regional blocks

Gillian Wise, Rational Concepts, 1977


A counterpoint to the world economic system of financialization and capitalist exploitation


This article sets out some fundamental concepts of world political economy and describes, albeit briefly, how the ordering of the capitalist world economic system shapes the underdevelopment of the Global South, not as an evolutionary historical stage of the capitalism of these nations, but as a distinctive part of the support and expansion of the very center of capitalism based on the overexploitation and dependence of the countries of the South and a subordinate insertion of these nations in the international division of labor, of the production of global value chains based on the coercion of financial and rentier capital.

This text identifies the problem of an asymmetry in the accumulation of wealth derived from the coercion of international financial capital and political and military power. This identification is theoretically based on the approaches of the world political economy on hegemony and war, architecture of the post-World War II world system from the Marxist theory of dependency and the characterization of contemporary capitalism from the financialization.

In an adverse conjuncture in which Russia's "special military operations" for what the Kremlin claims the "demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine" and the expansionist military encirclement and economic sanctions of the member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Added to the displacement of the epicenter of international capitalism from the United States to the People's Republic of China (PRC), they cast suspicion on the possibility of a new international economic crisis or even a new world war conflict.

Mastering the aforementioned theoretical categories is decisive for understanding the dynamics of the agenda of the world economic system, notably the path of growing strategic submission, followed by the Latin American bourgeoisies, confirms the most radical analyzes about its “deliver” and “buyer” character .

From this elaboration, this study aims to contribute to the debate for the elaboration of another path of development, autonomous, independent, in short, socialist, sovereign and that relieves the asymmetries of capital accumulation, political and military power.


Strategic look at the international political economy

It is not intended here to discuss the history of the development of thought and theory of International Political Economy (IPE), but to summarily point out the formation of this theoretical field, its scientific authority and technical capacity. It can be admitted that the EPI is constituted from the canonical formulations of classical political economy.

Gilpin (2001) points out that when it comes to the nature of political economy he points out that during the last two centuries, several different definitions of the term “political economy” have been established. According to Gilpin (ibdem) to Adam Smith in The wealth of nations (1776), political economy was a “branch of the science of a statesman or legislator“ and a guide to the prudent management of the national economy and – still according to the author – John Stuart Mill, the last great classical economist, Mill elaborates that the political economy was the science that teaches a nation to be rich. These thinkers emphasized the wealth of nations, and the term "political" was as significant as the term "economics".

From an epistemological perspective, International Political Economy (IPE) is a thematic area or field of investigation that involves tensions between states, markets and actors in society. In this specialist knowledge the focus is on a variety of actors and issues that are either “international” (between nations) or “transnational” (across the national borders of two or more states). EPI is also a method that applies analytical tools.

Padula (2017) considers the birth of the EPI as a formulation to give meaning to the construction of an autonomous national economy prepared for war. He mentions Petty, Hamilton and List as authors who consider geographical factors, such as the use of the national territorial space, its natural resources and potential for generating surplus and economic progress, including industrialization, integration through infrastructure and the use of economic instruments – trade and investments – as a way to increase international political influence, over territorial spaces and resources of other States: – production linked to defense – state purchases, – national financial independence, the creation of a system of taxation and credit, to public debt expansion.

Gilpin (2001) describes the nature of Political Economy based on works such as Principles of Economics (1890) in which Marshall substituted the current term “economics” for “political economy“: economics seen as an empirical science and without value judgment. Lionel Robbins in The Nature and Significance of Economic Science (1932) brought the definition prevailing today: “Economics is the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses”. At the end of the XNUMXth century, the term “political economy” returned to use, with differences in relation to previous uses; also with controversy over the meaning of the term.

The economists mainstream (Chicago School: New Institutional Economics, Public Choice Theory, New Political Economy): they expand the range of formal models by endogenizing variables – econometric modeling –, elaborate methodological individualism and instrumental rationality.

The Marxists have the economists mainstream and his conceptions as an enemy to be fought in the conceptual theoretical field. The essential Marxist critique of mainstream is that the discipline of economics has become too formal, mathematical and abstract as the development of formal models has become largely irrelevant to understanding and solving real social and economic problems. In the Marxist conception, one of the main reasons for this isolation of the economy from the real world is that economics neglects the historical, political and social elements in which economic behavior takes place.

