The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time

By Karl Polanyi
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"The Great Transformation" by Karl Polanyi is a seminal work of economic and social theory that explores the disruptive consequences of the rise of market societies in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Polanyi argues that the establishment of a global market economy came at the expense of social and ecological balance. He asserts that the market-driven commodification of land, labor, and money resulted in profound dislocations, both within societies and between nature and humanity.

Drawing on historical examples, Polanyi demonstrates how the encroachment of market forces led to the dismantling of traditional social institutions and the erosion of communal bonds. He highlights the negative consequences of unregulated markets, such as poverty, inequality, and the loss of cultural identity.

Polanyi posits that the destructive effects of unchecked market expansion necessitate countervailing measures to protect society and the environment. He argues for the adoption of social and political interventions that prioritize human well-being over profit maximization.

Throughout the book, Polanyi offers insights and critiques of prevailing economic theories, calling for a reevaluation of societal priorities and a reconsideration of the relationship between humans, nature, and the economy.

"The Great Transformation" is a thought-provoking and incisive exploration of the social costs of market fundamentalism that continue to resonate in contemporary times. Polanyi's analysis provides a framework for understanding the complexities of modern capitalism and offers potential pathways toward more equitable and sustainable societies.
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