The much respected progressive economist, and my long-time friend and intellectual soulmate, Kari Polanyi-Levitt, having just turned 90, has published a book of no less than 16 scholarly articles, all written in the past 25 years and mostly much more recently. Its title, From the Great Transformation to the Great Financialization: On Karl Polanyi and Other Essays (published by Fernwood and Zed Books), accurately describes its content. Half are on Kari's understanding of her father's great book and his other writings, half on the frenzy of financialization, the crisis of 2008 and the lead up thereto. And, to top off this intellectual feast, an afterword by Samir Amin, "Globalization, Financialization and Emergence of the Global South."
Karl Polanyi's insistence that the alleged "self-regulating market" must be made subordinate to democracy or society itself is put at risk is as true today as when he wrote in the aftermath of the Great Depression of the 1930s. His writings bear our constant attention as the neo-conservatism of our time, whether of Harper in this country or of the Tea Party in the U.S., willfully destroys democracy.
Kari's own essays, by being collected in one place, give here the attention she deserves as an early critic of globalization. She foresaw financialization and its consequences well ahead of the actual fiscal crisis of 2008, and she was particularly prescient in foreseeing the declining hegemony of the United States and the West relative to Asia.
The writing of both Kari and her father are highly relevant both to debates between the left and the right and within the left itself. Do get this book and read it. There will be an exam later.
Image: Fernwood Publishing
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.