Integrated Circus

Integrated Circus: The New Right and the Restructuring of Global Markets

Copyright Date: 1991
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Integrated Circus
    Book Description:

    When Pax Americana began to disintegrate in the late 1960s, economic leaders in corporate America joined with their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan to develop a self-interested strategy for dealing with the political and social impacts of a changing global economy. As Marchak shows, the political agenda of the emerging New Right the dismantling of the welfare state was supported by corporate-funded think-tanks which influenced public policy and by media campaigns which swayed public opinion. The New Right promoted the resurgence of laissez-faire political and economic ideas which Marchak traces back to the theories of Adam Smith.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6298-1
    Subjects: Economics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xi-2)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 3-24)

    The new right is an ideology and a political agenda that became popular in the industrial democracies between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s. It rejects the Keynesian consensus of the post-war era, and extols the virtues of free enterprise and entrepreneurship. It expresses dissatisfaction with democracy, equality, social welfare policies, collective bargaining, and other citizens’ rights achieved throughout the previous three decades. By the end of the 1970s this ideology was adopted by the British government, and within the next few years it influenced the political policies of most of the world’s governments. The questions I address in this book...

    • CHAPTER TWO The Invisible Hand: The Legacy of Smith, Locke, and Their Critics
      (pp. 27-49)

      Market theories, originally articulated in Britain’s imperial age, were adapted to new conditions as the United States took over world leadership in the immediate post-war era. The adaptation, known generally as Keynesianism, introduced a substantially enlarged role for national governments and international organizations. However, the ideology of free markets was not modified by the adaptations. Whatever its correspondence to economic and political reality, this ideology remained strong, and when America’s fortunes declined, it was the Keynesian modifications that were blamed.

      This chapter provides a background history of the classical theories of property, the state, and markets, and their development up...

    • CHAPTER THREE Pax Americana, 1945–1965
      (pp. 50-70)

      As the undisputed victor of the European wars, the United States emerged with excessive productive capacity and an appetite for world reform. Historians may debate far into the future which of these exerted the greater influence on its foreign policy.

      American production had increased by 50 per cent between 1939 and 1945,¹ and its companies sought market outlets. The United States had nothing to fear from its diminished allies if it opened its own borders to imports, and it had much to gain by insisting that other countries open theirs. It did this not merely as a means of advancing...

    • CHAPTER FOUR The Coca-Cola Stall, 1965-1985
      (pp. 71-92)

      Between 1958, when John Kenneth Galbraith dubbed America the affluent society,¹, and 1973, when the oil-producing and exporting countries (OPEC) mounted an effective opposition to American control of oil supplies and pricing, or at the latest 1975, when defeated American troops finally withdrew from Vietnam, the short era of the Pax Americana ended. During that same period the integrated circuit technology fundamentally altered both the nature of industrial production and its location in a global economy. In this chapter we will investigate some of the links between these events and consider the explanations offered by American social scientists.


    • CHAPTER FIVE The New Right Agenda
      (pp. 93-116)

      With the Coca-Cola stall, the invisible hand was recalled from retirement. In what appeared to be a sudden and spontaneous development, business leaders and politicians around the world began using a whole new vocabulary to explain the recession of the early 1980s and to promote a new agenda. They said that government had undercut healthy entrepreneurship through its interference in the free market. The new vocabulary included “privatization,” “deregulation,” “downsizing,” “restraint,” and “special export zones.” “Free trade” and “free enterprise” took on a new urgency and a more extreme meaning. “Democracy” lost its lustre, and became associated with complaints about...

    • CHAPTER SIX The Ginza Strip
      (pp. 119-138)

      Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, all of which had emerged as major participants in the global marketplace since the mid-1960s, had philosophical traditions entirely contrary to the free market ideology. For them the state had always been a major institutional force in the development of the economy, and had been linked in ideology as well as fact with the leading private houses. This divergent history affected their development within the American age; while paying obeisance to the American credo, they retained and adapted the earlier structures of state and capital. And while flattered by the attention of the Trilateralists, Japanese...

