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The great reckoning

The global free market economy will inspire a countermovement-just as it did 100 years ago. David Marquand and the political economists he reviews here agree about that. But will we have to chose between the free market and the free society?

By David Marquand   July 1996

We live, we are told, in a new world on which old theories have no purchase. Globalisation is dissolving national frontiers and nation states. Industrial processes are post-Fordist, mentalities are post-modern and societies are multicultural. Jobs for life have disappeared; the working class has been hollowed out; the labour force has been feminised; the family has been transformed; and old elites have been toppled. The collectivism of the past has been replaced by a new individualism, and the social democracy of the postwar period has become unworkable.

To this eager chorus there is only one sensible response: “Up to a…

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