DRAFT: How Can We Deal wiþ Zombie Neoliberal Ideas?
Does it require a wooden stake, or fire, to make it so þt they do not keep coming back again?...
Does it require a wooden stake, or fire, to make it so þt they do not keep coming back again?…
My bookshelves—at this point, mostly virtual—have been filling up with books whose titles contain phrases like: “Fall of the Neoliberal Order”, ’Ruins of Neoliberalism“, ”What Was Neoliberalism?“, ”Then World After Neoliberalism“, ”The Downfall of Neoliberalism", and so forth.
And yet policies I cannot see as anything other than “neoliberal” continue to surround me. And so do thoughts I cannot see as anything other than “neoliberal”. They continue to shamble forward like a giant zombie hoard, bombarding me from all sides. This week’s entry comes from the London Economist:
Economist: Joe Biden’s global vision is too timid and pessimistic: [Biden’s] hyperactive industrial policy… underestimates America’s strengths and misunderstands how it acquired them…. The main source of America’s strength is creative destruction and open markets in a rules-based global economy…. Biden[’s] state-led, insular economic vision may ultimately erode living standards and American clout…. Europe fears a subsidy race…. The decay of global rules is accelerating the embrace of a transactional approach to foreign policy…
The negative valence attached to “subsidy race” and the positive valence attached to “open markets” in this paragraph are claims that there are no effective Pigovian adjustments of market prices to bring them into accord with societal values and to compensate for positive and negative production spillovers.
“Rules-based global economy” is code for a claim that such adjustments are illegitimate without the unanimous consent o world governments—which can rarely be built up, and when it is takes a decade.
In this context, “creative destruction” is a sotto voce denunciation of hopes by the Democratic Party coalition to reverse the relative decline of the American interior.
And the comparison of the Biden administration to a hyperactive child is not an argument for different policies, but merely a sneer.
I look at this zombie neoliberalism from the Economist, and I think: It has now been 180 years since 1843. Back in 1843 Friedrich Engels wrote that the economists were full of it:
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