AMERICA AND THE CRISIS OF WORLD CAPITALISM by Joyce Kolko

AMERICA AND THE CRISIS OF WORLD CAPITALISM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A critique of U.S. and world economic conditions and policy, essentially beginning with the 1967-68 onset of monetary crises. All developments are vaguely ascribed to capitalist profit motives by Kolko, co-author with Gabriel Kolko of The Limits of Power (1972). The August 1971 U.S. demonetization of gold, the bullying economic diplomacy of the then Treasury Secretary Connally, the 1973 dollar devaluation are some of the particulars; general themes include the multinational corporations' concentration of wealth, the plight of the Common Market, and the impossibility of detente bailing out the West. Kolko's approach is a mildly muckraking one overlaid with the Leninist thesis of ""super-exploitation"" of the Third World. But where the muckrakers were sure to target the Mellons or the Morgans or the Rockefellers, Kolko firmly states -- while giving no evidence -- that no dominant capitalist factions exist, and, moreover, that multinationals do not alter the basic ""national capitalism"" of earlier periods. And where Lenin would polemicize against real political forces both within the capitalist and working classes, Kolko can only offer up Nixon as a malign stick figure who manipulated the economy in 1972 for reelection purposes. Kolko's lack of curiosity about who does make capitalist policy represents either naivete or intellectual laziness. Her flaccid summation: ""The essence of world capitalism today remains its contradictions and vulnerability."" Plus ca change. . . .

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1974
Publisher: Beacon