see also > history
neo-liberalism – featured/selected – updates here
Abstract – Analyzing aspects of the rightwing populist tide arising largely in reaction to the pluralistic-diversity of exploitation and repression in the name of capitalist growth. Amid incessant indoctrination by the media representing big capital, people try to make sense of whether their interests are best served under the pluralist-diversity model of globalist neoliberalism with a shrinking social welfare safety net, or an authoritarian-economic nationalist model promising salvation through the use of an iron hand against domestic and foreign enemies.
Socioeconomic polarization under the neoliberal social contract has laid the groundwork for political polarization clearly evident not just in President Donald Trump’s America and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s India representing a rightwing populist neoliberal ideology, but France’s President Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche that espouses a pluralist–diversity-environmentalist model aiming at the same neoliberal goals as the populists. Whether under the pluralist or the authoritarian model, neoliberalism represents what Barrington Moore described in Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (1966) a capitalist reactionary route that Italy, Japan, and Germany followed under totalitarian regimes in the interwar era to protect the capitalist class after the crisis that wars of imperialism (1870-1914) and WWI had created in core capitalist countries.
Although the world is much more thoroughly integrated under capitalism today than it was a century ago, the same marked absence of a revolutionary trend as there was in the interwar era is evident in our era. This accounts for the neoliberal revolution from above culminating in variations of authoritarian regimes throughout the world. This does not only signal a crisis in capitalism but social discontinuity that will precipitate sociopolitical instability as contradictions within the political economy foster polarization across all sectors of society.
Comparative Politics, Globalization, Politics, History of Capitalism, Capitalism, Neoliberalism
real existing capitalism- neoliberalism – updates 11-2023
In a revelatory dispatch from the frontier of capitalist extremism, an acclaimed historian of ideas shows how free marketeers are realizing their ultimate goal: an end to nation-states and the constraints of democracy.
Look at a map of the world and you’ll see a colorful checkerboard of nation-states. But this is not where power actually resides. Over the last decade, globalization has shattered the map into different legal spaces: free ports, tax havens, special economic zones. With the new spaces, ultracapitalists have started to believe that it is possible to escape the bonds of democratic government and oversight altogether.
Crack-Up Capitalism follows the most notorious radical libertarians – from Milton Friedman to Peter Thiel – around the globe as they search for the perfect space for capitalism. Historian Quinn Slobodian leads us from Hong Kong in the 1970s to South Africa in the late days of apartheid, from the neo-Confederate South to the former frontier of the American West, from the medieval City of London to the gold vaults of right-wing billionaires, and finally into the world’s oceans and war zones, charting the relentless quest for a blank slate where market competition is unfettered by democracy.
A masterful work of economic and intellectual history, Crack-Up Capitalism offers both a new way of looking at the world and a new vision of coming threats. Full of rich details and provocative analysis, Crack-Up Capitalism offers an alarming view of a possible future.
theguardian.com 4-2023 –Crack-Up Capitalism by Quinn Slobodian – the economic anarchy of Liz Truss’s dreams – review by Will Hutton
lareviewofbooks.org 4-2023 Feudalism by Design: On Quinn Slobodian’s “Crack-Up Capitalism” – review by Jodi Dean
prospectmagazine.co.uk 4-2023 Quinn Slobodian on taking on the crack-up capitalists – The leftist historian describes his adventures in marketopia—and how libertarians turned against him – review by Tom Clark
kirkusreviews.com 4-2023 CrackUp Capitalism – Market Radicals and the Dream of a World without Democracy – An insightful piercing of the veil of nation-states to reveal capitalism’s frightening, anti-democratic tendencies. A review of libertarian threats to democracy and a debunking of the myth that nation-states govern the world.
In this richly documented exposé, Slobodian, professor of the history of ideas at Wellesley and author of Globalists: The End of Empire and the Rise of Neoliberalism, describes the thinking behind attempts to create pockets of unfettered capitalism that turn citizens into consumers and governments into afterthoughts. Free market radicals, writes the author, long for “an agile, relentlessly mobile fortress for capital, protected from the grasping hands of the populace seeking a more equitable present and future.” This utopia is to be achieved using “zones of exception” where taxes are minimal, if not wholly eliminated, government regulations have been eviscerated, labor laws are nonexistent, and investors can conceal their assets. These duty-free districts, charter cities, innovation hubs, gated communities, enterprise zones, and tax havens currently number over 5,400 around the world, and more than 1,000 have appeared in the past decade. “Capitalism works by punching holes in the nation-state,” writes Slobodian, so that the “the lineaments of a future society without a state [can] come into definition.” The author draws on the ideas of such “neoliberal luminaries” as Milton Friedman, Paul Romer, and Balaji Srinivasan, noting their fascination with the political fragmentation of the Middle Ages and the capital-friendly confines of Hong Kong, Singapore, Liechtenstein, and Dubai. Slobodian also explains how their ideas have intersected with development corporations in London; the gated community of Sea Ranch in California, whose planner called it “a kibbutz without the socialism”; the opportunities posed by the dissolution of the Soviet Union; and the cryptocurrency fantasies of tech libertarians. Behind many of these anarcho-capitalists’ most revered examples, however, are tightly organized authoritarian regimes, as opposed to government’s absence. This, though, is simply another reason to reject democracy.
ft.com 4-2023 Crack-Up Capitalism — is democracy in danger from free-market dogma? Quinn Slobodian’s eye-catching case studies warn against the powerful movement seeking a radical capitalist future – review by Felix Martin
One of the centrepieces of chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s March 2023 Budget was the creation of 12 new UK “investment zones” — specially designated geographical areas that will benefit from tax breaks and other incentives intended to hot-house investment and innovation. Supporters hailed the scheme for finally making good on the government’s elusive manifesto promise of “levelling up”. Sceptics dismissed it as window-dressing aimed at reviving the ruling Conservative party’s polling numbers in the country’s north.
The aim of intellectual historian Quinn Slobodian’s new book is to convince us that such schemes in fact represent something more profound — and much more sinister. They are, he argues, just the respectable face of what he terms “crack-up capitalism”: the strategy of “punching holes in the territory of the nation-state, creating zones of exception with different laws and often no democratic oversight”.
Behind them is massed a powerful, tenacious, and well-resourced intellectual movement that has for 70 years been devoted to rejecting the fundamental principles of democratic governance and the social market economy in favour of a libertarian, radical capitalist alternative. They are the entry-level drug to Peter Thiel’s dream of seaborne, law-lite, start-up nations. Slobodian highlights cases where tensions often arise between the demands of democratic politics and the desire to attract capital.
Crack-Up Capitalism represents a second instalment of Slobodian’s grand project to map the origins and influence of neoliberalism on the postwar world. Animating that project is the famous distinction drawn by development theorist Albert Hirschman between the opposing logics of Voice — in which the remedy for decline is to try proactively to fix things — and Exit — in which the solution is to up sticks and start anew.
Slobodian’s previous book, the highly acclaimed Globalists (2018), traced what happened when the neoliberal thinkers clustered around the Mont Pelerin Society adopted the logic of Voice: the construction of a rules-based, international order free from direct democratic oversight and supervised instead by technocratic institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization.
Crack-Up Capitalism takes up the story of what has occurred when neoliberals have given up and opted for the logic of Exit instead. The story is told over the course of 11 lively and engaging chapters, each focused on a particular experiment in opening wormholes in the mainstream economic fabric through which to escape to a free-market future.
Slobodian’s early case studies of such legal and economic exceptionalism will already be familiar to many readers. He explores the political economy of urban regeneration schemes such as Canary Wharf in London and Hudson Yards in New York, as well as city state-scale projects in accelerated development such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. In these cases, the tensions that often arise between the demands of democratic politics and the desire to attract capital and stimulate economic dynamism are well known.
Soon, however, the examples become more exotic — and the lessons more interesting. One chapter explores how in the early 1980s Chief Lennox Sebe, the ruler of Ciskei — one of the so-called Bantustans created by apartheid South Africa as self-governing “homelands” — invited the head of the libertarian Free Market Foundation think-tank to turn the enclave into “an African Hong Kong”. The experiment degenerated instead into an exploitative police state — conveniently furnishing South Africa’s politicians with the perfect cautionary tale as they sought to avoid enfranchising the majority population.
Crack-up capitalism has its lunatic fringe — one chapter follows a Dutch lawyer who tried to found a new country ‘Freedonia’ — in Mauritius. Another chapter examines Liechtenstein. Far from being just another anachronistic relic of Europe’s feudal past, Slobodian argues that the principality represents a truly postmodern political and economic project. In 2003, its ruler, Prince Hans-Adam II, redrew its constitution simultaneously to grant the monarchy absolute executive power and to guarantee the population’s right to abolish it. The state in effect adopted the model of capitalist corporate governance as its political system. In Liechtenstein, the prince explains, the people are now “the shareholders of the state”.
Like all intellectual movements, crack-up capitalism also has its lunatic fringe — and some of the passages where Slobodian explores it have a gonzo brilliance. One chapter follows Michael van Notten, a Dutch lawyer and ex-EEC official who in the 1990s became so convinced of the Hayekian merits of the Somali clan system that he tried to found a new country based on it — “Freedonia” — in Mauritius. Another verges on the farcical — perhaps even the Freudian — as Milton Friedman’s son David gives up on crusading for real-world reform and takes the battle for libertarian ideals into the realm of Live Action Role-Play instead in the persona of Duke Cariadoc of the Bow, a leading light of America’s medieval re-enactment scene.
The sheer diversity of Crack-Up Capitalism’s unique and highly entertaining collection of case studies of the logic of capitalist Exit does, however, mean that a couple of important questions get squeezed out. The first is whether crack-up capitalism really is a coherent phenomenon. Slobodian ingeniously identifies the ultimate inspiration of neoliberal doctrine as a common thread. But so different are the contexts of Hong Kong’s glory decades as a global entrepot and the neo-Confederate secessionist movement in the US (the topic of another chapter) that the value of analysing them together is not always clear.
