By John Gray
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8 The project of adapting and reforming our individualist market institutions to meet these enduring human needs is inhibited by the Demos This page is covered by the Demos open access licence. Some rights reserved. uk/openaccess 27 After social democracy: politics, capitalism and the common life social-democratic belief that there is, or may yet be, a single European model of market institutions, to which Britain could assimilate. French and German capitalism are not subtypes of a single European model with which Anglo-Saxon capitalism can be usefully contrasted.
This may be true. But as The Economist recognises elsewhere in the same article, the effect of global integration has been to alter the consequences of using these powers, and thereby to impose new constraints on their uses. It can be argued that the impact of economic globalisation (in its various manifestations) on the macroeconomic policies of sovereign states has been exaggerated; it is silly to suggest that the costs of certain policy options have not greatly increased as a consequence of globalisation, increased so much indeed, as to remove them from the political agenda.
Apart from the ephemeral episode of neoliberalism, the relationship between the permanent revolution of the global market and inherited forms of family and social life is not one of easy coexistence or stable equilibrium. 30 Individualist market institutions of the sort we inherited in Britain detach individuals from localities and communities and weaken commitments to families. They do this by imposing unending mobility on people and by routinising high levels of economic risk, so that all relationships come to be perceived as revocable and transitory.
After Social Democracy: Politics, Capitalism and the Common Life by John Gray