The mark of the modern world is the imagination of its profiteers and the counter-assertiveness of the oppressed. Exploitation and the refusal to accept exploitation as either inevitable or just constitute the continuing antinomy of the modern era, joined together in a dialectic which has far from reached its climax in the twentieth century.

— Immanuel Wallerstein

The most heartwarming Immanuel Wallerstein quotes that will add value to your life

Uncertainty is wondrous, and.. certainty, were it to be real, would be moral death.

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The language of intrinsic human rights represented a significant advance beyond the previous language of world religions in terms of its universal applicability and its thiswordliness.

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Governments first of all have been able to amass, through the taxation process, large sums of capital which they have redistributed to persons or groups, already large holders of capital, through official subsidies.

11

It is historically the case that virtually every new zone incorporated into the world-economy established levels of real remuneration which were at the bottom of the world-system's hierarchy of wage-levels.

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When systems come to be far from points of equilibrium, they reach bifurcation points, wherein multiple, as opposed to unique, solutions, to instability become possible.

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People resist exploitation. They resist as actively as they can, as passively as they must.

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The primary ideology that operated to create, socialize, and reproduce them was not the ideology of racism. It was that of universalism.

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Capitalism is first and foremost a historical social system.

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It seems to me the only pertinent question is: cui bono? It is clear that the size of the privileged strata as a percentage of the whole has grown significantly under historical capitalism. And for these people, the world they know is better on the whole than any their earlier counterparts knew.

5

To those critics who see capitalism as a system of inegalitarian, oppressive structures, its defenders have vaunted its ability to recognize and encourage what they call individual merit and asserted not only the desirability but also the inevitability of differential reward, of earned privilege, so to speak.

5

What is surprising is that their ideological opponents, the Marxists - the anti-liberals, the representatives of the oppressed working classes - believed in progress with at least as much passion as the liberals.

4

The real threat to U.S. military power is nuclear proliferation, because if every little country has nuclear weapons it becomes very tricky for the United States to engage in military action.

4

About Immanuel Wallerstein

Quotes 49 sayings
Profession Sociologist
Birthday September 28, 1930

That is why we may say that the historical development of capitalism has involved the thrust towards the commodification of everything.

4

I am suggesting that there is, and always has been, a rather high correlation between ethnicity and occupation/economic role throughout the various time-space zones of historical capitalism.

3

Production for sale in a market in which the object is to realize the maximum profit is the essential feature of a capitalist world-economy. In such a system production is constantly expanded as long as further production is profitable, and men constantly innovate new ways of producing things that will expand the profit margin.

3

It was the French Revolution that served as the catalyst of this renovation.

Its impact was to make the concept of popular sovereignty the new moral justification for the political system of historical capitalism.

3

When Time magazine conducted a poll in Europe in March [2003] asking which of three - North Korea, Iraq, or the United States - was the biggest threat to world peace, a whopping 86.9% answered the United States.

3

It is this third consequence that has been elaborated in greatest detail and has formed one of the most significant pillars of historical capitalism, institutional racism.

3

The employment rates are in very bad shape. We vastly underestimate the unemployment

3

What could me more plausible than a line of reasoning which argues that the explanation of the origin of a system was to achieve an end that has in fact been achieved?

2

If we return to the two faces of individualism - individualism as the spur of energy, initiative, and imagination; and individualism as the limitless struggle of all against all - it can be seen how the two practices emerge from and limit the extend of the disequilibrating impact of the contradiction involved in the geocultural agenda.

2

Finally, states have monopolized, or sought to monopolize, armed force.

2

On the one hand, there has been a remarkable expansion of the total production and productivity of food production, and on the other hand an extraordinarily skewed distribution system, substituting medium-run threats for short-term threats for the majority of the world's population, particularly the 50 to 80 percent at the bottom.

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Historical capitalism is a materialist civilization.

0

The basic question that the 'new science' raises for our balance sheet is the issue of what scientific questions have not been asked for 500 years, which scientific risks have not been pursued. It raises the question of who has decided what scientific risks were worth taking, and what have been the consequences in terms of the power structures of the world.

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The concept that one ought to restrict one's political involvement to one's own state was deeply antithetical to those who were pursuing the accumulation of capital for its own sake.

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The world system is coming to the structural crisis

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What can be done? Well, the governments of the world can undertake what amounts to a vast clean-up campaign and a vast campaign of organic renewal. The problem is the cost of an effective operation, which is enormous, and thus must be paid by someone via some form of taxes.