The second, related question is whether crack-up capitalism might not sometimes have its merits. Ciskei was a tragic disaster, and Freedonia never made it off the drawing board. But Singapore or Hong Kong are two of the all-time greats of international development — and after a rocky start, Canary Wharf did indeed revitalise London’s Docklands. Given the right conditions, it seems, crack-up capitalism can work. The real question, in light of the UK government’s latest love affair with the concept, is what those conditions are.
hup.harvard.edu 2018 Globalists – The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism – by Quinn Slobodian
Neoliberals hate the state. Or do they? In the first intellectual history of neoliberal globalism, Quinn Slobodian follows a group of thinkers from the ashes of the Habsburg Empire to the creation of the World Trade Organization to show that neoliberalism emerged less to shrink government and abolish regulations than to redeploy them at a global level.
Slobodian begins in Austria in the 1920s. Empires were dissolving and nationalism, socialism, and democratic self-determination threatened the stability of the global capitalist system. In response, Austrian intellectuals called for a new way of organizing the world. But they and their successors in academia and government, from such famous economists as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises to influential but lesser-known figures such as Wilhelm Röpke and Michael Heilperin, did not propose a regime of laissez-faire. Rather they used states and global institutions—the League of Nations, the European Court of Justice, the World Trade Organization, and international investment law—to insulate the markets against sovereign states, political change, and turbulent democratic demands for greater equality and social justice.
Far from discarding the regulatory state, neoliberals wanted to harness it to their grand project of protecting capitalism on a global scale. It was a project, Slobodian shows, that changed the world, but that was also undermined time and again by the inequality, relentless change, and social injustice that accompanied it.
dissentmagazine.org 2018 Neoliberalism’s World Order – Since its inception, neoliberalism has sought not to demolish the state, but to create an international order strong enough to override democracy in the service of private property – by Adam Tooze
see also > gaiageld.com/code-of-capital
newstatesman.com 8-3-2023 The triumph of corporate newspeak – An unreal consensus grips our politics – and Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak offer only technocratic fixes for a Britain that no longer exists. – By John Gray
An unreal consensus grips British politics. The cost-of-living crisis and an aborted Brexit have left the government directionless. Strikes across the public sector express a powerful demand for change, not only in pay and conditions but in how the economy works. There is a pervasive sense that the free-market model that guided governments for the past 40-odd years has broken down.
The response of the two main parties is a descent into corporate newspeak. Mimicking the bland tones of CEOs of failing companies, Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak have each produced lists of five “pledges” and “missions” that are interchangeable in their emptiness. These are not workable policies but public relations exercises of a kind common in the brand of capitalism whose decline their parties are competing to manage.
Starmer is at pains to distinguish his offer as being different in kind from Sunak’s. Writing in the New Statesman on 1 March of a new species of “mission-driven government”, the Labour leader insists that “the word mission is not just another word for promise or pledge. The ‘offer’ we make to voters on the doorstep will flow from these ambitious goals.” Juggling with words, however, cannot disguise what the two lists have in common. Both screen out awkward realities.
There is no chance of Britain achieving the highest growth rate in the G7 – one of Starmer’s missions – on any continuing basis. It would involve a radical departure from the UK’s historic performance, but moreover no British government can determine the growth rates of the other economies with which it is compared. Starmer’s “mission” is a mirror image of Sunak’s pledge to slash inflation by half this year. Because of deteriorating global conditions, many economists expect inflation to fall by this amount (or more) anyway. Achieving either of these goals is beyond the power of any prime minister, though Sunak’s is the smarter bet.
The postwar social democratic model was a mix of state welfare provision, anti-monopoly regulation and Keynesian full-employment policies. The model began to break down in Britain in the mid-Seventies, but was discarded only in the wake of the Cold War. The so-called liberal order was an interregnum, not the shape of things to come. If the Soviet collapse and globalisation finished off social democracy, Chinese state capitalism and deglobalisation are killing off market liberalism. War in Europe is the coup de grâce. Deindustrialised free market economies cannot fight a long war of attrition of the kind that has emerged in Ukraine. Either they mobilise what remains of their industrial base for the duration, or the war will slip out of their control.
Blithe indifference to uncomfortable realities is the hallmark of Britain’s ruling elites. The forces that have transformed British politics over the past decades have come from outside the metropolitan parties. Alex Salmond, Nigel Farage, Dominic Cummings and now (through her downfall) Nicola Sturgeon are more consequential figures than anyone in the laggard and reactive Westminster political class. The pattern is likely to continue as the Tories and Labour contend as to which of them props up the decrepit market regime.
A close aide of Margaret Thatcher’s described her to me, not long after she had come to power, as “the reality principle in skirts”. It is true that she had a healthy sense of reality – up to a point. She never imagined a free market could function without strong (her critics would say authoritarian) government. She failed to see how imposing a market paradigm on society would lead to a disabling marketisation of the state. A Britain in which overstretched public services are kept going by an army that (according to some reports) could not sustain a land war for much longer than a week due to lack of ammunition would have been unimaginable to her.
A reassertion of the primacy of the state over the market is a precondition of any socially tolerable future for Britain. Public utilities ought to be taken into public ownership and cease being instruments for racking up the profits of private companies, often foreign-owned. No mainstream party offers voters that option.
Since the Cameron-Clegg coalition came to power in 2010, a progressivist fusion of economic and social liberalism with technocratic management has come to define the centre ground. William Hague and Tony Blair’s A New National Purpose: Innovation Can Power the Future of Britain, published in February by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, is a manifesto for this consensus. It is not one that has ever reflected the values of the British majority.
Today’s progressivist ideology – a farrago of critical race and gender theories imported from America – is a legitimating formula for a system in which institutions that once protected workers from markets have been dismantled. When social divisions are framed in terms of ethnic and gender identities, class hierarchies can be disregarded. Despairing working-class communities in post-industrial wastelands can be demonised as retrograde and deplorable, while would-be elites overproduced by a bloated higher-education system scramble for a foothold on crumbling career ladders. With class warfare masquerading as social justice, progressivism is the ruling version of bourgeois ideology. Somewhere, Marx’s shade must be laughing.
The abrupt departure of Nicola Sturgeon demonstrates some of the limitations of this ideology. The background of her resignation was the stalled Scottish independence project that defined her political life, together with the SNP’s sub-mediocre record on the economy, healthcare, education and the drugs epidemic. But it was the floundering incoherence of her attempt to defend the highly unpopular gender self-identification bill that spelled her end.
Scottish nationalism is not going to disappear, but it could well become a frozen movement, as in Catalonia and Quebec. In a time of mounting international anarchy, secessionist parties are going to find it difficult to maintain momentum in countries that are otherwise relatively stable. Belonging in the archaic, Habsburg-like realm of “Ukania” (as the late Scottish writer Tom Nairn derisively called the United Kingdom) may prove a safer option, in the eyes of most Scottish voters, than leaping into a geopolitical abyss.
Many have concluded that Labour will be the beneficiary of a Unionist revival. But the SNP could yet steal a march on Labour if a new leader focuses on improving Scottish public services and shelves gender self-ID, which Scottish (and Welsh) Labour have unthinkingly endorsed. If a continuity candidate is chosen to replace Sturgeon, Salmond’s Alba Party may continue to grow.
Whoever emerges as SNP leader, Sturgeon’s downfall puts a question mark over Starmer’s programme. She remained untouchable for so long because her party was the vehicle of a widely supported radical project.
Labour under Starmer can make no such claim. He has crafted Labour’s agenda in pursuit of respectability and safety, but the two objectives do not always coincide. Terrified of anything remotely reminiscent of the Corbyn era, he has ditched the last vestiges of radicalism on the economy. But Corbyn’s economic programme – however flawed – was popular with Labour voters in 2019. At the same time, Starmer has allowed the party to become identified with a gender ideology many voters regard with some misgivings.
He has made clear he will not introduce anything like Sturgeon’s self-ID bill. But his refusal last March to say whether a woman can have a penis (which he clarified in June by noting that “the vast majority” do not) shows him fudging questions voters are bound to ask. If the British majority has a common view on transgender people, it is positive: it takes all sorts to make a world. They may nonetheless find troubling the practice of encouraging children to take irreversible steps in transitioning. As in Scotland, there will also be resistance from many feminists. It was a combination of these forces that finally undid Sturgeon, who was, until her auto-defenestration, a more gifted and formidable politician than Starmer has ever been.
A meme has it that the Labour leader has revealed himself to be exceptionally ruthless. A truly ruthless leader would take care to conceal their lack of scruples, but let that pass. If Starmer fails to inspire trust among voters – as is plainly the case – it is because he is unable to explain what he believes. His New Statesman essay shows he is aware of the problem, but by evading any clear account of his political past he has only made it worse.
He has denied ever having supported nationalising utilities, a claim that is hard to take seriously, since bringing Royal Mail and parts of the energy and water sectors into public ownership was included in the manifesto he defended in 2019, when Jeremy Corbyn was leader. Rightly, in view of Corbyn’s persistent tolerance of anti-Semitism in the party and inveterate fondness for Britain’s enemies, Starmer has announced that the former leader will not be standing as a Labour candidate at the next election. But how does this square with Starmer’s declaration, made in an interview with Andrew Marr on 20 October 2019, that he was “100 per cent behind Jeremy Corbyn”?
Voters may not insist on consistency in their leaders. They do, however, want some idea of what their leaders will be like in power. In a choice between two technocrats, Sunak may have the edge. He is demonstrating competence in government, whereas Starmer is so far no more than an effective party manager. The result of the next election is far from settled. Whatever the outcome, the two parties are unprepared for the challenges they will face. While Labour is applying for the post of caretaker for the market-liberal ancien régime, the Tories are occupying themselves in vacuous plots around the return of Boris Johnson and squabbles over Sunak’s Northern Ireland deal.
Whether Johnson can finagle another spell as prime minister is highly doubtful. If he continues to attempt a comeback, it will succeed only by defying the wishes of many in his party. His manoeuvres will inevitably be hindered by further allegations of misconduct. As a leadership contender, perhaps as a political figure, the arch chancer is a busted flush.
