The End of Protest: How Free-Market Capitalism Learned to Control Dissent

The End of Protest How Free-Market Capitalism Learned to Control DissentThe End of Protest: How Free-Market Capitalism Learned to Control Dissent explains how governments learned to unleash market forces while also avoiding protest about the market’s failures. 
The US has just gone through the worst economic crisis in a generation. Why wasn’t there more protest, as there was in other countries? During the United States’ last great era of free-market policies, before World War II, economic crises were always accompanied by unrest. Alasdair Roberts (Suffolk University Law School) convincingly argues that in the last three decades, the two countries that led the free-market revolution—the US and Britain—have invented new strategies for dealing with unrest over free market policies. The organizing capacity of unions has been undermined so that it is harder to mobilize discontent. The mobilizing potential of new information technologies has also been checked. Police forces are bigger and better equipped than ever before. And technocrats in central banks have been given unprecedented power to avoid full-scale economic calamities.
Tracing the histories of economic unrest in the US and UK from the 19th century to the present, the book shows that governments have always been preoccupied with the task of controlling dissent over free market policies. But today’s methods pose a new threat to democratic values. For the moment, advocates of free-market capitalism have found ways of controlling discontent, but the continued effectiveness of these strategies is by no means certain.

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One Response to The End of Protest: How Free-Market Capitalism Learned to Control Dissent

  1. Pingback: ES/PE blog discusses The End of Protest | Alasdair S. Roberts

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