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Unformatted text preview: es O'Connor has ironically remarked, the Owl of Minerva folds its wings at day-break — closing up shop, as it were, just when things at last start to get interesting. Antonio Gramsci, the great Italian theorist, observed that severe economic disruptions can "lead in the long run to a widespread skepticism" toward the existing order as a whole. When that happens, even the most seemingly entrenched political and social arrangements can disappear overnight. In 1997, when foreign traders suddenly pulled the plug on the "Asian miracle," devaluing currencies such as the Thai bhat and Indonesian rupiah, mass protests and riots spread through the region overnight. Within a year, the democracy movement had toppled the authoritarian government of President Suharto in Indonesia, a nation of over 200 million. A year after that, the East Timorese at last overcame decades of repression by the Suharto regime by declaring their national independence. The traumatic economic dislocations of the 1920s and 1930s, b y contrast, prepared the ground for even more intensive and extensive social upheavals. When Gramsci spoke of popular "skepticism" toward an older regime, he knew of what he spoke, having himself been thrown in jail by the fascist leader, Benito Mussolini. If fascism and world war were the products of the last depression, what will the next one bring? As the world economy deteriorates, as hundreds of millions of people lose their jobs, and as the state scales back on social welfare and public services, we may see a widening crisis of confidence in the economic and social order as such. That worry seems to have been on the mind of George W. Bush last autumn, when he felt compelled to defend the capitalist system by name. 21 | P a g e Capitalism Critique BDL Answers to: Transition Wars [___] [___] Transition wars from hegemony are inevitable only in a world of capitalism – its contradictions will force America to go to war with the rest of the planet Samir Amin, director of the Third World Forum in Dakar, Senegal, 2000 (Samir, “The political economy of the twentieth century,” Monthly Review. New York: Jun 2000. Vol. 52, Iss. 2; p. 1) This vision of a unipolar world is being increasingly opposed by that of a multipolar globalization, the only strategy that would allow the different regions of the world to achieve acceptable social development, and would thereby foster social democratization and the reduction of the motives for conflict. The hegemonic strategy of the United States and its NATO allies is today the main enemy of social progress, democracy, and peace. The twenty-first century will not be America's century. It will be one of vast conflicts, and the rise of social struggles that question the ambitions of Washington and of capital. The crisis is exacerbating contradictions within the dominant classes. These conflicts must take on increasingly acute international dimensions, and therefore pit states and groups of state...
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.

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