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2018 David Gordon Memorial Lecture

Paper Session

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 12:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Loews Philadelphia, Congress A
Hosted By: Union for Radical Political Economics
  • Chair: Ann E. Davis, Marist College

Free Markets and the Decline of Democracy

John Weeks
School of Oriental and African Studies


The ideology of market freedom achieves its fulfilment in an authoritarian state. The regulation of market processes in the United States and Western Europe after WWII suppressed the authoritarianism inherent in capitalism. The reduction of state controls over capital that began in the 1970s initiated a new liberation of authoritarianism. The emergence of finance capital, so-called financialization, brings to full expression the anti-democratic nature of market processes. In the first decades of the 21st century finance capital has asserted its dictatorship over a globalized economy. This lays the basis for the transition to overt authoritarianism thinly disguised by democratic trappings. Capitalist competition is the vehicle that transforms democracy into dictatorship. This lecture develops theoretically the inner nature of market competition and analyzes its anti-democratic unfolding in the United States over the last fifty years.
Gary Mongiovi
St. John’s University
JEL Classifications
  • P1 - Capitalist Systems