Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review


In his masterful book, GREAT TRANSFORMATION, Karl Polanyi theorized that laissez faire market capitalism had within it the eventual demise of democracy. He argued, in effect, that the myth free markets would magically most fairly distribute goods and services among is citizens would become a 'bad seed,' that would grow to choke out democratic decision-making. In other words, once citizens in a democracy lose jobs and pensions, and get pay cuts, and pay ever increasing prices for medical care, they start to see themselves as pawns in a rigged system justified by free market formulas that are hard to understand. Add in further loss of life savings and investments when markets correct, and the combination of theory and loss will make these people to feel that their lives and fortunes were beyond their control.