Chapter 4: The market despots: the global capitalist fantasy of authoritarian nationalism
This chapter examines the rise of a new and increasingly attractive form of authoritarian capitalism nationally. The demand for national sovereignty, intimately associated with a sense of lacking individual and collective agency, is transposed onto a strong state actor. The personal dictator or the “Party” resonates with a yearning to feel once more in control. These authoritarian regimes supposedly are unbound by strictures of globalization while still secure in their promise of delivering future capitalist progress. Such longings are readily witnessed in rising powers such as Russia and China. In each of these cases, an economics of marketization is matched by a politics of explicit and implicit authoritarianism. Reflected is the broader appeal and rise of market despots.
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