Saturday, December 23, 2017

Explaining the difference between capitalism and it's psychopathic spawn, neoliberalism

Canada's Thomas Friedman, Doug Saunders, informs me today that "neoliberalism" and "cultural Marxism" do not exist.

As far as the latter is concerned, he may have a point. In my experience, the folks who invest in that concept tend to be one step or less distant from the "Obama is a communist" crowd, which is a crowd I generally consider too stupid to take seriously.

The neoliberalism thing is a different animal altogether, and since it's what Doug gets paid to shill for on a regular basis it's somewhat disingenuous of him to disclaim its existence.

Saunders may be somewhat close to the mark when he says the "very far left" uses the term as a synonym for capitalism. That's true insofar as we can acknowledge that there are different hues of capitalism at work in our world.

In the America that's been going downhill for fifty years and which recently put the cherry on that downward spiral with the election of Trump, capitalism manifests more or less as neoliberalism. It's a robust, manly, macho capitalism that says billionaires deserve their billions because they're smarter than you and they work harder.

That's a philosophy that translates into a particular suite of policy initiatives. Taxes are bad. The private sector can do everything more efficiently than government. Poor people are weak and stupid and deserve their fate...

And so on.

But there's a different capitalism in much of Europe, where the heirs of Karl Kautsky have nurtured a more effete version of capitalism. Ya, we'll have capitalism but we'll tax the shit out of the rich and make sure everybody has a roof and three squares a day.

That's still capitalism, but it is not neoliberalism.

No comments:

Post a Comment