Open Access Article SciPap-843
“To Formulate a Positive Vision”: A Debate on the Current State of the Global Society From a Political-Economic Perspective
by Marián Sekerák 1,*

1 Fakulta sociálních věd Univerzity Karlovy, Institut politologických studií, U Kříže 8, Praha 5 – Jinonice 158 00, Czechia

* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Abstract: Rapidly changing global economic environment provokes new challenges for scholars as well as politicians throughout the world. Many of them criticize currently dominant capitalist system, the so-called Washington Consensus and its inherently neoliberal nature. In this paper I directly respond to the recently opened Czech debate on this system’s future development. Therefore, two possible “positive visions” are presented as viable, neutral and potentially well-functioning alternatives: the employee participation and the movement of sustainable de-growth. These visions are incorporated into the framework of the so-called social economy. In the case of employee participation, sometimes labelled as economic democracy, four concepts are presented: the German, the Slovak one and two American ones. Widespread degrowth movement is represented by measures such as the taxation of global banking transactions, decentralization of financial institutions, restrictions on tax havens, fair trade, cooperative business, support of local currencies, reducing emissions and the introduction of an unconditional basic income. Some of these proposals are promoted in the current Catholic social teaching.

Keywords: Political Economy, Neoliberalism, Capitalism, Degrowth Movement, Economic Democracy, Employee Participation

JEL classification:   A10 - General,   P16 - Political Economy

SciPap 2017, 25(1), 843

Received: 27 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017