Polanyi oh Polanyi

March 31, 2008

I just spend the last two hours reading up on people’s summaries on Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation. SHOCKINGLY, I understood what I read. It’s shocking because I have his book. It’s written in 1944 and discusses self-regulating market as “nothing but a stark utopia” blah blah blah and that the state AKA government needs to intervene and regulate the market in order to maintain stability, economically and socio-politically. Holy shit! Did I just make sense? *Cue my last brain cell poofing into thin air*

Ok so back to my point of shocking-ness. I had trouble understanding his English. Seriously, why couldn’t he just said a free market system will not work long term because it is only theoretical and not practical, as opposed to his “nothing but a stark utopia”? Did this man forsee that I was going to do such a research therefore using this kind of English would result to his entertainment of me making a fool out of myself? Wait, the man is dead…never mind…

I know I’m ranting like a total bimbo but can you blame me after having go through sentences like these?

“The origins of the cataclysm lay in the utopian endeavour of economic liberalism to set up a self-regulating market system. Such a thesis seems to invest that system with almost mythical power; it implies no less than the balance of power, the gold standard, and the liberal state, those fundamentals of the civilisation of the nineteenth century, were, in the last resort, all shaped by one common matrix, the self regulating market.”

I rest my case.

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