Marxists consider economics to be decisive, but politics is just as important. Gilpin (1972, p. 54), although not a Marxist but calling himself a moderate realist, makes a similar claim that “politics determines the structure of economic activity and channels it in directions that tend to serve (…) political objectives. ”.

It is noted that the International Political Economy is formed by two main schools; the United Kingdom and the United States. The International Political Economy of American tradition is constituted; (1) Multiple Traditions (Cohen); (2) Realistic; (3) Institutional theories (contracts); (4) Constructivism, (5) Marginalized (Canada).

Already the International Political Economy of British tradition is constituted; (1) Lineages, (2) Empiricism and objectivity, (3) Power-knowledge (Strange's poststructuralism). It is important to highlight that although there are important Marxist theorists and elaborations in the USA, there is a tradition and greater vigor and influence in the Social Sciences and in the British International Political Economy.


world political economy

This term comprises specialized knowledge so that concrete efforts can be made so that the research agenda in political economy approaches the most acute challenges facing Brazil and developing countries, that is, the Global South. Such a theoretical approach values ​​a systemic view that does not diminish the role that the countries of the South play in the constitution of the global economy, considered in a broad sense, to involve its ethical, historical, economic, political, social, cultural, demographic and ecological dimensions.

The world political economy values ​​and privileges the contributions of these southern regions to universal thought, based on the analysis of their own trajectories and realities. In this respect, it should be noted that the systemic view has been the main contribution of thought from the academies of the South to Political Economy since the mid-twentieth century, together with the appreciation of the study of world development, which, in turn, justifies the title of this discipline World Political Economy and its object of study world development.


economy for war

A concept that seems so current is based on Classic Political Economy, which is a strategic look at the national economy, from the point of view of interstate disputes and threats, reflecting on economic progress as an instrument to reduce vulnerability and act in favor of external projection, but also to strengthen military power and the ability to wage war.

In 1976, the French geographer Yves Lacoste wrote the book Geography, that serves first of all to wage war to alert the academy about the strategic character of geography, forgotten in the post-war period due to the association between geopolitics and the expansion practiced by the Third Reich. These are elaborations that make up Classic Geopolitics and Geoeconomics.

Padula (2017) identifies a link of continuity in the way of looking at the national economy between the authors of the EPC and Classical Geopolitics in which the economy serves to wage war, or, more broadly, as a strategic area of ​​the State in a competitive geopolitical environment. According to Padula (ibdem) this approach is continued in the EPI authors, especially Knorr (1973, 1977), who was the author who most devoted himself to the theme, deepening the importance of using economics for political and strategic purposes, and their connections to military power.

Petty (1662, 1665, 1690 apud Padula 2019) is concerned with the progress and generation of economic surplus in agriculture, making it capable of supplying the entire population and national economy through the employment of “few hands”, freeing up labor to work in the activities he considers most profitable, industry and commerce. Thus forming a self-sufficient and more robust economy, capable of financing wars against the main rivals, the Netherlands and France, through taxation and trade surpluses (which generate foreign exchange). Padula (ibdem) describes that Hamilton and List highlighted the importance of industrial development for productive diversification and the development of national productive forces, fundamentally for political independence in the interstate power game

According to Padula (2017) in both Hamilton and List, the infrastructure system aims not only at economic development – ​​forming a thriving, integrated domestic market with a diversified and complementary economy –, but fundamentally aims at political independence, to national political identity or integration, to the political domain of the territory. Even spreading development across the territory, making it homogeneous in terms of occupation and economic and demographic advancement, would act in this sense. Thus, the geographic dimension of the domain space, the territory, appears as a central element. In this sense, List anticipates the essential geographic elements identified by Ratzel, space and position, and the role of infrastructure in national political-territorial cohesion.

From this elaboration, it can be kept in mind that progress and investment in the military industry is a strategy adopted by some countries to positively impact their national economies as a whole.

In this sense, trade, investments and infrastructure construction could serve both economic exploitation and political domination of resources and territories (Raztel, 1895; 1898, p.453 apud Padula, 2017). For the author, the more the States develop, both in agricultural activities that demand more territories and in industrial activities that demand more raw materials and markets, the more the propensity to seek such expansion grows. While Ratzel considers war as the predominant form of expansion, he also points to the possibility of “peaceful penetration”, using economic ties, which more advanced nations would find it easier to use in their foreign policy projection to control territories and resources. .

