| TOTAL CAPITALISM|
Market Politics, Market State
by Colin Leys
The dream of contemporary capitalism is that everything should become a terrain of profitable enterprise, including most of what has been seen hitherto as the business of government.
Like total war, total capitalism demands the subordination of everything to a single goal - national competitiveness, as defined by trans-national corporate elites. The result is a dramatic erosion of democracy, social cohesion and honesty in public life. The three essays collected here, which have been hailed as 'modern classics', summarise a decade of critical analysis of these dynamics.
'The Rise and Fall of Development Theory' shows how neoliberal globalisation put an end to the concept of development as a collective endeavour and marginalised the two-centuries old intellectual tradition it rested on.
'Market-Driven Politics' analyses the determining features of the new politics: since the end of capital controls, the politics of once-sovereign states have become more and more integrated with market forces: voters no longer set the political agenda and the business of government becomes the business of adapting public opinion to the perceived interests of business.
'The Cynical State' analyses what happens to policy-making and the quality of public debate under total capitalism. The privatisation of public services is a cardinal element of total capitalism, producing a dynamic that is lethal to public accountability and social solidarity.
Colin Leys lives in London. He is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and an Honorary Professor at the Centre for International Public Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh.
Published Spring 2008