Crisis of Market Society and Relevance of Karl Polanyi in Neoliberal Age(<SPECIAL ISSUE>Toward a Harmonious Society)

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  • 新自由主義時代における市場社会の危機と甦るポランニー(<特集>調和する社会の諸相)
  • 新自由主義時代における市場社会の危機と甦るポランニー
  • シン ジユウ シュギ ジダイ ニ オケル シジョウ シャカイ ノ キキ ト ヨミガエル ポランニー

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In The Great Transformation, of which first-edition was published in the same year as Hayek's The Road to Serfdom (1944), Polanyi's opposition to neoliberal credo comes from his interpretation of the history of industrial society in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, when there occurred great crises and upheaval of market society; the Great Recession, unemployment problems in labor market, instabilities of financial market, crisis of democracy, economic nationalism, fascism, and great wars. This paper deals with controversial points between Polanyi's arguments and neoliberal projects from the view point of 21th century. Neoliberal credo is a term connected with an intellectual movement and new belief or ideology originating in the late 1930s that should be distinguished from the original laissez-faire liberalism. The former was born from the reflections of the dead lock of the latter. Unlike the latter, the former requires a strong state authority that has the capacity to resist "spontaneous" social protection movements in the product, labor, and financial markets. And therefore it can become openly anti-democratic in its defense and implementation of the will of the market. In other words, neoliberal credo orientates various projects of "planning for competitive market system" for creating an environment in which private interests can flourish. Neoliberal credo came to be associated mainly with the ideas of Walter Lippman, and such Austrian economists as Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. It grew in oppositions not only to socialism but to the spirits of New Deal and political thinking or public opinions of Welfare States, and spread to the Unites States in the early postwar years. Hereafter 1950s it founds fertile ground initially at the University of Chicago, with Milton Freedman and his associates. The obvious consequences of neoliberal policies since 1970s are the increasing market instabilities reminiscent of the 1930s, as well as a growing loss of democratic control. According to Polanyi, completely unfettered markets lacking social control were destructive for the livelihood of common people and eventually generated social reactions that sought to intervene in market system more securely in the societal space. Polanyi'thesis is that neoliberal projects would be eventually never-ending and failed incomplete with social destructions. Also Polanyi paid strong attention to the survival of neoliberal credo in its deadlock. Without a deep understanding and analysis of neoliberal projects, as Polanyi did in his time, we cannot get over the wall.


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