For Knorr (apud Padula, 2017) technology is the most important and decisive element, both in terms of participation in the production costs of the most important military goods, but also for their quality and efficiency, especially in the nuclear, telecommunications and most advanced stage of military weapons with its mobility, range, defense, precision and destruction capabilities. Large military industrial production obviously increases military potential, because it can be more easily directed towards demand arising from a war. At the same time, the greater the share of production of general industrial goods in relation to GDP, the greater the potential military power. Industrial services are also important in this sense, in the area of ​​vehicles, ships, aircraft, communication devices, etc. (IDEM, p.50-51).


New Silk Road is inserted as a geoeconomics program

Geoeconomics would be characterized by the use of economic instruments aiming and focusing on geopolitical gains in State policy, which may even result in economic losses, or with economic gains appearing only as a side or secondary effect.

The PRC's ambitious program known as the New Silk Road connects Asia, Central, Eastern Europe and North Africa through infrastructure supported by financing mechanisms such as the newly created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Fund. It includes investments in the order of 5 trillion dollars, in 65 countries, which together account for 63% of the global population. The projection is for investments over the next 40 years in ports, highways, railways, gas pipelines, oil pipelines and distribution centers to provide Chinese exports.

The New Silk Road is clearly part of a Geoeconomic and Geopolitical strategy conceptualized by the geographer Mackinder (1904 apud Padula, 2017, p. 15) in which he highlights the importance of transport infrastructure interconnections that would allow both internal mobility and external power projection , both to dominate and exploit territories and resources and to promote their security. Thus, the country with its greater mobility capacity, would shift the importance of maritime trade routes and would give advantages in terms of power and domain of economic resources to its continental State or terrestrial powers, which dominate large spaces and plains.

For Mackinder, this represented the arrival of a (Post-Columbian) era of supremacy of land power over maritime power. Its concept takes into account its characteristics as a natural fortress, the presence of potential strategic resources, its capacity for economic development and, mainly, its capacity for interior mobility and external projection for the marginal portions of Eurasia – Western Europe, Near East, Subcontinent Indian and East Asia.

The capacity for terrestrial mobility could then promote territorial and national economic development, through the use of strategic resources for national autonomy. All this centrifugal movement would be under the permanent geographical and strategic imperative of the terrestrial power to break with its continental geographic isolation and seek to reach the edges and the warm seas.

Robert Blackwill and Jennifer Harris, in War by other means: geoeconomics and statecraft published in 2016, define Geoeconomics as “the use of economic instruments to promote and defend national interests, and to produce favorable geopolitical results; and the effects of other nations' economic actions on a country's geopolitical objectives” (BLACKWILL & HARRIS, 2016, p.20).

Seven main economic instruments are listed by the authors: trade policy, investment policy, economic sanctions, the cyber sphere (cyber attacks), economic aid, monetary policy, and energy and commodity policy. An example in which the PRC stands out are the agreements called oil for loan, in which the State encourages a state-owned company to make investments to build infrastructure, purchase assets and/or exploit natural resources in another country, with long-term financing and below-market interest provided by a Chinese state bank, with the counterpart from the receiving country the payment in a strategic raw material. In these operations, there is no concern with market prices of the natural resource or interest, but only with guaranteed access to such strategic resources in territories of other countries.


capital duress

Carr (1939, p.123 apud Padula, 2019, p. 18) points to the use of economic weapons as an instrument of offensive political power, to increase political influence and power over other countries and in the international environment. The export of capital and the control of foreign markets would be the main ways.

Already (Knorr, 1973, p.88 apud Padula, 2019, p. 22) states about the achievement of political objectives through state or private investment (by banks or companies), according to the interests of national policy, in which credit or the control of the productive apparatus can become instruments of power. Knorr (ibdem) also warns that large multinational business corporations can play an important role in the economic penetration of one State over another. Knorr (1973, p.132 apud Padula, 2019, p. 22) points out that the use of active economic power enables a State to gain political and economic dominance over weaker ones, controlling its natural resources, but maintaining its formal sovereignty. Finally, remembering that international reserves in international currency and gold have an impact on national economic power, Knorr points out an important distinction by stating that the country issuing the international currency has a special advantage both in exercising and defending pressure.


