Teubner and System Liberation
Polanyi famously maintained that markets are always embedded within society, that is, markets are not self-regulating but the product of political instrumentalities (Polanyi, 1944/2001, p. 60; Dale, 2010, p. 193). Eighteenth and nineteenth-century liberal economists sought to inverse this relationship, rendering politics subordinate to the logic of markets. If early liberalism was about having the economy act as an internal check on government, twentieth-century formulations were about the marketization of all relations, including those of government, a case of disembededness running amok, so to speak (Foucault, 2008; Tribe, 2009, p. 694). This is the point of view promoted by neoliberal thinking and continues, to this day, to shape public policy in many states around the world. This is despite Polanyi’s insistence that disembedded markets are an impossibility; a ‘stark’ and unrealistic ‘utopia’ (Polanyi, 1944/2001, p. 3).
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