Michael Brie and Claus Thomasberger (2018): Karl Polanyi’s Vision of a Socialist Transformation

Montréal: Black Rose Books. 324 Pages, $ 29.00
  • Christoph DeutschmannEmail author

Was Karl Polanyi a Socialist? After the decay of orthodox Marxism since the 1970’s and the demise of the Soviet bloc Polanyi became popular among left wing social scientists as a kind of “Marx light”, upholding the good sides of Marxism, while avoiding the bad ones. On the one hand, Polanyi distanced himself from the Leninist legacy of Marxism and spoke up for the idea of freedom, and for encompassing, political and economic democracy as a way to overcome the evils of modern civilization. On the other hand, he decidedly took position against Mises, Hayek and other protagonists of the liberal market doctrine, and celebrated Socialism as the true alternative against liberalism as well as fascism. How did all this fit together? Since long time, the interpreters have tried to find the red thread leading through the labyrinth of Polanyi’s positions, often in vain. This lead to a certain arbitrariness in the discussion, “making Polanyi’s text into a dummy that cheerfully mouths the words...

Copyright information

© Österreichische Gesellschaft für Soziologie 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für SoziologieUniversität TübingenTübingenGermany

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