Characterization of contemporary capitalism: neoliberalism, financialization, rentism and dispossession

To have an understanding of the constitutive characteristic of contemporary capitalism the “first thing that one needs to know about neoliberalism is that it represents a new stage in the development of capitalism emerging in the wake of the post-war boom”. (FINE and SAAD-FILHO, 2017, p. 682)

According to Fine and Saad-Filho (ibdem) in the social science literature, neoliberalism has generally been understood in four closely related and not always easily separable ways: (a) as a set of economic and political ideas inspired, unevenly and often inconsistent, by the (neo) Austrian school and monetarism (Dardot and Laval, 2013; Mirowski and Plehwe, 2009; Stedman Jones, 2012); (b) as a set of policies, institutions and practices inspired and/or validated by these ideas; (c) as an offensive class against workers and the poor led by the state in the name of capital in general and finance in particular (this attack is usually justified by recourse to neoliberal ideas and carried out through so-called economic “adjustment”, especially in countries in developing countries, but increasingly in developed countries in crisis), and (d) as a material structure of reproduction sustained by financialization, in which case neoliberalism is the current phase, stage, or mode of existence of capitalism.

Fine and Saad-Filho (ibdem) conceptualize neoliberalism as a structure of reproduction supported by financialization, define it as a stage of capitalism and describe it through the different ways in which economic reproduction (the accumulation, distribution and exchange of value) is organized and reorganized and its implications for social reproduction (the structures, relationships, processes and agents that are not directly or predominantly economic, including the political and the ideological). The authors also warn that when referring to stage, one should not consider a tight periodization, but a global predominance in the international economic system, despite the capitalist development phase that a given country is in.

Neoliberalism must be considered a new and separate stage of capitalism. Therefore, the most salient feature of neoliberalism is financialization. Fine and Saad-Filho (2017, p. 683) describe the rise of financialization in the last 30 years, defined as the intense and extensive accumulation of interest-earning capital that profoundly transformed the organization of the economy and social reproduction. These transformations include not just outcomes, but the structures, processes, agencies, and relationships through which those outcomes are determined across production, employment, international integration, the state, and ideology.

The term financialization, then, encapsulates the growing role of globalized finance in more and more areas of the economy and society. In turn, financialization supports a neoliberal system of accumulation that is articulated through the power of the State to impose, conduct, underwrite and manage the internationalization of production and finance in each territory, often under the perverse ideological veil of promoting non-interventionism.

To characterize contemporary capitalism and financialization, Almeida Filho and Paulani (2011) describe accumulation by dispossession and the instrument of social regulation. This perspective presented by Almeida Filho and Paulani (2011, p. 245) to identify the dynamics of contemporary capitalism follows other strands of Marxism and theoretically demonstrates the State as an institution that has well-defined functions in the regulation process, the main one being it is related to the guarantee of money, especially in a historical period in which the reference to money produced by work is no longer in force, and in which there is a multiplicity of national “moneys” in circulation. With this, (ALMEIDA FILHO and PAULANI, 2011, p. 245) the State relates primarily to exchange rates and external monetary flows, constituting such operations the most expressive part of what today is called macroeconomic policy.



This accumulation regime, to which the specific conjunctural forms described above would correspond, would be the result of a new phase in the internationalization process, which Chesnais (1994) calls the “globalization of capital”. The world economy seems to have entered a long-lasting depressive phase, which it could only emerge from shocks “external” to the economy, in the strict sense of the word. The endogenous mechanisms of capitalism, particularly in the central countries of the system, tend to target less accumulation in the form of investments that generate new capacity than the salvation/maintenance of acquired positions (whose rentier financial position is the most complete expression ).

The positions acquired are the result of previous expansion, but were reinforced by the profound changes that took place from 1975 onwards in the modes of income distribution between capital and labor in the overwhelming majority of countries, as well as between rich countries (creditors) and poor countries (debtors). , within the world system. (CHESNAIS, 1995, p.1)

Chesnais (1995, p.2) emphasizes that in the discourse mainstream, this situation is presented as “inevitable” because it is linked to a “globalization of the economy” imposed by the free play of the laws of the market. Rarely are economic terms as steeped in ideology as the word “globalization”. To an even higher degree than for the expression “technical progress”, we would be facing a process in relation to which contemporary world society, in its various components – countries and, among these, social classes – would have no option to not adapt. This is a keyword that today constitutes the true slogan of international economic organizations.

