The Changing Contours of Corporate Capitalism

Socialism 2014

June 26, 2014

Is U.S. hegemony waxing or waning? In the 1980s, it was axiomatic to talk about the decline of the U.S. imperialism. This century, many theorists (Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch most prominently) have made the opposite case, arguing that political economists have been misled by the “deterritorialization” of many economic indicators. The fact of production moving offshore from the U.S., for instance, might not be an indicator of the decline of the U.S., but rather an indicator of the deepening of U.S. overseas influence if the new offshore production centers are under U.S. corporate control. This talk examines one key indicator which remains territorially bound ­ the country location of the largest of the world’s corporations.

In a very real sense, the capitalist world economy expresses itself as a constellation of corporations, and tracking over time the regions where these corporations are headquartered, clearly reveals the steady, long-term decline of U.S. hegemony and the emergence of a multi-polar world economy.

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