Sunak’s Northern Ireland deal is the best the Brexit Trojans and the DUP are going to get. It will reduce the frictions that go with leaving the single market. But it is a distraction from the fact that Brexit was stillborn. Giving up frictionless trade within the EU made sense if, and only if, government committed itself to a high-productivity, high-wage economy and fully exploited regulatory freedoms. A more resilient economy might have been fashioned that was better adapted to a deglobalising world. Public ownership of utilities could have been joined with aid to high-tech industries, state intervention with entrepreneurship, and withdrawal from the EU’s agricultural policy with greater food security.
That would have involved hard work and new thinking, a prospect our ruling elites would rather avoid. So the Tories offer the fantasy of “Global Britain”, a buccaneering trader in a global free market that no longer exists, while the rest of the political class dream idly of rejoining the European Union – a course that many voters, however disillusioned, will not support.
The concerns that fuelled Brexit have not gone away. One was a demand for control of national borders. There is widespread disquiet about the government’s failures in dealing with rising numbers of migrants who enter the country by small boats. It is not difficult to envision a backlash against liberal immigration policies – a revival of what progressives would call populism. As in the past, the deciding forces in politics are likely to come from outside the political class.
The fusion of free markets and technocratic management is the fag end of Thatcherism, an experiment which has long since run its course. A breakdown in the delusory consensus will surely come with further unravelling in the post-Cold War global order – a widening of the Ukraine war, another breakdown in the global financial system, or a concatenation of crises whose shape cannot be foreseen. Our feckless rulers may not be interested in reality, but it will not be long before they find reality is interested in them.
academia.edu 2015 We Have Never Been Neoliberal: A Manifesto for a Doomed Youth – by Kean Birch
>Business, Business Ethics, Finance, Sociology, Economic Sociology
A number of people have claimed that the ongoing financial crisis has revealed the problems with neoliberal thought and neoliberal policies in the ‘Atlantic Heartland’. However, if we look at the history of the ‘Heartland’ economies then it becomes evident that they were never neoliberal in the first place – that is, the economic policies and discourses in these countries did not follow neoliberal prescriptions. /We Have Never Been Neoliberal/ explores this divergence between neoliberal theory and ‘neoliberal’ practice by focusing on the underlying contradictions in monetarism, private monopolies, and financialization. The book finishes by proposing a ‘manifesto for a doomed youth’ in which it argues that younger generations should refuse to pay interest on anything in order to avoid the trap of debt-driven living.
…”…at long last,we get research offering the bigger picture, announcing that the neoliberal era is at its end. But that is not the end of the story. How to undo these policies and how toproceed are no simple matters. But this is a good start.Gary Gerstle offers an impressive analysis in his book The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order (2022). His book will be our guide here complemented with articles by Patrick Dunleavy et al. New Public Management Is Dead—Long Live Digital-Era Governance (2006) and Göran Sundström’s analysis of the situation in Sweden in Moving beyond new public management – A historical-institutional analysis of thecase of Sweden (2022).
Gerstle’s book offers a wide-ranging perspective on the driving forces in the US thatled to the emergence and fall of the neoliberal order from its origins in the 1970s and1980s, through its dominance in the 1990s and 2000s, until its fragmentation anddecline in the 2010s. The 2020 pandemic delivered the coup de grace, Gerstle says(Gerstle, p. 4). Also, Dunleavy et al. tell, in their article published in 2006, that thenew public management wave has largely stalled or been reversed in some key‘‘leading-edge’’ countries. To this picture, Sundström gives us examples of thechallenges they face in Sweden when trying to reverse the neoliberal trend. We’re here faced with a challenging reform agenda that requires new-thinking. An interesting aspect of the neoliberal policies is that they were campaigned for bothby the right and the left…”..
>capitalism, colonialism,globalisation, inequality,
academia.edu 2018 New Capitalism and Growing Inequality as a Menace to Humanity – by Mathew Kurian V
Capitalism as a socio-economic system arose in Europe initially as ‘merchant capitalism’ and subsequently through a technological revolution metamorphosed into ‘industrial capitalism’. ‘Colonialism’ was the main force behind the establishment of capitalism. It was also instrumental in imparting ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal inequality’ in the world. However, there was a reaction to colonial capitalism which resulted in ‘socialism’ and ‘political decolonization’. But ‘economic colonialism’ persisted in the world in the form of ‘neo-colonialism’.
>Critical Theory, Feminism, Neoliberalism, Frankfurt School, Wendy Brown,politics, power
Wendy Brown is one of the most prolific and influential political theorists of her generation. This collection of essays, designed for the undergraduate classroom, presents an introduction to and critical assessment of Brown’s substantial body of work, with a particular focus on her contributions to the tradition of critical theory.
Coeditors Amy Allen and Eduardo Mendieta provide an overview of Brown’s work, situating her scholarship in relation to some of the major thinkers and methodologies of the Frankfurt School. Brown opens the discussion with a new essay expounding upon the meaning of freedom and the prospects for emancipation in our current political moment. Subsequent chapters address different aspects of Brown’s corpus, including her early feminist interpretation of the history of political theory, her influential critiques of identity politics and progressive philosophies of history, and her recent interrogation of the rise of neoliberalism and the resurgence of authoritarian politics. The volume concludes with Brown’s response to her critics, where she clarifies and expands upon the implications of her core ideas.
In addition to Brown and the editors, the contributors to this volume include Robin Celikates, Loren Goldman, Asad Haider, Robyn Marasco, and Johanna Oksala.
ft.com 12-2022 – Homecoming by Rana Foroohar – book review by Richard Baldwin
goodreads.org 2016 Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business – by Rana Foroohar
sup.org/ 2011 Markets in the Name of Socialism – The Left-Wing Origins of Neoliberalism – by JOHANNA BOCKMAN
The worldwide spread of neoliberalism has transformed economies, polities, and societies everywhere. In conventional accounts, American and Western European economists, such as Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek, sold neoliberalism by popularizing their free-market ideas and radical criticisms of the state. Rather than focusing on the agency of a few prominent, conservative economists, Markets in the Name of Socialism reveals a dialogue among many economists on both sides of the Iron Curtain about democracy, socialism, and markets. These discussions led to the transformations of 1989 and, unintentionally, the rise of neoliberalism.
This book takes a truly transnational look at economists’ professional outlook over 100 years across the capitalist West and the socialist East. Clearly translating complicated economic ideas and neoliberal theories, it presents a significant reinterpretation of Cold War history, the fall of communism, and the rise of today’s dominant economic ideology.
…Almost every essay in Mutant Neoliberalism addresses a different mutation formed through the combination of what we readily recognize as core elements of neoliberalism with other political formations. In collecting these varied accounts, Mutant Neoliberalism clearly illustrates that—from Trump to Bolsonaro—elements we had assigned to “far-right” extremism are now inextricable from policies we had previously attributed to “Third Way” regimes…
…The essays in Mutant Neoliberalism reinforce something that law and political economy scholars know but are at risk of losing sight of: narrative and popular understanding must be central to building alternative structures. This idea is developed most explicitly in Soren Brande’s contribution, in which he analyzes Milton Friedman’s 10-episode PBS docuseries, “Free to Choose” (1980). According to Brandes, the mere fact of this long-forgotten television program undermines the story often told about neoliberalism as a technocratic, top-down, elite and stealth discourse. The essay examines in particular how neoliberal ideology was visually coded to connect to the viewing public—how the market was consistently represented by “a street market where everyday people bargained with one another on the same (street) level by exchanging vegetables, trousers, and other mundane things,” and the government was represented as “massive grey high-rise buildings” to reinforce its vastness and removal from the concerns of “the people.”
sup.org 2019 The Political Theory of Neoliberalism by THOMAS BIEBRICHER
>Philosophy – Political Philosophy- Politics – Political Economy- History – Intellectual and Cultural – History – European
Neoliberalism has become a dirty word. In political discourse, it stigmatizes a political opponent as a market fundamentalist; in academia, the concept is also mainly wielded by its critics, while those who might be seen as actual neoliberals deny its very existence. Yet the term remains necessary for understanding the varieties of capitalism across space and time. Arguing that neoliberalism is widely misunderstood when reduced to a doctrine of markets and economics alone, this book shows that it has a political dimension that we can reconstruct and critique. Recognizing the heterogeneities within and between both neoliberal theory and practice, The Political Theory of Neoliberalism looks to distinguish between the two as well as to theorize their relationship. By examining the views of state, democracy, science, and politics in the work of six major figures—Eucken, Röpke, Rüstow, Hayek, Friedman, and Buchanan—it offers the first comprehensive account of the varieties of neoliberal political thought. Ordoliberal perspectives, in particular, emerge in a new light. Turning from abstract to concrete, the book also interprets recent neoliberal reforms of the European Union to offer a diagnosis of contemporary capitalism more generally. The latest economic crises hardly brought the neoliberal era to an end. Instead, as Thomas Biebricher shows, we are witnessing an authoritarian liberalism whose reign has only just begun.