States, political actors, and players, therefore, they should banish any and all attempts to guide or tame the process. At the dawn of the 1995st century, globalization would constitute the very expression of “modernity”, notably because it was the result of “market forces”, finally released, at least partially, from the harmful chains with which the State had shackled them for half a century. (CHESNAIS, 3, p.XNUMX)

It is increasingly clear (CHESNAIS, 1995) the predominance of a rentier and parasitic capitalism, whose functioning seems to be increasingly subordinated to the needs of the new forms of centralization of money capital, in particular mutual investment funds – mutual investment funds – and pension funds. The power, if not the very existence, of this money capital – which frustrated Keynes's hope that he was moving towards “a progressive euthanasia” of rentier capital and “its oppressive power” – is supported by the international financial institutions and the States. most powerful in the world at any cost.


dependency theory

Theotônio Dos Santos (2020, p.17) reports that Dependency Theory, which emerged in Latin America in the 60s, tried to explain the new characteristics of socioeconomic development in the region, which actually started in 1930-45. Since the 30s, Latin American economies, under the impact of the world economic crisis that began in 1929, had moved towards industrialization, characterized by the replacement of industrial products imported from the central economic powers by national production.

Dependency Theory perfects a global approach to understanding, forming, and evolving capitalism as a world economy. (DOS SANTOS, p. 44) For the Marxist dependency theorists (DOS SANTOS, p. 48) the formation and evolution of the capitalist world system should guide the analysis of national, regional and local experiences, seeking to rescue the specific historical dynamics as part of a joint effort by humanity to overcome the exploitative, expropriatory, concentrating and excluding way in which this system has evolved.

If the theory of development and underdevelopment were the result of overcoming colonial rule and the emergence of local bourgeoisies eager to find their way to participate in the expansion of world capitalism; dependency theory, which emerged in the second half of the 1960s, represented a critical effort to understand the limitations of a development initiated in a historical period in which the world economy was already constituted under the hegemony of enormous economic groups and powerful imperialist forces, even when part of them went into crisis and opened up an opportunity for the decolonization process. (DOS SANTOS, 2020, p.18)

Dependency Theory deals with the extent to which capitalism in the region had created a national bourgeoisie capable of proposing a democratic national revolution. This investigation polarized the discussion with its roundabout denial of the national character of Latin American bourgeoisies. Dos Santos (2020, p.26) states that formed in the interests of international trade, they identified with the interests of imperialist capital and completely abdicated any national and democratic aspiration. Several studies showed the limits of the region's business sector: little knowledge of the country's political reality, little presence in the power system, little technical and economic knowledge, lack of an innovative posture and a willingness to oppose the interests of international capital that could harm the national business community.

An important feature described by Dos Santos (2020, p.47) is that current analyzes of the world system are the denial of interpretations of the contemporary world based on post-war bipolarization, seen as a relationship between two economic systems of parallel power. The various theorists of the world system always insisted on the existence of a single world economic system, in this period, of a capitalist character and under North American hegemony. The evolution of the Soviet economy and the bloc of nations more or less linked to it had not been able to leave the context determined by the capitalist world system. It was always expected that the sharpening of this conflict in the 80s would destroy the cold war model that would redefine the world's geopolitical zones. Dos Santos (1978 and 1993), Wallerstein (1979, 1984) and Frank (1980, 1981).


Rise of the People's Republic of China and the relative decline of US hegemony

Although they are not inscribed in the dependency theory, the formulation by Pires & Mattos (2016) corroborate the formulation set out above and develop their theory based on the contributions of the current of “historical capitalism” and assume from the assumption that the material rise of the PRC may call into question the current hegemony of the United States and, according to the authors, this “phenomenon that will define the characteristics of the international system in the XNUMXst century”.

This conceptual categorization by Pires & Mattos (2016) is based on a long-term perspective, on the paradigmatic theoretical categories of Fernand Braudel, Immanuel Wallerstein and Giovanni Arrighi. Fernand Braudel states that in order to understand the “sense” of the expansion of the capitalist economy in world terms, it is necessary to mobilize concepts that indicate the occurrence of structural changes in terms of power and economy, that is (factual and conjunctural) and their permanence (structural). Brandel admits that the US still exerts centripetal force on the international system and also considers the conjunctural aspects that are building China's economic rise on a world scale.

