I now understand, chunk, where you got your particular formulation of the term. I renew my objection, but for purposes of this discussion, I'll address the critique as being applicable to neoliberalism generally.
I'll accept Shivani's treatise as valid, with one exception:
"They keep acting as if the fight is still on between the old New Deal liberalism (laissez-faire economics slightly moderated by some half-hearted welfare programs) and a right that wants to shred those welfare mechanisms."
NO It's not that I think that the fight is BETWEEN the old New Dealers and the Right wing shredding machine, it's that I think we need to not only reimplement the old New Deal, we also need to reimplement the GREEN New Deal, at least by starting with the old New Deal, then the Second New Deal, as a workup TO the aspirations of the Green New Deal.
As it stands now, due to all the rewind efforts of the last forty years, today it is full speed ahead weapons grade revanchism on the Right, and thus we are so far outside the old New Deal that "The Little Match Girl" might do as our poster child. Just the OLD New Deal alone would feel like liberation from where I sit right now!
So, Shivani thinks we still see ourselves as New Dealers. Hell no, I can only speak for myself but I see us as having been ROBBED of the New Deal and being unceremoniously dropped outside of it. Therefore I see the progressive wing of the Democratic Party as being the core of what's needed just to get back to where we might have been.
The way I've seen it and stated it is that Trump is the logical conclusion to the neoliberal democratic consensus. For all the teeth nashing of Trump and the Republican Party, neoliberalism has been given little attention within the Democratic Party and it's role in setting the table for the current economic and political realities. The power of lesser of evilism?
I'm not sure I accept Shivani's treatment of the word. He wants to be a new sort of liberal and represent a New Left so he's adopting the word neoliberal. Other people have also claimed the word...
Since the late 1970s political parties all over the world have embraced a politics of free markets, privatization, and financialization. While promising freedom, this political project — typically referred to as neoliberalism — has brought record levels of economic inequality and significant democratic retrenchment, particularly in the advanced capitalist world.
Scholars often explain this shift by pointing to the victory of the New Right — personified by figures like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. But a new book by sociologist Stephanie Mudge tells a different story.
In Leftism Reinvented: Western Parties from Socialism to Neoliberalism, Mudge looks at left parties in advanced capitalist countries over the last century and shows how the experts aligned with those parties pushed them in the direction of spin doctors and markets. In the process, left parties’ ability to represent the interests of their own working-class constituencies was eroded — and ordinary people were shut out of the halls of power.
The Democratic Party is trickier, because of its very different history. It has always been a mass party in a certain sense, but not a socialist or ideological one. I include it because, when the leading liberal or New Deal faction of the Democratic Party embraced Keynesianism around the time of the 1937 recession, it became somewhat comparable to social-democratic and labor parties. And, last but not least, in the 1990s the Democratic Party was a major exporter of “third way” politics to Europe and elsewhere. So that is why it needed to be part of the story.
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde
Yeeesh... I dunno Gregor. I find it difficult to follow Musge's historical context. I mean, yeah sure, courtiers of the press being elevated to status of political advisors, economists ditto but no acknowledgement of reactionary forces mobilized to fight back against progressive victories or emergent power in trade unions etc.? That it was there to step in when Keynesian economics stumbled? Yeah, Keynesian economics hit a wall but she doesn't mention the efforts being made by the ownership class to elevate neoliberal social/economic theory? I agree that the democrats went with the promoted neoliberal agenda in the 80's. Some scholars put it earlier, with Carter. No doubt by Clinton anyhow. But there were many on the left who railed against the neoliberal turn. My recollection is that it was almost solely the left that argued against the turn. They were eventually sidelined by both press and party. I guess I just don't see how neoliberalism having come from 'the left' unless you are 'left' by simple virtue of identifying as a democrat. I've never saw it that way and think neoliberalism was more of a class battle than a left/right political ideology battle.
I would make the case (and provide what I can in references) to say that neoliberalism, similar to neoconservative, wants to reduce the power of the state and have that power, instead, reside in 'market forces'. Good way to keep us from marching off to the Sudetenland All of which bolsters the capital class and reduces the working class.
Would anyone doubt that the middle class of today's america be in better shape than it was, say 30 years ago?
All of which has been covered by numerous academics and economists like Picketty's 'Capitol'. A good read but, I'll fess up, needs to be read again for my limited brain capacity.
Loved the Moyer/Krugman discussion of the book. Inspired a trip to the library. One wonders how his book might have sold had it been released before to the Occupy season.
If anyone hasen't seen it yet and has 20 minutes to blow and is interested in class analysis it's a good watch:
At the time that neoliberalism came on the scene (1930's), there were two primary schools of thought. The first was that of "free market", laissez-faire economics, which had given us the Robber Barons of the 1880-90s, the Trusts of the turn of the century, and the collapse of 1929. The competing school of thought at the time was "socialism", where the means of production would be owned by the state. A "colloquium" was brought together of the leading socio-economists of the time to try to work its way through the thicket. The concept they came up with was a "third way" where the means of production remained in the private sector, but that the government played a significant role in directing the fruits of those efforts to the public good, and included the creation of a "welfare state". They called this school "neoliberalism". Through the 1970's these would be the primary principles that informed the school of thought.
In contrast to neoliberalism, which was predicated on the benefit of society in controls on the market and social programs, there arose a splinter school of thought called "ordoliberalism". The ordoliberalists thought that the role of government in such a "mixed" economy should be simply directed toward making markets more "efficient". They formed the "Mont Pelerin Society" which included Friedrich Hayek, Frank Knight, Karl Popper, Ludwig von Mises, George Stigler and Milton Friedman, They considered themselves the opposition to the Neoliberalists, what with all their "social goody-two-shoesedness."
It was in the 1980s that the confusion came into the equation, when Friedman and other members coopted the name to describe their drastic use of tools such as austerity, balanced budgets and deregulation, all of which are inimical to the goals of neoliberalism. They are, essentially, libertarians.
It is this bastardization of the name that I have objected so strenuously to. Libertarianism is NOT the successor to Neoliberalism, but has merely misappropriated the name for propaganda purposes (ironically, because that is explicitly anathema to the Orodoliberal manifesto). Hyak, Friedman, Von Mises all rejected the goals of Neoliberalism to form their own schools, think tanks (e.g. Heritage Society, CATO Institute, American Enterprise Institute), and policy positions. It is the same misappropriation that gives the Federalist Society the gall to name themselves after the enemy camp, when all of their positions were those of the anti-federalists. It is no different that calling conservatives progressive.(... waitaminit, that's what Trump did...) Conservatives do this a lot in their propaganda war against reality.
That, in a nutshell, is why I so revile the use of the term to describe anti-neoliberal actions, thoughts, and policies, and react so strongly.