Authoritarian capitalism is not limited to “developing countries” or newly economically and politically “modern” ones. It is also found within established liberal democracies. Significantly, such authoritarianism is not counter to liberal democratic values but rather expands upon them in quite coercive ways. More precisely, it channels desires for democratic sovereignty and power as well as liberal notions of the state as a “protector” of rights, into a political fantasy in which governments must be illiberally empowered to safeguard freedom understood as the simultaneous presence of liberalism, democracy and the market. The need to shape, and discipline, individuals to become “responsible” neoliberal subjects is transformed into the duty of the state to control the population for the same ends.
Revealed is an increasingly global form of affective governance for legitimizing enhanced state repression and economic marketization. Thus far, this analysis has largely focused on the internal policies of national governments in regards to its citizens. Yet the globality of this authoritarianism is additionally present in the reconfiguring of how the state relates to the international order. The growing influence of trans-national capitalist institutions and actors has produced a complementary type of national governance, empowering governments to enforce its “correct” economic policies nationally while also ensuring that countries remain financially “responsible” states. The next chapter will examine in greater depth the global evolution from liberal democracy to authoritarian capitalist sovereignty - one in which powerful international financial institutions coercively “discipline” nations that fail to be financially “self-disciplined” based on global capitalist standards of “good governance.”