UCD (Uneven and Combined Development) calls into question many legends about the capitalist world order generated after the end of the Golden Age with the reappearance of free market neoliberal policies and ideas . Chief among these narratives is that the United States has succeeded the United Kingdom as the world’s economic “hegemonic power”. Uneven development may have enabled the United Kingdom to dominate the world economy for a time, however not only did the concurrent industrialization of the United States, Germany and Japan bring its dominance to an end in the 1870s , but the plurality of these contenders made the world multipolar: the inevitable domination of the United Kingdom had become unrepeatable. The strenuous attempts of the United States to emulate this domination, albeit a reduced one, to which the scholars of hegemony have given the dignity of a theory, went so far as to make the dollar the currency of international exchange, given the impossibility of acquire a formal empire, have inexorably failed, leaving only a trail of destruction.
The world that entered the thirty-year crisis from 1914 to 1945, could become multipolar, but it remained imperial. The UCD crisis changed the structure and dynamics of national and world economies and the international reality that emerged from that melting pot appears to be composed not of empires but of national economies. The needle of the balance of history has pointed more strongly towards regulated development and not towards the maintenance of disorder, on which, as never before, the hopes of the United States depended.
Internationally, just as the capitalist countries were mired in the Great Depression, the USSR industrialized and ensured victory for the allies. Communism in Eastern Europe and China placed even more territories and populations outside the sphere of capitalism, and the enlarged communist bloc supported decolonization and expanded the possibilities for regulated development. While it was far more difficult for backward economies than it had been for other countries to emerge from colonialism, the regulated development of the developing world was significant and formed the basis of the soaring growth of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Furthermore, the threat of communism forced the United States to allow regulated development in Western Europe and Japan and, in the following decades, in newly industrializing countries (NICs) such as South Korea and Taiwan, which were in the front line against communism.
Domestically, economies have moved towards the internal market and governed by states as never before. The new centrality of the domestic demand of the working class was crucial, breaking an important link of domination and subordination, both internationally and nationally, and laying the foundations of the golden age. The pursuit of growth, essential to maintain the relative weight of the national economy as a matter of international prestige (not to mention the voting power in key international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank) or to maintain and extend the chances of le domestic capitalist classes, required above all the expansion of domestic demand. The catching-up and development planning, together with the macroeconomic management aimed at maintaining employment and demand levels or expanding the welfare state and public services, were accompanied by a jealous protection of national producers and markets. US efforts to keep other economies ‘open’ to its exports got bogged down in arduous trade negotiations, while attempts to set an example of openness resulted only in exposing its economy to growing import penetration. and loss of competitiveness. After the collapse that occurred in the interval between the two world wars, international trade recorded a recovery, but grew less than GDP, revealing the centrality of domestic demand.
The newly independent developing countries have grown quite vigorously and have become more assertive on the international scene with demands for a new international economic order (NIEO) aimed at facilitating regulated development. This growth has begun to narrow the per capita income gap between the developing and developed world. Perhaps ironically, this narrowing of the gap was held back precisely because expanding working-class demand fueled such high growth in developed countries that Western Europe and Japan exhibited the largest share of growth. of the time. Regulated development made possible the golden age of growth precisely by modifying capitalism to make it useful to wider sectors of society.
This reality of national economies has wrecked American hopes based on the dollar. Although the United States has remained the leading economic power, even though the growth of the Golden Age has halved its relative weight on the world economy, it has been but one of the national economies. The success of the pound as a world currency had been a product of empire: the British colonies supplied the financial surpluses that Britain exported to ensure world liquidity. Without colonies, the United States could not export capital to the extent necessary, while investment was needed to prevent a more rapid decline in relative size and the strength of the organized working class made employment levels politically important.
Keynes, in the Bretton Woods conference, had foreseen this new situation and proposed international monetary measures aimed at enabling national economies to mutually pursue prosperity: the Bancor, a world currency to legally settle trade deficits, created in a multilateral manner, a union for international compensation designed to minimize these imbalances, penalizing trade and financial surpluses as well as deficits, as well as capital controls capable of preventing speculative flows at an international level. The power of the United States could defeat these proposals but could not guarantee the success of the dollar. What appears to be a continued postwar dominance of the dollar was, in fact, a series of repeated attempts and failures.
Unable to export enough capital – the Marshall Plan to Western Europe was too small and there was a shortage of dollars in the 1950s – the United States met the need for international liquidity with current account deficits. This expedient was, however, subject to Triffin’s dilemma: deficits produce a downward pressure on the dollar, reducing its acceptability as a world currency. With the convertibility of other currencies in 1958, the dollar shortage turned into a dollar glut. Gold has flown out of the United States: neither the 1961 gold stock nor the series of other expedients could help and in 1971, the dollar’s link with gold was broken.
MANY EMERGING COMPANIES ARE WORKING AND THRIVING BY FACILITATING THIS PROCESS
During our researches about contemporary companies that are conceived and intended to be active part to this market shift, economies and commercial activities are subject, we asked a brief introduction to Italy4East, a Company that is emblematic about this planetary revolution, to Roberto Jonghi Lavarini, entrepreneur and consultant, now working for this Company, that we choose to mention, even for its strongly evocative name, recalling very efficiently, its role as a western company, in a multipolar world.
Roberto Jonghi Lavarini, has even a past of long career even in politic, as he was a political leader, promoter of various counter-current initiatives and, for twelve years, Councilor and area President in Milan. Since many years, Jonghi Lavarini’s political tought get significantly influenced by the eurasian perspective, that’s why we asked him for a comment to leave to us:
“Italy4East which, for years, has been effectively dealing with commercial affairs, investments and internationalization of Italian companies, in the vast Eurasian area of the former Tsarist and Soviet empire, on the historic silk road that unites East and West. A professional choice that follows my cultural interests and my geopolitical contacts. Honored to join this important team of professionals who seriously follow our companies at 360°, contributing to the proud and deserved patriotic and economic affirmation of “Made in Italy” in the world. The first operational appointment will be, next January 2023 in Milan, with a conference dedicated to Kazakhstan.
Areas of interest where we are already operational with consolidated institutional relationships for Italian companies: Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Uzbekistan. But we also have contacts and partnerships for: Ivory Coast, China, India and Tanzania”.