A number of authoritarian governments, drawn to the economic power of capitalism but wary of uncontrolled free markets, have invented something new: state capitalism. In this system, governments use markets to create wealth that can be directed as political officials see fit.
As an expert on the intersection between economics and politics, Ian Bremmer is uniquely qualified to illustrate the rise of state capitalism and its long-term threat to the global economy. The main characters in this story are the men who rule China, Russia, and the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf, but their successes are attracting imitators across much of the developing world.
This guide to the next big trend includes useful insights for investors, business leaders, policymakers, and anyone else who wants to understand major emerging changes in international politics and the global economy.
Slavery helped finance the Industrial Revolution in England. Plantation owners, shipbuilders, and merchants connected with the slave trade accumulated vast fortunes that established banks and heavy industry in Europe and expanded the reach of capitalism worldwide.
Eric Williams advanced these powerful ideas in Capitalism and Slavery, published in 1944. Years ahead of its time, his profound critique became the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development. Binding an economic view of history with strong moral argument, Williams’s study of the role of slavery in financing the Industrial Revolution refuted traditional ideas of economic and moral progress and firmly established the centrality of the African slave trade in European economic development. He also showed that mature industrial capitalism in turn helped destroy the slave system. Establishing the exploitation of commercial capitalism and its link to racial attitudes, Williams employed a historicist vision that set the tone for future studies. In a new introduction, Colin Palmer assesses the lasting impact of Williams’s groundbreaking work and analyzes the heated scholarly debates it generated when it first appeared.