Paternalistic Capitalism was first published in 1972. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The distinguished economist and Greek political leader presents here a powerful critique of American capitalism and its relationship to government and foreign policy. Dr. Papandreou first examines the orthodox view of the contemporary capitalist economy and the "myth of market capitalism" which it has engendered. He then considers the Neo-Marxist view that the economy can best be understood as monopoly capitalism, and the technocratic interpretation of society proposed by J. K. Galbraith. Dr. Papandreou accepts and rejects various aspects of these two interpretations, and moves to define the salient features of what he calls paternalistic capitalism, wherein privatized decentralized planning increasingly is carried out by the corporate managerial elite, in the interest not of the consumer, but of the "system." The paternalism is that of the autocratic big brother.
The author then explores the relationship between the managerial elite and the instrumentalities of the State, and claims that next to the managerial elite stand the national security managers—not by accident, for paternalistic capitalism is aggressively expansionist, as is reflected in the foreign policy of the capitalist metropolis, the United States. The global aspect of paternalistic capitalism is further delineated in Dr. Papandreou's discussion of the "new mercantilism" and of the institutional device of the multinational corporation. Finally, he considers briefly two alternatives—the Soviet experiment, which he rejects as paternalistic socialism, and a vision of a regionally decentralized society, in which man will control rather than be at the mercy of his social environment.