England. Marx believed that a similar process was awaiting the colonies of Asia and Africa. Once England had erased the traditional social structures and introduced capitalism, the colonies would undergo a rapid development echoing the modernization of the motherland. About England’s role in India, Marx wrote:

England has to fulfil a double mission in India: one destructive, the other regenerating—the annihilation of old Asiatic society, and the laying of the material foundations of Western society in Asia. … I know that the English millocracy intend to endow India with railways with the exclusive view of extracting at diminished expenses the cotton and other raw materials for their manufactures. But when you have once introduced machinery into the locomotion of a country, which possesses iron and coals, you are unable to withhold it from its fabrication. You cannot maintain a net of railways over an immense country without introducing all those industrial processes necessary to meet the immediate and current wants of railway locomotion, and out of which there must grow the application of machinery to those branches of industry not immediately connected with railways. The railway-­system will therefore become, in India, truly the forerunner of modern industry.[14]

According to this view, the opening of new markets in Africa and Asia, and the export of capital to the Americas, promised to temporarily postpone capitalism’s collapse.

In 1916, Lenin still seemed to believe in this centrifugal power of capitalism, as evident in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. He writes:

The export of capital influences and greatly accelerates the development of capitalism in those countries to which it is exported. While, therefore, the export of capital may tend to a certain extent to arrest development in the capital-exporting countries, it can only do so by expanding and deepening the further development of capitalism throughout the world”.[15]

This effect was an age-old historical reality. The excess capital of the cities of Northern Italy went to finance the development of Holland and Dutch capital contributed to the take-off of industrial capitalism in England; English capital in turn developed North America and Oceania.

According to Marxism at the time, the difference in degree of development was only a matter of time-lag. The deadlock that was threatening capitalist accumulation was located in the centre, the region of too much capital and commodities. The centre needed a periphery; however, not primarily as a resource for value intake, but as an outlet of capital and commodities a market.[16] .

Yet in the eyes of revolutionary Marxism at the time – take for instance Rosa Luxembourg – this was only putting things off,[17] for the peripheries of this world are not infinite. When it had become a mirror of England, the system would have exhausted the margins of development of the productive forces that it is large enough to contain. The relief wouldn’t last long. As a result, the expansion of capitalism would only be more accumulation and a new, even worse, crisis of overproduction.

This centrifugal perception of capitalist global development and line of argument by both Marxist and mainstream economics raises several questions. Emmanuel formulates them in this way:

The first question is what, during this first phase in the career of the capitalist system (1850-1900), was it that caused the country at the head of the pack (England) to get so quickly out of breath and put its excess capital and technology into those behind it (continental Europe and North America). The second question is why, starting from a certain moment which seems to be around the end of the 19th century, this classic Marxist scheme stopped reflecting reality. In other words, what provoked this unforeseen reversal of the conditions of accumulation in the international sphere so that the former centrifugal forces of diffusion of progress gave way to the present-day centripetal forces of the ”siphoning” of resources.[18]

Why was it that continental Europe, North America and Oceania seemed to confirm the rule of centrifugal development of the productive forces, becoming a mirror of England, but not India, where the development of the productive forces became blocked? What changed the centrifugal process to a polarizing process?

The answer to these questions is decisive for an understanding of imperialism – the exploitation of one nation by another – and to understand what the motive force behind the development of the productive forces is, resulting in, respectively, development and underdevelopment in the world-system.

First, one must grasp the mechanism by which material resources are transferred from the periphery to the centre. This transfer will on one side permit the centre to bust the limits set by the lack of sufficient consumption power (cheap colonial product bought by a relatively high wage level) and on the other side block development in the periphery by low wage super-exploitation.

In this analysis it is important to distinguish the size, functioning and consequences of financial imperialism (investment and repatriation of profits) and imperialism of trade (unequal exchange, based on difference in wage level). On this Emmanuel writes:

In the final analysis, no economic relation between nations and, more so, no relation of exploitation can materialize, indeed have any meaning, outside of the circulations of merchandise – material goods or service. Nonetheless, directly and primarily, it is necessary to see what the vectors are and of these relationships (financial and trade imperialism) and what are their relative dimensions”.[19]

This is what we in the Communist Working Circle (KAK) did in the late 70s, when we updated Lenin’s data from 1914 in his book “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”, and in particular, his concept of “super-profits”–extraordinarily high profits from colonial investments– an exercise that had already been done by Varga and Mendelsohn in 1938.[4] We collected a huge amount of data and processed them into categories similar to Lenin’s. We concluded that the profits from investment in the Third World did not have a size that could explain the difference in living standards between the imperialist countries and the Third World. However, our empirical studies also revealed that the difference in wage level between the imperialist centre and former colonies had expanded from five to one before the Second World War to fifteen to one at the beginning of the 1970s. We also noted a substantial increase in international trade based on an international division of labour exchanging raw materials and agricultural products from the Third World for industrial goods produced in the imperialist countries. We calculated that the unequal exchange amounted to more than 300 billion dollars yearly in the late 1970s. Samir Amin reaches the same figures, and Emmanuel writes in 1976:

“Needless to recall that, outside of any other considerations, the quantitative dimension of the terms of trade are of a size incomparable with that of capital flows. Sufficiently illustrating this is the ever so present fact of petroleum, of which the rectification of the prices of just one primary product cost the “centre” a yearly surcharge of approximately 70 billion dollars. In contrast, the total profit of the centre in the periphery, repatriated or otherwise, resulting from direct investment, multinational or otherwise, are by the most liberal estimates no higher than 8 billion per year”.[20]

Capital investment is the generator of the development of the productive forces, and hence the production of commodities. However, the profit from these investments is not the primary vehicle of international value transfer; when these commodities are traded internationally, it is the price structure of the commodities, based on the wage differences, which carry the value from the global South to the North when traded.

