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CIAO DATE: 12/00

The End of Opposition?: Market Power as a Rationality
(or Diverting the Egalitarian Neurological Imperative?)

Jeffrey Harrod
University of Amsterdam

International Studies Association
41st Annual Convention
Los Angeles, CA.
March 14-18, 2000

 

" What is actually aspiration for power, then appears as something different, something that is in harmony with the demands of reason, morality and justice."

H. J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (Fourth Edition) (New York, Knopf,1967) p.119

Whenever myths arise regarding God or some other power source, and however irrational such myths may be, nevertheless these myths can be considered rationally and conclusions can be derived from them. In fact, once there exists a foundational myth that includes a power source, then the cognitive imperative, which created the myth in the first place, necessarily begins to analyze the myth rationally.

E. d'Aquili and A. N. Newberg The Mystical Mind: Probing the Biology of Religious Experience (Minneapolis, Fortress Press,1999) p. 164

Many discussion papers are presented as "work in development" but this paper is more of an idea or a connection "in the course of construction/destruction" because if the connection made here turns out to be either invalid or has been pursued in another strain of the literature with which I am not familiar, it may well stop here. The connection is derived from current research in neurology. Essentially this research, using brain imaging techniques, allows neurologists a clearer picture of the functioning of the brain. Using these brain-imaging techniques d'Aquili and Newberg (A&N) argue that, amongst other subtle processes, the brain is determined to seek a causality which goes beyond the archaic observation of a "rational human".

So powerful is this neurobiological imperative that, when a cause cannot be deduced, there is a specific part of the brain which generates an illogical, uncaused myth to mitigate the biophysical stress arising from the frustration of the brains causal non-achievement. While all brains are not necessarily equal the neurological processes are universal. The core connection for this paper is then as follows: if the information of social and economic inequality is provided as input to neurological equality ( brains are universal and all the structure of neurological processes are equal) and such equality cannot be satisfactorily explained then the myth-generating brain function produces a myth suitable as an, albeit temporary, explanation of inequality. It could be thus that all human social and political ideologies and ideational constructs are designed to pacify the stress from unexplained inequality and the tension between an egalitarian brain and a differentiating society.

The myths produced to explain the unexplainable in this paper I have called rationalities. The application to the European Social Democrats (ESDs) is that their acceptance of a rationality constructed for the power of the corporation (market forces) in circumstances when they operate within a rationality constructed to explain the power of the state (popular will) results in the current tension between electorate and politician, between intention and performance and therefore has important impacts on foreign policy and involvements in global governance.

 

Explaining the "Rightward" Turn of European Social Democrats

There is a widespread agreement that EDSs have, during the past 15 years, moved rightward and closer to the political center. This move has required a constrained view of welfare state, of public ownership, budget deficits, labor market protection and other previously established policies of these parties and individuals. Symbolic of this process, and in vivid color, is the six year old "purple cabinet" in the Netherlands - purple because it is the color made from red and dark blue - the cabinet is composed of the (red) social democrats and the dark blue of the party which was originally to the right of Christian Democrats.

Accompanying this general observation is the noticeable difference between the rhetoric of the parties and their actions in power. While the rhetoric contains substantial appeals to the electorate in traditional social democratic terms linked to Keynesian and corporatist solutions, in power these are not implemented or become a matter of controversy rather than a promised execution of announced policy. This in turn is said to lead to a democratic anomie in which populations have lost both trust and interest in democratic processes and in which the, a-historical and logic confronting slogan of There Is No Alternative (TINA) spells the end of opposition.

In seeking reasons for this development, however, there seems to be little agreement. For Van der Pijl (1999) these parties and individuals, when in power, are caught up in a much larger and more important battle between European and American capital for the control of Europe and Eastern Europe. In this process social democrats were pushed off course by transatlantic coalitions seeking a neo-liberal conservative agenda and a vision of neutral, trade-arrangement Western Europe with a USA-dominated Eastern Europe. Waringo,(1999). using a case study of the French socialists and privatization, argues that despite protestation to the contrary the neo-liberal agenda on financial deregulation and privatization has been accepted by the French Socialists as "best practice". Sferza (1999), in seeking to defend the rightward turn, points out that although the ESD parties have accepted neo-liberal economic policies their civic, democratic aspects have remained intact and, as this has an important electoral appeal, it still enables them to continue to lay claim to the social democratic ideal. Ryder (1999) notes that there is another strain of literature which, using the Gramscian concept of a historic bloc, analyses the dynamics of the bloc in relation to material developments. Although he also sees the utility in considering the development of ideology he notes " The general diagnosis of these works is that, by consenting and even identifying with a policy of market discipline, social democratic governments of today do not represent an alternative to neo-liberalism, but tend to actively promote neo-liberal restructuring of Europe".

