The provocative political thinker asks if it will be with a bang or a whimper
After years of ill health, capitalism is now in a critical condition. Growth has given way to stagnation; inequality is leading to instability; and confidence in the money economy has all but evaporated.
In How Will Capitalism End?, the acclaimed analyst of contemporary politics and economics Wolfgang Streeck argues that the world is about to change. The marriage between democracy and capitalism, ill-suited partners brought together in the shadow of World War Two, is coming to an end. The regulatory institutions that once restrained the financial sector’s excesses have collapsed and, after the final victory of capitalism at the end of the Cold War, there is no political agency capable of rolling back the liberalization of the markets.
Ours has become a world defined by declining growth, oligarchic rule, a shrinking public sphere, institutional corruption and international anarchy, and no cure to these ills is at hand.
Wolfgang Streeck is Director Emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. He is a member of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. His books include Buying Time and How Will Capitalism End?