Re: world system prediction (fwd)

Mon, 3 Feb 1997 10:59:32 -0500 (EST)
A. Gunder Frank (

Extensive or even intensive debates, and certainly turf wars, are not
likely to bear much sweet fruit, but
1. one quote taken from a zillion writings is not exactly much, but
2. even that one quote does seem to have hit the mark pretty well in
retrospect, since
3. If what has happened in "the Socialist East" and much of "the South"
is not a DEPRESSION with a monstrous increase in unemployment and a sharp
DEflation= price decline in terms of world money [ US$ and DM are now
buying up natural resources, labor, rocket scientists, space stations for
zilch], then I dunno WHAT that is or what words mean. and
4. WE/I never claimed to be in the stock market business [nor did PKT to
my knowledge] and the Japanese market HAS FALLEN by 50% and the Russian
equivalent by 99%, and
5. I at least explained that and how the Western economies were being
sustained through capital flows AT THE COST OF THE OTHER, and
6. I and WE DID and DO [though i am now out of business] have answers to
quite a few of the questions posed in the other posting, though I admit
that not to all. but then I can make up quite a list of other questions to
which PKT also has no answer, eg what time is it?

gotta go
gunder frank.

On Mon, 3 Feb
1997, Bruce R. McFarling wrote:

> Date: Mon, 03 Feb 1997 18:29:42 +1100
> From: "Bruce R. McFarling" <>
> Subject: world system prediction (fwd)
> This was sent last wednesday (csf.colorado time) as well.
> I've already got an answer for the first point, but I'll give
> those on WSN a crack at it first.
> Virtually,
> Bruce R. McFarling, Newcastle, NSW
> ____________________________________________________________________)))
> Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 17:48:31 -0500 (EST)
> From: "Gregoire de Nowell (ci-devant)" <>
> To:
> Subject: world system prediction
> Message-ID: <>
> Frank's message sent me scurrying back to Amin, Arrighi, Frank &
> Wallerstein (1982), _Dynamics of Global Crisis_.
> p. 238:
> "Two immediate questions are on most people's minds when they
> think about their expectations for the 1980s. Will there be
> a "crash," and will there be a world war? The answer to the first
> depends on what one means by a crash. If one means a serious
> financial collapse followeed by a price drop and
> a significant increase in world unemployment, then Amin,
> Frank, and Wallerstein all think that there is a reasonably
> high probability of this in this decade."
> So w/a world-systems stockbrocker, you'd a missed out on
> the Great Bull Market of the 80s-which, crash of 87 included-
> was one of the great $$ oppportunities in history. Much
> better to stick with Malkiel whose late 70s edition of
> Random Walk said BUY.
> On other matters they get points: a forecast of serious
> potential ethnic problems in the USSR, which is seen
> as greatly stronger than under the Tsars (tho' the
> Tsars could conquer the Caucasus--and all that fearsome
> Soviet hardware was pretty worthlessin Afghanistan and
> Checnya). The labor movment in Poland is seen as
> "antisystemic" (w/regard to world capitalism). Hmmmm.
> I dunno. I need to mention that I love world systems
> stuff. Wallerstein and Frank have made some royalties
> off of me (even Frank & Gill's 500 Years). And I mean
> that I assign them, not just buy them for myself.
> But while it's great to look at all these historical
> interconnectednesses from Sandarkan to Zanzibar,
> never ever stake your portfolio on what these guys
> say. Especially over next-ten year increments. As for
> long-cycles 'n' stuff which is at the core of this
> work, I refer readers to Nathaniel Beck's
> "Illusion of cycles in INternational Relations"
> _International Studies Quarterly_ 1991, v. 35, pp. 455-476
> with its rather devastating comparison of long-cycle
> trends to randomly generated stationary data (p. 460).
> So, as I say, I like the work--and Frank should
> surely know, I'm no stranger to global capital
> vs. global capital, since we exchanged books
> and other materials a year or so ago. But
> I think world systems and Kondratieffs are
> mostly an aesthetic. Commodity-chain politics
> I can see; the rest makes for interesting history.
> But predictions? I think that what savvy is
> there comes from expert knowledge of multiple regions.
> Back in 1980 Bill Griffith at MIT--no World Systems
> type he--called the USSR the last of the great
> multinational empires with all the problems attending
> thereto. What the two groupshave in common is
> not a "science of history" but a deep appreciation
> of history, period.
> And before the harpies descend--I don't think
> political "science" is a science either. I won't
> venture into economics. But if you want to
> stake your cycles on the acceleration principle
> or accumulation crises--go with the acceleration
> principle.
> Greg Nowell