Polarized Development

The polarized development of the productive forces between centre and periphery in the past two centuries is not due to huge investment in the Third World, but the contrary, the development of different wage levels. This led to an expansion of the market in the centre and diminished the market in the periphery, which led to investment in production and lack of investments in the periphery, except what was necessary for the extraction of raw material and agricultural production. It was not only through the difference in consumption power that the difference in wage level had an impact on the pattern of investment, but it was also in the sphere of production. The relatively high wage level in the centre led to investment in new technology to increase productivity, while increased production in the periphery was achieved by just hiring more cheap labour.

Contrary to Marx’s prediction, India never became the modernized mirror image of England. Later on in life, Marx acknowledged this. He realized that there was instead a process of polarization. In a letter to N.F. Danielson, dated February 19, 1881, he wrote:

In India serious complications, if not a general outbreak, is in store for the British government. What the English take from them annually in the form of rent, dividends for railways useless to the Hindus; pensions for military and civil service men, for Afghanistan and other wars, etc., etc.—what they take from them without any equivalent and quite apart from what they appropriate to themselves annually within India, speaking only of the value of the commodities the Indians have gratuitously and annually to send over to England—it amounts to more than the total sum of income of the sixty millions of agricultural and industrial labourers of India! This is a bleeding process, with a vengeance! The famine years are pressing each other and in dimensions till now not yet suspected in Europe![21]

Meanwhile Western Europe as well as the settler states of the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand became clones of England. The settler states were populated by emigrants who, as they exterminated the original population, demanded wages like their ancestors in Europe. This was made possible as they developed their own periphery to exploit in Latin America, Asia — and, in the case of the USA, also by extensive slavery.

In contrast to this dynamic, the development of Latin America, Asia, and Africa was blocked. Their exploitation and underdevelopment were required for Europe and European settler states’ modernity. Colonialism was a catastrophe for the world outside of Europe. From 1500 to 1900, the non-European share of the world population dropped from 83 to 62 percent.[22]

Over- and Underdevelopment 

The difference in wage levels and consumption power between the centre and periphery creates not only a value transfer in the form of unequal exchange, but also a polarization of the development of the productive forces within the world-system, establishing two types of interlinked forms of capitalist accumulation.

The relatively high wage in the centre created a growing market, which brought about investment in expanded production. The high wage also encouraged investments in new technology to save labour and raise productivity. This took place within an international division of labour in which the periphery exported raw material and agricultural products and imported industrial goods from the centre.

It was the opposite in the periphery. The relatively small market did not give rise to investment in local industrial production. The low price of labour made it more profitable to expand the super-exploitation of labour instead of investing in new technology to replace raw material extraction and agricultural export sector.

These differences polarized the capitalist world-system from the latter part of the 19th century and up through the twentieth century. Development and underdevelopment were two sides of the same process. Emmanuel states in 1976:

The centre finds itself today overdeveloped to the very extent that the periphery is underdeveloped.

….a country is over or underdeveloped in relation to the general level of development of the productive forces that the existing system of market economy is, in the given historical conditions, capable of securing on a world scale.

This would denote that the United States is able to be the United States or Sweden, Sweden, only because the others, that is to say the two billion people, are neither the one nor the other.

This would denote as well, that equalization at the highest level is materially excluded, at least with regards to the overall national averages (the world “materially” referring to the dual limitation on the pool of basic resources on the one hand, the ecological balance on the other).

…One can thus ask oneself if this is not sufficient reason for these working classes (in the overdeveloped countries) to dismiss such a communal and fraternal system and express this opposition either through openly integrating themselves in the existing system, as in the USA or West Germany or by advocating a national path to socialism as in France and Italy…

Thus then, must we say that the impossibility of quantitative equalization does not bar the integration of mankind provided that this is based on a qualitative-type change of consumption and lifestyle? One thing is clear, this is the only conceivable solution. Without a qualitative change in the pattern of consumption itself, an egalitarian humanity could neither come about nor survive. [23]

The over- and under-development dichotomy has also an ecological meaning. On the basis of Emmanuel’s general economic model of unequal exchange a whole school of ecological unequal exchange developed. Emmanuel has many hints in his book and articles to this problematique, in 1975 he writes:

But exhaustion of present and future resources is not the only factor preventing world equalization from above. Ecological limits constitute another factor.

If the present developed countries can still dispose of their waste products by dumping them in the sea or expelling them into the air, it is because they are the only ones doing it. Just as their inhabitants can still travel by air and fill the world´s skies only because the rest of the world does not have the means to fly and leaves the world´s air routes to them alone and so on…[24]

The polarization of the world-system in terms of the disparity of standards of living and development of the productive forces remained in place through the 20th century, first within the framework of colonialism and then neo-colonialism. When Emmanuel formulated his thesis of Unequal Exchange raw material and agricultural products were produced in the “Third World” countries on the global periphery and advanced industrial production dominated countries of the imperialist core.

