By Ayşe Buğra, Kaan Ağartan (auth.)
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Additional resources for Reading Karl Polanyi for the Twenty-First Century: Market Economy as a Political Project
But this would imply that there was always a clear distinction between these two concepts, whereas in truth the boundary between them is always blurred and ambiguous. Capitalism does have an essential inner logic, but it is also a constructed 20 MANFRED BIENEFELD system, and this means that the logic will unfold in ways that are shaped by the nature of those constructions. Water runs downhill, but the course of the river will be shaped by the contours and the geology of the land, as well as by the existence of man-made barriers and diversions, though the latter may undergo radical change under extraordinary circumstances.
Two generations of derivative specialists came to work each day, found new ways for investors to get around Ottawa’s ridiculous restrictions on foreign investing, banked sweet fees, and went home. Helping both the institutional and retail crowd get better returns, with less risk, was a great way to make a living. . 8 And that is obviously only the tip of the iceberg. It is not just national laws that are arbitraged in this way. It is also ignorance, weakness, insufficiently aggressive business practices, soft trade union agreements, excessively (read “responsibly”) funded pension funds, environmental regulations, and, of course, uncertainty, especially the kind that these markets themselves can help to generate.
And for that we must indeed choose between fascism, in which solutions are imposed by stridently collectivist, xenophobic states, or some version of democratic socialism, or social democracy, in which markets continue to function, but within democratically determined boundaries. SUPPRESSING THE DOUBLE MOVEMENT 19 Money Finally, in the sphere of money, as in the other two spheres, there is much that has not changed. Here too, the fundamental contradictions of excessively liberalized markets have manifested themselves in ways that are similar in many respects to those described so graphically by Polanyi writing about the 1920s and the 1930s.