Capitalism in Crisis: an interview with Samir Amin

Pambazuka News, December 2010

(20 mins)

In this interview, Egyptian economist Samir Amin discusses capitalism in crisis, global financialisation and moving beyond capitalism.


PAMBAZUKA NEWS: Can you tell me very briefly what your book, ‘Ending the Crisis of Capitalism or Ending Capitalism?’ is about?

SAMIR AMIN: The title of my book is indicative of the intention. The title, in a provocative way, is ‘Ending the Crisis of Capitalism or Ending Capitalism in Crisis?’ As you can see, these are two different visions and strategies of action. Capitalism is currently in a crisis. This is not just a financial crisis which started with the breakdown of the financial system in September 2008. The financial crisis is itself the result of a long, a deep crisis which started long before, around 1975 with as of that time, unemployment, precarity, poverty, inequality, having grown continuously. And this real crisis of really existing capitalism has been overcome by financialisation of the system and the financialisation of the system has been the Achilles heel of the system. Therefore I thought that, and I wrote in 2002 that financialisation, being the Achilles heel of the system, the system will start breaking down and moving into a deeper crisis through a financial crisis, which is what happened.