Posted by: r.m. | December 18, 2008

Samir Amin: the liberal virus

More from the Focus on the Global South’s interview with Samir Amin:

“…The liberal virus is the belief in […1] that there is something called a market system….There is nothing which would qualify as a market economy. Markets exist, but there are capitalist markets, there could be socialist markets. … That is one dimension of the virus – accepting the language of the dominant powers that there are two types of economy, planned, that is, administratively managed, or market managed. [2] The second belief is democracy separated from social questions. Today, democracy is being defined through parties, elections, fair elections more or less and some basic political rights. There is less concern about whether it is leading to social progress. What we need is democratisation of society, associated with social progress, not disassociated from it – associated with the task of giving full importance to social rights, to the right to food, to shelter, to employment, to education, to health, etc. This does not mean only putting them in the Constitution but creating the conditions where the exercise of those rights in order to achieve social progress limits the rights of property. The right of property can be recognised but [should be] submitted to the social rights. … [3] The liberal virus is also working at the global level – that there is no alternative but to operate within the global system as it is dominated by imperialism; we have to unilaterally adjust to it.



  1. I agree. Completely. why does the market’s freedom prime over the freedom and well being of human beings? Is there a logic that i seems to fail to grasp or is it just money for money’s sake?
    Also, the greatness of a country or of its people should in my opinion be measured by the progress it make in the advancement of civil rights and liberty.
    I have to disagree on one thing though, probably more of a semantics issue, but i don’t think democratization can be dissociated from social progress, mainly due to the fact that when democracy is the norm, society invariably progresses, even if its sometimes not so visible on the scale of human life span. I would certainly not be unpleased to see that rate accelerate, but i’m not sure whether society can. I think that if it could, it would.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: