Samir Amin

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Samir Amin in 2012

Samir Amin (3 September 1931 – 12 August 2018) was an Egyptian-French Marxist economist and the co-founder and director of the Third World Forum in Dakar, Senegal.



"The Election of Donald Trump" (30 November 2016)


"The Election of Donald Trump" (30 November 2016), Monthly Review Magazine (MRzine)

  • The system in place in the countries of the historic imperialist triad (the United States, Western Europe, Japan) is based on the exercise of the absolute power of the national financial oligarchies concerned. They alone manage the whole of the national productive systems, having succeeded in reducing almost all small and medium-sized enterprises in agriculture, industry, and services to the status of subcontractors for the exclusive benefit of financial capital.
  • These oligarchies alone manage the political systems inherited from bourgeois electoral and representative democracy, having succeeded in domesticating the right and left electoral political parties, at the price of eroding the legitimacy of the democratic practice concerned. These oligarchies alone control the propaganda apparatuses, having succeeded in reducing the directors of news organizations including public broadcasters to the status of media clergy in their exclusive service. None of these aspects of the dictatorship of the oligarchy is challenged by the social and political movements at work in the triad, especially not in the United States.
  • We are told [that the West is threatened by] the terrorist threat of Islamic jihadism. Again, opinion is perfectly manipulated on the subject. Jihadism is merely the inevitable product of the triad's continued support of reactionary political Islam inspired and financed by Gulf Wahhabism. The exercise of this so-called Islamic power is the best guarantee of the total destruction of the ability of societies in the region to resist the dictates of liberal globalization. At the same time, it offers the best pretext for giving the appearance of legitimacy to the NATO's interventions.
  • The debate concerns only some of the problems of society in the United States (anti-feminism and racism in particular). It does not call into question the economic foundations of the system that are the root cause of the degradations of social conditions in important segments of society. The sacredness of private property, including that of monopolies, remains intact; the fact that Trump is himself a billionaire was an asset and not an obstacle to his election.
  • Bernie Sanders' election campaign had given rise to much hope. By daring to introduce a socialist perspective into the debate, Sanders initiated the sound politicization of public opinion, which is no more impossible in the United States than elsewhere. We can only deplore, under these conditions, Sanders' capitulation and his rallying to the support of Clinton.
  • Will Trump go so far as to repeal NAFTA? If he did so he would render a great service to the peoples of Mexico and Canada by freeing them from their status as impotent vassals and encouraging them to engage in new directions based on the autonomy of their popular-sovereign projects. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the vast majority of Republican and Democratic representatives in the House and the Senate, all of whom have demonstrated an unconditional support of the interests of the American oligarchies, will allow Trump to go that far.

Beyond US Hegemony? Assessing the Prospects for a Multipolar World, World Book Publishing, (2006)


Full text online

  • I... want to see the construction of a multipolar world, an that obviously means the defeat of Washington’s hegemonist project for military control of the planet. In my eyes it is an overweening project, criminal by its very nature, which is drawing the world into wars without end and stifling all hope of social and democratic advance, not only in the countries of the South but also, to a seemingly lesser degree, in those of the North.
  • The hegemonist strategy of the United States, which operates within the framework of the new collective imperialism, seeks nothing less than to establish Washington’s military control over the entire planet. This is the means to ensure privileged access to all of the world’s natural resources, and to compel subaltern allies, Russia, China and the whole third world to swallow their status as vassals. Military control of the planet is the means to impose, as a last resort, the draining of ‘tribute’ through political violence – as a substitute for the ‘spontaneous’ flow of capital that offsets the American deficit, the Achilles heel of US hegemony.
  • The creation of a front against hegemonism is the number one priority today, as the creation of an anti-Nazi alliance was the number one priority yesterday. No European project can make any progress unless the strategy of the United States is put to flight.
  • The project of American hegemonism fits into the liberal logic of collective triad imperialism. It entails that the ‘sovereignty of US national interests’ should be placed above all other principles framing the legitimacy of political action. To be sure, the imperialisms of the past behaved no differently, and those who seek to mitigate the responsibilities of the US establishment today, or to find excuses for its criminal conduct, frequently invoke the undeniable historical antecedents. p.122
  • Washington’s propaganda apparatus has been foretelling an inevitable ‘clash of civilizations’ (actually of religions) as the dominant feature of the future world. In reality, it has managed to give a real face to such a clash by a number of systematic measures: the promotion of various communalisms on the pretext of respecting difference; an offensive against ‘outdated’ secularism; praise for religious obscurantisms, which postmodernists have placed on a par with any other ‘ideology’; systematic encouragement of nauseating ethnicist regimes (in the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere); various kinds of cynical manipulation (CIA support for terrorist groups against enemies of the USA, in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Algeria, among others); and a false and dishonest war on so-called ‘terrorism’ (where terror does not serve Washington’s interests). The so-called clash of civilizations is an integral part of the barbaric downhill slide of capitalism; in no way is it an obstacle to the unfurling of the US hegemonist project.

Quotes about Samir Amin

  • Around the world we find institutions like the World Trade Organization (WTO), whose policies could mean starvation for three billion peasant farmers, according to Samir Amin, director of the Third World Forum in Senegal. Unable to grow foodstuffs that can compete with products imported from advanced countries, how can these people survive?
    • Elizabeth Martinez 2003 preface to Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean
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