Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Abstracts of Posts by Jeffrey Harrod

Corporatism: 21st Century Governing System?

This essay argues that the capitalism that Marx and his contemporaries observed during the industrialisation of the UK was a successor to many earlier systems of control and extraction from the population by a small dominant group. For reasons to be discussed the 18th  century type of capitalism weakened in the 20th  century and in the 21st century we are  witnessing an attempt to develop and replace it with a new system.  This attempt is based on the dominance of large corporations which do not behave nor resemble in any way the “firms” of the earlier capitalist period. It is a system of interlocking corporations exercising global political, social and economic power and could therefore be called corporatism.  Such a designation breaks with the academic and intellectual use of the term “corporatism” to indicate a unity between competing forces. The attempt to create corporatism as a governing system has resulted in severe social, economic and environmental problems which in turn has led to an increasing and overt opposition to it.  

Global Weimarism: Why the centre cannot hold.

The 1919 WeimarRepublic in Germany collapsed when the political liberal government could not prevent the rise of the authoritarian right. There were three elements of Weimar situation – the collapse of the elite aristocratic government, the immobilism of the political liberal Weimar government in power and the rise and success of the right populist party. These three elements are currently found at the global level. The attempt to create a global elite via globalisation has collapsed into competing imperial elites, the current governments within the political liberal hegemony have been unable to make the changes necessary to prevent the rise of right populism in Europe. The global rise of a left populism, however, makes an outcome similar to the failure of the WeirmarRepublic less certain. 

The Global Economy -Yuppies, Whoopies, Poppies and |Ninjas

Over the past 30 years the global economy has been governed by consumption - so it is said - rather than production. During this time the media has produced abbreviated names for groups of persons associated with the way they lived and their typical consumption - or lack of it. The importance of these groups has changed over time and in doing so signalled new phases in a 30 years history of the global economy

The Blair-Mandelson Disease
A short political satire representing the Third Way political idea of the 1990s as a disease named after two of its British exponents Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson and written in the style of a medical manual.

Disraeli's Revenge
A commentary on the current Dutch political elite's attempt to follow Anglo-American policy and economic models. The British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli from the 1870s blamed the mass poverty he observed on the imposition of the Dutch model on England by the Dutchman who became William III of Engeland. Disraeli's argument was that any model is born of a special set of circumstances and cannot, without bad unintended consequences, be transferred to another set. Hence the current import of the Anglo-American model in the Netherlands is seen as "Disraeli's revenge" for the earlier imposition of the Dutch model on England.

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