Fifty Years is Enough!


  • Samir Amin



Imperialism, Political Economy


The action of major world economic institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank group, and GATT, has been the object of many critical studies. So many of these studies are outstanding both in the precision of their information and the accuracy of their analysis that one may wonder if anything more needs to be said. It is noticeable, however, that until around 1980 most of these criticisms remained evenhanded. Of course, critics pointed out that the policies pursued by these institutions were part of the logic of capitalist expansion, serving the interests of transnationals, careless of the environment (whose claims had barely begun to be gauged), uncritically accepting the idea that "development" would bring about a decrease in "pockets of poverty" by a "trickle down" effect. Yet, on the other hand, a positive view was taken of openness and the progress of globalization, and consequently of the support they received from the IMF to help solve balance-of-payments difficulties, return to the convertibility of major currencies, gradually lower tariffs, etc.