1 World-Culture and the Neoliberal World- System: An Introduction 1 – Sharae Deckard and Stephen Shapiro
2 The Long 1970s: Neoliberalism, Narrative Form, and Hegemonic Crisis in the Work of Marlon James and Paulo Lins 49 – Michael Niblett
3 From “Section 936” to “Junk”: Neoliberalism, Ecology,and Puerto Rican Literature 69 – Kerstin Oloff
4 Mont Neoliberal Periodization: The Mexican “Democratic Transition,” from Austrian Libertarianism to the “War onDrugs” 93 Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado
5 Cricket’s Neoliberal Narratives: Or the World of Competitive Accumulation and Sporting Spirit in
Contemporary Cricket Fiction 111 Claire Westall
6 Keeping It Real: Literary Impersonality Under Neoliberalism 131 – Daniel Hartley
7 The Cultural Regulation of Neoliberal Capitalism 157 – Mathias Nilges
8 Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite: Monetized War, Militarized Money—A Narrative Poetics for the Closing of an American Century 175 – Richard Godden
9 A Bubble in the Vein: Suicide, Community, and the Rejection of Neoliberalism in Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life and Miriam Toews’s All My Puny Sorrows 195 – Amy Rushton
10 Futures, Inc.: Fiction and Intellectual Property in the (South) African Renaissance 215 – Matthew Eatough
11 Trains, Stone, and Energetics: African Resource Culture and the Neoliberal World-Ecology 239 – Sharae Deckard
…”…This essay argues that the paradoxical political dynamics that ensued following the crisis of 2007-2008 reflect a more basic logic at the heart of neoliberal governance. There is of course always a possibility that instability will result in simple breakdown, failure pure and simple; but one of the distinctive features of the neoliberal age is nonetheless that crises have often served to reactivate and intensify subjects’ attachments to the very norms and conventions that have been malfunctioning. The point here is by no means to belittle or denigrate the significance of the often highly creative and important forms of resistance that have emerged since the financial crisis. Rather, the aim is to bring into sharper focus what those movements are up against – neoliberalism’s distinctive sources of legitimacy. …”…
academia.edu gg/pdf From Theory to Practice: The Paradox of Neoliberal Hegemony in 21st Century World Politics – by Philip G. Cerny
Abstract : Neoliberalism is more than an ideology. It is the hegemonic theory and practice of the late 20th and 21st centuries. It has become dominant in world politics because of a lack of effective alternatives in a rapidly changing structural environment, especially globalisation. However, this chapter argues first of all that neoliberalism is characterised by a critical range of tensions and contradictions. At its heart is the concept of competition, not only in the economic system but in human society and behaviour generally; social behaviour is merely the sum total of individuals’ actions. People are seen as generating modernity and progress in a complex range of ways, biological, metaphysical, evolutionary and ideological. The main policy dimensions include free trade, financial orthodoxy, arm’s-length regulation, privatisation, the cutback of public services and the like, each of which has given rise to significant critiques and political conflicts. However, neoliberalism has been ‘overdetermined’. It is deeply embedded today in both policymaking and discourse despite – but partly because of – these tensions. This chapter argues that the fundamental paradox isbetween whether neoliberalism derives from spontaneous human behaviour, like classical liberalism, or whether it requires a strong state to monitor and enforce it, as in Ordoliberalism.
academia.edu 2013 Neoliberalism and technology: Perpetual innovation or perpetual crisis? Laurence Reynolds and Bronislaw Szerszynski
The neoliberal era has often been imagined as a period of intense technological revolution. Since the 1970s we have been dazzled by a seemingly escalating proliferation of innovations, from information technology and mobile telephony through to biotechnology and nanotechnology. Yet, at the same time, there is also a sense that the high-tech promises of the 1970s have not been realized. We explore this apparent paradox, with our main focus not on the innovation of new consumer goods, but on what Marx called ‘the forces of production’. We begin by locating the neoliberal period within an analysis of the different terms that scholars have used to describe the systemic shift in the structure of capitalism in the 1970s. We then go on to critically examine the claims that this shift was made possible by a ‘third technological revolution’. In the 1990s, capitalism appeared to recover from its two decades of stagnation and went on to have two decades of growth, a revival which was purported to constitute a fifth Kondratieff wave made possible by a new suite of technologies. We bring sceptical commentators to bear on this account, examining the weak performance of the high-technology sector in terms of productivity. We then set the transformed relationship between science and capitalism in the neoliberal period in historical context, by examining their couplings in earlier techno-economic regimes. We conclude by using the story of an ‘innovation plateau’ to describe the two faces of the relationship between science and capitalism in the neoliberal period: on the one hand, an economy largely characterized by mundane technologies and globalization, and on the other a scientific commons continually appropriated and harvested by capital and caught up in political economies of promise.
economicsfromthetopdown.com 7-2022 Have We Passed Peak Capitalism? – by Blair Fix
…”…The first step of the analysis, then, is to select a corpus of ideological texts. To capture feudal ideology, I use a sample of 22 modern English bibles. I use modern translations because I don’t want text that contains archaic words (like ‘thou’). And I use the Bible because christian theology formed the backbone of European feudalism.1 To capture capitalist ideology, I use a sample of 43 introductory economics textbooks. My claim is that these textbooks deal mostly in capitalist metaphysics; they describe a fantasy world of self-equilibrating markets in which each person earns what they produce.2
With my sample of biblical and economics text, I first isolate the jargon words of each corpus. Then I use the Google English corpus to measure how the frequency of this jargon has changed over time. (As a consistency check, I also analyze the text in paper titles on the Sci-Hub database and book titles in Library Genesis.)
I find that over the last several centuries, biblical jargon became less popular and was slowly replaced by economics jargon. I also find evidence that the popularity of economics language peaked during the 1980s, and has since declined. Ominously, this peak coincides with an uptick in the popularity of biblical language. In simple terms, it seems that we (anglophones) are in the midst of an ideological transition. …”…
revdem.ceu.edu 19-4-2022 GARY GERSTLE ON THE NEOLIBERAL POLITICAL ORDER: AN ELITE PROMISE OF A WORLD OF FREEDOM AND EMANCIPATION (PART I) – with Ferenc Laczó
theguardian.com 6-2021 The age of neoliberalism is ending in America. What will replace it? Gary Gerstle
…”…Can Biden nevertheless pull off a New Deal for the 21st century, appropriately festooned in 50 shades of climate-friendly green? The odds are against him. Gary Gerstle teaches at the University of Cambridge. He is writing The Rise and Fall of America’s Neoliberal Order (2022)”
“Neoliberalism is dead again. After the election of Donald J. Trump, political economist Mark Blyth declared the “era of neoliberalism is over,” intellectual historian Samuel Moyn tweeted neoliberalism “RIP,” and Cornel West wrote that “the neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang.” Such pronouncements recur with regularity. A quarter century ago, a Latin American politician deemed neoliberalism “dead” after the election of another US president—Bill Clinton. Obituaries resurfaced as critiques of the Washington Consensus in the wake of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, returned on the crest of the Latin American pink tide (Evo Morales declared “neoliberalism is dead” in 2003), and peaked
in the wake of the near-collapse of the global financial system in 2008. One year after Trump’s election, with a tax plan benefiting corporations and the country’s wealthiest citizens as his only major legislative achievement, the obituarists for neoliberalism had fallen silent too. … The promised infrastructure plans that had some dreaming of a second New Deal vanished without ceremony. The standard response to what Colin Crouch called the “strange non-death of neoliberalism” has been a turn to the metaphor of the zombie. …”
> International Relations, Globalization, Ideology,, International Political Economy,, Neoliberalism, Aesthetics and Politics, Financialization, IR Theory
The neoliberal capture of the state laid the grounds for the financialization of capitalism, leading to profound changes in social stratification. While declarations concerning the demise of market fundamentalism animate much of conversation in the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, this paper seeks to challenge the idea that the state receded after the neoliberal turn; in fact it was necessary for this new historical epoch of capitalism to take hold. To explain this paradoxical relationship, a legal approach to the state–market unpacks the ideological base of neoliberalism and its contradictions. Financialized capitalism, in finding unconstrained expression during the neoliberal restructuring phase proliferated parasitically, exploiting all in its path. Furthermore, as the ideas of neoliberal doctrine set the terrain for the subsequent financialization of everyday life, its aesthetically reifying consequences are in need of critical dissection if alternatives are to be envisaged.
amazon.co.uk 11-2021 Post-Neoliberal Economics by Edward Fullbrook, Jamie Morgan, Richard Parker, Richard B. Norgaard, James K. Galbraith, Lukas Bäuerle, William E. Rees, Jayati Ghosh, Richard C. Koo, Neva Goodwin, Max Koch, Jayeon Lindellee, Johanna Alkan Olsson, Katharine N. Farrell, John Komlos, Clive L. Spash, Adrien O.T. Guisan, Andri W. Stahel
If you feel that there is nothing new or liberal about neoliberal economics, and that neoliberal economics is to understanding capitalism what astrology is to understanding the Cosmos, read this book! –Yanis Varoufakis, Professor of Economics – University of Athens
Fullbrook and Morgan in this excellent anthology continue to act as trust-busters in breaking up the suffocating neoliberal monopoly on academic economics by giving a venue to clearer thinking. – Herman Daly, Emeritus Professor, University of Maryland, USA
Post-Neoliberal Economics is a triumph. It comes when the long-established neoliberal binary between “natural market” and “artificial state” has substantially lost credibility, thanks to the North Atlantic financial crisis, China, and Covid. Anyone who enjoys the company of articulate, provocative, offbeat intelligences will want to read it. Some will want to pick a fight with it. – Robert H. Wade, Professor of global political economy, London School of Economics and Political Science
As a project, neoliberalism remade the world; as an ideology, it became inconsistent with the very world it made. This rich heterodox volume examines the theoretical, societal, and environmental failings of neoliberalism – as well as what might and should replace it. – Jonathan Nitzan, Professor of Political Economy at York University, Toronto
Fullbrook and Morgan have assembled an interesting collection of essays from some of the world’s leading heterodox economists. It is a valuable cross-section of thinking outside of the mainstream of the profession. – Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington D. C.
