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SOSC 1009 (4)

SOSC 1000 NOV.21 p.201-237 notes.doc

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 1009
Terry Conlin

SOSC 1000 11. NOV.21 READ: MCBRIDE & SHIELDS #19, ELLWOOD #20, COX #21, BROAD #22 McBride & Shields #19 p.201-209 • The adoption of Keynesianism by most Western countries in the post-war world was a response to the deep interwar economic crisis, the challenge of an ideological competitor in the shape of the Soviet Union, whose performance in the Second World War lent it enormous prestige in working-class circles, and the pressure from below for full employment, labour rights and economic security. (201) • The Great Depression was a profound crisis that shook capitalism to its roots. Internationally it generated a political crisis as well. (201) • In the aftermath of the Great Depression and Second World War the classical laissez-faire doctrine of minimal state intervention was laid to rest in most Western countries. (201) • There was a general fear in the Western world that capitalism would drift back into deep economic crisis if reforms were not made. (202) • Thus it was deemed essential that capitalism be humanized and that the state provides a shield to protect the people from “the insecurities and hardships of an unrestrained market economy” (Piven and Cloward 1982:ix). (202) • This required the integration of the working class into the system. (202) • John Maynard Keynes provided the theoretical justification for state intervention within modern capitalism, and his views became widely accepted. (202) • Under the influence of Keynesianism, the capitalist state came to embrace a “legitimation” mandate based on the provision of material benefits to subordinate classes. (202) • Keynesianism was able to steer the capitalist state clear of both “the political shoals of conservative laissez-faire” and the massive state ownership that socialism would bring (Wolfe 1985:128). (202) • By placing aggregate demand at the centre of its economic program Keynesianism was able to sketch a middle path for capitalist economic recovery. (202) • The state had come to be responsible for ensuring a measure of “equity, efficacy, stability, and growth” (Stewart 1991:92). (202) • The Keynesian consensus, in its attempt to produce a stable and efficient capitalism, pursued universal social programs and other policies embodying principles of mild redistributive justice, and this helped to promote “a sense of common social citizenship” (Doern and Purchase 1991b:9). (203-4) • Globalization, the class forces that benefit from it and the revival of neo-liberalism stand in symbiotic relationship. (209) • With the advent of economic crisis and global capital restructuring, the Keynesian consensus unraveled and its institutions were questioned. (209) • This reshaping of political priorities occurred in the context of a fiscal crisis of the state, and it brought the issue of governmental restraint to the forefront of the political agenda. Ellwood #20 p.211-216 • Cristobal Colon, an ambitious young Genoese sailor and adventurer, was obsessed with Asia- a region about which he knew nothing, apart from unsubstantiated rumors of its colossal wealth. (211) 1 • His goal: to find the Grand Khan of China and the gold which was reportedly there in profusion. (211) • Centuries later Colon would become familiar to familiar to millions of school children as Christopher Columbus, the famous ‘discover’ of the Americas. (211) • In fact, the ‘discover’ was more of an accident. (211) • He found himself sailing under a tropical sun into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, making his landfall somewhere in the Bahamas which he promptly named San Salvador (the Savior). (211) • And they were befriended by the islands’ indigenous population, the Taino. (211) • Twenty years and several voyages later, most of the Taino were dead and the
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