Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Mark Martinez's book traces the historical roots of capitalism to the present day. He argues convincingly that free markets have never existed in either western Europe or North America. Instead, markets as they pertain to capitalist economies have been the result of conscious decision-making on the part of political regimes to facilitate them. The book begins with western Europe's need for money to fund its wars, and so in those days of early capitalism, what were developing into European nation-states began to tax and control the merchants, eventually relying heavily on the hard work of these merchants to support these nation-states. The book then shows how this relationship between merchants led to a rising middle class, which even enlarged in especially Britain and later in the United States with the industrial era. Specific policy decisions on behalf of European governments and the United States are reviewed, and the book concludes with the post-industrial era's latest trend to deregulate from 1970 to the present day, roughly, all the major business interests in the United States that had once safeguarded against poor decision-making on behalf of, for example, Wall Street folk, among others, who have, fairly recently, done such as buy and sell and resell America's debt to create bubbles of capital accumulation. The book is perceptive, fairly short, and worthy of purchase.

Billie's Review
Posted on Good Reads / February 8, 2010