The world has become more unequal, the economy more fragile, and our existence on Earth more tenuous, because we followed the advice of Neoclassical economists who think they are capitalism’s best friends, when in fact they are the greatest threat to its continued existence. We desperately need a Post-Neoliberal Economics. – Steve Keen
This book is a must-read not only because it shows neoclassical economics’ fundamental inadequacy for understanding today’s world, but also because it outlines a new economics that can lead us to living in harmony with our ecosystem. – Norbert Haering, Handelsblatt
In times where good news tend to be scarce, let me celebrate the publication of Post-Neoliberal Economics; a timely collection of essays authored by key critical thinkers of the discipline, with the purpose to design a new, inspiring future for Economics as a science useful to solve the real problems of society today. This work, meticulously edited by Fullbrook and Morgan, puts forward a substantive, solid and passionately argued call to transform Economics as it currently stands in order to make it relevant to meet the crucial challenges faced by our peoples, urbi et orbi. Of utmost important to lecturers at undergraduate and graduate levels, the book puts forward a practical blueprint to change its curricula, teaching and research practice so that students of Economics, on the one hand, keep alive enthusiastically their aspirations to make this a better world and, on the other hand, acquire the analytical and technical abilities to make such dreams come true. – Juan Carlos Moreno-Brid, UNAM, México
opendemocracy.net/ 9-2021 Neoliberalism is dying – now we must replace it – From taming Big Tech to competing with China, Western governments are abandoning free-market policies. But what does a post-neoliberal future look like? by James Meadway
Is democracy, in its neoliberalized form, responsible in part for bringing us to the brink of self-destruction and the policy inertia that is doing away with our chances of survival? Surviving Democracy probes the way that democracy became neoliberalized and the role that neoliberalized democracy plays in our dealings with—causing, understanding, denying, and hopefully, mitigating—climate change. Defining neoliberalism as the art of exclusion through inclusion, Chien-Yi Lu treats climate change as collateral damage of the neoliberal order established to ensure upward power and wealth redistribution. Highlighting the role that money played in the “free” competition of ideas between John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek, she investigates the resulting global structure, wherein the wealthy and powerful sit above the market and democracy, and the way that this structure fundamentally contradicts honest climate mitigation. Central to the structure is neoliberal elites’ leveraging of the fluid relationship between the market and the state. Merging citizen power with consumer and investor powers is therefore imperative to the success of climate action. While expediting the bursting of the carbon bubble is an obvious answer, it is the discussion of the meat bubble that brings the book full circle, linking our survival to neoliberalism, inclusion, and democracy. …
>Climate Change, Neoliberalism, Animal Rights/Liberation, Democracy, European Union Politics
project-syndicate.org 5-2021 Beware Economists Bearing Policy Paradigms by Dani Rodrik
US President Joe Biden’s administration has embarked on a bold and long-overdue departure from the economic policy orthodoxy that has prevailed in the US and much of the West since the 1980s. But those who are seeking a new economic paradigm should be careful what they wish for. Neoliberalism is dead. Or perhaps it remains very much alive. Pundits have been calling it both ways these days. But either way, it is hard to deny that something new is afoot in the world of economic policy.
A new cultural shift is emerging. For decades America was seen as the ultimate society and the biggest influence on international culture. In recent times, however, something entirely unexpected has happened: Americans are starting to look to Europe as a reference. From abandoning religion to voting for socialists, Simon Kuper explores the defining factors behind the USA’s ‘Europeanising’.
For decades influential Americans watching other countries wondered, “When will they become like us?” When would the Japanese grow up and realize they needed to open up their economy? When would Southeast Asians abandon crony capitalism? When would the French cut vacations? One unspoken idea behind the post-1945 “modernization theory” was that the ultimate society was the United States. Some foreign leaders bought into the idea: Margaret Thatcher did her best to Americanize the UK.
That ideal died some time ago, and now something unexpected is happening: Instead of other countries becoming like the United States, the United States is more like other countries. Much of American society is Europeanizing. Joe Biden is taking small steps to transform the United States into something like a European social democracy. Far from separating, as many Europeans have assumed, the two shores of the Atlantic are developing together.
Others before me have noted the progressive Europeanization of American life. With birth rates and immigration falling towards European levels, the United States’ population growth is the slowest since the 1930s, according to new census data. Many Americans follow Europeans by giving up religion, move home less often, and some even give up driving.
A big transatlantic differentiator has always been the higher level of violence in the United States, both at home and abroad. Political thinker Robert Kagan captured it almost 20 years ago with his observation: “Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus.” But now the Americans are abandoning the god of war. Their violent crime rates fell for nearly 30 years before soaring during the pandemic; the death penalty is falling into disuse; the incarceration rate reached its lowest level since 1995 even before Covid-19 even pushed for the release of prisoners; and with American anti-war sentiment reaching European heights, Biden withdrew from Afghanistan.
Seven in ten American millennials now say they would vote for a “socialist,” which most likely means a Nordic social democratic type rather than a Venezuelan expropriator. Biden heard them. He is pushing for affordable child care, paid medical leave, two years of free community college and child tax credits, funded in part by European-style taxes on the rich. No wonder, because today’s Democratic Party is swayed by European economists such as Keynes, Thomas Piketty and Gabriel Zucman.
Almost nothing of what is happening in the United States today is a conscious emulation of Europe. Rather, it stems from widespread disillusionment with American exceptionalism. If you are the only person driving on the freeway in oncoming traffic, you can either assume that you are exceptional and everyone is wrong, or you may eventually conclude that you need to change.
It is true that the Republican Party opposes this change, although many of its voters like Social Democratic policies. But even Republicans are partly Europeanizing, moving from a militarist party with an American-only runoff economy to a European-style nativist movement, albeit with American characteristics such as the cult of billionaires. The American political confrontation has gone from liberal versus conservative to a more European social democrat versus nativist.
In the United States as in Europe, anti-immigrant nativist parties are fighting to win the elections. Plus, the demographics are against Republicans. “Those who embrace the political agenda of Millennials and Zoomers will live a very long time,” writes Amit Gupta of Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. In 2065, he notes, today’s Democratic stars such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Pete Buttigieg could still be active, when Donald Trump would be 119 and Senator Lindsey Graham 110 (and Biden, admittedly , 123).
The Republican solution is to pass state laws aimed at depriving Democratic voters of their rights. The United States of the future may have a Trumpist Republican regime or a democracy, but it probably cannot have both.
Some object that a more European United States would cease to be innovative. They argue that you can either have French taxes and inertia subsidies or have Silicon Valley. Maybe there is something there: since the industrial revolution, British and then American innovators have invented the future of continental Europe. On the other hand, the United States in its previous social democratic phase from around 1933 to 1980 remained innovative: it became the world’s first motorized society, built the atomic bomb, and landed men on it. Moon. In any case, it is doubtful that recent American innovations such as Facebook and Amazon increase the sum of human happiness.
One prediction is more certain: even if a more social-democratic US feels almost European, it will not want to spend blood and treasures to defend Europe. Social democracies prioritize improving the lives of their own people. Barack Obama and Trump pushed the Europeans, without much success, to increase their defense spending to American levels. Instead, over the past decade, the reverse has happened: US defense spending is declining as a percentage of GDP towards European levels. The United States and Europe are becoming the community of values that they have always claimed.
In 2007 Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the US Federal Reserve, was asked which candidate he was supporting in the forthcoming presidential election. “We are fortunate that, thanks to globalisation, policy decisions in the US have been largely replaced by global market forces,” he replied of the contest between Barack Obama and John McCain. “National security aside, it hardly makes any difference who will be the next president. The world is governed by market forces.”
The complacency of Greenspan represented the apex of neoliberalism, a term often misunderstood and overused, but which remains the best shorthand for the policies that have shaped the global economy as we know it: privatisation, tax cuts, inflation targeting and anti-trade union laws. Rather than being subject to democratic pressures – such as elections – these measures were portrayed as irreversible. “I hear people say we have to stop and debate globalisation,” Tony Blair declared in his speech to the 2005 Labour Party conference. “You might as well debate whether autumn should follow summer.”
But this proved a false dawn. “I’ve found a flaw [in my ideology],” Greenspan told a Congressional hearing during the 2008 financial crisis. “I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I’ve been very distressed by that fact.”
In the years that followed numerous obituaries were written for neoliberalism but the coffin remained empty. Like a reanimated corpse, the neoliberal order staggered on with the aid of ultra-low interest rates and trillions of dollars of quantitative easing (new money created by central banks). Meanwhile, centre-left parties, misreading the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath as a “social democratic moment”, were routed as anti-immigration populist movements rose. French president François Hollande – the only socialist to be elected in a G7 country after the crash – supplied the farce to match François Mitterand’s tragedy.
Now, as we emerge from the Covid recession, obituaries for neoliberalism are once again being written – but this time they are more plausible. In the US, Joe Biden’s administration has passed a $1.9trn economic relief bill, a stimulus more than twice as large as that enacted by Obama in 2009. The bill included payments of $1,400 for Americans earning up to $75,000, the extension of federal unemployment support ($300 a week), $350bn of financial aid to state and local governments, and a more generous child tax credit for some families.
Combined with Donald Trump’s emergency coronavirus relief packages last year, this amounts to a stimulus of $5trn, or around 25 per cent of annual US GDP – the largest-ever fiscal expansion in peacetime. The decades-old presumption in favour of inflation control has given way to one in favour of growth and employment (even the traditionally austere European Union has agreed a recovery fund of €750bn or 4.7 per cent of annual EU GDP).
Government fiscal stimulus and budget deficits are hardly incompatible with neoliberalism (as Ronald Reagan could testify). But the Biden administration represents a more significant challenge to the established order. “Trickle-down economics has never worked,” Biden declared in his first address to Congress in April. For decades, the labour share of GDP has been in decline, falling from 63.3 per cent in 2000 to 56.7 per cent in 2016. Biden’s explicit aim is to reverse the falling wage share by redistributing wealth from business owners to workers through a more progressive tax system and re-empowered trade unions. His administration was the chief architect of the minimum global corporation tax rate of 15 per cent agreed by the G7’s finance ministers on 5 June – a policy that until recently was deemed utopian. Crucially, the move was framed by the US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen as a repudiation of neoliberalism and an end to the “30-year race to the bottom”.
The ascendant superpower, meanwhile, is China, a state once regarded as an obedient neoliberal pupil, but which has since proved far more recalcitrant. Rather than becoming ever more Westernised, or succumbing to internal contradictions as the Soviet Union ultimately did, Xi Jinping’s China is pursuing an alternative model of growth: authoritarian state capitalism. (China’s state-owned enterprises are estimated to account for a larger share of global GDP than Japan.) As the Economist observed in a leader last August: “One thing is clear: the hope for confrontation followed by capitulation is misguided… The strength of China’s $14trn state-capitalist economy cannot be wished away. Time to shed that illusion.”
In 2000, in a different economic age, New Labour privatised UK air-traffic control, territory where even Margaret Thatcher’s government feared to tread. Today, the Conservative mayor of Tees Valley, Ben Houchen, boasts of having nationalised Teesside International Airport. Whatever we call this strange new political era, “neoliberal” is no longer adequate.
