American Market

The separation of powers, which Montesquieu (1748) had meanwhile invented, was now used to separate the people from power over their own economic life.  The American Constitution, shaped in a farmer-craftsman’s environment by a leadership forewarned by the English industrial scene, isolated the economic sphere entirely from the jurisdiction of the Constitution, put private property thereby under the highest conceivable protection, and created the only legally grounded market society in the world.  In spite of universal suffrage, American voters were powerless against their owners. (233-234)

Karl Polanyi | The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Times

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