Authoritarian Capitalism in the Age of Globalization
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Authoritarian Capitalism in the Age of Globalization

Peter Bloom

Exploring the rise of authoritarian capitalism, this book offers a fresh perspective on politics and economics in the present age of globalization. It asks the crucial question of whether individuals and nations can break free from the ‘grip’ of authoritarian capitalism in the twenty-first century. Peter Bloom includes a detailed and in-depth analysis of how marketization is promoting political authoritarianism across the world. He tells a story of authoritarian progress – where capitalist prosperity can only be delivered by the coercive rule of ‘self-disciplining’ nations and ‘disciplining’ trans-national institutions – and in which capitalist sovereignty is replacing liberal and social democracy. In doing so, Bloom helps readers rethink the structural as well as discursive role of sovereign power within capitalism, showing the ways the free market relies upon a range of authoritarian political fantasies not just for its growth but its very survival.
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Chapter 3: Globalization and the desire for authoritarianism

Peter Bloom


This chapter looks more in depth at how economic discourses of globalization are catalyzing popular desires for political authoritarianism. Specifically, it contends that the portrayal of corporate globalization as “inevitable” and “necessary” creates an intensified desire for individual and collective sovereignty. Rather than simply be a “subjectless” part of the inexorable and unavoidable spread of an international financial regime, people affectively embrace their right and ability to shape this process to their own advantage – to be, in this sense, a subject of globalization instead of merely being subjected to it. As will be shown, this fantasy of sovereignty associated with globalization is quite conducive to conventional authoritarianism, and ironically serves to provide a popular legitimacy to capitalism’s ongoing structural necessity of a regulative state for its survival and growth.

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