In this paper I would then like to add another embellishment to all these explanations which is connected with the statist source of ESD power. ESDs are elected, the legitimisation of state power stems from a rationality of the state. Not only has this rationality weakened but the ESDs effectively subscribe, before securing power, to the rationality of the corporation - here referred to as market forces. This produces a contradiction the examination of which this paper hopefully illuminates by examining the competing rationalities.

 

What is a Rationality

Essentially "rationality" as I use it here is the generic term for a constructed concept satisfying the demand for an ultimate causality for real social and economic illogicalities. It is power-disguising in the sense as indicated by Morganthau in the quote at the head of this paper that the search for power "appears as something different, something that is in harmony with the demands of reason, morality and justice. Morgantau's "something" and d' Aquili and Newberg's "myth" is my "rationality".

Rationality as power-disguising myth/ideology/theology is apparent in many schemas. For example, Cox (1987 p. 25) sees a rationality as a "collective mentality" a "typical way of perceiving and interpreting the world" held by different social groups within different forms of power relations which sustain the continued existence of the form. In the companion volume (Harrod 1987) I added an instrumental element to it in that the world view was one constructed by a superior power. Something approximating a rationality has been used by almost all writers and philosophers who have set out to considered the nature of society and governance. Thus a rationality could be seen also in Weberian unauthentic legitimization, or in a Foucaultian dominant discourse. Likewise, a rationality might also be the internalization of the norms of ruling class governance, as in Gramscian hegemony, or the Marxist superstructure. 1

Current neurological research, however, may be moving towards a more definite statement concerning the human creation of rationalities which go beyond the philosophical view relating to mental processes. According to d'Aquili and Newberg (A&N) the mind functions on the basis of cognitive "operators". Operators in mathematics are the signs of multiplication, division etc. These operators (signs) determine what is done in mathematics with numbers and in the brain with sensory information. There are several operators in brain function but one of these, the causal operator is of crucial importance to the concept of a rationality. In a key passage A&N state:

The causal operator permits reality to be viewed in terms of causal sequences. This particular operator seems to have played a significant role in the development of human science, philosophy and particularly religion. The causal operator is believed to result from the connections between the left frontal lobe and the left orientation association area......... In its basic function the causal operator tends to impart a sense of causality on all events that we observe. Thus the operator forces us to question why we are here, why something works the way it does, and what created the universe. In all of these , and in every other instance , we want to know the cause that lies behind every event that we experience. Thus we would suggest that it is the mind or brain itself that is designed to seek out causality. Our brain functions in such a way that it tries to find the cause of all things it experiences. If this is the case, then it is a biological necessity for use to seek out causality. In fact we might cause this the causal imperative."

They go on to suggest that the casual imperative is unlocked most easily when the "natural laws of causality " are broken. For them, innate natural lows of causality are demonstrated by the fact, for example, a baby will concentrate longer on a test in which a larger ball appears to pass through a hole smaller than the ball than when the ball passes through a hole larger than the ball. When the chain of causality is exhausted, the brain demand and constructs an uncaused causality ( usually, but not necessarily, as the reference to "power sources" in the quote from A&N at the head of the paper illustrates) a god. They go even further, identifying that the causal operator myth generation is the connection between two specific and identified areas of the brain that is between the frontal lobe and the left orientation area. In media terms this has been designated the "god spot" that is, the area in the brain which generates uncaused causes and mystical experiences

Such findings, if eventually confirmed by ongoing research have far-reaching implications. For social scientists much would depend on the definition of the "breaches of natural laws of causality". A&N argue that brains and brain functions are universal, which is why , for example, religion is universal. While it may be logical to suggest that the causal imperative would be triggered by unknown or unexplained natural phenomena it would be less evident that social constructions which result in illogical outcomes were also as powerful a trigger. Nevertheless, it is difficult, for example, to accept that the causal imperative would not be involved when the brain receives information indicating arbitrary inequalities - the quality of arbitrariness being equivalent to breaking the " natural laws of causality". A reason is demanded when an internal self confronts external arbitrariness encapsulated in the question as to why is he/she/they richer/poorer/ than I/us?'. If this were the case then we arrive at a biological determinism for the demand for equality in the face of socially constructed and putatively arbitrary inequalities - socially constructed greed faces neurobiology. It also provides a neurological base for ethics and morality and suggests that if there were a rational choice for maximizing individual gain there is also a counter logic which demands that there is provided a final cause or reason for the unequal result so achieved.