When the Communist Working Group (CWG) in the late 1970s were studying Unequal Exchange, we wondered why capital did not move industrial production to the Global South to take advantage of low wages. WG was an anti-imperialist organization based in Copenhagen, which gave material support to liberation movement in the Third World, based on the political perspective of Emmanuel. We discussed this with Emmanuel, who cited several practical, technical, cultural, and political reasons. Transport and communications posed much bigger obstacles than they do today, with computers, Internet, cell phones, the standard container, and “just in time” management. The trade unions in the 70s still had the strength to resist outsourcing. The social democratic-led states had the ambition to regulate multinational companies. All this, however, would change with neoliberalism.

In the 1970s, dependency theorists considered it impossible for the Third World to industrialize within the rubric of the imperialist system. They had to delink to unblock the development of the productive forces, as Russia did in 1917 and China in 1949. However, this was only an option for very large diverse economies. For the rest of the colonies, the national liberation struggle was much easier than economic liberation from imperialism. Most Third World countries would continue to supply raw materials, tropical agricultural products, and simple, labour-intensive industrial commodities; their economies would remain dependent, and they would still constitute the periphery of a world system still dominated by capitalist states.

Capitalism was still a dynamic system. It had an ace to play. Its need to expand and its hunger for profit led it to outsource industrial production én mass to the Global South. The control of globalized production-chains was made possible by new forms of communication and transport. Geographic distance did not seem to matter anymore.

Dependency theory did not foresee the massive industrialization of the periphery that we have witnessed over the past 40 years, because according to dependency theory, it had to be based on a domestic market. It underestimated the development of productive forces that led to a globalization of the production process itself, with the aim of exporting to the North. It seemed unthinkable that only a few decades later, 80 percent of the world’s industrial proletariat would live and work in the Global South and that the Global North would be partly deindustrialized.

Emmanuel somehow anticipated this development in 1976:

Another specific feature of the multinational company (MNC) which is vaguely considered to generate prejudice but which, if it really exists, is eminently advantageous, is its independence of the domestic market of the receiving country. Since the main problem of capitalism is not to produce but to sell, less traditional capital was attracted by the low wage rates of certain countries than was discouraged by the narrowness of the local market associated with such wages. This lack of capital in turn prevented growth and hence wage increases. The result was deadlock. In theory the solution was production for exports alone.  But except for standardized primary products, such an operation appeared to transcend the fief of the traditional capitalist. In any case, it has never occurred.

The MNC, with its own sales network abroad and, even more, its own consumption in the case of a conglomerate, would not be put off by the lack of ‘pre-existing’ local outlets. It would take advantage of both the low wages of the periphery and the high wages of the centre. I have no idea of the relative importance of the phenomenon. Here, as elsewhere, statistical information is lacking. Albert Michalet considers that it is very extensive in quantity and very important from the point of view of quality. All I can say is that, if this is so, this gives us for the first time the possibility of breaking the most pernicious, vicious circle which was holding up the development of the Third World.  It is rather a matter for rejoicing.[25]

This was exactly what happened. Emmanuel was aware of the role that the multinational/transnational companies had in the Third World both in terms of value transfer, but also in terms of developing the productive forces and technology transfer. He shared Marx’s dialectical approach concerning the development of capitalism, mentioned above.

When we are discussing the role of transnational companies in development, we must make sure that we are discussing from within or from without the system of capitalism, and whether we are talking of the development of the productive forces within the system or of the appropriation of the productive forces by the people. The capitalist mode of production still dominates the world system, and we are only now entering the phase where the appropriation of the productive forces by the people on a world scale is on the agenda.

Transnational capital established production in China for export to the consumer markets in the global North; however at the same time it developed the productive forces in China to the extent that China could break the century old polarizing dynamic in world capitalism between an overdeveloped North and underdeveloped South.

Appropriate or Underdeveloped Technology in Developing Socialism?

The foregoing discussion is not just an academic debate but also a practical question for those trying to develop socialism in a world system dominated by the capitalist mode of production. They had to adopt the same dialectic between the progressive role of capitalism and the agony it produces. Marx writes in The Critique of Political Economy: “No social order is ever destroyed before all the productive forces for which it is sufficient have been developed, and new superior relations of production never replace older ones before the material conditions for their existence have matured within the framework of the old society”.[26]

Capitalism had its breakthrough in Western Europe in the first part of the 19th century, simultaneous with colonialism, which provided the primitive accumulation of capital. The imperialist aspect of capitalism polarized the world-system into a centre-periphery structure. The value-transfer entailed a dynamic development of the productive forces in the centre and at the same time blocked development in the periphery. As a consequence, there was no “need” – and no successful – revolutions in the centre; capitalism had not played out its role. In the periphery, on the other hand, capitalism eroded feudal and other precapitalist modes of production, but the development of the productive forces was blocked by super-exploitation and the flow of value towards the centre. The development of the productive force in the world system was not centrifugal, but polarized: dynamic in the centre and blocked in the periphery.

