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Karl Polanyi's Vision of a Socialist Transformation
Michael Brie & Claus Thomasberger, eds.

Black Rose Books

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Karl Polanyis Vision of a Socialist Transformation

Michael Brie, Claus Thomasberger, eds.

 

The political and economic turmoil that followed our most recent financial crisis has sparked a huge resurgence of interest in the work of Karl Polanyi (1886–1964), anthropologist, economist, and social philosopher. Polanyi’s 1944 masterpiece, The Great Transformation, spoke of the increasing dominance of the market and the resulting counter-movements which can be both transformative and reactionary. But reception of his work remains largely restricted to the so called “double movement” of marketization versus social regulation. Polanyi is typically regarded as a social reformer supporting an increased social state, welfare intervention, and a broader national and international regulation of the financial markets. The socialist intention of The Great Transformation, and indeed of the totality of his work, is almost unknown, largely because a large part of his oeuvre concerning his understanding of socialism has, up to this point, been published only in the German language.

Karl Polanyi’s Vision of a Socialist Transformation, upends what we thought we knew about Polanyi to reveal that Polanyi did indeed have a vision of a structural transformation to overcome the market society with a deeply democratic socialist vision. German social and economic philosophers Michael Brie and Claus Thomasberger bring together central figures in the field—including Fred Block, Gareth Dale, Nancy Fraser, and Kari Polanyi Levitt—to provide an essential collection on the contemporary importance of Polanyi’s thought. This book is centered around Polanyi’s ideas on freedom and community in a complex socialist society with a completely transformed economy. It also includes five 1920s essays by Polanyi, recently translated into English for the very first time, including his lecture “On Freedom”, which is central to his unique understanding of socialism.

"Brie and Thomasberger have made an important addition to the recent wave of eye-opening work on Karl Polanyi, by building a bridge from Polanyi the critic of market society to Polanyi the theorist of ethical socialism."
 - Wolfgang Streeck, author of How Will Capitalism End?

Michael Brie is senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Social Analysis of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, in Berlin. Claus Thomasberger is professor of international economic policy and political philosophy at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft, in Berlin.  

328 pages 2018

Table of Contents

  • Introduction - Michael Brie & Claus Thomasberger
  • I . LOOKING BACK–LOOKING FORWARD
    • Freedom of Action and Freedom of Thought - Kari Polanyi Levitt
  • II . POLANYI ’S CRITIQUE IN THE AGE OF NEOLIBERALISM
    • Freedom, Responsibility and the Recognition of the Reality of Society - Claus Thomasberger
    • Why Two Karls are Better than One: Integrating Polanyi and Marx in a Critical Theory of the Current Crisis - Nancy Fraser
    • Revisiting “Freedom in a Complex Society”: A View from the Periphery - Ayşe Buğra
    • Utopianism and the Reality of Society: Decoding Polanyi’s Socialism, Freedom, and the Alchemy of Misrecognition - Margaret R. Somers
    • “Neoliberal Violence”—an Attempt to Embed Society into the Market - Hüseyin Özel
  • III . THE CASE FOR A SOCIALIST CONCEPTION OF FREEDOM
    • Karl Polanyi and the Paradoxes of Freedom - Gareth Dale
    • Knowledge, Freedom and Democracy: Friedrich Hayek and Karl Polanyi on the Market Society and Beyond - Paula Valderrama
    • “Knowledge of Society” as the Basis of Karl Polanyi’s Demanding Conception of Freedom - Michele Cangiani
    • Karl Polanyi and Human Freedom - Fred Block
    • Polanyi’s Concept of Peace in a Complex Society - Chikako Nakayama
  • IV. NEW WAYS OF REFRAMING SOCIALISM
    • Not the New Deal and Not the Welfare State: Karl Polanyi’s Vision of Socialism - Johanna Bockman
    • Planning for Freedom - Pat Devine
    • Commoning and the Commons: Alternatives to a Market Society - Marguerite Mendell
    • Karl Polanyi and the Discussions on a Renewed Socialism - Michael Brie
  • V. ESSAYS BY KARL POLANYI
    • Ideologies in Crisis (Weltanschauungskrise) (UYUY)
    • Science and Morality (UYVT-VV)
    • Being and Thinking (UYVT-VV)
    • The Science of the Future (UYVT-VV)
    • On Freedom (UYVX)
    • Freedom in a Complex Society (UYWX)

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