Controversial in its approach, monumental in its scope - this book is the crowning achievement of a distinguished academic career by one of South Africa's most respected senior economists. Sampie Terreblanche takes a critical look at how social and economic inequality became entrenched in the current world order dominated by Western powers since the 1500s.
The book details how five centuries of Western empire-building shaped our society into the deeply unequal and gratuitously unjust place that it is today. It also teaches us that every empire is unsustainable and the remaining industrial countries in the West are weaker than most people think. Because unrestrained capitalism lies at the root of their weakness, these empires will not last.
The author shows how growing income inequality, environmental damage and increasingly higher financial market risks have impaired our ability to establish a society built on a long-term and sustainable developmental model. In order to remedy the brokenness of our current system, we have to understand the economic, social and political drivers that brought us here.