Friday, June 23, 2017

Brett Heino — The Great Leveler: Capitalism and Competition in the Court of Law

There are few components of a capitalist society that penetrate as deeply and pro-foundly into the lives of the people as law. Whole swathes of social life, ranging from the labour–capital relationship, the make-up of the family, the regulation of crime and the relationship of citizens to one another and the state (to name a few) are structured and governed by the legal form. Capitalism is, in short, legalized to a degree that is historically unprecedented. Given this reality, it is both surprising and disappointing that sophisticated Marxist analyses of law are uncommon. Many attempts fall apart in the always-difficult exercise of articulating theoretical rigour with empirical sensitivity. Against this backdrop, Brett Christophers’ The Great Leveler: Capitalism and Competition in the Court of Law stands out as a fine example of both the method and the fruits of a successful effort at such an articulation....
As world capitalism continues to change and evolve, we must understand the roles played in this process by the full gamut of economic, political and cultural institutions, including the law. The Great Leveler stands as a beacon for those of us who have been arguing for law to be taken to the heart of political-economic study.
Neoliberalism, which promotes privatization and deregulation, is very much engaged with law and law-making as a political theory based chiefly on economic liberalism and political conservatism. Economic liberalism holes that property relations should be free of government intrusion, and political conservatism holds that ownership of property is evidence of the ability to govern, which President Trump just affirmed in his appointing billionaires to cabinet level positions. Also strong features of this are lobbying and the revolving door.

Progress in Political Economy
Brett Heino

No comments: