False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism Paperback – 30 Nov 1998
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Back in the 1980s, capitalism seemed ready to finally inherit the earth. According to the likes of Francis Fukuyama, in his infamous book The End of History, history was coming to an end with the triumph of western capitalism, witnessed by the dramatic collapse of the Soviet Bloc and the growth of the global free market. Subsequent events, from the downfall of Mrs Thatcher to the recent financial unrest in Southeast Asia, have seriously questioned the validity of Fukuyama's arguments (not to mention other luminaries of the New Right). However, John Gray's wonderful False Dawn is the first book to convincingly dismantle the economic and historical presumptions of the 1980s, as we head into political and financial uncharted water.
Writing with great economy and accessibility, Gray's argument is concise but portentous: the unfettered global free market economy will not spawn a self-regulating utopia, but increasing social instability and economic anarchy. With an impressive breadth of economic and social history, False Dawn convincingly argues that "the free market is a rare, short-lived phenomenon", a specific product of English nineteenth-century social engineering, from whose cycles of boom and bust we still have much to learn. Even more provocatively, Gray argues that "democracy and the free market are competitors rather than partners." The failures of the free market, from pre-war Europe to the collapse of the Mexican economy in 1994, have persistently shown that democratic state intervention is required to place checks and balances upon the erratic cycles of boom and bust which has characterised the relatively short history of the free market.
Arguing with great passion and conviction, Gray explores the emergence of the belief in the global free market, via the increasingly discredited philosophy of the European Enlightenment, through the rise and fall of the free market in England from Palmerston to Thatcher. The book then analyses the potentially catastrophic investment in the free market coming out of the USA, the recent "Anarcho-capitalism" of post-communist Russia, and the crisis in the markets of Southeast Asia. Avoiding calls for a return to socialist planning, False Dawn is a refreshing and challenging polemic. Nevertheless, it offers few solutions to what Gray sees as "the deepening international anarchy" as free markets spiral out of control. While False Dawn may expose the shortcomings of contemporary global capitalism, it remains to be seen whether or not its arguments provoke more concrete solutions to the chronic instability of the free market. --Jerry Brotton
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
A number of other reviewers have posted some excellent comments on both editions of this important book, so I will not rehearse all that they covered. It is worth stressing, however, that this is not the shrill polemic of a dyed-in-the-wool socialist; Gray's starting point appears to have been firmly within the "global market economy concensus", which almost all countries, politicians and businesses subscribe to, but whose fundamental tenets are rarely challenged or questioned. Gray started doing so when he found that things did not add up, and had the courage to publicise his thoughts, predictions and all, in print.
Whether you buy the first or second edition makes no odds - there are real moments of foresight in the original work that had me convinced of its genius. One of the best books I have read on macroeconomics, and certainly the most important, not to mention timely (still).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
" the free market is a short loved phenonemon" Sorry, I thought it had been here since time immemorial. Quite simply it has. Read morePublished on 8 April 2003 by Clive Pacey
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Business, Finance & Law > Accounting > International
- Books > Business, Finance & Law > Economics > Economic Conditions
- Books > Business, Finance & Law > Economics > International Economics
- Books > Business, Finance & Law > Economics > Political Economy
- Books > Business, Finance & Law > Sales & Marketing > Brands & Corporate Identity