The crisis of democratic capitalism

Michael Roberts Blog

In his latest book, FT columnist and Keynesian guru Martin Wolf, starts from the premise that capitalism and democracy go together like a hand in a glove.  But he is worried.  “We are living in an age when economic failings have shaken faith in global capitalism. Some now argue that capitalism is better without democracy; others that democracy is better without capitalism.”

Nevertheless, in his book, Wolf claims that while “the marriage between capitalism and democracy has become fraught”, any “divorce would be an almost unimaginable calamity.” Despite the faltering steps of capitalism in the 21st century: slowing growth, increasing inequality, widespread popular disillusion, “democratic capitalism” as he calls it, “though inherently fragile, remains the best system we know for human flourishing.”

Wolf defines ‘democracy’ as “universal suffrage, representative democracy, free and fair elections; active participation of people, as citizens, in civic life; protection of…

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