The paper reconstructs Karl Polanyi’s search process for a socialist answer to the crisis of capitalist civilization in the first half of the 20th century. Polanyi focused on the question of how the conditions for responsible freedom can be realized under the conditions of a complex society. For Polanyi, this only seemed possible if a new Great Transformation of society were to take place, leaving the capitalist market society behind. Polanyi concentrated on three paths: (1) the diminishing of the commodity character of natural resources, labor and money; (2) the comprehensive democratization of economic decisions on the basis of deglobalization and intraregional cooperation; and (3) the institutional safeguarding of individual freedom at the expense of economic efficiency.
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