Although it may be a human necessity to create a rationality from the interaction between the frontal lobe and the left orientation area to produce an uncaused cause, the rationality so created is, in practice, used as a power-cloaking device. The rationality which is the uncaused, abstract and mythical power source could be called, (after A&N) a foundational rationality. When it is used and elaborated as a power-cloaking device by society-wide and identifiable beneficiaries, then it may be termed a macro-rationality. This latter is a rationality partially socially constructed which may satisfy the neurological demand for cause before reaching the myth and god-creation neurological event. The religious rationality is universal and a beginning cause - a foundational myth or rationality. It has been noticed by religious critics, such as Bertrand Russell, that there is a correlation between religiosity and the proximity to arbitrary natural phenomena. Storm-prone coastal dwellers seem to be more religious than temperate pastoralists. This raises the issue as to whether, when the number of logically unanswerable phenomena are greater then there is a greater use of the "god spot" in the brain for uncaused cause generation. If this were the case then the greater number of causal explanations generated by science means that the rationality-creating need moves downstream from the final cause into a purposefully created macro-rationality which uses, but is not, itself a foundational myth.

Thus the macro-rationality is the myth examined rationally, according to the view of A&N cited at the head of the paper. Below this are specific rationalities which apply to one set of circumstances in which dominant-subordinate relations are maintained. This latter were the relations referred to in Cox and Harrod to sustain a particular and globally minor pattern of power relations in production.

To secure a temporal comprehension of a rationality requires an approach based on the objective of revealing power and its techniques which I have called elsewhere societal realism. (Harrod, 2000) Significantly this approach is similar as that proposed by Foucault in analyzing discursive practices . As quoted by de Goede (1999) "Curiosity ... evokes concern; it evokes the care one takes for what exists and could exist; a readiness to find what is strange and singular in what surrounds us; a certain relentlessness to break up our familiarities and to regard otherwise the same things; a fervor to grasp what is happening and what passes; a casualness in regard to traditional hierarchies of the important and the essential" (M. Foucault (1990) "The Masked Philosopher" in Foucault Live (1996) p. 305 New York: Semiotext(e) as quoted in de Goede 1999 p.1.

The discursive analysis, as de Goede (1999) so excellently demonstrates in relation to the borderline between legitimate finance and gambling and Hulsman (1999) in relation to the acceptance of private property is indeed a technique of considering rationalities, at a certain level. These studies suggest that further discussion and research may have to deal with the articulation of discourses and their linkages to a foundational rationality. But without reference to the latter, and the beneficiaries of it, the pantheism of power locked into the notion of discursive practice may also direct attention away from the functioning of the core rationality and the power it hides.

The beneficiaries of the macro-rationality have an organizational form. Organizations can be seen as congealed power embedded in the uncaused legitimacy derived from the foundational rationality and at the same time they are active constructors of a macro-rationality. It is the organizational power and the inequalities it produces that requires, for its functioning, a power-cloaking rationality.

 

Different Organizations, Different Rationalities

Social history can be seen as a succession of institutions each accompanied by an organization form and a rationality as already noted above. For the purposes of this paper and the basic concern and issue addressed it is proposed to the see the history of Western Europe as a succession of dominant organizations. First the organization of the church and its rationality of a god as the power source then the state and its rationality of popular will and now the corporation with the market as the power source.

The Organization "Church" and the Power of a God

The arguments made by A&N are mainly directed at the development of a rationality in which a god or other "power source" is created by the neurological causal operator. They suggest that there are survivalist and selectivist reasons for this and that it is an innate process. They argue that once the causal operator is triggered then a cause must be found or created at a certain point in the search for cause (the point of exhaustion?). The production of an uncaused cause - a god - is not a peripheral function nor sporadic, but a specific, distinct and identified brain function.

But even final cause arguments and foundational rationalities as opposed to macro-rationalities may have instrumental applications. It was in the name of the power of god that the power of the church was developed and justified for centuries and behind it the church developed its accumulation, its militaristic ventures, its vast properties and its "livings" for its supervisors, executives and chief executive officers.