Only a revolutionary process, led by communist parties, could unblock the development of the productive forces, and get the wheels of the economy running again by initiating the development of a “transitionary” mode of production, on the road towards socialism. It had to be a “transitionary mode” because the world-system still was dominated by capitalism. The lack of development of productive forces in the periphery, and the hostile world-system hindered an immediate transition to a socialist modernity. This is the history of the Soviet revolution, and the effort to move towards socialism in the 20th century.

Lenin and the New Economic Policy (NEP)

Vladimir Lenin did not believe that socialism was equivalent to the generalization of poverty. To overcome mass poverty, the Soviet Union was compelled to regenerate the economy and develop the productive forces. He believed that the Soviet Union had not reached the level of development to make socialism possible. For Lenin, the NEP was a necessary step back in the transition to socialism to solve this problem.

The Bolsheviks required investment and new technology. On November 23, 1920, Lenin had already introduced a law on concessions that gave advantages to foreign investors. In 1921, the NEP was formally adopted, substituting militarized production, strict state distribution, and the compulsory appropriation of grain with market conditions. The Soviet state gave preferential treatment to organized large-scale capital. The Bolsheviks used the technology and management associated with capitalism to boost production. However, the “commanding heights” of the economy—finance, infrastructure, large industry, and mining—remained in the hands of the state.[27]

Lenin called the newly emerged trust of his time “progressive phenomena” despite of the suffering they caused. Thrusts were a new form of capital concentration, where different capitalist linked each other’s capital and business together, to achieve a monopoly position. He knew that one does not struggle for socialism by striving to end economic development, which would only lead to the intensification of the contradictions of imperialism, without which a transformation towards socialism is uncertain. According to Lenin, Kautsky’s critique of monopoly capitalism was a result of a “petty bourgeois opposition to imperialism, caused by the general reactionary tendency in society.[28]”. At the present time, we are experiencing the same opposition in the general reaction to transnational globalization in society, both in the form of right-wing national conservatism and in left wing populism longing for the ‘Paradise Lost’ of small-scale national capitalism. Lenin approvingly quotes Hilferding, who says from a historical materialist point of view: “The reply of the proletariat to the economic policy of finance capital and to imperialism cannot be free trade, but socialism”.[29]

The answer to the new phase of imperialism cannot be a struggle for maintaining the old form of more nationally based capitalist economics, but the struggle for a more social treatment of the productive forces, a more social version of globalization, necessary for creating a more equal world system. As Lenin said: “The questions as to whether it is possible to reform the basis of imperialism, whether to go forward to the further intensification and deepening of the antagonisms which it engenders, or backward, towards allaying these antagonisms, are fundamental questions in the critique of imperialism.[30]

Mao, Deng and Neoliberal Globalization 

In 1949, China was in the same circumstance as Russia in 1917. Both could not just collectivise property but had to develop their productive forces to move towards socialism. China’s existing level of productive forces and technology in 1949 was among the lowest in the world. Emmanuel writes:

In order to support the ‘appropriate’ technology argument (which basically is just a euphemism for ‘intermediate’ technology), reference is sometimes made to Chinese practice. But, in fact, the basic Chinese principle is the plurality of technologies which is just about the opposite of the ‘intermediate’ technology suggested by critics, such as E. F. Schumacher. The latter dilutes the available capital among all the production units involved. The former introduces straight away the pioneer technology entailing the highest organic composition in as many units as possible, regardless of the fact that the shortage of capital prevents its immediate spread over the rest of the branch. Macro-economic calculations show that this is the method giving maximum long-term output. However, it is an impossible method in a market economy where competition forbids any disparity between the conditions of production in different undertakings. It is only possible in a planned economy. (C.  Bettelheim, Le Problème de l’Emploi, p. 106, Paris, 1952)

The following passage from a text by Mao is very explicit on this point:

The fact that we are developing small and medium-size industries on a large scale, although accepting that the large undertakings constitute the guiding force, and that we are using traditional technologies everywhere, although accepting that foreign technologies constitute the guiding power, is essentially due to our desire to achieve rapid industrialization. (Hu Chi-Hsi,  Mao-Tse-Tung et al Construction du Socialisme, p. 85, Paris, Le Seuil,  1975.)

It appears to me that the ‘appropriate’ technology is the very thing to be outlawed. An appropriate technology for poor countries can only be a poor technology; an appropriate technology made to measure for underdeveloped countries can only be an anti-development technology. (There cannot be’, says Boumediène, ‘one industry for the under-developed and another industry for the developed’.) Rehabilitating the neo-classical theory which had been previously pilloried, certain people complain that the technology introduced into developing countries by the MNCs does not correspond to the resources available there. Nor should it. If it did, the mix of factors would be frozen, and the deficiencies reproduced ad infinitum.  If ‘transfer’ is viewed as a vehicle of domination we must not forget that if there were no transfer at all, the technological domination of the centre would be even more decisive”.[31]

In 1949, China was isolated and could not import technology. However, the Soviet Union came to its rescue in 1950 and provided China access to its technology. But, due to political disagreements, Soviet technology was cut off in the late 1950s. In the ensuing years, capitalism was still characterized by its significant advancement of productive forces, with an extensive division of labour, accompanied by an increasing concentration of capital in multinational corporations. Neoliberal globalization marked a further step along this road. The new technological revolutions in computers and communication, new management systems, the new, large scale transnational operations in production and all that this involved could not be sufficiently developed under the old condition. It was the development of the productive forces themselves which, independent of the will of the individual capitalist, demanded to be treated transnationally.