In the 1982 preface to Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman observed: “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.” One can imagine what an orthodox neoliberal response to the Covid-19 recession would have looked like: tax cuts and radical labour market deregulation designed to stimulate job creation. These ideas are still lying around, but they now resemble embarrassing outfits from a different era. Others have moved to the front of the store: state investment, industrial strategy, progressive tax rises, higher wages. The zeitgeist has changed. As the Atlantic magazine recently reported, Boris Johnson has “ordered civil servants to reject conservative orthodoxies about government intervention being bad and to be ‘more creative and more confident around who we [the UK] choose to back’”.
“As a sort of ebullient, aggressive ideology, as a doctrine that felt cocky and confident and all-conquering, neoliberalism is clearly dead, right?” Adam Tooze, the author of Crashed, the definitive book on the 2008 financial crisis, said when we spoke. “There’s just not any juice in there, it’s a bad brand at this point.”
He cited the fate of David Cameron’s government – so wedded to neoliberalism that it contemplated the privatisation of England’s forests – as an exemplar. “There was a Cameroon project and it consisted of resolving the Brexit problem by holding a referendum and then buddying up with China. And that was the plan: to insert a Conservative hegemonised Britain as the link between Europe and China – and every single piece of that plan blew up.”
Dani Rodrik, the influential Harvard University economist, agrees that neoliberalism is effectively dead. “The intellectual dissolution of the concept goes back to the 2008 crisis, where the damage that financial liberalisation can do became better understood… Even the IMF reversed its earlier stand in favour of free capital flows.”
Earlier this year, the Financial Times reported that the UK government was planning a bonfire of workers’ rights, including the abolition of the 48-hour maximum working week and changes to rules over breaks at work. The policies could have been drawn from Britannia Unchained, a book of essays published in 2012 featuring five recently elected Conservative MPs, which derided British workers as “among the worst idlers in the world”. But though four of its co-authors now sit in Johnson’s cabinet, they are gradually disowning ideas they once championed.
In January one of the gang, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, announced the abandonment of the promised review into workers’ rights. “I made it very, very clear to officials in the department that we’re not interested in watering down workers’ rights… I’ve said repeatedly that Brexit gives us the opportunity to have higher standards,” he said.
Rather than the 15 per cent rate of corporation tax that the former British chancellor George Osborne once aspired to introduce, the Conservatives have pledged to increase the UK rate from 19 per cent to 25 per cent (which would take the overall tax burden to its highest level since 1968-69, when Harold Wilson’s Labour government were in power). Infrastructure investment, meanwhile, has risen to its highest level as a share of GDP since the 1970s.
In his speech to the 1976 Labour Party conference, James Callaghan, the then prime minister, prefigured the ascent of the new Hayekian right by telling delegates: “We used to think that you could spend your way out of a recession, and increase employment by cutting taxes and boosting government spending. I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists.” Today, Conservative MPs are being forced to accept that the era of severe public spending cuts, tax cuts and deregulation is coming to an end.
If there was a hinge year it might not be 2008, as often suggested, but 2016: the year of Donald Trump’s election and of the Brexit vote. Though neither project was radically anti-neoliberal, both prioritised national control over market forces and shattered economic taboos in areas such as trade.
“I don’t think that Trump set out to destroy the neoliberal order, but he opened up a space that others have now walked into,” Quinn Slobodian, the author of Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism, told me. “It was Bernie Sanders who first broke these taboos around free-trade globalisation in his presidential campaign… the savvy political talent of someone like [Trump’s ex-chief strategist] Steve Bannon was simply to realise what was working in the Sanders message, which had now been abandoned by the Democrats.”
Trumpism opened the way for Biden’s radicalism in at least three senses. First, his $1.9trn tax cuts exposed the illusion of limits on US borrowing. Second, his trade war with China established a new pretext for state intervention, a cause that can unite liberals and conservatives. On 8 June, 19 Republican Senators joined the Democrats in voting for a $250bn bill to boost government investment in American technology and manufacturing (though this is hardly a sum to make Beijing, which has pledged to invest $1.4trn in tech, tremble). Third, Trump’s presidency persuaded Biden that the defence of liberal democracy depends upon a less unequal economic order and the restoration of “shared prosperity”.
In 1981, in one of the iconic acts of the neoliberal counter-revolution, Reagan fired more than 11,000 air-traffic controllers who maintained a strike in defiance of his order to return to work. Forty years later, Biden is championing a bill – Protecting the Right to Organise – that could enact the biggest expansion of workers’ rights since Franklin D Roosevelt’s presidency. The act would ban employers from permanently replacing strikers, legalise secondary strikes (currently banned in the UK) and end employer interference in union elections.
If neoliberalism has stalled it is partly because, like Alexander the Great, it had no worlds left to conquer. By the 1990s the Soviet Union and its satellite states had been defeated and social-democratic parties had been forced to pay homage (Thatcher described the creation of New Labour as her greatest achievement).
The legacy of the neoliberal era remains. On an economic level, the life-support machine of the state helped prevent more radical ruptures after the 2008 financial crisis and, many years later, the Covid recession. On a political level, Sanders and Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn – who could have embarked upon Mitterrand-style socialist confrontations with capital – were comfortably defeated.
Biden’s programme appears negligible when set against Sanders’ original ambitions, which were: a Green New Deal (to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy and create 20 million jobs); a rise in US public spending of up to $60trn across the next decade; universal healthcare; worker ownership funds (allowing employees to acquire up to 20 per cent of public corporations); the abolition of university tuition fees; and the cancellation of $1.6trn of student debt.
“As a practice of government, neoliberalism is a far harder beast to kill,” Tooze said, noting how pivotal private finance remains to Biden’s infrastructure and climate ambitions. “And then if you think about neoliberalism as a structure of social interests, as a class project, it marches on unambiguously.”
The austerity of the past decade in the UK and the EU has led commentators to present the size of the state as the defining ideological question. But the partial return of big government – which is compatible with German Christian democracy and French Gaullism – hardly amounts to a full-scale confrontation with neoliberalism.
It is nevertheless a profound shift. In different ways, Joe Biden’s US, Xi Jinping’s China, Vladimir Putin’s Russia and even Boris Johnson’s UK have all embraced forms of nationalist Keynesianism: public spending in the service of great national causes. A comparable project has been embraced by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, who increasingly speaks of Europe as a civilisation-state and who championed the EU’s €750bn economic stimulus.
“Policy decisions in the US have been largely replaced by global market forces,” Alan Greenspan said in 2007. In the Covid era, however, global market forces are being subverted by domestic policy decisions. The age of neoliberalism is giving way to a new one: the age of national capitalism.
economist.com 5-2021 Biden’s end of neolib – 3rd way all over?
… “What a difference 25 years can make. In 1996, then-Senator Joe Biden was gushing about the vote he would soon cast in support of sharp reductions in cash payments for single mothers. “The culture of welfare must be replaced with the culture of work,” he said on the floor of the Senate. “The culture of dependence must be replaced with the culture of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility.”…”
guardian.com 5/2021 Focus on individual wellbeing doesn’t help – Angela Smith
As the powerful feather their own nests, for many daily life is a horror story of precarity and anxiety
ft.com/ 5/2021 Amazon Unbound by Brad Stone – the prime of life FT review
FTmag 5/2021 How the middle class became downwardly mobile Simon Kuper
mh.com 1-2021 The rentier resurgence and takeover: Finance Capitalism vs. Industrial Capitalism – by Michael Hudson
Today’s neo-rentier economies obtain wealth mainly by rent seeking, while financialization capitalizes real estate and monopoly rent into bank loans, stocks and bonds. Debt leveraging to bid up prices and create capital gains on credit for this “virtual wealth” has been fueled by central bank Quantitative Easing since 2009. Financial engineering is replacing industrial engineering. Over 90 percent of recent U.S. corporate income has been earmarked to raise the companies’ stock prices by being paid out as dividends to stockholders or spent on stock buyback programs. Many companies even borrow to buy up their own shares, raising their debt/equity ratios.
jwmason.org/pdf 4-2021 Making Capitalism Great Again? A Critique of the “Rentier Takeover” Thesis J. W. Mason
Abstract : Michael Hudson argues that a new form of financial capitalism has displaced the industrial capitalism of Marx’s day. Unlike earlier capitalists, whose pursuit of lower costs led to improvements in the organization of production, the typical wealth owner today is a passive rentier who, like a feudal landlord, merely claims the surplus from existing production processes. Some form of this vision of financialization is widely held, but, I argue, misleading. It exaggerates the differences between historical and present-day capitalism, and misses the ways in which “finance” and “industry” form complementary parts of a single process. Keywords: financialization, circuit of capital, corporate governance, rent
ft.com/content/ 10-2020 Why Europeans no longer dream of America by Simon Kuper
In Franz Kafka’s first novel, Amerika (1927), a teenage boy from central Europe is sent to the US in disgrace, having “seduced” the family maid. (It later emerges that she — a giant, terrifying, Kafkaesque ogre — did the seducing.) In New York harbour, the boy is welcomed by a wealthy stranger: his uncle, who turns out to be a US senator. The ship’s captain offers congratulations: “A shining career awaits you now.”
Kafka was poking fun at the European dream of America, which had infected his own family. His cousin Otto, who had emigrated to the US speaking no English, ended up founding the brilliantly named Kafka Export Company. Like countless Europeans, I also grew up dreaming of America. The slow death of that dream has altered the European imagination.
When I was 10, in 1980, my father, an academic, took a sabbatical at Stanford, so we moved to Palo Alto, California, for a year. Palo Alto in those pre-tech-billionaire days was a delightful university town where an academic salary got us a big clapboard house on a tree-lined avenue.
One sunny morning soon after we arrived, we watched an old house being moved on a flatbed truck to a better location. This, I thought, was America: if anything in your life was imperfect, you fixed it.
Even many anti-Americans wanted a part of this. The writer PJ O’Rourke recounts being held up at gunpoint in Lebanon in 1984 “by this Hezbollah kid . . . at one of those checkpoints, screaming at me about America, Great Satan, etc” When the kid was done screaming, he told O’Rourke his ambition: to study dentistry in Dearborn, Michigan.
In 1993, I returned to the US for a glorious year at university. One night at a party I ran into a Briton with a working-class London accent who had found happiness in Boston, a city where nobody cared to locate him on the class ladder. The US was a place where Europeans could reinvent themselves. I began applying for jobs there but my plans were derailed when the FT made me an offer. I decided to give it a go, thinking the US would still be there later.
