The State is Dead! Long live the State! At the turn of the century, many commentators from the right and left seemed united in their analysis that the state as an economic player was dead or at least no longer relevant. The combined pressures of globalisation, liberalisation and marketisation unleashed by the market-driven dogmas of Thatcherism and Reaganomics had massively expanded the private sector and concurrently downsized the public sector. Corporate power was in the ascendancy and many state-owned companies had become little more than second-rate government departments, and the underlying assumption was that, as the economy evolved, the government would close or sell them to private investors.
2011 witnessed the implementation of some of the most comprehensive undemocratic structural changes in the EU since the Lisbon Treaty. Alternative proposals for a progressive exit from the euro crisis are laid out here.
Keynes, convinced of the power of ideas over that of “vested interests”, famously held that “Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.” Now there’s little doubt that the social life of ideas helps explain the astonishing persistence of ‘Thatcherism’.
The language contained in agreements being negotiated by the EU through the WTO with their southern counterparts often deliberately diguises real political goals, obscuring the negative economic implications for those countries of the neoliberal agenda.
A LEADING international political economist has warned that democracy is being damaged by the insidious creep of transnational corporations into government policy and their refusal to adopt country-by-country accounting practices, which have helped them avoid taxes.
Scarce attention to poverty alleviation and blind reliance on military might has brought the western forces in Afghanistan to a standstill. Putting Pakistan into the equation is a key to any solution in Afghanistan.
The range and scope of Giovanni Arrighi’s intellectual work – and in particular his ability to provide analysis rooted in a long-term geohistorical context - is truly an astonishing achievement,while his generosity of spirit towards his intellectual interlocutors had few equals.
"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.