Quinn Slobodian: Crack-Up Capitalism

A nation is not a coherent economic whole, but a hotchpotch of all sorts of different legal spaces and zones, including «city-states, havens, enclaves, free ports, high-tech parks, duty-free districts and innovation hubs». Canadian historian Quinn Slobodian provides a sophisticated introduction to traditional neoliberal thought and its utopias. He asks how capitalism works without democracy and describes how free-market radicals are trying to carve the world up into «micronations» and «private cities». Some super-rich simply buy governments, for example. Or they exploit existing autocratic structures to circumvent the welfare state in special economic zones governed by separate laws that undermine democracy and political freedom.