Capitalism and Development by Leslie Sklair

By Leslie Sklair

This assortment attracts jointly a individual crew of authors to discover how capitalism contributes to the improvement and underdevelopment of the 3rd global. It presents an exceptional evaluate of key suggestions reminiscent of "capitalism", "development","modernization" and "dependency".

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DEMOCRACY Democracy can be labelled bourgeois, liberal, national, radical, pseudo, empowered or even socialist. We are all for it, but we find it difficult to define. It is a universal good, except when it is given an epithet of ‘western’ or ‘bourgeois’ or ‘populist’. One place to start would be with the minimalist definition of Schumpeter for whom: ‘the democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote’ (Schumpeter 1962:269).

Twenty years ago this term conjured up distribution of land to peasants in Latin America or tinkering with the planning system in Eastern Europe. Today it is tantamount to the reign of markets. (Przeworski 1991:58) It is this reality, and the impossibility of returning to the status quo ante, that lies behind the triumphal optimism of the neo-liberal discourse. Whether this new phase of capitalist development will create the conditions for a durable democratic outcome is, of course, another matter.

Instead we must recognize that the development record of democracy is mediated through popular perceptions and evaluations which have created considerable ‘political space’ for drastic economic measures. The new realism this signals is not, of course, divorced from the perceived lack of alternatives in global historical terms. The new democracies in Latin America assumed office just when the international turn to ‘structural adjustment’ began in earnest. The new watchwords were deregulation (of prices), de-statization and the elimination of protectionism.

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