Thus it also has not gone unnoticed that while satisfying the deterministic neurobiological imperative, a god has less mystical and downstream uses. Hulsman, without using neurology sees a logic leading to the statement "we could then claim that belief in God is widespread because it corresponds to some rational disposition in of man" (p.717) He then argues that discursive rationality is superior to instrumental rationality and applies this two part hierarchy to the issue of the sustenance and justification of property rights in the functioning of capitalism. He sees this as essential to development of "civilization" but that it could not be achieved by either utilitarian or instrumental or rationality. Thus the public good function of support of private property has been developed through the discursive rationality of the belief in a god and its particular interpretation in Christianity.

The problem with this argument is that it abandons the trajectory by which a god was produced which, as I have suggested above, was to ask the questions concerning inequalities which perhaps were precisely the result of private property ownership. Second, in abandoning instrumental rationality he abandons a route to enlightenment through the question: Who benefits (Qui bono)? Thus for the non-owners of private property the legitimacy of private property might be accepted as the discursive rationality dictates it, or the foundational myth explains it. But for the property owners themselves it must surely be instrumental and, in my terms, a constructed macro-rationality developed as an explanation to be used by a priest in the church to achieve the situation in which - all accept property rights despite that the inequality derived from it (which triggers the causal operator).

But Hulsman is useful in his reduction of a god into a potential instrumental rationality attached to a material issue as private property ownership. The reduction of the rationality of a god would certainly allow for an entry into the field of rationalities those that were less than a final cause but could provide illogical answers to logical questions in the social and political.

The answer to the question: why have I been treated differently from my equal?' has been the historically temporary and satisfactory answer it was Gods will' But this answer could be applied to almost every unexplainable phenomena. This is not the case of the state and corporate rationalities which must be seen then as downstream, derivitives of a the final-cause generating "god spot".

The Organization "State" and the Power of The People.

Although a macro rationality is a social construct upon a neurological determinism it should be distinguished from hegemony in the Gramscian sense of the internalization of the norms of a dominant class. There is no apparent neurobiological base to hegemony - the success for the beneficiaries of hegemony is the success of securing the internalization and preventing the causal operator from being triggered. The divine right of kings internalized is hegemony , the divine is a rationality.

In examining the rationality of the state the work of Foucault is important and pertinent. It is not because he uses directly the notion of a rationality in the sense in which I have used it here but because he was concerned with power viewed not as a singled sourced monopoly of coercive force, but as a process by which codes of conduct were produced. For Foucault there is a history of governmentality in which there was a gradual development from a "state of justice" in the Middle ages to a state of administration in the near contemporary period. In this way he can talk of a the way the state became governmentalised.

This process of governmentalisation corresponds perhaps to the development of a rationality of the state as a power-sourced myth. The state emerged as a competitor to the church but without its own rationality. Obedience to the state was through coercive mechanisms and the causal operator would have difficulty in finding a braking cause. It was not until the development of the social contractionists that the a rationality was constructed through which compliance to the state could be achieved through resort to a noncausal cause - the popular will- elaborated and expressed through the state. Solidified in the French revolution and adopted most vigorously in the communist states after 1930, the rationality of the state has been the dominant rationality of the past two centuries accompanying the dominant organization state. Foucault's observation of the development of governmentality , that is, the governmentalisation of the state may indeed be seen as the weakening of the state rationality. In a key passage, for the argument I am making here, Foucault argues in 1978, that there has been an over-valuing of the state by seeing it as a unity of functions, especially in the Marxist view of developing productive resources and organizing the reproduction of the relations of production. "But the state no more probably than today than any other time in history does not have this unity, this individuality, this rigorous functionality ,nor, to speak frankly , this importance: maybe , after all, the state is more than a composite reality and a mythized abstraction whose importance is a not what is really important for our modernity - is not so much the etatisation of society as the governmentalisation of the state."

For the argument made here this would be the first stage of the decomposition of a rationality of the state which provided explanation by reference to the popular will. Governments do not have such a rationality, as conduits of power they are touchable and real and yet they generate inequalities, the explanation of which must be sought in the state rationality of the power of the people. Even more so as governments become captured by corporation the outputs lack rationality and are set in a state produced framework, law, ethics and democracy which heightens the illogicalities produced.

