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Historical Capitalism with Capitalist Civilization

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  423 ratings  ·  30 reviews
In this short, highly readable book Immanuel Wallerstein provides a condensation of the central ideas of his monumental study of capitalism as an integrated, historical entity: The Modern World-System. In developing an anatomy of capitalism over the past five centuries, Wallerstein traces those elements that have constantly changed and evolved, while giving equal attention ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published January 17th 1996 by Verso (first published June 1st 1983)
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Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sermaye üretim ekseninde, yaşamlarımız dahil her şeyin metalaştırılması sürecini ele alarak başlayan Wallerstein, standart Marksist yaklaşımdan farklı bir perspektiften halen nedir diye kafa yorulan Kapitalizm sisteminin tarihselliğinin tüm işleyiş çelişkileri ile net soru ve cevapları ortaya koyarak etkileyici bir düşünüşe sevk ediyor. Sermayenin konumlanışı, yeni Pazar anlayışı, beğeni yaratma pratiği, modern bilim aynı zamanda iktidar aygıtı olan Devlet kurumunun Kapitalist sistem ile iç içe ...more
Ferda Nihat Koksoy
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy

-K.Marx KAPİTALİZM'İN 3 büyük ÇELİŞKİSİNİ kısaca şöyle anlatmıştır:

1) Özel sektörün KİŞİSEL çıkarı ile KOLEKTİF/KAMUSAL çıkar arasındaki PARADOKS


3) Kendisinin en büyük MOTORU olan "REKABET" ile yine kendisinin en büyük TUTKUSU olan "TEKELLEŞME" arasındaki PARADOKS.

-Bu açmazlarda devlet, KAPİTALİSTE
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
This was a popular author on the left in the 1980s and 1990s. For a philosopher of world systems back in the 1980s he is so abstract and removed from real politics in his writings that his philosophical musings on capitalism and ideas are useless for analysis of what was going on in the real world. This was the age of Reagan and Thatcher when a clear-eyed view of what was happening to the working population would have been useful if at least to understand the neoliberal world that was in the ...more
Satır Arası
Satır Arası grubu olarak 14. oturumumuzda Tarihsel Kapitalizm'i yorumlayacaktık, ancak hiçbirimiz kitabı bitiremedik. Bu duruma çevirinin çok kötü olması ve kitabın aslında çok ciddi bir akademik arkaplanda yazılmış olması gibi sorunlar sebep oldu. Dolayısıyla, gerçekten çabalamamıza rağmen bu kitabı hiçbirimiz yarılayamadık bile. Bu yüzden tüm takipçilerimizden özür dileriz.

Biz yine de oturumumuzu çektik, kitaba biraz dokunduktan sonra farklı konulara kaydık ister istemez :)

YouTube'da videoyu
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
A swift, lucid narrative of just what's happened these last 500 years. Wallerstein writes with wit, clarity, and concision, and his analysis swoops through time gloriously. Also admirable: his clear explanation that though Marx was a great thinker, Marx himself recognized that he was a man of his time, and that thinkers in the future would need to keep up the analysis and develop understanding of the ways Capital always continues to mutate. Wallerstein has thought, deeply, about this stuff for ...more
Dec 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Still reading this one, so perhaps premature to give it a review. This more detailed and sometime laborious work is a focused on capitalism as a system. Some may find it overly dry as it reads like an economics text, with almost a techniqual feel in some parts. But in short W cuts to the meat of various forces at work in capitalism historically. Some of the arguements do not seem fully developed for reasons of space, but at just over 100pg its not a difficult undertaking. Also included is the ...more
Robert Giambo
May 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
A book that makes sweeping generalizations with no evidence. Apparently historical capitalism is the cause of sexism, racism and runaway liberal individualism (all at once). My favorite quote: "by no means self-evident that there is more liberty, equality, and fraternity in the world toady than there was one thousand years ago. One might arguably suggest that the opposite is true.." Take your pick - live in 1014 or 2014.
Wendy Liu
Not perfect but very much worth reading. Longer review forthcoming.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why the author insists on "historical capitalism": the word capitalism has worked fine so far. But alright...

