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Esteban Mercatante

Esteban is an economist from Buenos Aires and a member of the PTS.

China’s Rise, ‘Diminished Dependency,’ and Imperialism in Times of World Disorder

In this broad-ranging interview, originally published in LINKS, Trotskyist Fraction member Esteban Mercatante discusses how recent global shifts in processes of capital accumulation have contributed to China’s rise, the new (and old) mechanisms big powers use to plunder the Global South, and its implications for anti-imperialist and working-class struggles today.

Esteban Mercatante

September 22, 2023

China and the U.S.: War Games in a Tense World

The visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has led to a new escalation in tensions between the United States and China. Beijing responded by launching missiles right under Taiwan’s nose — war games on the knife-edge.

Esteban Mercatante

August 10, 2022

The Global Economy on a Roller Coaster

As persistent inflation drives economic decisions in the wealthiest economies, we are seeing more-pronounced threats of a global economic slowdown and new crises related to debt and balance of payments.

Esteban Mercatante

July 13, 2022

Sanctions on Russia: The Collateral Damage and Strategic Risks of the West’s ‘Economic Weapon’

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States and European Union have imposed unprecedented sanctions on the Putin regime. These measures are severely damaging the Russian economy. They are also disrupting international markets in energy and other commodities. Such large-scale use of the “economic weapon” risks further fragmenting the world economy.

Esteban Mercatante

April 25, 2022

Where Is China Going? A Review of Two Opposing Views

The United States is escalating its provocations against China. To understand the rivalry between the two countries, we have to understand their class nature. In the case of China, the debate over its social and economic form is far from settled. This article discusses two recent books that take quite different positions on this question.

Esteban Mercatante

December 15, 2021

Production Chains, Bottlenecks, and Strategic Positions

With the post-pandemic economic recovery still trying to break through, the United States and other imperialist countries are suffering numerous disruptions to their supply chains. The globalized system of production signals capitalism’s fragility and points to the disruptive potential of working-class sectors that occupy key logistical positions within these chains.

Esteban Mercatante

October 31, 2021

Bidenomics: A Nod to Progressives in Order to Reinforce Imperialism

Joe Biden's administration has seen a "paradigm shift" in economic policy — but it has an Achilles heel. A debate with Susan Watkins.

Marxism and the Origins of the Ecological Critique

John Bellamy Foster’s The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology (Monthly Review Press, 2020) shows the role played by biologists and other scientists with a nonmechanistic, materialist outlook, alongside various Marxists, in laying the foundations of ecology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A Tour of Views on China’s Relationship to Imperialism

To complement “China and Imperialism: Elements for the Debate,” which explores how to characterize China within the imperialist system, this article presents some of the alternative positions.

Esteban Mercatante

November 29, 2020

China and Imperialism: Elements of the Debate

The question of China’s place in the international order is central to characterizing where the capitalist world system is headed. It has been the subject of a debate in which we find quite divergent positions — a sign of its complexity. This article is part of a process of elaboration and discussion underway in the Trotskyist Fraction–Fourth International.

Esteban Mercatante

November 29, 2020

With Biden as President, Will the Empire Strike Back?

Joe Biden won the U.S. presidential election, but without the overwhelming victory projected by the polls. He will face a Republican majority in the Senate and govern a polarized country. All indications are that the government of the main imperialist power will be more absorbed with the domestic agenda than intervening in world affairs to claim the leadership position in favor of more globalized capital than Trump did during his administration.

Esteban Mercatante

November 9, 2020

U.S. Imperialism: Return to “Normalcy” or More World Disorder?

Continuing with the analysis in our previous article on contemporary imperialism and the situation in the United States, here Esteban Mercantante discusses the balance of the first (and perhaps only?) presidential term of Donald Trump.

Esteban Mercatante

October 30, 2020

Imperialism Today: Toward “Systemic Chaos”?

The U.S. elections will determine whether Donald Trump continues for another four years or the Democrats return to the White House with Joe Biden. Either scenario could mark a turning point. One salient characteristic of Trump’s first term has been his breaking — with uneven of the mechanisms through which the United States has articulated its dominance since World War II, shunning the more “multilateral” aspects of that dominance in favor of a more exacerbated unilateralism.

Esteban Mercatante

October 21, 2020

Uneven Development and Imperialism Today: Engaging with the Ideas of David Harvey

The last few decades have been characterized by weak economic growth in the developed countries, which contrasts with the dynamism shown by China and other countries on the periphery. What does this tell us about the relations that characterize the world capitalist system?

Esteban Mercatante

September 13, 2020

The Contours of Capitalism in China

China is the world’s second-largest economy and the world’s main industrial producer and exporter. How can we characterize the economic and social transformations that have marked China’s development over the past four decades?

Esteban Mercatante

August 26, 2020

China in the World Disorder

China has been working long and hard to join the ranks of the world’s leading economies. But the United States in particular has worked just as hard to keep China out of the club. The upheaval wrought by the pandemic and the Trump era promises to fester, even with a change in the White House. The path through these geopolitical tensions will not be peaceful.

Esteban Mercatante

July 29, 2020

Trotsky as a Guide for Analyzing the World Situation

Trotsky developed a method to analyze “capitalist equilibrium” and the perspectives for socialist revolution. This is a useful tool to help us orient ourselves in today’s convulsive times.

Esteban Mercatante

March 9, 2020

Will Brexit Undermine London’s Financial Power? An Interview With Tony Norfield

Tony Norfield is a London-based economist. For eight years, he worked as an economic consultant, and for close to 20 years in the dealing rooms of London banks, most recently as executive director of a major European bank, in charge of analyzing global foreign-exchange markets.

Esteban Mercatante

October 19, 2018

Universal Basic Income: A Capitalist Fix to the Evils of Capitalism?

Supporters of Universal Basic Income (UBI) either entertain illusions in a top-down palliative measure for the miseries of capitalism or look for an impossible shortcut for organizing the working class.

Esteban Mercatante

August 7, 2018

A Race Towards the Abyss: Labor and Capital Competition in a Globalized Market

The internationalization of production has redefined the terms of global competition. Global Value Chains perpetuate the North-South divide and create a unified global labor market.

Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin on the Foundations and Limits of US Power

Authors Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin debate with Left Voice columnist Esteban Mercatante on the limits of US hegemony.

Esteban Mercatante

December 2, 2016

London: The Power to Use Other People’s Money

Continuing our series focusing on current works discussing modern-day imperialism, we take a look at Tony Norfield’s book, The City, which examines the role of London's financial center within the broader context of global capitalism.

Esteban Mercatante

November 24, 2016

Open Veins of the Global South

Continuing our series on imperialism 100 years since Lenin´s famous book on the subject, this article examines John Smith’s book, Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century.

Esteban Mercatante

October 22, 2016

Global Capitalism as Imperialist Construct

Delving into the writings of Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin, this article is the first in a series of elaborations on modern-day imperialism and the possibilities for Marxist theoretical analysis.

Esteban Mercatante

September 24, 2016

Understanding Argentina’s Surrender

On March 31, with the support of the Peronists, the Argentinean Senate voted in favor of passing the “Public Debt Normalization and Access to Public Credit” bill to authorize the government to pay the holdouts.

Esteban Mercatante

April 12, 2016