In 2004, I married an American. For all her wondrous qualities, I’m sure I was also transferring my love of her country on to her. Every time we visited, her grandfather greeted me with “Welcome to America!” as if he was personally bestowing the country’s bounty upon me.
At first, my wife and I assumed we’d end up in the US. Occasionally she’d badger me to apply for a green card. Gradually we stopped having that conversation. American life was losing appeal. In 2009, I met a Palestinian in the Gulf, who — flying in the face of history — was sending money to a relative in California bankrupted by the financial crisis.
Today, average US hourly earnings are about the same as when I moved to Palo Alto. I see American friends spend their lives worrying about paying for their healthcare, their college debts, their children’s university education and their own hoped-for retirements. They remind me of the character in Amerika who works as an errand-boy by day and studies at night. Asked when he sleeps, he replies: “I will sleep when I’m done with my studies. For now I drink black coffee.”
European attitudes to Americans are shifting from envy to compassion. This spring, Irish donors raised millions of dollars for the Native American Choctaw people devastated by coronavirus. The gift was a thank-you: in 1847, the Choctaw had sent money to Irish people devastated by the Potato Famine.
The obvious retort to all this is that the people living in our old Palo Alto house (now valued at $5.4m) are rich beyond my imagining and work for companies that shape my existence. It’s true — though there’s more chance of becoming a billionaire, if that’s your thing, in Scandinavia than in the US. Famously, too, northern European social mobility is now higher. Then there are the catastrophic California wildfires that lit Palo Alto’s skies orange this summer.
The US today reminds me of Argentina. When I was in Buenos Aires in 2002, interviewing descendants of Italians, Spaniards, Britons and Poles during yet another financial crisis, I thought: their grandparents went to the wrong country. They should have emigrated to the US instead.
An Argentine historian set me right: early last century, those people were making the correct decision. They couldn’t have known that the most valuable thing they would leave behind would be their European birth certificates. By 2002, their grandchildren were queueing for passports at the Spanish and Italian consulates.
Similarly, the poor Scandinavian farmers who populated the American Midwest made a sensible choice. But their relatives who stayed home have ended up living better. Donald Trump wants fewer immigrants from “shithole countries” and more “from places like Norway”.
The question is why Norwegians would want to come to America today, except as aid workers. On the contrary, I suspect many Scandinavian-, German- and Irish-Americans are now rootling in the attic for grandpa’s birth certificate.
eprints.lse.ac.uk.pdf 2020 The Economic Consequences of Major Tax Cuts for the Rich – by David Hope, Julian Limberg
unherd 4-2020 Could Covid-19 vanquish neoliberalism? This crisis is exposing the folly of applying market-based logic to every domain of human life BY THOMAS FAZI
unherd.com/post 2019 Will Covid kill neoliberalism? Freddie Sayers speaks to Thomas Fazi and Julian Jessop
https://renegadeinc.com 2019 Neoliberalism – An Idea Swallowing The World Economist Mary Wrenn and the economist and writer, Frances Coppola recently met up with Renegade Inc. to discuss what 40 years of neoliberal economics has done to us and our political landscape.
bostonreview 2019 Economics After Neoliberalism -Contemporary economics is finally breaking free from its market fetishism, offering plenty of tools we can use to make society more inclusive. Dani Rodrik Suresh Naidu Gabriel Zucman
brookings.edu/pdf 2019 Beyond neoliberalism – Insights from emerging markets – by Geoffrey Gertz, Homi Kharas
>real existing capitalism Mark Fisher
goodreads.com blogs.lse.ac.uk/ 2019 Long Read Review: k-punk: From Capitalist Realism to Acid Communism: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher (2004-2016) by Mark Fisher, edited by Darren Ambrose with Simon Reynolds
“k-punk gathers together work written by the influential British cultural theorist and political activist Mark Fisher between 2004 and 2016, the year before his death. Despite the circumstances of the book’s publication and its sustained emphasis on the worst aspects of life under late capitalism, Sean Seeger explores how the overall impression of the volume is not despondency but rather an awareness of new possibilities, including a revitalised feeling for the utopian potential of art and music.
theguardian.com 2019 Democracy doesn’t matter to the defenders of ‘economic freedom’ – by
nytimes.com/ 2019 Bursting the Billionaire Bubble – No, America isn’t waiting for a tycoon savior. By Paul Krugman
…”…Put it this way: These days, many political factions are accused, with varying degrees of justice, of living in some kind of bubble, out of touch with American reality. But few live as thoroughly in a bubble as the billionaire class and its hangers-on. And now the billionaires in the bubble find themselves in an environment in which concerns about soaring inequality, about the extraordinary concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, finally seem to be getting political traction. And they’re not handling it well. …”…
warwick.ac.uk/ 2018 ‘Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism’ (2018) Quinn Slobodian
…”It has almost seemed necessary for discussions of neoliberalism to start with a preamble on the uncertain status of neoliberalism as an object of inquiry. This tradition looks to be challenged by an increasingly broad and confident body of literature which has emerged over the past five to ten years, and to which Quinn Slobodian’s Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism (2018) firmly belongs. This body of literature aims to peer through the scholarly haze obscuring the nebulous concept of ‘neoliberalism’ and attempts to define precisely what neoliberalism might be. Slobodian is the co-editor, with Dieter Plehew and Philip Mirowski, of the forthcoming book Nine Lives of Neoliberalism(January 2020) which looks to be something of a follow-up of Mirowski and Plehew’s seminal edited volume The Road from Mont Pèlerin: the Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (2009) – the authoritative volume for the historical study of neoliberalism. Slobodian frequently cites, and is very much part of, this historical project. The project has been particularly successful in dissipating what Mirowski has delightfully described as the ‘remarkable and dumbfounding […] nominalism when encountering neoliberalism.’  The general thrust of this group’s argument understands neoliberalism as a distinct system of political thought with a number of prevalent features which differentiate it from other systems of thought, particularly classical liberalism. …”
blogs.lse.ac.uk 2018 Disciplinary neoliberalism: coercive commodification and the post-crisis welfare state – Fiona Dukelow and Patricia Kennett examine the post-2008 welfare states in Ireland, Britain, and the US. They explain how each of these countries experienced an acceleration in the operation of disciplinary neoliberalism – through punitive regimes of surveillance and sanctions – and consider the implications of these contemporary welfare policies.
The Great Recession saw the unravelling of a financialised growth model into a full-blown crisis by 2008. In the aftermath, what is apparent is that financialised capitalism in unison with neoliberalism not only survived but thrived. The current configuration and integration of neoliberalism and financialisation, and their penetration into every aspect of everyday life, is contributing to a transformation of prevailing societal norms within Anglo-liberal capitalism. In our research we suggest that coercive commodification is a social policy tool that is becoming increasingly embedded in how the instabilities of the Anglo-liberal model are governed and in how disciplinary neoliberalism evolves. Focusing on Ireland, the UK, and the US, we highlight the ways in which these processes are playing out in these three countries.
Disciplinary Neoliberalism, coercive commodification, and financialisation: making the connections
A key starting point for explaining the reconfiguration of contemporary norms is Stephen Gill’s notion of disciplinary neoliberalism which distinguishes between two specific but interrelated and reinforcing faces of power.
springer.com 2018 Contemporary Neoliberalism Financing the Apocalypse pp 113-143 Joel Magnuson
This chapter and the next are devoted to exploring this neoliberal canon as part of the superstructure that provides normative justification for the corporate hegemony, and to see how it is bound up in the collective nerve cells of the American mentality. So deeply entrenched this ideology that it is nearly invisible, as Mirowski echoes Gruchy, “neoliberalism as a worldview has sunk its roots deep into everyday life, almost to the point of passing as the ‘ideology as no ideology.’” Whether invisible or not, a central point to be made is that neoliberal ideology is inseparable from the institutions that it supports. They are a package deal.
To keep themselves intact, all powerful institutions throughout history have developed their own version systems of ideological justification. As we explore the relationship between institutions and their supporting ideologies, there arises a chicken-and-egg question on which has primacy, the institution or the ideology? This question is overshadowed by the debate in the sociology of knowledge between idealism and materialism and weighing in on this debate is beyond the scope of our project here. If pressed, however, the materialist view seems to carry more weight.
In the institutionalist view, the emphasis is not on trying to solve this debate, but rather to see that institutions and ideologies are two aspects of a broader cultural whole that evolves with time. There is a dynamic interplay between the structure of institutions that determine how we do things and the structure of beliefs that determine how we think about things. How we think about the world affects how we act in the world, which affects how we think about the world and so on. The men and women who advocate neoliberal doctrines have the privilege of orthodoxy because they are supported by the vast financial resources of the corporation and by the social classes that reside in its citadels. At the same time, corporate institutions evolved into a hegemony in part because they are supported by the coevolution of neoliberal economic doctrine. It is not a coincidence that as corporate institutions orchestrated their capture of other institutions in media, government, and academia, these institutions became the home base for neoliberal intellectuals. In other words, corporate hegemony and neoliberalism are coevolving in such a way that they mutually strengthen each other. We cannot fully understand one without the other. To that end, we will flesh out some of the cornerstone elements of neoliberalism:
- The sanctity of economic individualism
- Greed is necessary for well-being
- The sanctity of the market system
- The “Janus Face” of government
- What is good for corporations is good for everyone
- Capitalism equals democracy
- Economic and Financial Innovation are Unassailable
Abstract : This paper argues that the last eighty years of American politics can be understood in terms of the rise and fall of two political orders. The first political order grew out of the New Deal, dominating political life from the 1930s to the 1970s. The history of this order (the New Deal Order) is now well known. The other order, best understood as ‘neoliberal’ in its politics, emerged from the economic and political crises of the 1970s. This paper is one of the first to elucidate the political relationships, ideological character and moral perspective that were central to this neoliberal order’s rise and triumph. The paper’s narrative unfolds in three acts: the first chronicles the 1980s rise of Ronald Reagan and the laissez-faire Republican party he forced into being; the second shows how the collapse of communism in the late 1980s and early 1990s accelerated the globalization of capitalism and elevated neoliberalism’s prestige; and the third reveals how a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, facilitated his party’s capitulation to neoliberal imperatives. Political orders encourage such capitulation, the paper argues, by universalizing their own ideological principles and making alternative ideologies seem marginal and unworkable. A coda shows how the Great Recession of 2008 fractured America’s neoliberal order, diminishing its authority and creating a space in which different kinds of politics, including the right-wing populism of Donald Trump and the left-wing populism of Bernie Sanders, could flourish.
