Escalating geopolitical tensions and deep internal divisions within the United States, culminating in the 2016 election of Donald Trump, are among the latest indicators that we have been living through the terminal crisis of US world hegemony. Since 2016 the view that we are in the midst of an irremediable breakdown of US hegemony has gained wide adherence with the intended and unintended consequences of Trump’s movement to “Make America Great Again”. While the defeat of Trump’s fascist project in the 2020 election is of great importance for humanity, it will not eliminate the deep crisis of global capitalism or of US world power, making the coming decade a time of great danger regardless of the election’s outcome. At the same time, the explosion of social protest around the world over the past decade is pointing us toward a radical reimagining of a world beyond capitalism.
Beverly J. Silver
Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Arrighi Center for Global Studies at Johns Hopkins University (USA), Prof Silver has written widely on the contradictions and limits of historical capitalism, major waves of labor and social conflict, the social foundations of world hegemonies, global inequality, and prospects for a post-capitalist world. She is author of two books, Forces of Labor: Workers’ Movements and Globalization Since 1870, and Chaos and Governance in the Modern World System (with Giovanni Arrighi et al). Among her most recent articles are “Plunges into Utter Destruction and the Limits of Historical Capitalism” (2019) and “Crises of World Hegemony and the Speeding Up of Social History” (2021).
University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Executive Director, ActionAid Association