The Doctrine of Inevitability

christian a. gregory driver at
Wed Sep 2 08:13:51 PDT 1998

Patrick Bond wrote:

>But I agree that the new regime of accumulation required to set
>things right isn't immediately on the horizon (though some folk have
>argued that Japan can become a hegemon once its economic deadwood is
>cleared). What are the regulationists who posited a post-fordist mode
>saying now? My doctoral supervisor (your favourite, David Harvey)
>wrote in 1989, in The Condition of Postmodernity, that the flexible
>regime was embryonic but potentially there, but he was never too
>convinced about that. I haven't followed the regulationists more
>recently... what's their story about the way forward?

Michel Aglietta published an article in New Left Review in 82 that argued that the the so-called "global" system was still based on a monopolistic form of regulation, tho centered on banks and international finance rather than the productive-fictive capital compromise of the postwar era. In the 80's Alain Lipietz published two (really good) books about the emergence of what he called "global Fordism" and the travails of monetarism. (I mention them because I don't recall Harvey taking these arguments into account per se, tho his argument presumes them). Lipietz' most recent (Towards a New Economic Order) book frames the impasses of liberal productivism in terms of ecological catastrophe (impending and actually existing); in the wake of the "end" of liberal welfare states, he advocates developing a third sector of activity that would offer opportunities to the unemployed for what he calls socially useful work, subsidized and not taxed. Although this argument is addressed more to the European context, it's an interesting pragmatic-utopian scheme; he advocates a universal allowance but takes into account the effects of such on product prices (etc) and the counterarguments of neoliberals. He also has a proposal for a new Bretton Woods addressed to what he sees as the four main problems of the global economy (so-called): third world debt, raw material price stability, financing of third world aid, stable interest rates. In short, it seems to me Lipietz wants a global Fordism with a more safeguards--something very useful at this moment.

Also, this book has a really interesting English ed. postscript.

best christian

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list