The transnational companies and the globalization of production they stand for are, in that sense, progressive. They meant the creation of new social productive forces. Wanting to fight against globalization of production, trade and finance means demanding a return to a situation out of which the present one has grown. In other words, it is reactionary. In the 1970s, under pressure from neoliberal globalization, China had no choice but to build its peculiar form of state capitalism and market socialism to maintain its national project. It could not develop its productive forces without investments and trading with capitalist countries but needed imperialist countries to transfer technology to its economy.

Technology transfer can take two forms: a direct form and an indirect form. In the direct form, the developing country buys turnkey advanced factories with the knowledge to operate them. The second indirect form compels the developing country to open up to transnational companies to invest, and by so doing, obtain, a transfer of innovative technology. It is a mistake to think that the quest for advanced technology is a feature of the post-Mao era. After the break with the Soviet Union, China imported machines and turnkey factories from the West. Deng Xiaoping just opened up a second form of technology transfer—investments from transnational capital.

In a conversation on 10 October 1978, Deng maintained that the technological gap with advanced countries was growing[32]. He criticized the model of political mass mobilization, because the recent practice demonstrated that the country was incapable of developing the productive forces, and therefore could not genuinely satisfy the economic needs of China.[33]

Deng drew on ideas from Lenin’s NEP in his reforms. During his stay in the Soviet Union in 1926, Deng became acquainted with NEP (1923-28), an experience that he tried to apply first between 1949 and 1952, when he led the Regional Committee of the CPC in South-eastern China, and in the aftermath of “The Great Leap Forward” he recommended it again. Now in 1978, in control of the CPC, he finally had the chance to implement his policy on a national scale.

Deng’s reform strategy does not stem from a neoliberal perspective. Deng advocated for the acceleration of foreign investment capital in a planned way, believing that planning and markets could be applied to serve the development of a socialist system. Nor did Deng introduce economic shock therapy as Yeltsin did in the post-Soviet era. Rather, elements of capitalism were introduced gradually. “Groping for stepping stones to cross the river,” became a popular slogan.[34] With a reference to NEP in the Soviet Union, Deng said that “Socialism does not mean shared poverty”. In an interview with CBS in 1986, he explained his approach:[35]

During the ‘cultural revolution’ there was a view that poor communism was preferable to rich capitalism. … According to Marxism, communist society is based on material abundance. Only when there is material abundance can the principle of a communist society—that is, ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’— be applied… There can be no communism with pauperism, or socialism with pauperism. So to get rich is no sin. However, what we mean by getting rich is different from what you mean. Wealth in a socialist society belongs to the people. To get rich in a socialist society means prosperity for the entire people. The principles of socialism are first, development of production, and second, common prosperity. We permit some people and some regions to become prosperous first, for the purpose of achieving common prosperity faster. That is why our policy will not lead to polarization, to a situation where the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. To be frank, we shall not permit the emergence of a new bourgeoisie.

Transnational capitalism required low-wage labour power to continue its expansion, and China possessed an outsized proletariat and developed infrastructure that was prepared to connect to global capitalism. However, transnational capital could not just demand “structural adjustment” to gain access to China as in the rest of the Third World. China’s encounter with neoliberalism was different from the rest of the world. Isabella Weber writes:

China was keen on avoiding unconditional integration into global capitalism. The government defended its sovereign economic planning and forced global capital entering the country to adapt to it, not vice versa.

It was crucial for the Chinese government to control private capital within the framework of a planned economy with an objective to develop a diverse industrial sector based on joint ventures with transnational corporations according to a strategic plan.[36]

The Road Towards Socialism 

Socialism does not only imply the eradication of poverty within the national framework, but also greater global equality. As noted, it is not possible to raise the living standard of billions of poor people in the Global South to the level of the US or Germany within the capitalist mode of production,  as it lacks the natural resources, space, etc., which make possible the imperial mode of living. To accommodate their needs, it is not only a change in the relation of productions and patterns of consumption, which is needed to develop socialism on a global scale and an equal world – it is also a continued development of the productive forces and the implementations of the most advanced technology. On this Emmanuel writes:

Steel, aluminium and copper of which the masses of the centre consume today such extravagant quantities, do not serve only to produce automobiles and gadgets. They produce doctors or books as well (It takes a tremendous amount of steel, cement or energy to produce a doctor or to school a village).

While no one up to now has laid out the model of this “anti-consumption “society, there exists at least one point on which everyone agrees. That is the absolute priority of the maximization of available leisure, time being the prerequisite for the quality of life. How then can we rid ourselves of “productivism” since for any given physical consumption, whatever its volume, leisure time is an increasing function of the return on time passed at work? … Naturally, if it is shown that the ‘consumer society’ is in any case a material impossibility on a world scale, the question of choice no longer presents itself for four-fifths of humanity. However, the idea that the remaining one fifth which has the privilege of this type of society would profit from the change is not a statement so obvious that one could excuse oneself from demonstrating.[37]

Global socialism cannot be developed by underdeveloped technology—it requires the most advanced forms of technology.


