Back to the Nineteenth Century for New Ideas
Saudi Arabia’s royal family is trying to spearhead an advanced industrial economy while inoculating against a social upheaval. Given the surge in the price of oil from about $3.50 a barrel in 1973 to a peak of $34 in 1981 and 1982, billions of petro-dollars were made available to plough back into development projects and private industry. The sum accumulated in one year alone (1981) — a $30 billion excess of income over expenditure — was truly colossal.
KeywordsNineteenth Century Political Economy Capital Accumulation Social Force Human Labour
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Notes and References
- Information on Saudi Arabia is gleaned from recent National Trade Statistical Bank data. The analysis of Saudi economic troubles is based on a special report entitled ‘Saudi Arabia Sorts Itself Out’, in The Middle East, February 1995, pp. 19–22.Google Scholar
- A lucid explanation of why capitalism must expand may be found in Robert L. Heilbroner, The Nature and Logic of Capitalism (New York: W. W. Norton, 1985).Google Scholar
- See especially Chapter 2, ‘The Drive to Amass Capital’. Important background readings on the nexus between the state and the market are Charles Lindblom, Politics and Markets: The World’s Political Economic Systems (New York: Basic Books, 1977);Google Scholar
- Walter Wriston’s comment appears in ‘Wriston: A Summing Up’, New York Times, 21 June 1984.Google Scholar
- The parable about the interconnection between production and circulation is taken from Arghiri Emmanuel, Unequal Exchange: A Study of the Imperialism of Trade (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972) p. 152.Google Scholar
- For the vignette about Zimbabwe, we are indebted to David Martin and Phyllis Johnson, The Struggle for Zimbabwe: The Chimurenga War (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1981) pp. 54–5.Google Scholar
- On land hunger, see also Terence Ranger, Peasant Consciousness and Guerrilla War in Zimbabwe (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985).Google Scholar
- Marx’s comment on his own life is drawn from Martin Nicolaus’ Foreword to Karl Marx, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy trans. Martin Nicolaus (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1973) p. 11.Google Scholar
- The illustration about the English manufacturer is provided by Marx, Capital, 3rd edn (New York: International Publishers, 1975), vol. 1, p. 766.Google Scholar
- The literary works cited here are Henrik Ibsen, Arthur Miller’s Adaptation of An Enemy of the People (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1980) andGoogle Scholar
- Chinua Achebe, Man of the People (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1967).Google Scholar