From the book “Theory of the Multi-polar World”, Chapter “Theoretical basis of the Multi polar World” – Economy
According to the rules of modern discourse, no theory or project is exempt from an economic program and to follow its calculations and estimates. It is natural to ask the following question: on what economic model will multipolarism be based?
In the case of the unipolar or global world, we have a clear answer: the current world economy is based on the capitalist system and any future project will be developed on the basis of it. Here, it becomes almost axiomatic that capitalism has now entered its third stage of development (post-industrial economy, information society, knowledge economy, E. Luttwak’s turbo-capitalism , etc.) and is characterized by :
• The qualitative domain of the financial sector on the industrial and agrarian;
• The disproportionate increase in the stock market, hedge funds and other strictly financial instruments;
• Extremely volatile markets;
• The development of transnational networks;
• Absorption of the secondary sector (production) and primary (agricultural) by the tertiary sector (services);
• Displacement of industry from the rich north to the poor south ;
• The global division of labor and the increased influence of transnational corporations;
• The rapid progress of state-of-the-art technologies (guided by precision and information);
• Increase the relevance of virtual space for the development of economic and financial processes (electronic stock markets, etc.).
This is the current panorama of the world economy and, if everything moves from a scenario of inertia, that of the immediate future. However, such an economic model is not compatible with multipolarism , since it is rooted in the implementation of Western economic codes on a planetary scale; In the homogenisation of the economic practices of all societies; In the vanishing of civilisation differences and, consequently, in the abolition of civilisations before a single cosmopolitan system, subjecting them to the universal rules and protocols formulated and applied for the first time by the West for its own benefit.
The modern global economy is a hegemonic phenomenon . This is clearly demonstrated by the neo-Marxists in International Relations, but is also generally recognized by realists and liberals – otherwise, in general, post-positivist theories are posed (critical theory and Postmodernism).
The preservation of this economic system is not compatible with the implementation of the multipolar project. Thus, the TMM [Multipolar World Theory] has to stick to alternative economic theories. As such, a close examination of the Marxist and neo-Marxist critique of the capitalist system and the analysis of its foundational contradictions, as well as the identification and prediction of the nature of its inevitable crises, will be useful.
Marxists usually talk about the collapse of capitalism and see their manifestation in the waves of economic crises that have shocked the world since 2008, since the collapse of the American mortgage system. Although Marxists themselves believe that the final crisis of capitalism should only occur after the internationalization and final advent of the two global classes (the world bourgeoisie and the world proletariat), their interpretation and prediction of the crises are quite realistic. Unlike Marxists, TMM apologists should not postpone multipolarism, awaiting the last trump of globalization. The next crisis is likely to inflict a deadly blow on the world capitalist system without globalization and cosmopolitanization of classes. (This may give rise to World War III). In any case, the current global economic model, in the near future, will most likely be tied to a structural and irreversible crisis. It will probably cease to exist – at least in its current form. Already witnessing the latest limitations of the new economy and the post-industrial model today, it is easy to see that a few more steps and the system is likely to collapse.
What can TMM propose in place of post-industrialism in the economic sphere? The guidelines should be:
• Overthrow the capitalist hegemony of the West;
• To reject the idea of the liberal economy and the market model as something universal and as a self-evident global norm and, therefore,
• Economic pluralism.
The multipolar economy must be based on the recognition of the various poles and, likewise, on the economic map of the world.
The search for economic alternatives must be carried out in the philosophical field, rejecting, or at least relativizing, the importance and value of the material and hedonistic factor. Recognizing the material world as the most important or the only, as well as material well-being as the highest spiritual, social and cultural value, will necessarily lead to capitalism and liberalism, that is, acceptance of the legitimacy of economic hegemony of the West. Even if non-Western countries want to turn economic processes in their favor, as well as undermine the Western monopoly in the sphere of the market economy on a global scale, sooner or later the logic of Capital will import into these countries and their civilizations. Same standards today. In this the Marxists are right: Capital has its own logic, which, once accepted, will lead to the bourgeois-type political and social system, in everything identical to that of the West. Thus, opposing the hegemony of the “rich North” expressing loyalty to the capitalist system is an absolute contradiction and a fundamental obstacle to the construction of true multipolarism.