The End Game

No social system is destroyed until all the possibilities for the development of the productive forces which it contains have been exhausted, said Marx. Neoliberal globalization was such a possibility par excellence. It created the framework for yet another gigantic development of the social productive forces. However, neoliberalism did not solve the contradiction of capitalism. It was not “the end of history”.  On the contrary, neoliberal globalization created new contradictions, and intensified them even further. In a historical materialist perspective, this means that the neoliberal globalization has brought the day closer when capitalism will have exhausted all of its possibilities and will suffer profound crises—this time not only national but global crises. As this crisis will affect most countries simultaneously, the working class will more easily carry through and maintain the revolution.

Neoliberal globalization became a catalyst through relocating hundreds of millions of industrial jobs from the Global North to the low-wage countries of the South, in search of higher profits. In 1980, the South had an equal number of industrial workers as in the North. By the 2020s, 85% of international industrial workers work in the Global South. Neoliberal globalization gave capitalism 40 golden years of high profit and cheap goods for consumers in the Global North. It dissolved the so-called “real socialism” in Soviet and East Europe and penetrated deep into the Chinese economy. It was not just military pressure but economic pressure that led to the dissolution of the USSR and the DDR and the ‘opening up’ motivated multinational capital to enter China. On one hand the result was an increased transfer of value to the North, on the other, an immense development of the productive forces in the Global South began to cancel out the economic advantage of the North. China became the crank in the global system of production as an unintended side effect of the capitalist desire to exploit the Chinese proletariat. In its encounter with neoliberalism, China maintained command over its economy and its national project, “socialism with Chinese characteristics”.

China managed to break the polarising tendency within global capitalism and developed its productive forces to an advanced level. Taken together, these developments opened the possibility to move from the “transitionary mode” of production to a socialist modernity over several decades.

The crises of global neoliberalism and attendant decline of US hegemony, the rise of China, and the development of a multipolar world system, the power balance is in flux. We must consider if the imperialist capitalist mode of production has reached its apogee and limits of exploitation of the proletariat in the periphery, and is on a collision course with the global ecosystem. Capitalism can no longer claim to be progressive in terms of development of the productive forces—but is destructive and prevents human progress.

The centre no longer maintains the advantage of a monopoly of high-tech industrial production. To uphold its hegemony, it has turned from neoliberal economics and governance to economic, political, and military warfare. The US is eroding the world market through trade wars, sanctions, and blockades. The election of Donald Trump as US president in 2016 has weakened the World Trade Organization (WTO) by refusing to ratify the appointment of judges to its top appeals court that settles international trade disputes; even the Democratic Party has continued to block WTO appointments. As a result, the WTO is paralyzed, and its relevance diminished. Fearing the loss of its hegemony, the US is strengthening old military alliances and agreeing to new ones, seeking to convert its military power into renewed economic dominance, a strategy that does not express strength, but weakness.

The global trade pattern is under transformation. After two centuries of North-South trade benefiting the centre, the rise of China is interrupting the polarizing tendency of global capitalism. North-South trade is declining, and South-South trade expanding. The Southern shift is manifested by expansive development in transport and infrastructure projects that is facilitating a new pattern of trade as evident by the consolidation of the political structure of BRICS and the Chinese “belt and road initiative”. Taken together, these developments are decreasing the volume of Unequal Exchange.

This transformation in trade structure is accompanied by changes in finance and banking in the world system. Alternatives to the Bretton Woods institutions (World Bank and IMF) are being developed. This gives the Global South possibilities to trade in their own currency instead of dollars and lend money without political conditions.

In the 70s, the Third World demanded a “New World Order”, which came to nothing. Today the Global South is creating a new world order. Instead of the centuries of exploitative North-South relations, we see the emergence of mutually beneficial South-South investment, trade and political relations.

In the 1960s and 1970s, we hoped that Third World liberation movements would build socialist states to cut off the pipelines of value transfer and create a revolutionary situation in the imperialist centre. We were too optimistic. Neoliberal globalization offered an escape route. It seems today that from the North the US, in its desperate struggle to uphold hegemony, is disrupting the imperialist neoliberal world market, the location where value transfer takes place. From the Southern flank, China has successfully diminished the imperial rent of unequal exchange while simultaneously breaking through the technological monopoly of Western corporations. Chinese economists have calculated that:

Between 1978 and 2018, on average, one hour of work in the United States was exchanged for almost forty hours of Chinese work. However, from the middle of the 1990s…we observed a very marked decrease in unequal exchange, without it completely disappearing. In 2018, 6.4 hours of Chinese labour were still exchanged for 1 hour of U.S. labour. [38]

Since 2011, the global value transfer of unequal exchange from South to North has begun to decline, partly due to rising wages in China, partly due to declining North-South trade as the neoliberal world market erodes.[39]

 Annual value transfer by unequal exchange, constant 2011 dollars (1960-2017)

Besides the transfer of value from South to North by unequal exchange, debt has contributed to solve the problem of lack of consumption power, by pushing the problem of imbalance between production and consumption into the future. The amount of debt has grown steadily in the history of capitalism and accelerated in the past decades. Private and public debt has, according to IMF, reached 256 percent of global GDP in 2020.[40] This bubble can burst in a major financial crisis and throw the system into deep crises.

