A post-script on the Limits of the Market

I spent most of yesterday trying to make sense of this paragraph of Gareth Dale’s Karl Polanyi: The Limits of the Market Polity Books (2010 p.238) See the post on this, 21 April 2014:

“One of the more powerful passages in Polanyi’s oeuvre, on the antepenultimate page of TGT, seeks to explain whence comes liberalism’s adherence to a negative definition of liberty. The answer lies in `the market-view of society which equated economics with contractual relationships, and contractual relations with freedom.´”

The problem was that I could not find the penultimate page of TGT. My copy (a free downloaded pdf file) ended in mid-sentence. I did a search for other copies and found none that went beyond my own cut-off ending.

Eventually I did find one by a well-known critique of the boom-bust cycle, Joseph Stiglitz.  It was a reasonable price but I decided to leave the antepenultimate page of TGT for now at least, and publish the post without it. The main part for my purposes was the praise Polanyi had for Robert Owen and his socialism.

This made me consider the politics of the postwar publishing and copyright. You can read about this in Wikipedia: Pirate Parties International, and Pirate Party. Sweden was the first country in the world to  have a Pirate Party, founded in 2006. It has its own Wikipedia page: Pirate Party (Sweden). See also the page on Copyright.

The ability to buy and sell copyright is a classic neoliberal measure that enable buying and selling copyright – yes, the market again! It affects everyone including authors who often have to agree in a document to transfer copyright to a journal or book company before they will publish it. So in a way, the Pirate Party movement can be understood as a defensive reaction against copyright rules.

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