    • CHAPTER SEVEN The Travelling Show
      (pp. 139-156)

      We have spoken of the international division of labour. Throughout the 1940s to mid-1960s, the Western capitalist countries were euphemistically known as the First World, the Eastern European centrally managed states as the Second World, and all others as the Third World. This division of space and cultures was a crude means of recognizing that most of the world, especially nations in the southern hemisphere (Japan, Australia and New Zealand excepted), suffered both absolute and relative poverty. Most people entered the cash economy markets, if at all, as providers of raw materials and agricultural goods.

      For a handful of the...

    • CHAPTER EIGHT High-Wire Acts
      (pp. 157-173)

      Huckleberry Finn travelled by raft. Humbert Humbert chased Lolita by car. Across the heavens, leaping over the barriers of the gods, good and evil have been captured forever on American films in endless, mind-numbing car chases ever since. America, the mobile society; America, the great highway for the common man. Labour was mobile at last, chained only by the need to earn money to pay for the wheels. Surely it was the automobile that sustained the mythology of the classless society. Mass production, mass consumption, mass education; there were no lords and ladies in the Ford-managed society.

      Then along came...

    • CHAPTER NINE The European Troupe
      (pp. 174-195)

      The notion that all the world would adopt the new right agenda, as pronounced at the end of the eighth decade of this century by Rand Corporation and the US State Department publicist Francis Fukuyama, was not widely accepted in Europe.¹ Both history and ideology resisted their premature termination.

      The new right, it is true, had remarkable success in setting the agenda of the 1980s and dismantling the Keynesian consensus. But the development of a united Europe, the establishment of a European Parliament, and the dramatic events in Eastern Europe have modified that agenda. In this chapter we will consider...

    • CHAPTEN TEN In the Penny Arcade
      (pp. 196-214)

      American and European banks are overexposed in Latin America; their outstanding loans far exceed their capital. If Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico repudiated their debt, two of Britain’s largest banks (Lloyds and Midland) and a good dozen of the largest US banks (including Citicorp, Chemical, and First Interstate) would court insolvency.

      The passage from simple dependency to integrated circus has been fraught with ironies, the most prominent being the political outcomes of the economic theory of the free market. The banks of the industrial countries took Rousseau literally: they would force the rest of the world to be free. In the...

    • CHAPTER ELEVEN Economic Reality
      (pp. 217-235)

      In a free market there is no room for an interventionist state. Yet leaders of the LDCs can see that the industrial countries are extremely active in protecting the rights of their nationals elsewhere, even while strongly arguing for the moral as well as the economic virtue of non-intervention and of pure market forces. They see too that in a free market where property rights are overwhelmingly held by nationals of rich countries the poverty of their own people not only persists but increases.

      A MODEST REJECTION of received economic theory was mounted in the 1960s by Raúl Prebisch,¹ the...

    • CHAPTER TWELVE The Environmental Dimension
      (pp. 236-252)

      “All these factories, they give us life, but they kill us at the same time,” said a Brazilian mother in Cubatão.¹ In her town, one of the most polluted on earth, half the inhabitants are thought to suffer from respiratory diseases. In 1985 the state-owned Petroleo Brasileiro refinery had an accident that killed about six hundred inhabitants of a slum neighbourhood. The Brazilian companies are reported to be the worst offenders in air and water pollution; American companies such as Monsanto and Union Carbide are more conscious of environmental impacts, especially after the Bhopal tragedy in India. In the end,...

    • CHAPTER THIRTEEN Conclusion
      (pp. 253-268)

      The world is undergoing several revolutions at the same time. The technological revolution initiated by the development of the silicon chip is one dimension; the agricultural revolution with its mixed results in underdeveloped countries is another; the astonishing conclusion of the cold war and the beginning of East-West co-operation is a third. As we move towards another century, we are beginning to understand that the earth is fragile, and that what we do in one region has impacts on all other regions. Perhaps that is the most fundamental change in our time - a change that takes place in our...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 269-288)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 289-308)
  12. Index
    (pp. 309-320)