A third way of creating consumption power is just printing money without backing in expanded production, as the US has done in the past 50 years. They can do this because the dollar has the status of world-money – circulating as payment in trade, but never returning to the US, claiming the commodities produced elsewhere are produced in the US. A precondition for this measure is the continued US hegemonic power, which is challenged.

To summarize:

The dynamic of the polarized world system in terms of wage, and the over- and underdevelopment of the productive forces, which solved the fundamental contradiction in the capitalist mode of production, between the imperative to escalate production and the corresponding ability of the market to consume, reached its zenith around 2011. The globalization of production and consumption broke the link between site production and the site consumption. The industrialization of the Global South entailed a transfer of technology and development of their productive forces, in spite of the lack of domestic market. Export to the North balanced the expanding production capacity, generating high growth decade after decade. In the first three decades of neoliberal globalization, it enlarged the transfer of value by unequal exchange to the North, but the rise of China, as the world’s leading industrial power change the dynamic. Keeping its national project intact, China changed from a spring of value transfer to a competitor to the North, on the world market. This caused the US to change from a proponent of neoliberal globalization, to be the lead dog in a geopolitical struggle against China. The erosion of the neoliberal world market, the decline in North – South trade, the rise in wages in China, all contribute to a decline in Unequal Exchange. Together with the declining role of the dollar as world money, heralds, the decline of US hegemony and a structural crisis of capitalism.

The US is still dominant in the world system, but it is the South, which is on the offensive, encircling the centre. In 2024 we will see the process of electing a new president will erode the US political system from within. The elite is split and without visions for the future, except “Making America Great Again”, which is not shared by the majority of the world’s population. The BRICS countries, whose economies are already bigger than the G7, announced that in 2024 they will increase the use of local currencies in trade instead of dollars. As time passes the US will become poorer, and the economic crises in the remaining neoliberal sector will generate disagreements between the US and its allies.

Despite the improved global conditions for developing socialism, the transition will be a difficult and dangerous process. In the endgame of capitalism, declining powers might turn to desperate means. It will take careful planning and responsible action to realize global socialism within this century.

What does such a change imply? It is getting rid of residual exploitative capitalist relations of production and patterns of consumption, which are in conflict with the global ecosystem. It is the development of common prosperity, and the development of commons instead of privatization and extreme individualism; it is solidarity instead of competition. On the international level, investment and trade should promote global equality and sustainability. To realize a socialist mode of production requires that not only China moves in that direction, but also the majority in the world-system join the effort.

Torkil Lauesen 23.1.24.

[1] See also: Emmanuel, Arghiri (1970) International Solidarity of Workers: Two Views.  Month Review vol. 22 nr. 2 June 1970.

[2] Emmanuel. Arghiri (1976) Letter to Immanuel Wallerstein, 25.10 1975, From Emmanuel’s personal Archive.

[3] Marx, Karl (1861) Economic Manuscripts, 1861–63, Theories of Surplus Value. In: Karl Marx & Frederick Engels: Collected Works, Volume 32. Page. 80 Progress Publishers. Moscow 1975.

[4] Say, Jean-Baptiste (1803) A Treatise on Political Economy. Page 138. Lippincott, Grambo & Co. Philadelphia: 1855.

[5]Emmanuel, Arghiri (1972) “White Settler Colonialism and the Myth of Investment Imperialism”. New Left Review, no. 73, page 56.

[6] Emmanuel, Arghiri (1976) “The Multinational Corporations and Inequality of Development”. International Social Science Journal, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 761–762.

[7] Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich (1848) “The Communist Manifesto, In, Marx/Engels Selected Works, Volume I. Moscow: Progress Publishers (1969), p. 12–13.

[8] Marx, Karl (1867) Preface to the First German Edition. Capital, Volume I. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1962.

[9]Therborn, Göran (1996) Dialectics of Modernity: On Critical Theory and the Legacy of Twentieth Century Marxism. New Left Review, I/215 Jan/Feb. 1996

[10] Engels, Frederick (1847) The Movements of 1847. In: Marx & Engels Collected Works, Volume 6. New York: International Publishers (1975), p. 520.

[11] Marx, Karl (1863) Economic Manuscripts, 1861–63, Theories of Surplus Value. In: Karl Marx & Frederick Engels: Collected Works, Volume 32. Moscow: Progress Publishers (1975), p. 101

[12] Marx, Karl (1848) “The Communist Manifesto, Chapter IV. Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties”. In: Marx/Engels Selected Works, Volume I. Moscow: Progress Publishers (1969), p. 12–13.

[13]Karl Marx, Preface to the First German Edition. Capital, Volume I. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1962.

[14]Marx, Karl (1853), “The Future Results of British Rule in India. In the New York Daily Tribune, August 8, 1853”. In: Karl Marx & Frederick Engels: Collected Works, Volume 12. p. 217.: Progress Publishers Moscow 1975.

[15] Lenin, V.I. (1916) Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. In Selected Works Vol. 1, pp. 667-766. Progress Publishers, 1963, Moscow.