The American sociologist P. Sorokin clearly saw the limitations of Western materialistic civilization, which he called the “sensual” sociocultural system. In his point of view, economic-centric society, based on hedonism, individualism, consumerism and comfort, is destined for imminent extinction. It will be replaced by ideational [society]: the society that gives primacy to radically spiritual and anti-material values. This prognosis may well be a clue to TMM as to its relation to the economy in general. We see in multipolarism the way of the future and not the continuation of the [world] today. We must then follow the intuition of this great sociologist.
Today, most economists in both the West and the rest of the world are convinced that there are no alternatives to the market economy. Such confidence amounts to believing that all societies are moved by their traction through material conformity and consumerism. Consequently, the idea of multipolarism is not even considered. Once, however, we recognize that the economy is the final destination, we automatically recognize that the liberal economy is the final destination, and thus the economic hegemony of the “rich North” becomes natural, justified, and legitimate. The other countries merely have to conform: what, in structuring the world system, will lead to globalization, class stratification and the dilapidation of civilizational frontiers (I. Wallerstein is right here).
In this sense, we come to the most logical conclusion: the economic model of the multipolar world must be based on the rejection of economic-centrism and the reduction of economic factors to a lower level than social, cultural, religious and political factors. Destiny is not matter, but the ideal , therefore, is not the economy that must dictate the political sphere, but the political sphere is the one that must dominate about the economic motivations and structuring. Without the relativization of the economy, without the subordination of the material to the spiritual, without the transformation of the economic sphere into subordinate and secondary to the dimension of civilization in general, multipolarism is impossible. Therefore, the TMM has to reject all kinds of economic-centric concepts – both liberal and Marxist (considering that the Marxist economy is also structured as having a historical destiny). Anti-capitalism, and especially anti-liberalism, should be the main vectors in the development of MMR.
Given the need to adopt positive guidelines, we have to take into account a variety of alternative concepts, hitherto kept on the margins of classical economic schools (for purely hegemonic reasons, of course).
As a first step towards the destruction of the global economic system, we must, to some degree, refer to the theory of the “autarchy of large spaces” (Friedrich List), which includes the creation of economic zones circumscribed in territories belonging to the same civilization. Within the perimeter of these territories must be aligned customs barriers, configured in order to promote within the said civilization the minimum of goods and services required to meet the needs of the population and the development of domestic productive capacity. Foreign trade is maintained with other “large spaces” organized so that no “large space” becomes dependent on foreign supplies, ensuring the restructuring of the entire economic system within each civilization, according to regional characteristics And the needs of the internal market. Since, by definition, civilizations are demographically relevant areas, the prospects for the internal market are more than sufficient for intensive development.
At the same time, we must raise the question of the creation of a system of regional currencies as well as the rejection of the dollar as the world reserve currency. Each civilization must create its own currency, guaranteed by the economic potential of its “big space”. The polycentrism of the issuing entities, in this case, would be a direct expression of economic multipolarism. Here we must also reject any kind of universal pattern of intercivilizational payments: exchange rates must be determined by the qualitative structures of foreign affairs between two or more civilizations. Above all, one should place the real economy , which specifically concerns the quantity of goods and services.
Acceptance of such rules will create the prerequisites for further diversification of the economic models of each civilization. Abandoning the terrain of global liberal capitalism and having organized the “great spaces” in line with its civilizational characteristics (still at the bottom of the market), civilizations will eventually be able to build an economic model in accordance with their cultural and historical traditions.
In Islamic civilization, a moratorium on bank money growth is likely to be imposed. In other civilizations, it will be possible to construct socialist practices of the redistribution of surpluses by any scheme (through tax control – by French economist Jean C. Sismondi’s theory or others – until the introduction of methods of planned economy and dirigisme ).
The economic pluralism of civilizations must be developed step by step without any universalistic prescriptions. Different societies can create different economic models – both market-based and mixed, planned, based on traditional society’s economic practices as well as new post-industrial technologies. The main task is the destruction of liberal dogmatism, the hegemony of capitalist orthodoxy and the weakening of the global function of the “rich North” as the main beneficiary of the organization of the planetary division of labor. The division of the labor force must be employed only within the “great spaces”, otherwise civilizations will be dependent on each other, which would cause the emergence of new hegemonies.