Advertisement

Breaking Free from the Free Market: The Existential Gap of Freedom

  • Peter Bloom
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter will explore the liberating potential held by existentialism for contemporary efforts to move beyond restrictive and orthodox market freedoms. Drawing on Sartre’s seminal early work “Existentialism and Freedom”, it will highlight the continuing importance of the insight that “existence precedes essence”, revealing the dangers of reifying human inspired and historically specific ways of understanding and living in the world. It will then trace out how the free market evolved from a radical existential promise for enhancing human freedom to a dogmatic discourse limiting its development and growth. Significantly, it will introduce the concept of an “existential gap” referring to the always existent chasm between our conscious capacity to choose how we interpret the world and our often material and social inability to substantially do so. Finally, it will highlight the positive existential gap opened up by market freedom, revealing a contemporary “existential challenge” to “break free from market freedoms” and construct “new foundations of freedom” in its place.

References

  1. Alford, R., & Friedland, R. (2011). Powers of Theory. Cambridge, GBR: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Althusser, L. (1969). For Marx. Verso.Google Scholar
  3. Anievas, A., & Nişancıoğlu, K. (2015). How the West Came to Rule. London: Pluto Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Appleby, J., Hunt, L., Jacob, M., & Markoff, J. (1996). Telling the Truth About History. Contemporary Sociology, 25(1), 130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernstein, H. (1971). Modernization Theory and the Sociological Study of Development. The Journal of Development Studies, 7(2), 141–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bloom, P. (2016). Authoritarian Capitalism in the Age of Globalization. Edward Elgar Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown, W. (2017). Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution. Boston: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  8. Butler, E. (2013). Foundations of a Free Society. London: Institute of Economic Affairs.Google Scholar
  9. Crouch, C. (2012). There Is An Alternative to Neoliberalism that Still Understands the Markets. The Guardian.Google Scholar
  10. Eaton, G. (2017). The Tories Are Stuck in No Man’s Land on Austerity. The New Statesman.Google Scholar
  11. Elliott, L. (2017). Theresa May to Champion Free Market in Bank of England Speech. The Guardian.Google Scholar
  12. Elliott, L. (2017). Theresa May to Champion Free Market in Bank of England Speech. The Guardian.Google Scholar
  13. Ghemawat, P. (2017, February). Even in a Digital World, Globalization Is Not Inevitable. Harvard Business Review.Google Scholar
  14. Hall, T. (2011). The Triple Bottom Line: What Is It and How Does It Work? Indiana Business Review, 86(1), 4–8.Google Scholar
  15. Harvey, D. (2005). A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Hayek, F. A. (2014). The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents: The Definitive Edition (Vol. 2). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Kaletsky, A. (2017). The Crisis of Market Fundamentalism. Social Europe.Google Scholar
  18. Kavanagh, D. (1987). Thatcherism and British Politics: The End of Consensus. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Latham, M. E. (2010). The Right Kind of Revolution: Modernization, Development, and US Foreign Policy from the Cold War to the Present. Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Leys, C. (1997). The British Labour Party Since 1989. In D. Sassoon (Ed.), Looking Left: European Socialism After the Cold War (pp. 17–43). London: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  21. Marx, K., & Engels, F. (2016). The Manifesto of the Communist. Narcissus.me.Google Scholar
  22. May, T. (1994). The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism. Penn State Press.Google Scholar
  23. Mishra, P. (2016). Welcome to the Age of Anger. The Guardian.Google Scholar
  24. Mitchell, W., & Fazi, T. (2017). Reclaiming the State. London: Pluto Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Monasterios, E. (2018). Uncertain Modernities: Amerindian Epistemologies and the Reorienting of Culture. In S. Castro-Klaren (Ed.), Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture (pp. 553–570). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  26. Oksala, J. (2009). Foucault on Freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Pocock, J. (2001). Barbarism and Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Sartre, J. (1948). Existentialism and Humanism. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Sherman, R. (2017). Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Afluence. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Temperley, H. (1977). Capitalism, Slavery and Ideology. Past and Present, 75(1), 94–118.  https://doi.org/10.1093/past/75.1.94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tipps, D. (1973). Modernization Theory and the Comparative Study of National Societies: A Critical Perspective. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 15(2), 199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Venugopal, R. (2015). Neoliberalism as Concept. Economy and Society, 44(2), 165–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Bloom
    • 1
  1. 1.Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

Personalised recommendations