Robert Skidelsky
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Magazines

Times Literary Supplement

What’s wrong with global capitalism?
Robert Skidelsky
Times Literary Supplement | Friday, March 27, 1998

 
False Dawn: Delusions of global capitalism.
by John Gray
Granta Books £17.99
 
While reading John Gray's False Dawn, a diatribe against global capitalism, I had to keep reminding myself that I was reviewing a book, not a person. Gray's intellectual gyrations have become legendary. I am told he was a socialist in the 1970s. He was a Thatcherite in the 1980s. (The Iron Lady once said to me:  "What ever happened to John Gray? He used to be one of us.") Then he adopted the fashionable communitarianism. Judging from his latest book, he is what Marx would have called a "Reactionist" - with hope extinguished, but with a lively apprehension of disaster. He plays each role with passion and panache. But with so much here today, gone tomorrow, it

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Essay: First steps in making schools independent
Robert Skidelsky
Times Literary Supplement | Friday, April 11, 1997

 
The character of an educational system can most readily be understood by discovering who controls it. In 1979, the answer was reasonably clear. To use today's fashionable term, there were five main educational stakeholders: local authorities, teachers' unions, colleges of education, examination boards and the central government. Of these, the most import-ant were the local authorities. They were the legal owners of the institutions in which most British pupils were educated between the ages of five and eighteen (and beyond, if they were students at polytechnics).
 
They were responsible for ensuring an adequate supply of places, allocating budgets and planning overall educational provision in "their" areas. Teachers' unions largely

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Book Review: The road of excess leads to wisdom
Robert Skidelsky
Times Literary Supplement | Friday, January 24, 1997

 
India's Economic Reforms 1991-2001
By Vijay Joshi and I. M. D. Little 282pp.
Oxford: Clarendon Press £25
 
The decade of the 1980s was a historical watershed. The twentieth century has been dominated by collectivism - the planning and control of economic life by governments. In the 1980s, collectivism collapsed, both as a project and as a working system. This collapse has been global. The command economies of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China are gone; governments in developed and developing countries alike have been privatizing their public sectors and shredding their instruments of intervention and control. The aim of economic reform is remarkably similar everywhere: a market economy based on private ownership, with

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Book Review: Whatever happened to the New Industrial State?
Robert Skidelsky
Times Literary Supplement | Friday, October 11, 1996

 
The Good Society
By John Kenneth Galbraith
Sinclair-Stevenson. £12.99
 
It is hard to be critical of someone who writes as wittily and pithily as John Kenneth Galbraith. But any temptation to undue leniency on this score should be resisted. An economist's track record is more important than his style, and Galbraith's is not good. Twenty years ago, he was urging on us an economic system close to communism. National economies should be centrally planned to reflect the "public purpose". International planning should co-ordinate national planning policies. The aims of the planners would be enforced by a mixture of public ownership of the commanding heights (as well as the disorganized depths) of the economy, wage and price controls, high

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Book Review: After serfdom
Robert Skidelsky
Times Literary Supplement | Friday, September 20, 1996

 
Hayek: The Iron Cage of Liberty
By Andrew Gamble
Oxford: Polity. £45
 
Friedrich von Hayek's career is a story of death and resurrection. He was born in Vienna in 1899 and died in Freiburg in 1992, the most famous survivor of the once famous Austrian school of economics. For much of his life he fought a losing battle against the rise and spread of collectivism - the doctrine that the State knows best. His best-known book, The Road to Serfdom, published in 1944, analysed the totalitarian forms of collectivism, fascism and Communism.
 
But its most striking claim was that democratic socialism, while avowedly anti-totalitarian, was a staging post on the "road to serfdom". Hayek argued that socialism would ultimately prove incompatible with

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