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The economic section of the second part concerned with the downfall of US authority was particularly difficult, and aside from the urgent realisation that I needed to upgrade my understanding of financial and fiscal history, I am not sure I have gotten much out of it.

Like most of Arrighi’s work, this book isn’t an easy read, but the payoff is huge. Esra Atici rated it it was amazing Aug 30, As Braudel once did, Arrighi, and Smith in his account, in fact defend the markets, as a nationally bound and balanced institution, against the emergence of capitalism proper.

Adam Smith en Pekín (Cuestiones de antagonismo)

China arrives as a kind of aeam ex machina. He stresses the role of the state in building the market and the historical Chinese state’s role in limiting the market and full blown capitalism. Everything would then seem to point to a situation ongoing turbulence, both in the capitalist heartland and in peripheral states. This is where China comes in, with its peaceful ascent to the status of economic superpower.

Adam Smith en Pekín by Giovanni Arrighi (1 star ratings)

Arrighi’s book ends with a discussion of the housing bubble, and if the author had lived a few months longer, I suspect he would have added an ‘I told you so! Hardcoverpages.


Adam Smith in Beijing is the third instalment in an informal trilogy covering the spread and transformation of Capitalism, particularly focused on the XXth century. Arrighi dismisses Marx and wage-labor as the root of capitalism. This, however, does not make for an easy read: Whether or not you agree with his assessment of China’s development politics, I’d recommend this book just for the way it lays out, in full world-historical detail, the decline of American economic and political power on the globe.

In his view, the world’s center of finance has shifted due to differences in the capital formation and growth from one nation to the other. To the point where, for a large portion of the electorate, a clown like Trump could seem like a more plausible candidate for chief executive than many a professional politician as a side note, much as I lamented the result of the election last November, with time it seems increasingly clear that Hillary Clinton did indeed deserve to lose; here was someone who not only supported the invasion at the time, but has adamantly refused to learn anything from it, strongly advocating more bombing campaigns in Libya and Syria; it’s entirely plausible her foreign policy would have been more disastrous than Trump’s.

It will be interesting to see how such a populous country is able to increase its standard of living when the U. A great read if you want your existing paradigms challenged and set down in new places. Jul 12, Ed rated it it was amazing. Seems to well exemplify the s Russian joke: It’s not clear how its rise is supposed to offset the chaos unleashed by the decaying imperium of the United States.


Thanks for telling us about the problem. The author knows this, but evidently feels the need to offer a more hopeful alternative. Arrighi here turns to Adam Smith to help theorize a market-based form of development that is nonetheless non-capitalist. As indicated by his liberal use of the conditional tense in the epilogue, Arrighi himself is aware of the gaps in his analysis.

Apr 27, Brandon Wu rated it really liked it Shelves: Oct 11, Nic Paget-Clarke rated it it was amazing. Adam Smith in Beijing.

But arrighhi overextended ourselves and now China is ready for its peaceful assent. The most pessimistic predictions of the anti-war movement have proven true.

For the bulk of it, Arrighi makes an extremely convincing case that our country is in the midst of its terminal crisis as global capitalist hegemon.

However, this still does NOT let Arrighi off the hook for not seeing how far down the road towards capitalism the Chinese state really is. Finally, a contention I am sure a pekinn competent reader would be easily able to dispel, I was surprised by Arrighi’s insistence on Smith as an apostle of the social as opposed to technical division of labour.

While I disagree with the book, I found it really well-written, fascinating, and deeply hopeful about the world’s future. Lists with This Book.

I really learned a lot about Adam Smith’s theories too, which is a surprise. China is poised to kick the U.

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