For over three decades neoliberalism has been the dominant economic ideology. While it may have emerged relatively unscathed from the global financial crisis of 2007-8, neoliberalism is now – more than ever – under scrutiny from critics who argue that it has failed to live up to its promises, creating instead an increasingly unequal and insecure world.
This book offers a nuanced and probing analysis of the meaning and practical application of neoliberalism today, separating myth from reality. Drawing on examples such as the growth of finance, the role of corporate power and the rise of workfare, the book advances a balanced but distinctive perspective on neoliberalism as involving the interaction of ideas, material economic change and political transformations. It interrogates claims about the impending death of neoliberalism and considers the sources of its resilience in the current climate of political disenchantment and economic austerity.
factmyth.com/ 2017 Neoliberalism Explained Thomas DeMichele
A basic definition of Neoliberalism: Neoliberalism is an economic ideology that fuses classical liberal deregulation, with social liberal Keynesian economics, and a globalist mentality. Its not classically liberal, its not social liberal, its not conservative, its not social policy, its not economic policy, it is parallel a mash-up of all these things at once. It favors a global, integrated, capitalist economy in either a left-wing form or right-wing “neocon” form.
“…. An interregnum in Gramsci’s sense is a period of tremendous insecurity in which the accustomed chains of cause and effect are no longer in force, and unexpected, dangerous and grotesquely abnormal events may occur at any moment. This is in part because disparate lines of development run unreconciled, parallel to one another, resulting in unstable configurations of many kinds, and chains of surprising events take the place of predictable structures. Among the causes of the new unpredictability is the fact that, following the populist revolution, the political classes of neoliberal capitalism are forced to listen rather more closely to their national populations. …”
Die Wiederkehr der Verdrängten : Streeck zur Politik des Neoliberalismus Artikel in Suhrkamp Buch
cis.org/pdf 2017 IN DEFENCE OF NEOLIBERALISM – Those who prefer growth to stagnation must make defending and extending the global liberal order their top priority, argues Sam Bowman
theoryculturesociety.org/blog 2016 Review: Wendy Brown, ‘Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution’
“At its worst, the resilience imperative is an offensive, exclusionary narrative that blames individuals for their predicament. Encouraging us to internalise, rather than question, the dominant logic of neoliberal values and the structural inequalities and social determinants that contribute to poor mental health, it undermines our impulses to solidarity. And at its best? Perhaps when it emerges from resistance and solidarity – not compliance and individuality.
The self-help industry’s moralising frame of reference offers the psychological comfort of consolatory distractions, encouraging conformity rather than criticality. Changing the status quo requires resistance, not resignation and compliance with the sanitised dictates of self-help gurus, and their market-friendly humbuggery that promises individual transformation and human flourishing without altering the structural conditions that contribute to distress.
Anxiety is symptomatic of the radical contingency of our era. Normalised precarity has normalised anxiety. To feel anxious, vulnerable and unhappy in a system that masquerades as freedom and demands that workers be resilient while leaving them unprotected is an understandable outcome”
academioa.edu/pdf 2017 Desolation Row – From Democracy to Oligarchy, 1976-2016 – by Fabrizio Tonello
“Neoliberalization is a distinctive economic, political, and social project that promotes profit-oriented, market-mediated accumulation as the primary axis of societalization. This might suggest that neoliberalism promotes the primacy of the economic but, since its extension and reproduction require continuing state support and, indeed, involve what Weber called political capitalism, one might also argue that it entails a primacy of the political. To address this paradox, my article offers a baseline definition of neoliberalism and identifies four ideal-typical historical forms thereof; relates neoliberalism to the world market, geopolitics and global governance; disambiguates the primacy of the economic; and addresses the role of the political in promoting neoliberalism and handling its contradictions and crisis-tendencies. It illustrates this exercise in critical theory from the North Atlantic Financial Crisis and how its (mis)management has strengthened the neoliberal project, enabled its main promoters and beneficiaries to escape the need to learn from their mistakes, and even enabled them to further enrich themselves.
While often identified with right-wing parties, neoliberal regime shifts have also been initiated, maintained, or supported by centre-left parties, often under a ‘Third Way’ label (e.g., New Labour, the Clinton Administration, ‘die neue Mitte’ in Germany).” more here
academia.edu/PDF 2013 The Neoliberal Resurgence and the Threat of Austerity Boris Frankel
The enormity of the current crisis (known superficially as the GFC), prompts one to ask why is it that neoliberalism still dominates both government policy practice and university economics theory and, moreover, why has it actually gained a new and possibly stronger lease of life?
Liberal capitalist polities are being held up as the ultimate civilizational achievement precisely at a point in time when the energy-demanding built environments and growth imperatives of these societies are threatened by global climate change and the coming end of cheap and abundant carbon energy. Throughout the twentieth century, this pattern of energy-intensive social reproduction was largely shaped by the oil and gas sector creating what I call a petro-market civilization. However, given the challenges presented by peak oil and global warming, transitioning to a low-carbon or green energy future has gathered increasing attention and investment. In this paper, I use a power theory of value approach to offer a preliminary assessment of whether this transition is likely given the entrenched power of the oil and gas sector in the economy. Although the twenty-first century may bear witness to a renewable and sustainable energy paradigm, current evidence suggests that investors are continuing to capitalize an unsustainable future premised upon non-renewable fossil fuels.
>Finance, Political Economy, Energy, Built Environment, Oil and gas
academia.ed gg pdf 2010 The Rise and Fall of Neoliberalism edited by Kean Birch, Vlad Mykhnenko
>Neoliberalism, Global Financial Crisis, Postfordism, Postneoliberalism
In the last 30 years, neoliberal policies have been implemented in almost every society on the globe, resulting in fairly specific ‘neoliberal’ configurations. This volume has been compiled in time for the World Social Forum in January 2009 in Belém in order to initiate a new debate. It off ers various responses to the negative impacts of neoliberalism and its growing inability to deal with the upcoming contradictions and crises. The contributors are mainly scholar-activists from different parts of the world, who present perspectives on social, political and/or economic transformations. They deal with shifting terrains of social struggles and compromises, taking place on diff erent scales, in various contexts and by diff erent actors. All postneoliberal approaches have in common that they constitute a rupture with specific aspects of ‘neoliberalism’. The contributors explore different aspects of a possible postneoliberalism, focusing on continuities and discontinuities, which vary in depth, complexity and scope, and relate to everyday practices as well as comprehensive concepts.
postneoliberalism : catch-all word or valuable analytical and political concept? – Aims of a beginning debate by Ulrich Brand and Nicola Sekler
Ways out of the crisis of neoliberalism by Michael Brie
Postneoliberalism and its bifurcations by Ana Esther Ceceña
Postneoliberalism and post-Fordism – Is there a new period of capitalist mode of production? by Alex Demirovic
Postneoliberalism from and as a counter-hegemonic perspective by Nicola Sekler
Postneoliberalism or postcapitalism?The failure of neoliberalism in the ﬁnancial market crisis by Elmar Altvater
‘Neoliberalism’ and development policy – Dogma or progress? Kurt Bayer
Environmental crises and the ambiguous postneoliberalising of nature by Ulrich Brand
The crisis of neoliberalism and the impasse of the union movement by Gregory Albo
Women peasants, food security and biodiversity in the crisis of neoliberalism by Christa Wichterich
On recent projects and experiences of the suﬃ ciency economy: a critique by Chanida Chanyapate and Alec Bamford
Struggles against Wal-Martisation and neoliberal competitiveness in (southern) China – Towards postneoliberalism as an alternative? by Ngai-Ling Sum
Postneoliberalism in Latin America by Emir Sader
Notes on postneoliberalism in Argentina by Verónica Gago and Diego Sztulwark
Realistic postneoliberalism – A view from South Africa by Patrick Bond
goodreads.com 2007 A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey
Neoliberalism – the doctrine that market exchange is an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide for all human action – has become dominant in both thought and practice throughout much of the world since 1970 or so. Writing for a wide audience, David Harvey, author of The New Imperialism and The Condition of Postmodernity, here tells the political-economic story of where neoliberalization came from and how it proliferated on the world stage. Through critical engagement with this history, he constructs a framework, not only for analyzing the political and economic dangers that now surround us, but also for assessing the prospects for the more socially just alternatives being advocated by many oppositional movements.
goodreads.com 2005 A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey
>Global Capitalism, geopolitics, globalisation, neolib – John Ralston
Global Capitalism, geopolitics, globalisation, neolib – John N. Gray
goodreads.com 1998 False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism by John N. Gray
Hailed by Kirkus Reviews as both “a convincing analysis of an international economy headed for disaster” and a “powerful challenge to economic orthodoxy,” False Dawn shows that the attempt to impose the Anglo-American-style free market on the world will create a disaster, possibly on the scale of Soviet communism. Even America, the supposed flagship of the new civilization, risks moral and social disintegration as it loses ground to other cultures that have never forgotten that the market works best when it is embedded in society. John Gray, well known in the 1980s as an important conservative political thinker, whose writings were relied upon by Margaret Thatcher and the New Right in Britain, has concluded that the conservative agenda is no longer viable. In his examination of the ripple effects of the economic turmoil in Russia and Asia on our collective future, Gray provides one of the most passionate polemics against the utopia of the free market since Carlyle and Marx.
http://theconversation.com/can-capitalism-solve-capitalisms-problems-130427 Can capitalism solve capitalism’s problems?
Neoliberal Economies in the Postcolony, Social Movements, Political Ecology, Indigeneity, Cultures of Disposession, Urban Form in Asia, Non-Linear Systems, Fieldwork and Disruptive Epistemologies, Biopolitics, India,