Market Politics, Market State
Total Capitalism is about the way capitalism has been transformed from an economic system controlled – in some countries, and always with difficulty – by democracy, into a largely uncontrolled system that increasingly invades the whole of life. Just as total war is war fought without limitations, by whole societies, total capitalism invades and dominates every sphere of life, public and private. It takes over what used to be the ‘public sector’ – including health, social services, education and research – and increasingly controls and saturates intellectual and artistic life, and turns politics into a business. Instead of being an agent of the electorate, the state increasingly becomes a servant of Capital. This theme is pursued first in relation to the countries of the South, in an essay on development theory, and then in two essays which use Britain as a case study in order to describe a process that has now become literally world-wide. An introduction brings out the links between the three essays, arguing for the need for a new kind of democratic politics capable of defeating and replacing capitalism before it devours the biosphere and plunges the world into irreversible violence.
The three essays in this book are about the arrival and implications of total capitalism, its politics, economics and ethics, and span a decade of work by the author.