Publication Date


Document Type

Working Paper


Professor John Hall

Journal of Economic Literature Classification Codes

N20, N30, P21

Key Words

Classical Liberalism, Currency, Fascism, Interventionism, Regulation


This inquiry seeks to establish that the writings of author Karl Polanyi offered insights into key variables and historical conditions that gave rise to the system we know of as “fascism.” Integral to his insights, Polanyi describes economic conditions attendant for fascism to emerge, with one condition noted as widespread and persistent unemployment. Polanyi stresses that fascism needs to be understood as reactionary, a responding to features integral to classical liberalism. Considering a broad historical context Polanyi teaches us of the political conditions necessary for fascism to emerge and take form as political movements wielding power. He considers conflicts in aims between economic and political institutions. In addition, Polanyi analyzes some implications of a changing market, as well as some effects that a changing market might have over individual freedoms, as well as some of the complexities that can be associated with regulation.


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