Hayek and Polanyi To illustrate how capitalism changed and developed during this period, DeLong turns to two important thinkers, Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992) and Karl Polanyi (1886-1964). Both had totally different visions of capitalism. Hayek was, of course, a champion of “free market” capitalism, arguing that it generated more freedom and progress than any other system – or, in DeLong's words, that it could bring humanity closer to utopia. Hayek's faith was so strong that he considered political interventions to achieve those results that capitalism did not spontaneously generate were not only inefficient, but involved a slippery slope toward totalitarianism.
On the contrary, Polanyi was a staunch critic, arguing that, left to itself, capitalism undermined values, such as justice and equity, which were the main reasons for human south africa phone number list existence. In fact, Polanyi believed that the socially destructive and dehumanizing forces unleashed by unchecked capitalism would cause a backlash, and this was what called up the specter of totalitarianism. DeLong divides the "long 20th century" into five periods, each illustrating concepts from Hayek or Polanyi, or both. progress then regress The first is 1870-1914. Economic growth began to systematically outpace population growth for the first time in history, and this lifted humanity out of the extreme poverty that had been its terrain until then and generated unimaginable medical, technological, and cultural progress. This economic revolution also helped break down social status hierarchies and oligarchic political systems that had previously limited human freedom.
During this period, as Hayek would argue, capitalism certainly helped humanity "indulge toward utopia." However, this brought negative aspects. New inequalities emerged between urban and rural areas and between the expanding middle and working classes, with the latter subjected to abominable living and working conditions. Traditional communities and values collapsed, leaving many without safety nets and creating widespread social alienation. Internal (country to urban) and external migration exploded, forcing many to adapt to completely new living conditions, as well as living alongside totally different people. As Polanyi anticipated, the following period (1914-1945) saw a negative reaction. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, nationalist movements fueled by the fear and anger generated by rapid change had grown, contributing to the catastrophe of Worl.