“Sources of Instability in the U.S. Political Economy and Empire,” [PDF] Science & Society, vol. XLIX, no. 2 (Summer 1985), pp. 167-193.
In Discussing the sources of instability in the U.S. social order, it is useful to focus successively on the economic, political-cultural and imperial aspects of the problem, corresponding to the three levels of economy, state and world economy. This does not mean that these factors can be sealed off from one another, or that there is some kind of strict causal relationship running from the economic to the political to the international aspects of the current impasse. The interconnection, as I hope to demonstrate, is a dialectical one; which in the present context means that is is difficult to assign historical priority to any single dimension of the basic dilemma, or to neatly separate one manifestation of the overall disorder from another. “The social process,” as Joseph Schumpeter wrote in the introduction to The Theory of Economic Development, “is really one indivisible whole.” If anything, this becomes even more apparent in times of deepening crisis.
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