Savage Global Inequalities and the Transnational Capitalist Class

Friday, 20 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
William ROBINSON, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA
Social polarization is internal to the dynamic of capital accumulation. At the system-wide level the contradictions of overaccumulation and wealth polarization were historically attenuated by mass worker struggles and the intervention of states at the national level in the circuit of accumulation to capture and redistribute surpluses downward. But the liberation of transnational capital from the nation-state has increasingly undermined the ability of individual states to redirect surpluses. The result has been unprecedented inequalities worldwide and spiraling crises of state legitimacy. More enlightened transnational elites have become increasingly alarmed that extreme levels of inequality will undermine the prospects for continued growth and generate revolt from below. Yet the transnational capitalist class, in its blind pursuit of profit, has to date been able to use its structural power - especially in global financial markets - to veto attempts at bringing about a global neo-Keynesian measures that could mitigate global social polarization.