ABSTRACT

The "illusion of development" is perpetuated, because—despite all of this—the nation-states still exist in the same relative position of exploitation. Because the ability to achieve long-term development for all, or even most, nation-states is impossible under a global economic system based on exploitation and exclusion, the developmental idea is a logical fallacy—an illusion. This "adding up" problem in the capitalist world-economy is based on the notion that all states do not face the same conditions for advancement in a system where the "relational processes of exploitation and relational processes of exclusion" are continuously reproduced in new ways. This chapter provides an alternative lens to empirically examine the relative movement of world income differences over the past 40 years and offer an alternative understanding of the present political and social crises of the past decade by focusing on the volatility of relational income inequality. Technically, volatility is the fluctuation of countries' rank movements within each zone of the world-economy.