The Organization "Corporation" and the Power of Market

Unlike the church and state, the dominance of which has been accepted and is historically familiar, in the case of the corporation its dominance or potential dominance is still contested. The arrival of the corporation as the dominant organization of the first quarter of the 20th century has been signaled by two factors. First, there has been a shift in institutional and organizational structure of lead polities and second, there has been a shift in the relative importance of power of the groups or elites which are the holders of power and produce the rationalities. This shift of power has been away from political elites toward corporate elites

For 50 years, within the framework of corporatism, neo-corporatism and state corporatism, elites associated with the state, whether precipitated by elections or putsches, used their power in a centralized, directing, mediating or arbitrating manner. The power structure of these patterns has now changed as power has shifted from elites directly using the state to others not directly in control of state apparatus. It may be that this shift is at the core of the restructuring inherent in the concept of globalization. (Harrod, 1998)

The relative increase in power of the corporate elites represents a shift in globally dominant politico-economic regimes, social formations or patterns of power relations and their associated rationalities. In terms of the concept of social formations as presented by Cox (1987) and Harrod (1987) the current changes can be seen as transformation of social formations dominated by tripartite patterns of power relations in which the state used its power to mediate between the corporate economic power and organized labor social power to a social formation dominated by the enterprise corporatism pattern of power relations in which the corporation makes non-negotiable demands on the state, promotes the social power of the ancillary professionals and fragments the social power of the labor force. If such a transformation has taken place then the dominant organization of the contemporary world is the corporation.

This proposal is confirmed by arguments (Korton 1995) and an increassing number of empirical studies on corporate influence in government, sector and inter-national negotiations ( Bennet 1999; Bowman 1998; Levy and Egan 1999;, Schneiberg 1999; McMichael, 1999)

In the development of a corporate elite and its acquisition of power Perkin (1996) sees professional power as the third revolution after the social revolutions of the neolithic and industrial. Reich (1991) also produces an elite connected to corporations which have arrived in power while Wright (1997) statistically shows the class nature of the new power holders.

The rationality of corporate power is the reification of the power of the market. From the beginning of the idea of a market it seems that the connection between the left frontal lobe and left orientation association area was involved; the generation of the mythical "invisible hand" of Adam Smith (even though he coined this phrase in an oppositional rather than a promotional sense) is said to drive the market and offer a cause for every illogicality that may issue from its functioning..

A symbolic example of how the rationality is currently used is found in the following text:

"Responding to the news that he (the Chairman of National Power UK) worked two days per week for $336,000 he was paid last year ..... (the Chairman) said that the free market was the best method available to produce a fair wage system" Financial Times July 1996 as quoted in Harrod and Thorpe (1999).

The rationality of market forces has become the major construct of the contemporary period because of the rise to power of the corporation as the accompanying organization For at least two centuries at least state and market were articulated but the final cause was ascribed to the rationality of the state. The change in power and position of elites outlined above now seeks to place market power above state power. Furthermore, as the elites find a greater cohesion socially and organizationally across borders through multinational corporations and banks, the rationality easily moves to the global level while that of the state is still confined by the uneveness with which the rationality is absorbed in national political cultures. Thus Cerny notes " The main influence of economic transnationalisation in terms of agent behaviour will thus be felt in two ways: in the first place, through the spread of an ideology of market globalization through the mass media, the teaching of management schools, popular business literature and the like.... (Cerny ,1999) p.9. (see also Hira, 1997)

The rise in the power of the corporation and the rationality of market power are symbiotic, although the precise relationship is difficult to discern. Hoover (1999) demonstrates an almost independent cycle of establishment yielding to opposition in the process of the development of a rationality. According to him institutions are ideologized through the medium of combatant lead intellectuals whose oppositional stance is a function of an early and personal identity crisis. This notion is based on the work of psychoanalyst Eric Erickson. Thus Hoover sees Laski, the British socialist intellectual who died in his fifties in the 1950s, as celebrating the state and Hayek, the Austrian-born intellectual who died in his nineties in the 1990s, as celebrating the market. In this analysis their oppositional stance was directly connected with early discontinuities in psychological development in which Laski saw the falseness of his family's (market) justification of inequalities (wealth/market) and Hayek the falseness of the ( state) justification in the 1914-18 war (war/state). The implication from Erikson's work is that the fervor to unpack one rationality and replace it with another is a function of a psychological event of some power in the lead exponents which sometimes, as in the case of his study of the young Luther would certainly include the mystical and god producing part of the brain. Laski and Hayek were contemporaries and Laski in his engaged position with British social democrats was important to the position of the ESDc in the post war period whereas Hayek was important to the development of the first oppositional and now successful emergence of the "Chicago school" of market power.

