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View Diary: What is Neoliberalism? (158 comments)

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  •  Whatever its origins, the policies now associated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sneakers563, johanus, bruh1

    with the term are basically fascist economics.

    •  Actually, no. Or at least, not that simple. (8+ / 0-)

      Franco, for example, instituted a series of actually socialist programs that persist today in Spain because of their immense popularity.  Their social security, much public infrastructure (dams and reservoirs, public buildings, etc) and liberal (in the current parlance) healthcare system were all Franco's doing.  The parameters of any political philosophy are determined by local conditions and popular imperatives.  

      Maybe if you frame it "neoliberalism is a euphamism for neofascist economics" you'd be closer to the truth.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

      by nailbender on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 09:51:54 AM PDT

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      •  Jeffersonian Neoliberal Conservatism (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, nailbender

        I've found that most people who use the term in casual conversation believe that they're referring to a "classic" form of Conservatism, or they're trying to say that there's a new movement in Liberalism that has moved to a higher and better plane.

        That's a long way from the scholarly definition, and puts me in mind of the fad among Conservatives to be called "Jeffersonian Liberals" of a few years ago.

        Oddly, Conservatives are often quite engaged in that sort of talk (toss "Federalism" into the same mix). I think it comes from their fantasy view of the Constitution and desire to find justification for their beliefs in the writings of the Founding Fathers. They have an emotional need to discover that their beliefs are old, since they someone equate old with true.

        A Southerner in Yankeeland

        To save your life read "Pity The Billionaire" by Thomas Frank, and "Winner-Take-All-Politics" by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson. Then read more books.

        by A Southerner in Yankeeland on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 01:12:46 PM PDT

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    •  Well, I agree that the modern heirs of the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dizzydean, PhilK, Siri, Claudius Bombarnac

      fascists, those who glorify the military and are espouse a nationalist, anti-immigrant ideology are certainly in the neoliberal camp.

      However, if we're talking about traditional fascist economics, I disagree. Mussolini's oft-misunderstood quote aside, nationalization of key industries, belief in a strong social net, central planning of the economy, autarky... all of these were enthusiastically embraced under fascism and are absolutely anathema to neoliberalism.

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 09:58:08 AM PDT

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    •  I disagree. The fascists, if they had an economic (5+ / 0-)

      policy that we can lump the various permutations under, saw a state-corporate cooperation but one where free trade was not emphasized, nor was the state seen as a bad actor in the economy.  Instead, you had essentially a controlled economy where the corps benefitted, but had little wiggle room outside of the wishes of the state.  What we term as "neoliberal" is anti-state, as the state is always a bad actor in the free market and whose influence should be limited at all costs.  Instead, with the state an other non-capitalist actors limited or eliminated, the corps and financiers will have a free hand to operate as they will.

      Fascism is a term that I would like to see avoided by today's left with reference to our current issues.  It's loaded with all sorts of "word magic" to borrow a term from Marc Bloch, and really does not apply in specific comparisons.  Ditto with "neo-feudalism" that I've seen bandied about here.

      To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

      by dizzydean on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 10:06:22 AM PDT

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      •  I'm not sure the state is *always* a bad actor (7+ / 0-)

        to neoliberals, though, despite the rhetoric they often employ.  Take Posner's work, for instance, where the question becomes how to create a regulatory environment where transactions costs are minimized.  In that case, they're not taking the free-market as a state of nature existing independent of the state, but rather as something that needs to be nurtured and supported through the actions of the state.

        To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

        by sneakers563 on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 10:15:22 AM PDT

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        •  I was generalizing, but point well made. n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sneakers563, tardis10, Siri

          To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

          by dizzydean on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 10:39:54 AM PDT

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        •  It's certainly a good actor for neoliberals (5+ / 0-)

          when it enforces property rights.

          In that case, they're not taking the free-market as a state of nature existing independent of the state, but rather as something that needs to be nurtured and supported through the actions of the state.
          Markets tend not to exist without the state, historically speaking. Mainly because the necessary conditions for a market can't exist without a state.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 10:54:18 AM PDT

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          •  Exactly (7+ / 0-)

            One of the things I find most exasperating about libertarians is their tendency to decry one arbitrary set of state functions as unnatural state intrusion, while taking another wholly arbitrary set completely for granted.

            It would be fine if they were honest about it.  Certainly we should debate the proper role of the state.  It's their tendency to naturalize their particularly viewpoint and wrap it in the clock of "objectivity" that gets me.

            To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

            by sneakers563 on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 11:05:29 AM PDT

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            •  It's a function of their reliance on (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mkor7, sneakers563, ferg

              the lie of their founding. Specifically the "state of nature" and the idea that government arose from such. The general line now, via Nozicks, is that it's some sort of "thought experiment," which is basically a pathetic excuse for being completely and totally wrong about how and why the state arose. It's paralleled by the economic myth of barter. There was never really a time where we lived in small villages and bartered. It just didn't happen.

              Contemporary political and economic theory is so off base on so many things it's incredible.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 11:42:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The regulatory regime has morphed from (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, sneakers563

          minimization to using it to control risk or loot.

          The wolves are in charge of the sheep. This is the heart of regulator capture.

        •  Neoliberal policies require the power of the state (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, sneakers563

          to protect and enforce them. That's why we see a close relationship between them and the tools of state power. The US military is their greatest asset world wide.

          A good example would be in Chile. Freidman's Chicago Boys needed a very strong dictator effectively running a police state to shove neoliberal policies down the throats of the Chileans.

          It is only through strong state power can neoliberalism survive. I would even argue that strong state power is required to prevent neoliberalism from cannibalizing itself.

      •  Internationalizin the model doesn't (0+ / 0-)

        change its goal

        Are you adding is the modern globalize structre

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