Egyptian French Marxist thinker Samir Amin, was one of the most prominent economists in the world

Mohammed Saad , Sunday 12 Aug 2018

Marxist thinker Samir Amin (Photo: AO)

World acclaimed Egyptian econimist and thinker, Samir Amin, has died on Sunday in Paris. He was 86.

Amir was hospitalized on July 21 and went back home on Saturday, but he passed away the following day.

Born in Cairo, Egypt, the prominent thinker died Sunday afternoon in France after serious complications following a brain tumor, reported his colleague Cherif Salif SY on social media.


“A very shocking news of passing away of Samir Amin after a brief period of memory loss to brain tumor and suffering,” said the fellow economist on Linkedin. “The world has lost a towering thinker and activist, a humble comrade and friend. Rest in Power and Peace, dear Comrade Samir,” he added, sending his condolences to Amir’s family and “comrades of Third World Forum.”

He published almost 30 books about capitalism and Marxism, his most important works being Accumulation on a World Scale: A Critique of the Theory of Underdevelopment, A Critique of Eurocentrism and Culturalism: Modernity, Religion, and Democracy, and Capitalism in the Age of Globalization, among others.

Amin was born in Egypt in 1931 to an Egyptian father and French mother and spent his youth in Port Said. After studying in Egypt, he continued his diploma in political science in Paris in 1952, before getting a degree in statistics and then a doctorate in economics.

He worked first in Cairo at the Institute for Economic Management from 1957 to 1960 then moved between countries until becoming director of the Third World Forum in Dakar, Senegal in 1980.

He authored many books including The Liberal Virus 2003, A life Looking Forward 2006, Accumulation on a World Scale 1970 and Capitalism in the age of globalization 1997.

In an interview with Ahram Online in 2012 Samir Amin said that he believes that “this neo-liberal phase is in state of collapse. It doesn’t mean that capitalism is collapsing; but that its current form is collapsing and we’re entering a new phase. It has to adapt, and whether the new system will be biased to the ruling class or the masses, is still be revealed.”

He also said that “We should not just look at the Muslim Brotherhood as a political Islamist power but as a backward movement that rejects workers movements and social justice, preferring to talk about charity as a form to ensure their control over the people.  The Islamists accept the policies of dependency under the guise of open market and private ownership rights; they openly accepted the American role in the region and the USA support for Israel, including the Camp David agreements.”

Partial awareness emerges from particular struggles, for example, from the struggles of peasants or women for the defense of human commons or the struggle for respect of popular sovereignty. The progress of the convergence of these particular types of awareness would make it possible to advance towards the formulation of new ways to surpass capitalism. But note…increased awareness will not happen through successive adaptations to the requirements of capitalist accumulation, but through awareness of the necessity of breaking with those requirements. The most enlightened segments of the movement should not isolate themselves by brandishing their disdain for others. Rather, they should involve themselves in all struggles in order to help the others to advance their understanding.

—Samir Amin, “Reading Capital, Reading Historical Capitalisms,”
Monthly Review, July-August 2016, p. 148