In This Review

Rolling Back the Market: Economic Dogma and Political Choice
Rolling Back the Market: Economic Dogma and Political Choice
By Peter Self
St. Martin's, 2000, 265 pp

Written by a late professor of public administration at the London School of Economics, this book reacts against the headlong pursuit of economic growth and all its implications: an unfettered market economy, private ownership of large enterprises, and the uncritical attack on government at all levels. What Self sees as "market dogmas" and the "corruption of liberalism" have evolved into an egotistical individualism. He draws unfavorable examples from Australia, Britain, New Zealand, and the United States while selectively highlighting favorable experiences from Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, and Sweden -- but not France. This omission is noteworthy since the French government rhetorically embraces many of Self's correctives, such as greater social solidarity, attention to the well-being of the poor, protection of small farmers, and public support of national culture. Partly an attack on the "myths" promulgated by the capitalist-dominated press and partly a lament at the increasing fragmentation of modern society, the book concludes with recommendations for achieving more democratic control of national policies, greater civic participation in communities, and more even distribution of wealth.