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After Neoliberalism

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/05/30/after-neoliberalism


So obviously true. This is the immediate starting point for selecting leaders. They either get it or they are eliminated from consideration. Then we can debate the specific tactics for achieving said objectives. All other issues derive from these concerns. If Dr. Stiglitz is not the principle author of the opposition candidate’s policy, maybe he should become the leading opposition candidate.


Depends if you believe in the climate crisis. If we do, then untold resources have to go there, not capitalistic ventures, although there may be room for investments into projects to save the planet.


The article nailed it by declaring that markets can’t solve the problems markets create.
An authentic social democracy that firmly directs the market and reframes corporate rights and definitions are prerequisites.
Free markets declared that human values were to be banned in market decisions. As it did so, it equated monetary profit as the supreme human value while blocking all others. This is the essential, all-pervasive, systemic corruption that must be uprooted.
The free market and the legal system need a serious rewrite. The fact that this alarms the false center, and particularly the right and Fox-like media, is a sign we are getting closer to home.
Markets must serve society and transparently account for all their actions. Markets must serve the people, not enslave people, as they have for decades. Markets must create prosperity, health and well being for everyone.


This is rather intellectually dishonest and dare I say cowardly. There is a fourth “alternative”–socialism. He lumps this in with “progressivism.” They are not the same. Let’s have a real debate on progressivism and socialism, and talk about class struggle, racism, patriarchalism and the rather mixed record of both “progressivism” and socialism on the climate disaster.


Yes. Even as the ecology literally dis-integrates around us and within us, Stiglitz cannot allow himself to imagine actual de-colonization - transformation of ownership, in recognition of the grand theft continental, enslavement, genocide, and rule of capital that led to neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism - new liberalism, liberating capital from all “progressive” restraint just as the original liberalism liberated capital from monarchy and aristocracy - has ushered colonialism into previously unimagined territory - for example, patents on life and corporate ownership of seed, or corporate ownership of our social data and metadata through the operation of rent-seeking network utilities like Facebook and Google.

We don’t need to refine the rule of capital. We need to dis-empower capital and set up a fundamentally different operating system.


You are right to raise the issue of colonialism. Stiglitz was the Sr. VP and chief economist at the World Bank, one of the important cogs in the machinery of neocolonialism/neoliberalism. He is seen as a “progressive” reformist voice re the bank. How is this “beyond”? Or is it the same old thing?


You could also call the new post-neoliberal system “Rooseveltian capitalism” or “Rooseveltian populism”. It conjures the respectable days of fair play and equality during and after the Depression, which created great middle class security through the 1970’s. The late seventies is when the coordinated assault on everybody’s collective well-being began. The Powell memo - which was to de-legitimize the power of the left and its civic, antiwar consciousness - led to the corrupt overthrow of Jimmy Carter’s advancements in peaceful co-existence and solar energy and to the age of right-wing think tanks and corporate ownership of the press, which bamboozled this nation into voting against its own interests. Going back to Rooseveltianism would remind people of how it used to be, and can be again.


That’s why the Green New Deal is called a New Deal, in reference to FDR’s New Deal.


This article jibes with “Rebooting the American Dream” by Thom Hartmann. In Chapter two, Roll Back the Reagan Tax Cuts, he documents other times in the country’s history when inequality was rampant, and the economy responded to confiscatory increases in the marginal tax rates on the super-rich. I see the genesis of the coming environmental disaster as not in current economic terms-- socialism vs capitalism-- but in industrialism, going back to the industrial revolution from 1760 to 1840. Another important piece in the ecologic conundrum is the world’s population increase. In 1970, at the time of Earth Day, Paul Ehrlich had written “The Population Bomb”. At that time the world’s population was 4.3 billion. Now we are over 7 billion and counting. This may not be sustainable, no matter how we respond. to it, if we ever do.
Finally, regarding our political leadership, I think that the only two people in the current Democratic Party presidential menagarie who have the perspective and ingenuity to see us through are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. What bothers me most is discussed in Drew Westin’s “The Political Brain”. He posits that 85 per cent of voters vote for emotional reasons, the basis of which was laid down when they were young people just becoming politically aware. That means that we received not only our DNA from our parents, but also some political baggage. If a candidate’s position on an issue conflicts with the emotions, the emotions win hands down every time. The emotional issues are abortions, same sex marriages, hand guns and race. So discussions like the one we are having will take us only so far.


