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after the Lehman Brothers collapse, the crisis of advanced capitalist
economies is far from over. Growth is sluggish, debt continues to rise,
and social inequality is exploding.
As the capitalist global economy is
kept alive by unprecedented infusions of central bank money, old
questions of the compatibility of capitalism and democracy are
The marketization of Polanyi’s three fictitious commodities -
labour, nature, and money - seems to have hit a limit, and the same may
be true for technological innovation. Moreover, persistent public
deficits seem to indicate a rising tension between private appropriation
and a growing need for collective provision.
Professor Struck, in a
lecture delivered at the British Academy, asks whether we are facing a systemic crisis of the capitalist social order.