Immanuel Wallerstein presents the category of the “World System” in which the hegemonic powers are observed from hierarchical relations (concept assumed by Wallerstein from ECLAC – Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) between center, periphery and semi-periphery and in this In this sense, the creation of a new capitalist dynamic in the PRC tends to break the center-periphery relationship. Giovanni Arrighi grants us the category of “Systemic Accumulation Cycle” (CSA), in the perspective of providing a theoretical framework for the analytical observation of the process of evolution of capitalism, through cycles, indicating evidence of a political and economic character that characterize both a hegemonic nation in decline, as well as a rising nation. Based on this conceptualization, a theoretical articulation is possible regarding capitalism (a world that was organized in search of high profitability and where the economy is organized in global “networks”, seeking new regions of exploitation) and that expands to the concept “World System”, a systemic arrangement that integrates the world economy into the world capitalist system.

Pires & Mattos (2016) point to 1980 as the turning point of its hegemonic cycle, that is, when the US abandons the productive phase and enters the financial phase, that is, the elements that indicate the saturation of US hegemony and the creation of a new systemic center around the PRC, is an apparently logical consequence of this structural movement in theory, the action of the American bourgeoisie to abandon production (through outsourcing or productive relocations) and focus its interests on the stock market or the market of debts.

On the other hand, the entry of the PRC into the world economy, the structuring of a large productive park and the growing process of adding value on the part of its companies would be the indication of a phase of material and productive ascension that could lead it to dispute the hegemony with the United States. It is also possible to see that East Asia, which did not adhere to the Washington Consensus, constitutes a more promising trajectory for capitalism, “played an active role not only in promoting education, savings and income distribution, but also in technological advancement” ( STIGLITZ, 2003, p. 245).

Reflecting on Braudel's postulations regarding the conformation of the world system, it is worth thinking about the character of the rise of the PRC, in its distinctions as a socialist market economy. In China, the country's bourgeoisie did not make its bourgeois revolution and the bureaucratic apparatus of the Communist Party has control of the main economic and political variables. Even in privately controlled companies, Party cadres seek to implement the policy lines defined by the Central Committee. In a capitalist society, control over money and over the means of production are prerequisites for guaranteeing political power. In China, the Communist Party wields political power and commands the direction of society. It is worth remembering that the Chinese Communist Party has approximately 90 million members.

It is also worth mentioning that hegemony results in the hierarchization process where the State with greater power is not the one that dispenses with greater military power or even the efficient rhetorical dimension, but rather with the capacity to maximize its economic results through the effective force of its state apparatus, enhancing capital accumulation (WALLERSTEIN, 2001).



It is possible to consider that the articulation of the Global South in regional blocs seems to be a process that has been successful in resisting the free movement of financial capital or transnational or global companies. This also fits in with the predictions of the Marxist dependency theory, including the importance of regional integration in Latin America as a more solid path to overcoming overexploitation, economic oppression, subordination in the international division of labor, reordering of productive forces and global chains. of value based on a socialist trajectory of structural changes in Latin American states as the only way to ensure capital accumulation and distribution capable of overcoming the ills of this historical situation of structural dependence.

If the PRC is the country of the Global South that rivals the economic hegemony of the USA, it is obvious that one must observe that autonomist and insurgent trajectory of development to consider elements that can be replicated as a solution for other developing countries taking into account account the social specificities and the current stage of development of capitalism in each country. Medeiros (2013) in a study on the institutional changes and investment patterns that resulted in the current rise of economic power in the PRC shows that it derives from industrialization, as in the countries of Southeast Asia, the obligatory path of development in the PRC and that investments in infrastructure and in machinery and equipment, they asserted themselves, in turn, as the engine of that industrial productivity. The experience of the PRC demonstrates the pertinence of the existence of a market and a financial system and capital market under full control and centralized regulation by the State.

Medeiros (ibdem) also points out that the PRC carried out institutional changes favoring the market and the decentralization of investment decisions. However, the Chinese state at the height of its industrial start-up processes (as occurred in South Korea and Taiwan) preserved: 1/ broad control over investments in heavy industry through state-owned companies and public banks, 2/ broad coordination of the development process through five-year plans, 3/ control over basic prices and, in particular, over external financial flows.

Added to this, Brazil's return to playing a leading role in the BRICS and integrating the set of New Silk Road investments and strengthening the Bank of the BRICS seems to sine qua non to resolve the asymmetry of capital accumulation in relation to the core countries.

