We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Karl Polanyi - Still Actual 50 Years After His Death

by Claus Thomasberger Monday, Sep. 22, 2014 at 6:37 AM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

Karl Polanyi was the author of "The Great Transformation." As in Polanyi's times, the absurdity of the market utopia must be made clear and confronted with social reality. Freedom and democracy are goals to defend, not markets.

KARL POLANYI – STILL ACTUAL 50 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH


By Claus Thomasberger


[This article published on August 18, 2014 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://blog.arbeit-wirtschaft.at.]


In April 2014 the death of the great Viennese thinker Karl Polanyi was remembered for the 50th time. His name has often resounded since the beginning of the financial- and economic crisis – because the last great crisis was the focus of his work and his general understanding of human ideas, economy and society and the political nature of markets is still actual. As in Polanyi’s times, the absurdity of the market utopia must be made clear and confronted with social reality. Freedom and democracy are goals to defend, not markets.


Karl Polanyi born in 1886 in Vienna and grown up in Budapest returned to his city of birth after the First World War. He spent the crucial phase of his life there and wrote the large part of his writings published several years later in three volumes.


RED WINE, CRISIS AND THE WARS


The wine of 1919 was different from the wine of the pre-war days. The “red wine” had come from the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Polanyi was a socialist even if he rejected the idea of central economic planning and critically opposed Bolshevism. He defended gilden-socialist ideas and actively meddled in the discussions in which protagonists of Austro-Marxism participated. His contributions to the debate through the socialist lens (against Ludwig Mises) are well-known. At the same time he worked as an editor for the “Austrian Economist.” Forced to emigrate in 1933, he lived the following decade in England and later in North America where he wrote his best-known work “The Great Transformation” during the Second World War.


Karl Polanyi contributed as a sociologist, economist, journalist, historian and anthropologist. Categories like “embedding the economy in society” or “double-movement” have long been part of the standard canon of socioeconomic discourse. However the actuality of Polanyi’s works resulted from his approach or his method. Convinced of the possibility of social change toward a more human socialist society, Polanyi tried to elaborate the causes and historical significance of the two world wars, the worldwide economic crisis and the rise of fascism.


MARKETS AND PEOPLE, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY


The middle class epoch represented an entirely extraordinary historical period in which the market system and the economy left their mark on society, Polanyi emphasized. The disaster of the 20th century must be understood in its core as a crisis of modern civilization in its totality, not as an economic crisis, Polanyi concluded. The relation of human ideas, economy and society moved to the center of reflection. Ultimately people “make their own history” even if not of their own free will, as Marx formulated.


This does not mean falling back into an economic-determinist interpretation. Polanyi was convinced the class situation and interests are relevant but not decisive. The base-superstructure thesis is too simplistic. Belief in the utopia of a self-regulating market system characterized the civilization of the 19th century in Europe and America. This belief is real even if the market utopia represented an “absurdity” based on a bizarre notion about the nature of human relations and “(could) not exist for a long time without destroying the human and natural substance of society.”


That was Polanyi’s central discovery. The neoliberal forces dominant in the 19th century actually attempted to make the impossible possible. Socio-political ideas have consequences even if they are excessive, fictional and utopian because they determine political actions and the direction of institutional transformation.


THE TRANSFORMATIONAL POWER OF THE MARKET UTOPIA


In “The Great Transformation,” he investigated the actual power of the liberal credo, the belief in the beneficial effect of a soulless mechanism. With the help of the development in England, he stressed how the market utopia induced politics to transform labor, money and nature (which are not produced for sale) into goods and artificially establish corresponding markets. He traced the disastrous consequences that faith-based policy had for the majority of people. Exploitation becomes visible as an aspect of a much more extensive commodification of life and nature. Polanyi analyzed the threats to democracy and freedom that resulted from holding to the commodity fiction, the counter-movements of defending the reality of society against the conversion of market utopia and the fatal development toward worldwide economic crisis and fascism.


The fact that Polanyi works are so burning again today results from the renewed importance of market-fundamentalist ideas. When Paul Krugman speaks today of the “strange triumph of failed ideas” or Colin Crouch of the “surprising survival of neoliberalism,” both refer to the practical power regained by market utopia in the last decades. Experience alone cannot refute the neoliberal faith.


The interpretations of events are crucial, not the facts as such. Making clear the utopian character of neoliberal policy and confronting this with social reality is vital today as in Polanyi’s times. More than ever critical articles are necessary that show the errors underlying the equation of market and freedom. Freedom and democracy are goals worth defending, not markets if the achievements of modern civilization should be preserved and expanded.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

test O06 10:01AM

test O06 9:59AM

test O06 9:59AM

100 Ways GOP Have Stolen Elections Since 1876 O06 12:03AM

Proximospective de l'univocité réifiée O05 6:27AM

“Kava-no!!!” O04 6:42PM

Trump & Palestine vs. Genesis, Rashi & The Land of Israel O03 6:29PM

The Criminality of the Elites O03 11:35AM

Business de l'inhumanitaire O03 7:51AM

Marriage Rape/Date Rape Highest Rapes O02 2:59PM

Women I Know Get Raped - Too Many Times To Count! O02 2:55PM

Women In USA Have Stockholm Syndrom O02 2:50PM

Shooting Drill's Are Political Actual Shootings O02 2:47PM

Dr. Ford's Father Works With CIA O02 2:44PM

Weaponizing Frequencies O02 2:41PM

Google Abuses: Worldwide Spying, Censorship, War Promotion, Spying On Children, Etc O02 11:08AM

Paraphysique de l'administration O02 8:34AM

Paraphysique O02 8:31AM

Affordable Rents? A State of Emergency Intensifies O01 11:36AM

A Few Of Many Impeachable Acts by Trump Sessions And Others O01 4:41AM

Désengrammation, l'éloge de la suite S30 7:01AM

someone Should Work In Hollywood - Good Acting! S28 2:55PM

Ford Gives Psych Drugs To Lower Class To Shut Them Up? S28 2:51PM

Hilllary Calls Ford Trailer Trash? S28 2:47PM

Most Rapes Are In Marriages S28 2:43PM

Nice Boys Dirty Deeds S28 2:41PM

Minnesota 2nd Largest Rape State S28 2:39PM

Paraphysique de la plus-value S28 7:18AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy