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Immanuel Wallerstein's Worldview

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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Immanuel Wallerstein's Worldview - by Stephen Lendman

Wallerstein is a Yale University Senior Research Scholar, former President of the International Sociological Associatiion (1994 - 1998), and chair of the international Gulbenkian Commission on the Restructuring of the the Social Sciences (1993 - 1995). His writing focuses on three domains of world systems analysis, the historical development of the modern world system, the structures of knowledge, and the contemporary crisis of the capitalist world economy.

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His many books include "The Capitalist World Economy," "After Liberalism," "The End of the World As We Know It," and "The Decline of American Power," in which he wrote:

America "has been a fading global power since the 1970s, and the US response to the (9/11) terrorist attacks has accelerated this decline....the economic, political and military factors that contributed to US hegemony are the same factors that will inexorably produce the coming US decline."

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Chalmers Johnson shares that view, notably in his books, "Sorrows of Empire" and "Nemesis," saying America is plagued by the same dynamic that doomed past empires - "isolation, overstretch, the uniting of local and global forces opposed to imperialism, and in the end bankruptcy," combined with growing authoritarianism and loss of personal freedom.

Hence, the title "Nemesis," the goddess of vengeance and punisher of hubris and arrogance in Greek mythology. She's here among us, says Johnson, unseen and patiently stalking our way of life, awaiting her chosen moment to make her presence known. Johnson compares her to Wagner's Brunnhilde in Der Ring des Nibelungen, saying unlike Nemesis, she collects heros, not fools and hypocrites.

They both, however, announce themselves the same way, saying "Only the doomed see me," even though Nemesis' presence will have a profound real world effect.

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Destructive policies aren't sustainable. Former Nixon Council of Economic Advisors chairman Herb Stein meant it by his "Herbert Stein's Law", saying "if something cannot go on forever, it will stop," or simply put, things that can't go on forever won't, especially ill-conceived overreaching ones.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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