wallerstein essay - Weapon Trade Issues in Relation to...

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Weapon Trade Issues in Relation to Historical Capitalism by Immanuel Wallerstein Jesse Glenn English 030 September 10, 2007 In sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein's Historical Capitalism several issues in the
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capitalist economic system are critically discussed. One of these key issues is how capitalism affects less developed nations. Currently, many third world nations have civil conflicts due to oppressive regimes and a lust for the wealth and power of Western nations. United States weapon dealers have used these struggles to their advantage. The weapon dealers' lack of concern for the destruction and suffering that their product causes illustrates Wallerstein's view that capitalism's main goal, "the accumulation of more capital" (14), does not result in progress. First off, one needs to observe why the conflicts are occurring. The states that are in turmoil are third world; they have not developed a strong capitalist system of economy. These states are in what Wallerstein refers to as the "periphery" (32). Wallerstein argues that in order for power to be achieved, there has to be an "unequal exchange" that creates a periphery (31). The states being sold the weapons, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (Berrigan), desire power because they want to attain wealth by maintaining a place in the interstate system in which capitalism operates (Wallerstein 64). Once they are in the system, the entrepreneurs within the states can share in the benefits of earning capital. It is necessary for there to be "an intrusion of force into the determination of price" (Wallerstein 30). If given the material power, these states become stronger forces within the market because they can do what the already powerful states have done and that is to create an unbalance in their favor between them and other periphery states. The materialistic goals of these states illustrate the effects of "'westernization,'" or the
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course ENGL 030 taught by Professor Wright,elizabeth during the Fall '07 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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wallerstein essay - Weapon Trade Issues in Relation to...

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