Industrialism and Freedom



Having traced the evolution of market capitalism, its congenital defects, the protective response they spawned, and the drift thusly generated toward the corporate-welfare state, and in light of the rife institutional crisis which permeates that social order, it is necessary to pause and take stock. I have argued that the corporate-welfare state manifests a spontaneous social movement unconsciously bent on returning the economy to its traditional or historical place in society, namely, an economy politically administered or otherwise socially embedded. Several questions emerge. What are the implications of the analysis with respect to industrialism, the patent historical sibling of market capitalism? How does the present analysis compare with the logic of industrial reform and social change which has been a key theme of American Institutionalism from its precursors, through its founders, to its current champions? Together, considerations of these two questions will enable me to suggest the strength of Polanyi’s interpretation of social change in industrial market capitalism, and lead me to a final and most important question: What is the place of freedom in the emerging order? Is freedom in fact so integrally intertwined with the market economy that it is institutionally inconsistent with the administered economy?


Market Capitalism Market Economy Industrial Revolution Protective Response Industrial System 
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5 Industrialism and Freedom

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© J. R. Stanfield 1986

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