While otherwise fine and sometimes insightful (particularly on the "ethnicization of labor" and the role of racism in propping up "historical capitalism"), Chapter 3 takes a hard turn into a screed against the Enlightenment ("ideology of universalism") and at times explicitly equates nationalism and labor socialist movements. Both, he argues, have fallen into the "trap" of
Yelda Altunal
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A primer for those interested in Wallerstein's thoughts about historical materialism. First published in 1983, its description of 'capitalism' as a 'historical system' still holds remarkable salience today. Taking a structural point of view, Wallerstein is less concerned with the mechanics of capitalism across time and space but rather focuses on its logic and inherent contradictions. The latter part of the book is the most rewarding as Wallerstein picks apart arguments that claim we have done ...more
Andrew Feist
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-history
Really Really important reading for everyone. A much better description of capitalism than any abstract 'model' of how markets work or anything.
Filled with deep insights and illuminating descriptions.
Short, easy, very very worthwhile read.
Corazón Rodríguez Soriano
À pesar de ser un referente para la explicación del capitalismo histórico, puede llegar a ser pesado. termina explicando un capítulo en las últimas 2-3 páginas del final de cada capítulo.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
A really good predecessor to Woods' work on the history of capitalism. Interesting to learn more about world-systems theory and Wallerstein's sort of post-Marxism.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good primer/introduction to world systems analysis, world economy, and (although unspoken) the concept of time-scales of history (derived from Braudel).
Scriptor Ignotus
In these two deceptively short essays, Wallerstein lays out what he believes to be the overriding principles governing the development of capitalism as a socio-economic phenomenon. He writes very broadly and vaguely, which is unsurprising given that, as he places the beginnings of "historical capitalism" in the fifteenth century, we are talking about a very long-term process which has undergone various adjustments. Unfortunately, I found the book's broadness to be a weakness, when I was hoping ...more
Aung Sett Kyaw Min
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it
The author seems to share Marx's prophecy that contradictions inherent in the functioning of capitalism will inexorably tear the system apart in a structural crisis, though he is not convinced that the crisis will necessarily culminate into a classless egalitarian society. He also believes that past anti systemic struggles around the globe not only failed to dismantle capitalism, but actually reinforced the status quo, to the extent that their ultimate strategy (seizure of state power) was ...more
Igor Alexeev
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In his concise and revelatory book “Historical Capitalism: With Capitalist Civilization” Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein, Director of the Fernand Braudel Center at the State University of New York, offers a deep and well-grounded analysis of the Western economic system. He studies its historical origins over the past five centuries and explores social mechanisms and institutes of advancing capitalism. His work highlights key development stages of a unified world market and a framework of foreign ...more
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as the author says, it is necessary to conceive the capitalism as a historical system, along its history as well as within its concrete, unique reality. From this idea, he exposes that reality from economic, political and cultural-ideological viewpoints in such an accurate and even prophetical way that some paragraphs made me feel shivers down my spine when I thought it was written 30 years ago.
Wallerstein reminds us what Karl Marx himself already knew - he was a 19th century man whose
Dec 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Wallerstein provides a very cursory look to the historical trends and motivations of capitalism. This book is a good introduction to some basic economic history, as it focuses more broadly on themes, but provides little in the way of depth. My main critique is that he doesn't cite any sources for his arguments and relies heavily on metaphor (often Biblical) to make his points. He does call for an ethical reevaluation of the current system in a future economic model and is considered among the ...more
Louis Cheng
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A short but ambitious book that offers sweeping and often penetrating analyses of capitalism as a historical phenomenon dating back to 16C. A very readable intro to Wallerstein's famed world-systems analysis, whose methodology purports to transcend structures and divisions of knowledge inherited from the 19C. (this book does not really deal with the latter point concerning structures of knowledge. For a concise intro to that, I recommend reading Chapter 1 of Wallerstein's another book, ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
A decent beginning and the world system stuff is pretty good. A complete jump ship at the end though, where he suddenly decries all communism at utopian, and says we should go for something else, but offering no theory behind that something else. I'd just recommend reading the first 2 chapters and leaving it there.
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics, history
Marx - 'Religion is the opiate of the masses'
Raymond Aron - 'Marxism is opiate of the intellectuals'
Immanuel Wallerstein - 'Truth is the opiate of all (modernism)'

A fairly easy read, but with a lot of points that require contemplation.
Ben Jaques-Leslie
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really love the cover of this book. I remember this being sold to me as a kind of contemporary Marxism. I have positive feelings about this book, but not much else
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
i am forever indebted to him.
Sinan Öner
I read Wallerstein's Book; interesting notes.
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of my all- time favorite reads. Should be required reading for everyone on the planet. I re-read it regularly.
Aug 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
I pushed myself to finish this one.
Becca Vargas ♓️
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Impresionablemente muy fácil de leer.
rated it liked it
Jan 19, 2014
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Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein was a scholar of politics, sociologist, historical social scientist, and world-systems analyst. His bimonthly commentaries on world affairs were syndicated.