Thus the trajectory of the arrival to predominance of the market power rationality is embedded both in the shift in power of organizations and the accompanying, but uncertain link, change in the strength of the rationalities. A&N argue that "the cognitive imperative, which created the myth in the first place, necessarily begins to analyze the myth rationally." The success or sustainability of the rationality, will depend upon its vigor in satisfying the final uncaused cause demand of the causal operator.

In comparison with the organization church and state the organization corporation may not have such a powerful rationality. There are several problems with the rationality market power of which two can be considered here. First, it not only disguises the source of power but tends to deny power itself, something that theology and raison d'état never did for state and church. Further, again, unlike church and state, it cannot itself produce macro level norms of justice and equity in justification of its operation. The second problem is that increasing the power of the organization more easily undermines its own rationality. The power of the market is dependent upon overt and rationalized conditions, especially competition. Thus as oligopoly increases and corporate power becomes more and more concentrated in various industrial sectors (Harrod and Thorpe 1999) the power of the market collapse into the power of the corporation and the rationality becomes weaker if not destroyed. This process is perhaps analogous with the Foucault argument of the governmentalisation of the state which weakens the rationality of the state. Here we have the corporatisation of the market.

Despite these weaknesses the ESDs and others have accepted the rationality without considering its weaknesses and in doing so see their authority undermined.

 

ESDs ,State Power and Corporate Rationality

As noted in the introduction the essential argument of this paper has been the ESDs are elected politicians and derive their power from the state which had a core rationality of the power of the people yet they are actively promoting and maintaining adherence to the rationality of the corporation and the power of the market. This is most likely an unsustainable contradiction. Some elaboration of these basic conclusions emphasize the end of opposition, the confusion in the exercise of power and the dislocation internal and external (foreign) policy.

First, a rationality normally has to satisfy initially, an attentive public, that is, those with the time ability, interest and training to analyses the message - the priests or the politicians. Subsequently the refined rationality is disseminated to a receptive public. This filtering process provided legitimacy at the various stages. But the rationality had to be sophisticated and appealing enough to be able to be defended in discourse within the attentive public.

In the case of the corporate rationality it has been able to bypass the attentive public and be presented directly to the target public - thus bypassing the "priests". This has occurred though the development of corporate controlled media. The target public then forces the attentive public to respond to the elements of a rationality which would have, in the past, been rejected or refined. Thus not only are the politicians not able to be the priests within their state rationality but are being asked to be the priests of the corporate rationality of market power. The result is confusion and a collapse of the rational examination of any rationality . This is a major contribution to the so-called democratic anomie,as caught between to two opposing forces, a certain immobilism is perceived. (Harrod, 1997)

Second, the holders of state power cannot promote the rationality which essentially supports them. The connection of the peoples' will to policy outcome and the engagement with possibility the that inequality will be subjected to a causal analysis has been the mainstay of the state power for nearly 70 years. But the promotion of the state rationality is constrained or eliminated when ESDs deny absolutely major elements of it. Thus Chancellor Schroder of Germany states "I no longer believe that it is desirable to have a society without inequalities. This results in the oppression of the individual. When social democrats talk about equality, they should think of opportunities and not equality of results " Le Monde 20 November 1999. This position is not far from the most intense free market argument concerning wealth concentration. ( Young Back Choi 1999) Thus the rationality of state is continuously weakened by the very beneficiaries of it.

Third, normally in power and in conformity with the state rationality politicians would have to constrain elements in the civil society of which those from the market are the most powerful. The acceptance of corporate rationality and market power not only means a lack of opposition out of power but also in power and the increasing penetration of the state by the corporation at all levels. Thus again the ESD then become indistinguishable to those who are actively seeking, in the words of McMichael (1999) "the transformation of states into corporate entities - this progressively shrinking democratic political space."

Finally, it has always been noticeable that empires apply domestically generated policies more stringently in the reaches of the empire than in the metropolitan states. The contradiction between state rationality and operatives subscribing to corporate rationality is not so strong or evident at the global level where there is no state. Thus the corporate rationality of market power has no contradictions to deal with. This perhaps explains the ferociousness with which inter-state agencies are executing corporate rationality in their instruments of global governance, such as structural adjustment programs and trade-related sanction mechanisms.

 

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Endnote

Note 1:  Some of the material presented here is taken from J. Harrod "Global Realism: Unmasking Power in the International Political Economy" in R. Wyn-Jones (ed) Critical Theory in World Politics, forthcoming 2000 Rienner. Back.