Since the 1990s new patterns have emerged in world capitalism. Their immediate roots go back to the 1970s. In 1973, the major oil-producing states forced a big increase in oil prices. Among the big capitalist powers, the oil price rise hit the US less hard than others. It even made some of the US's own new oilfields profitable. Britain, too, would gain from the oil price rise, when North Sea oil production boomed in the early 1980s. But in essence the increase was one of the signals of the end of the colonial era.
By Colin Foster of Alliance for Workers' Liberty.