Leo Panitch is Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy and Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science at York University. Editor of The Socialist Register for 25 years, his many books include Working Class Politics in Crisis, A Different Kind of State, The End of Parliamentary Socialism, and American Empire and The Political Economy of Global Finance.
On October 31st Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch, authors of The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire, spoke at Town Hall Seattle with economics Professor Dan Jacoby. Their conversation, broadcast on C-SPAN's BookTV, challenges the dominant economic theology that assumes globalization to be the natural progression of western capitalism. The authors, whose work Jacobi calls "magisterial," discuss in detail the formation of this ideology after World War II. Probing both the union's emphasis on individual consumption and the anti-globalization movement's tendency towards stasis, Gindin and Panitch call for more effective tactics in the quest for economic reform.
Given all the framing of other countries as "opportunities" on both sides of last night's presidential debate, it may be difficult to remember a time before the rhetoric of global capitalism dictated our country's political language. But as late as 1975, a Time magazine cover asked: "Can Capitalism Survive?"
This week, Aaron Leonard interviews Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin on the subject of their recently released book The Making of Global Capitalism, in which they recount these moments of weakness and explain how the U.S.pushed past them to create the global economy as we know it. In the first installation of this three-part series, the two authors go back to World War II to trace the construction of the U.S. empire, moving from the context of a post-war nationalistic interest in free enterprise to the systematic push for an open global market, a market friendliest to multinational corporations and big banks.
Last month Doug Henwood, host of Behind the News, editor of the excellent Left Business Observer and a contributing editor of The Nation, spoke with authors Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin at Brecht Forum to celebrate the publication of their new book The Making of Global Capitalism.