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Thursday, February 05, 2009

The end of neoliberalism (and why it's time to pop the champagne corks)

From the paleo-socialist left, Peter Wilby, writing in The New Statesman:

Financialisation is now unravelling, with the state striving desperately to shore it up. With financial institutions facing bankruptcy and credit markets frozen, it can no longer deliver prosperity - or the illusion of it - to the masses. Ruination, which capitalism so regularly visited on the Victorian middle classes and which was portrayed so often in the fiction of the period, threatens to envelop millions. The promises of neoliberalism are revealed for what they were: a sham. An ideology that seduced most of the population is broken. The psychic and political consequences are incalculable.

From the paleo-conservative right, Martin Kelly, writing on his blog:

We are living through one of those once-in-a-generation events, like the rise and fall of fascism, or the rise and fall of Keynesianism. This is the stuff, the bones and sinews, of what history is made of. We are seeing the end of neoliberalism.

Both Peter and Martin are right. It's game over for neoliberalism, the pernicious doctrine which has made the world a much less kind and much more dangerous place over the past thrity years. Neoliberalism has been a disastrous era in world history-a fundamentally regressive period in which only the very greediest members of society have benefited.

Ironic, isn't it, that in the week her daughter was sacked by the BBC, the extremist ideology that Mrs Thatcher first introduced to Britain exactly thirty years ago, draws its final breath.

Of course, the neoliberals will try all they can to cling to power and will continue writing their ludicrous oped and comment pieces on how the free movement of capital and labour and privatisation of our entire economy benefits us all, but no one is listening to them anymore.

It's also ironic that this week, the week that neoliberalism died in Britain, we've also seen the heaviest snowfalls for decades.

Now it's time to combine our splendid 1970s weather, with some splendid 1970s economic policies.


RobW said...

Neil -- I do agree with you to a point. But problem one with socialist interpretation is always what you mean by neo-liberalism.

Because it is a very different theory to traditional liberalism. Ironically neo-liberalism shares certain ideas with socialism. Both are internationalist in outlook. Both aim for a one world utopia...

And both believe the state should be used to bring this about.

Therefore, as a traditional liberal, I don't think that this is the end to free markets and free movement of Labour. But it could well be the begining of the end for the statist and internationalist ideologies.

neil craig said...

Indeed. Time to get rid of these lying murdering parasites who have tried to steal the word "liberal" & suck the life out of it & let some real liberals (as the term was meant by those who first used it).

True liberals do not believe in war crimes & genocide as Nazis like Ashdown do. True liberals do not believe in ever more big government controlling the economy. True liberals don't even believe in smoking bans. True liberals do believe in progress, individual & market freedom. They do not belive in the war against fire.

Anonymous said...

I don't see it. Neo-liberalism in practice and in PR (public relations/propaganda)are quite different things. The practice is just the time-honoured tradition of the rich trying to claw back any gains made by the poor, and the PR is just the same old shit - trickle down theory, the grocer's daughter and her little homilies, There is NO Other Way, end of History - bullshit of the month, in other words. What's there to celebrate? What's changed? The bankers have shafted us all. The whole world is in debt to them forever. What else is new?

Neil Craig - " they do not believe in the war against fire" ?

Anonymous said...

I think neoliberalism is alive and well. Have a look at this defintion:

"One of the differences between classical liberalism and neoliberalism is that while the former called for reducing the role of the state to a minimum and replace it by private capital the latter seeks to expand the role of private capital through the state, making it authoritarian and a dedicated facilitator of its interests."

I think whenever the state is handing out billions of dollars to their friends in business, the neoliberal project is in no danger.


neil craig said...

True liberals do not believe in the War Against Fire. What is contentious about that? Can anybody name a traditional liberal who did?

DBC Reed said...