[16] Emmanuel Arghiri (1976) Europe-Asia Colloquium. For the use by the Commission on International Relations. Some guidelines for the “problematique” of world Economy.  IEDES Dated 6.10.76 Manuscript found in Emmanuel’s archive. Green portfolio marked “Imperialism”. Page 6

[17] Luxembourg, Rosa (1913) The Accumulation of Capital. Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd London 1951.

[18] Emmanuel Arghiri (1976) Europe-Asia Colloquium. For the use by the Commission on International Relations. Some guidelines for the “problematique” of world Economy.  IEDES Dated 6.10.76 Manuscript found in Emmanuel’s archive. Green portfolio marked “Imperialism”. Page 6 (The parenthesis are mine)

[19][19] Emmanuel Arghiri (1976) Europe-Asia Colloquium. For the use by the Commission on International Relations. Some guidelines for the “problematique” of world Economy.  IEDES Dated 6.10.76 Manuscript found in Emmanuel’s archive. Green portfolio marked “Imperialism”. Page 8 (The parenthesis are mine)

[20] Emmanuel Arghiri (1976) Europe-Asia Colloquium. For the use by the Commission on International Relations. Some guidelines for the “problematique” of world Economy.  IEDES Dated 6.10.76 Manuscript found in Emmanuel’s archive. Green portfolio marked “Imperialism”. Page 9.

[21] Marx, Karl (1881) “Letter to N.F. Danielson, dated February 19, 1881”. Marx and Engels Correspondence. Moscow: International Publishers, 1968.

[22]Samir Amin, “The Sovereign Popular Project: The Alternative to Liberal Globalization”. Journal of Labor and Society, vol. 20, no. 1 (March 2017), p. 11.

[23] Emmanuel Arghiri (1976) Europe-Asia Colloquium. For the use by the Commission on International Relations. Some guidelines for the “problematique” of world Economy.  IEDES Dated 6.10.76 Manuscript found in Emmanuel’s archive. Green portfolio marked “Imperialism”. Page 1-3

[24] Emmanuel Arghiri (1975) Unequal Exchange Revisited. IDS Discussion Pare No. 77. page 66. University of Sussex, Brighton, England  August 1975.

[25] Emmanuel, Arghiri (1976) “The Multinational Corporations and Inequality of Development”. International Social Science Journal, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 766-67.

[26]Marx, Karl (1859) Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Part One Preface. In: Collected Works. Vol. 29, page. 263. Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1977.

[27] Lenin, V. I. (1922) The role and functions of the trade unions under the new economic policy, Lenin collected works Vol. 33. Page 188, Progress Publishers. Moscow 1965.

[28] Lenin, V.I (1916) Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, IX, In, Lenin Collected Works vol. 22, page 287. Progress Publisher. Moscow 1965

[29] Lenin, V.I (1916) Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, IX, In, Lenin Collected Works vol. 22, page 289. Progress Publisher. Moscow 1965.

[30] Lenin, V.I (1916) Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, IX, In, Lenin Collected Works vol. 22, page 287. Progress Publisher. Moscow 1965

[31]Emmanuel, Arghiri (1976) “The Multinational Corporations and Inequality of Development”. International Social Science Journal, vol. 28, no. 4, p 764

[32] Xiaoping, Deng (1978) Carry Out the Policy of Opening to the Outside World and Learn Advanced Science and Technology From Other Countries.  In: Xiaoping, Deng, Selected Works. Vol. 2, page143. Foreign Languages Press, Beijing: 1992. Online:

[33] Xiaoping, Deng (1985) We Shall Expand Political Democracy and Carry Out Economic Reform. In:   Xiaoping, Deng, Selected Works Vol. 3, page 122. Foreign Languages Press, Beijing 1992. On line:

[34] Naughton, B. (2008). A political economy of China’s economic transition. In. Brandt. L & Rawski, T. G.  (Eds.), China’s great economic transformation, page. 98. Cambridge University Press .Cambridge 2008.

[35] Xiaoping, Deng. (1986). Interview with Mike Wallace of CBS 60 Minutes. CBS, September 2, 1986. Here from: All Asia Times, December 13, 2006. Retrieved from

[36] Weber, Isabella M. (2021) How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate. Page 21 Routledge. New York 2021.

[37] Emmanuel Arghiri (1976) Europe-Asia Colloquium. For the use by the Commission on International Relations. Some guidelines for the “problematique” of world Economy.  IEDES Dated 6.10.76 Manuscript found in Emmanuel’s archive. Green portfolio marked “Imperialism”. Page 3-4.

[38] Long,, Zhiming;  Feng, Xhixuan;  Li, Bangxi and Herrera, Rémy (2020) U.S.-China Trade War. Has the Real “Thief” Finally Been Unmasked? Page 8-9 Monthly Review, Vol. 72 No. 5 October 2010, page 6-14,

[39] Hickel, Jason, Sullivan, Dylan & Zoomkawala, Huzaifa (2021) Plunder in the Post-Colonial Era: Quantifying Drain from the Global South through Unequal Exchange, 1960–2018. New Political Economy, vol. 26 no. 6, page 1030-1047.

[40] IMF (2021) Global Debt Reaches a Record $226 Trillion. ttps://

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