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The way in which these two practices contain each other is that it has always been possible to use the one against the other: to use racism-sexism to prevent universalism from moving too far in the direction of egalitarianism; to use universalism to prevent racism-sexism from moving too far in the direction of a caste system that would inhibit the work force mobility so necessary for the capitalist accumulation process.

0

Truth as a cultural ideal has functioned as an opiate, perhaps the only serious opiate of the modern world. Karl Marx said that religion was the opiate of the masses. Raymond Aron retorted that Marxist ideas were in turn the opiate of the intellectuals. There is perspicacity in both these polemical thrusts. But is perspicacity truth? I wish to suggest that perhaps truth has been the real opiate, of both the masses and the intellectuals.

0

Communism is Utopia, that is nowhere.

It is the avatar of all our religious eschatologies: the coming of the Messiah, the second coming of Christ, nirvana. It is not a historical prospect, but a current mythology. Socialism, by contrast, is a realizable historical system which may one day be instituted in the world.

0

A second variety concentrated on presumed major transformations of the capitalist system as of some recent point in time, in which the whole earlier point of time served as a mythologized foil against which to treat the empirical reality of the present.

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The mode of reconciling the promise of ever-increasing reward for the cadres and the demands of the working classes for a quid pro quo for their loyalty to the state was to offer the latter a small piece of the pie.

0

We seem to be in the midst of a process of cascading bifurcations that may last some 50 more years. We can be sure some new historical order will emerge. We cannot be sure what that order will be. Concretely, we may symbolize the first bifurcation as the effect of the world revolution of 1968 which continued up to and including the so-called collapse of the communisms in 1989, the social bifurcation.

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I rather wish to rest my case on material considerations, not those of the social future but those of the actual historical period of the capitalist world-economy.

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An individual or a group of individuals might of course decide at any time that they would like to invest capital with the objective of acquiring still more capital. But, before a certain moment in historical time, it had never been easy for such individuals to do this successfully.

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The break from the supposedly culturally-narrow religious bases of knowledge in favor of supposedly trans-cultural scientific bases of knowledge served as the self-justification of a particularly pernicious form of cultural imperialism.

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One by one, these governments came undone, and were forced into IMF tutelage (and national illegitimacy) by the careening oil prices, the debt imbroglio, and falling terms of trade. The last of these governments to fall were the Communist regimes of eastern Europe, which have now gone the way of other Third World countries. The second in the cascade of bifurcations is thus symbolized by 1989.

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We must distinguish between the kind of structural transformation that would leave in place (even increase) the realities of the exploitation of labor, and one that would undo this kind of exploitation or at least radically reduce it

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This is a steady, ceaseless process, impossible to contain as long as the economy driven by the endless accumulation of capital. The system may prolong its life by slowing down some of the activities which are wearing it out, but death always looms somewhere on the horizon.

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We can tentatively credit capitalist civilization with a positive, if very geographically uneven, record in the struggle against disease.

0

This argument has been codified in the twentieth century as meritocracy, in which those on top in the process of capitalist accumulation have merited their position.

0

What distinguishes the historical social system we are calling historical capitalism is that in this historical system capital came to be used (invested) in a very special way. It came to be used with the primary objective or intent of self-expansion. In this system, past accumulations were 'capital' only to the extend they were used to accumulate more of the same.

0

It is not surprising that liberals believed in progress.

The idea of progress justified the entire transition from feudalism to capitalism. It legitimated the breaking of the remaining opposition to the commodification of everything, and it tended to wipe away all the negatives of capitalism on the grounds that the benefits outweighed, by far, the harm.

0

As a matter of law the states recognized no constraints on their legislative scope other than those that were self-imposed. Even where particular state constitutions paid ideological lip service to constraints deriving from religious or natural law doctrines, they reserved to some constitutionally-defined body or person the right to interpret these doctrines.

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What is different in capitalist civilization has been two things.

First, the process of meritocracy has been proclaimed as an official virtue instead of being merely a de facto reality. The culture has been different. And secondly, the percentage of the world's population for whom such ascent was possible has gone up. But even though it has grown up, meritocratic ascent remains very much the attribute of a minority.

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The very concept of universal formal education is a product (and a relatively late product) of the capitalist world-economy.

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Scientific culture created a framework within which individual mobility was possible without threatening hierarchical work-force allocation. On the contrary, meritocracy reinforced hierarchy. Finally, meritocracy as an operation and scientific culture as an ideology created veils that hindered perception of the underlying operations of historical capitalism.

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