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Opinion
Pankaj Mishra

Books That Challenge the Consensus on Capitalism

Ideas once dismissed as the ravings of the loony left are breaking into the mainstream of economic and intellectual debate. 

French protests were only one of several political earthquakes this past year. 

French protests were only one of several political earthquakes this past year. 

Photographer: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

We live in an age of political earthquakes: That much, at least, seemed clear from newspaper headlines nearly every day of 2018. But intellectual tectonic plates were also shifting throughout the year, with ideas once dismissed as the ravings of the loony left breaking into the mainstream.

A Western consensus quickly formed after the collapse of communist regimes in 1989. It was widely believed by newspaper editorialists as well as politicians and businessmen that there was no alternative to free markets, which alone could create prosperity.