Ascendant markets.

THE political landscape in the United Kingdom presents interesting and unprecedented times. Rishi Sunak, a conservative politician of South Asian pedigree, is the third prime minister in two months - a level of turbulence hitherto unseen in one of the oldest democracies in the world. More significant than the political revolving door, however, are the elements that forced Mr Sunak's predecessor Liz Truss out of office, and which point to a deep malaise plaguing the entire modern world.

Mere weeks before resigning, Ms Truss announced a series of tax cuts to stimulate a British economy that had remained moribund for years. Contrary to the former prime minister's intentions, this expansionary fiscal policy saw the pound sharply devalue against the dollar and sent financial markets into a frenzy. The Bank of England was forced to step in to rectify this 'wayward course', but the damage had been done. Ms Truss lost all credibility and, within 45 days - a record for a British prime minister - she had resigned.

The response to this stimulus package reveals the dichotomy modern societies must contend with. Politics and the ability to politically organise were always seen as the defining feature of humans. This is how thinkers like Rousseau and Hobbes envisaged society to evolve from its 'natural, primordial state', while for Plato and Aristotle, politics was the routine - a defining feature characterising the public space.

And yet, it was not individuals who were responsible for Ms Truss's ignominious exit. This was triggered by unease in the market; a machination of invisible economic forces governed by their own laws and impervious to fallible human intervention that caused the downfall.

Capital and neoliberalism have distorted the very essence of politics.

This preponderance of the market and the utter absence of human agency is the single greatest takeaway from the UK's political crisis, and the most significant political challenge confronting modern nation states. The transition of three prime ministers in such short a span raises fundamental questions about whom do modern political parties and governments represent?Whose voices does the 'market' carry, and are 'jittery markets' representative of the larger political mood and economic sentiment?

Answers to these questions will take us to the very foundations of modern economic thought. The present paradigm of the 'market' - an entity reified and brought to life - is peculiar to capitalism and...

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