A World Market of Opportunities? Capitalist Obstacles and Left Economic Policy

Gregory Albo


This essay will, first, briefly recall the instabilities that still reside at the centre of the world economy and the limitations of neoliberal adjustment measures. It will then question the claims made by social democratic economic policy advocates that only specific constraints need to be overcome to re-establish stability, concluding that Miliband's first proposition on the obstacles that capitalism poses as a system cannot be relinquished. Finally, an outline of emerging alternative principles for socialist economic policy to confront these obstacles and constraints will be presented. Rather than a world economy being a new opportunity, contemporary internationalisation of markets is a contradictory 'space of flows' between the 'spaces of places of production' that are constituted by the specific territorially-embedded conflictual social property relations of capitalism. The economic programme of the Left cannot, following Miliband's second proposition, put to the side questions of market disengagement and the democratic organisational forms that will permit the transition to a more fundamentally egalitarian and co-operative economy.

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