Yes. The new economic system needs an upbeat name, which I think Rooseveltian capitalism captures. Progressive capitalism I think is weaker, because it is more amorphous, which allows the right-wing to more easily deride it as pipe dreams. The term New Deal also attracts opportunistic derision, I think, because old opponents still resent it as socialism, and today say so. Rooseveltian capitalism is better for selling to the general masses the ideas within it, because it more specifically and concretely hearkens to a time of workable government practices, that brought people out of poverty and through world war, and into a golden age of widespread prosperity. It is a name that can be celebrated as it worked before for America in the not too distant past.

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You could include Teddy Roosevelt’s “trust-busting” anti-monopoly stance in your formula.


Here is a potent emotional issue that candidates should be focusing on: the future of our grandchildren.

The rapidly-accelerating Climate Crisis will make the lives of our grandchildren horrific. Unless steps are taken ASAP to keep fossil fuels in the ground and mitigate the already-dire effects of catastrophic global heating, our grandchildren will face an unimaginably horrible future.

Only candidates with realistic, concrete plans to mitigate the effects of the accelerating Climate Crisis and help us adapt to the “new normal” caused by thet crisis should be considered viable.


“We need to dis-empower capital…”
Methinks you misspoke and should have said: “We need to disembowel capital…” (LOL!


I disagree with the author’s claim that neoliberalism has failed, spectacularly. Anything but. It’s been a huge success for the oligarchs that have used it to consolidate their power and wealth and anyone who thinks it will peacefully transition to a more equitable form of government or economy, via the ballot box, woefully underestimates the enemy.

As to what will replace neoliberalism, climate change, mass extinctions and the wholesale destruction of natural systems at their very base make the odds of transitioning to a different, more stable and long term world order a real long shot. It’s more likely that the neoliberal order will fight to maintain its grip right up to the point of humanity’s extinction.

Of course I would like to see a more progressive world order, but it’s really hard to get by the fact that we have an electorate that that put an idiot like Donald Trump in the White House and may do so, again, in 2020. Or, hey, maybe we’ll get a break and get creepy Joe Biden, instead.

After neoliberalism? Who says there is an after?


Your writing is clear, as is your thinking. Thank you!

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Intriguing - just from a writing perspective - your disingenuousness (you clearly understood the writer’s meaning) makes your “disagreement” an ego piece as distinct from a creative piece that opens insights and invites creative thought - going beyond. These columns are rife with this attitude which cheapens the level of thought and engagement and emotionally manipulates the reader into falling into the current cesspool of infinite resentment flavored strongly with victim mentality. You’re a smart person. That’s obvious. Don’t cheapen your gifts.


The wilful blindness of those that have received a million dollars from the legacy of gunpowder invention is disgusting.

As children we see how our parents and closely associated grown ups we love get humiliated by the system, and some of us go hungry because of the system in place. It is from this vantage point that we wish for a better system. We know it is possible, we don’t know how it could be put into place.

While having reigns of the world’s economic chariot in his own hands, Stiglitz sanctioned the massive global con job that is the world bank, and its skewed policies, and never so much as grunted for change.

I consider him many rungs above Krugman who should be (or his writings should be)used as toilet paper.

But having secured a life of ease and a series and many awards towards the selfish cause, he fluffs the left with this garbage.

There is no magic bullet?
No, because you want the current planet level suicidal machinations to continue.

You will not lift a finger to change the course, when you are, and for decades have been, in a position to make a difference.

A very astute observation, Webster. This is where it begins because everything around us is its reflection, no?

Just a technical point, and your further critique stands, but the Economics prize (that Stiglitz was a recipient of) is funded separately by a 1968 donation from the central bank of Sweden, and is technically not a Nobel prize (The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel), although it is administered by the Nobel Foundation.