It is worth concluding with Knorr's sentence (1973, p.82) where he draws attention to the fact that the external economic transactions of a State are one of the elements of the national economic strength that can favor the projection of power. Economic power concerns both structure and magnitude.

Dependence on foreign relations appears as asymmetric in the author's view and the fundamental issue for a State is to be less dependent and, therefore, less vulnerable, while others depend on it. This applies both to earning income and to having access to goods and resources. The excessive share of exports in relation to GDP can generate vulnerabilities (KNORR, 1973, p.88). Knorr also warns that large multinational business corporations can play an important role in the economic penetration of one state over another. (KNORR, 1973, p.88). The author points out that the use of active economic power enables a State to gain political and economic dominance over weaker ones, controlling its natural resources, but maintaining its formal sovereignty (KNORR, 1973, p.132).

* Marlon Luiz de Souza, journalist, is a master's student in World Political Economy at UFABC.



ALMEIDA FILHO, Niemeyer; PAULANI, Leda Maria. Social regulation and accumulation by dispossession: reflection on the essentiality of the theses of financialization and the nature of the state in the characterization of contemporary capitalism. Economy and Society, 20, p. 243-272, 2011.

BLACKWILL, R., HARRIS, J. (2016). War by other means: geoeconomics as a statecraft. New York: Council on Foreign Relations.

CARR, EH (1939). Twenty years of crisis: 1919-39. Brasília: UnB.

CHESNAIS, François. Globalization and the course of end-of-century capitalism. Economy and Society, vol. 4, no. 2, p. 1-30, 1995.

DE PAULA, Nilson Maciel. Food Insecurity and the Neoliberal Order: challenges for a counter-hegemonic agenda. Paranaense Development Magazine, v. 38, no. 133, p. 23-37, 2017.

FINE, Ben; SAAD-FILHO, Alfredo. Thirteen things you need to know about neoliberalism. Critical Sociology, v. 43, no. 4-5, p. 685-706, 2017.

GILPIN, Robert, and Jean M. GILPIN. Global political economy: Understanding the international economic order. Princeton university press, 2001. CHAP 1-4.

KNORR, K. (1973). Power and Wealth. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

______ (1977). Economic Interdependence and National Security. In KNORR, K., &

PIRES, M. ; MATTOS, T. Reflections on the dispute for hegemony between the US and China from the perspective of historical capitalism. Monções: Journal of International Relations of the UFGD, Dourados, v.5. n.9, Jan./Jun., 2016. Available at: journal=monsoons

STIGLITZ, J. The Roaring Nineties – A New Interpretation of History's Prosperous Decade. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 90.

TRAGER, FN. Economic Issues and National Security. Kansas: Allen Press.


See this link for all articles


  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • A look at the 2024 federal strikelula haddad 20/06/2024 By IAEL DE SOUZA: A few months into government, Lula's electoral fraud was proven, accompanied by his “faithful henchman”, the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad
  • Letter to the presidentSquid 59mk,g 18/06/2024 By FRANCISCO ALVES, JOÃO DOS REIS SILVA JÚNIOR & VALDEMAR SGUISSARDI: “We completely agree with Your Excellency. when he states and reaffirms that 'Education is an investment, not an expense'”
  • Return to the path of hopelate afternoon 21/06/2024 By JUAREZ GUIMARÃES & MARILANE TEIXEIRA: Five initiatives that can allow the Brazilian left and center-left to resume dialogue with the majority hope of Brazilians
  • The collapse of Zionismfree palestine 80 23/06/2024 By ILAN PAPPÉ: Whether people welcome the idea or fear it, Israel's collapse has become predictable. This possibility should inform the long-term conversation about the future of the region
  • João Cândido and the Revolt of the Whipwhip revolt 23/06/2024 By PETRÔNIO DOMINGUES: In the current context, in which there is so much discussion about State reparations for the black population, the name of João Cândido cannot be forgotten
  • Chico Buarque, 80 years oldchico 19/06/2024 By ROGÉRIO RUFINO DE OLIVEIRA: The class struggle, universal, is particularized in the refinement of constructive intention, in the tone of proletarian proparoxytones
  • Why are we on strike?statue 50g 20/06/2024 By SERGIO STOCO: We have reached a situation of shortage of federal educational institutions