Lecture Rehearsals: 5.1. Þe Neoliberal Turn (20th Century Economic History)
What I am teaching in the fall of 2021...
5.1.1. Lecture—Review: Why the Neoliberal Turn?
What primed the pump for the neoliberal turn that world political economy took at the end of the 1970s? Why the shift away from “the market was made for man, not man for the market” and toward “the market giveth, the market taketh away; blessed be the name of the market”?
5.1.2. Lecture—The Right-Wing Critique of Social Democracy
The curse of Barry Goldwater, racialized politics, and the right-wing critique of social democracy
5.1.3. Lecture—Types of Neoliberalism
“Outside” neoliberalism—neoliberalism imposed on other people, on developing countries and emerging markets.
“Hard” neoliberalism—restoring discipline and order to society, and making sure that sloth was punished and industry rewarded
“Soft” neoliberalism—a better, spiffier social democracy, using market means to crowdsource solutions to social democratic ends, where appropriate.
5.1.4. Lecture—"Soft" Neoliberalism
The neoliberalism of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. Using market means to social democratic ends where appropriate, for the market is a marvelous human organizational invention for crowdsourcing grassroots solutions to societal problems—if the market can be regulated and guided to take such problems as its objectives. A kinder, gentler, spiffier, more technocratic, less instititonally corrupt social democracy.
5.1.5. Lecture—Neoliberalism in Power
Neoliberalism in power delivered neither a restoration of economic growth to golden-age rates nor additional financial stability nor a smaller and more efficient government. But it did deliver a much more unequal income and wealth distribution.
5.1.6. Worshipping False Idols
The fact is that the world simply does not work the way the ideologues and advocates who promoted the neoliberal turn thought that it did. So, in the global north at least, the neoliberal turn achieved none of its stated objectives in terms of revivifying growth. All it did was greatly raise the inequality of wealth and income.
5.1.7. Lecture—Neoliberalism & Globalization
I will not say that the shift of China from Mao to Dang was part of the neoliberal turn. It was a separate process. But the neoliberal term did make it much much easier for China to find its niche in the global economy. And that is an overwhelming plus for neolberalism in the global south. Plus there is India: Rajiv Gandhi’s policy turn and the subsequent dismantling of the License Raj to India’s great benefit was definitely part of the neoliberal turn. Elsewhere? The neoliberal turn kept the global north from squelching global south economies that found productive niches, especially in the value-chain economy. So even India and China aside it was on balance a plus. But the big hopes for the Washington Consensus? Disappointed.
5.1.8. Lecture—The Persistence of Neoliberalism
Why? Why did neoliberalism persist as a policy configuration in the global north, given its failure to revivify growth to post-WWII generation levels? Some guesses…