The problem is that communism collapsed then socialism then with the world at its feet ,so did capitalism (what else is neo-liberalism?)
Also in the 30's Depression there was an alternative system to hand that could be made to run things without structural change: Keynesian demand management.
(There were also various socialist alternatives,the New Deal, Social Credit,fascism ,distibutism and no end of others but they involved basic change)
Now there is no rabbit available to pull out of the hat (My money would be on Henry George if you were to ask .)
In the present crisis Gordon Brown
does appear to be the only man with a plan.But...

Roland Hulme said...

Oh, God, am I going to have to wheel out the old 'rubbish piled up in the streets, three day work week' rubbish again.

You do REMEMBER the seventies, don't you?

I don't - I'm too young. But I've read about them and they didn't seem all that swell to me.

Anonymous said...

Neil Craig - something to do with Zoroastrianism?

Anonymous said...

"If the American people ever allowed the banks to control the issuance of their currency, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied."

Thomas Jefferson

Anonymous said...

"I don't - I'm too young."

I remember them, Roland. Very well.

A great decade. Stagflation and a few strikes (which is what it was) pale into insignificance when compared to the deep structural damage caused by three decades of neo-liberalism, and when compared to the last catastrophe caused by classical liberalism, the Great Depression.

The admittedly problematic economy could have been sent down a different road by investing North Sea oil revenue in ailing British industry. I worked in Consett steelworks in 1975 and the diaphragm pumps on the blast furnaces' water recirculation plant had '1949' stamped on them.

You, and the rest of your generation, don't know what you're talking about, I'm afraid, because you get your information second-hand from the corporate media.

The general ideology of liberalism is inherently flawed: it is the most destructive force in human history, capable of causing catastrophic destruction in the economic, social, cultural and psychological dimensions. It is manifested hubris and it must be superseded.

Hubris always meets its nemesis.

- questionnaire

Undergroundman said...


I'd agree with all that you said if you changed 'liberalism' into neoliberalism because there is a real difference and it , like socialism, is not some monolithic ideology.

Neoliberalism specifically means the revival of mid nineteenth century laissez faire ideology in our country as well as across the globe in the 1980s.

neil craig said...

No thats liberalism. The doctrine that the people who started liberalism believed in is, by definition, liberalsim. Neo-liberalsim is what people resolutely opposed to traditional liberalism but wanting to make use of the brand name practice - a mishmash of crony capitalism (Bernie Ecclestone etc etc), an ever larger state sector (now over 50% in the UK), ever more regulation of the rest (from the smoking ban to enforcing subsidy of windmills), inciting false fears to promote their programme (from global warming to al Quaeda), participating in the Nazi programme of racial genocide (Krajina, Srebrenica, Kosovo & Hamas), ever more control of the MSM to promote their lies (the BBC reporting on any of the above).

Neo-liberalism is what is practiced by Ashdown & Clegg, Blair & Brown & Cameron. It is an obscenity which should be opposed in the name of human freedom & progress.

Anonymous said...

Liberalism for Craig is the liberty to lie.

An example of that is his denial of Israeli terrorists use of phosphorus bombs.

Neo-liberalism for him, is the liberty to renew his lies, as when he denied his denial of Israeli terrorists use of phosphorus bombs.

Well, we have your lies in writing here, you can be both a liar or a neo-liar..

He may also deny the use of cluster bombs in Gaza... I won't be surprised if he did.

Don't feel bad about my bashing of you Craig, just be careful not to be pulled away by ants tonight. Zionists still in need of your lying services.

neil craig said...

The liberty to lie is always a difficult one. In general I would rather have a society where genocidal Nazis like you Dan are able to lie than one where the government was able to stop them. On the other hand manysuch lies can have real consequences at least as destructive as shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre.

If anybody actually believed that you were capable of the remotest trace of honesty they might have to put some credence in your claim that the Jews are engaged in killing all 1.5m Gazans.

Of course Dan you personally, as a corrupt gemocidal child raping Nazi, denounced by every single non-racist anti-Israeli here, fully support the use of cluster bombs against civilians, when done by Nazis. Have you any source whatsoever from any honest source, that any Israeli does the same?

