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Author: IPE


Globalisation; world market; global capitalism; world economic system; international financial markets; global money markets;
TNCs; multinational corporations; global brands;
G8; IMF; World Bank; WTO; TRIPS; United Nations; Davos;
World Social Forum; ILO; NGOs; Greenpeace; Amnesty International.

Modernisation: urbanisation; development; industrialisation; democratisation; feminism; civil rights.

Empire: imperialism; neo-colonialism; Americanisation; Coca-colonisation; North v South; proletarianisation.

Neo-classical economics: demand-and-supply curves; marginal utility; mathematical illusion; ahistorical theory; rational bourgeois egoist; “private vice is public gain” (Bernard Mandeville).

Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations Volume 1 & Volume 2. (1776)
Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society.

Aristotle, The Politics.
Muhammad Ibn Khaldûn, The Mugaddimah.

The Scottish Enlightenment 1707-1789; David Hume; Liberalism; the materialist conception of history; social evolution; grand narrative of human progress; social organisation of human labour.

Adam Smith’s theory of historical evolution: hunting -> herding -> agriculture -> commerce.

140,000 years ago: hunter-gatherer tribes;
12,000 years ago: agricultural villages;
4,000 years ago: market towns;
300 years ago: capitalist cities.

Politics and economics are phenomena of the last 4,000 years of human history, i.e. one 35th of the total.

Pre-modern tribal and agricultural societies are non-monetary patriarchal societies: subsistence; sharing; gifts; tribute; slavery; serfdom; plunder.

Money is surplus production: politics; taxes; war; religion; bureaucracy; art; festivals; trade; luxuries.

Feudalism: the moral economy; just prices and just wages; divine law; taboo on usury; artisan guilds and merchant fraternities; apprenticeships; pilgrimages; the Caliphate; the Silk Route; the spice trade.

Capitalism is a phenomenon of the last 300 years of human history, i.e. one 466th of the total.

Christopher Columbus “discovers” America in 1492 and shifts the centre of the world to Western Europe: Spain, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and England.

Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History.

Imperialism: looting; slave trade; monopolies; concessions; colonies; protectorates.

Immanuel Wallerstein, The Capitalist World-Economy.

World systems theory: Baghdad -> Cairo -> Venice -> Cadiz -> Amsterdam -> London -> New York

“The world presents itself as a fantastic array of commodities” (Karl Marx)

The evolution of money: merchant capital -> industrial and financial capital.

The evolution of politics: warriors and priests -> bureaucrats and propagandists.

The evolution of labour: peasants in countryside -> workers in cities.

The world market creates the nation state – and vice versa.

Plassey 1757: the East India Company defeats the Nawab of Bengal;
New Delhi 1947: the Indian Republic ends the British empire;
London 2007: the GLA celebrates Indian independence.

Within this MySpace version of the electronic agora, cybernetic communism was mainstream and unexceptional. What had once been a revolutionary dream was now an enjoyable part of everyday life.