Capitalism and Democracy: Can This Marriage Be Saved? It’s an odd-couple, with deeply conflicting social values. Though they have been living together for many centuries, the strains are increasing; their relationship may now be in jeopardy.
In his famous book, The Great Transformation(1944), the political economist/ anthropologist/sociologist Karl Polanyi produced a classic critique of the classic liberal (conservative) ideal of free market capitalism that still resonates today.
Let’s begin with some political theory. Aristotle, in his great treatise, the Politics, concluded that there are, basically, only two different kinds of governments in terms of the outcomes for a society — those that serve the common good, or the public interest, and those that have been co-opted to serve the self-interests of the people who hold political power.