Anonymous said...


You admit the use of cluster bombs by Sh**rael; this is the first step for you towards human-like behavior.

You claimed that I (fully support the use of cluster bombs against civilians).

Prove it you you f***** Sh**head???

This is another clear cut shameless lie.

Just when I thought you might recover from your stinking stupidity … you condition deteriorate..

To H*ll, I've given up on you

Anonymous said...

Dan you have repeatedly, when asked, declined to say that there was anything whatsoever wrong with the bombing of Yugoslavia let alone that the perpetraors, including Nazis like Livingston & Short are thousands of times worse than anything any Israelis can credibly be accused of.

That war did involve cluster bombing civilians (in the north of Yugoslavia far from Kosovo so it was certainly not a case of innocent bystanders like Gaza). Yot therefore have supported cluster bombinmg civilians & I claim yey another apology for lying you obscene genocidal child raping Nazi whore. No offence.

Anonymous said...

Your excuses are so stupid.

we don't want more lies, prove that I (fully support the use of cluster bombs against civilians)??

I didn't discuss Yogoslavia with you, dont bring it on, becaues
all Yogoslavia won't be big enough to cover your stupid lies.

Stop lying... STOP LYING. you F***** P*****D

Anonymous said...

You claimed that victims of cluster bombs in Gaza were (case of innocent bystanders).

confirm it again;
Are you saying cluster bombs in Gaza have claimed victims from bystandards? and they are collateral damage????

Answer yes or no.

If yes, how did you know? what evidence do you have.

Anonymous said...

You have proven you do repeatedly Dan you Nazi animal by refusing, when requested, repeatedly, to say you don't fully approve of it.

As for Israeli cluster bombs - you have produced exactly the same amount of evidence as for your Nazi, & other anti-SDemites racist lie that Israel were engaged in the genocide of the entire Gaza populatuiion - ie absolutely none. So prove it.

Have you any evidence whatsoever that any one of your accusations, supported by other genocidal child raping Nazi animals making up the anti-Israel movement is at least 10,000 times closer to honest than the very highest standard of honesty to which youn aspire you obscene filth?

Yes or No?

Anonymous said...


You have just exposed your self again as a Liar for Israel.

You claimed victims of cluster bombs in Gaza were bystanders

For your information, there were NO reported casualties from the cluster bombs.

You jumped to lie for Israel, and justify it’s crimes by branding possible victims as bystanders without knowing they bombed open areas to render it inaccessible. No reported deaths from cluster bombs, but Unexploded bombs will claim it’s victims later..

You have to lie because it’s the only thing you can produce LIES.

Fuck off now, won’t waste more time on you shithead.

Anonymous said...

forget to answer you last question:

YES you are a shithead.
And NO one could beat you lies over here.

You lie vs the dog don’t = you are lower than an animal.

Enjoy the slump.

Anonymous said...

A Dan having made such a brouhaha over your claims that Israel had used cluster bombs against civilians saying that they actually hadn't managed to kill any of them (something virtually impossible if cluster bombs had actually been used in a densely populated civilian area) supports your anti-Israeli position that what you allege actually happened in what way.

Also I note that being a Nazi supporter of Holocaust denial you have STILL refused to say one word against the principle of using cluster bombs against civilians when done by NATO.

Anonymous said...

Look at the end of the new-liberal order through out current political system and economic system.

Saadiya in Durban South Africa said...

Hi. Can u guys plz help me out. Iv got an assignment to do. I tried doing research, but unfortunately the level of my English is not so high, therefore i cannot understand the findings to my questions. my assignment is on neo liberalism.

1. Provide a clear definition of neo liberalism.

2. Describe how neo liberalism defines the role of the state.

3. Name and describe 5 ways in which neo liberalism affects education.

4. Provide atleast one example of how you see neo liberalism affecting you in an educational context.

could u please answer them for me in extremely simple english.

i would prefer if u could email it to me on