Neoliberalism 101

ok, still don't have coffee (but took a stiff shot of do what thou wilt). my impressions on the first two parts of the Manifesto here and here. before getting into the meat of the Manifesto (03: MANIFEST: On the Future), wanted to review some topics. 2011 post from Neoliberal Jargon:

…"neoliberal" [means] a particular type of market economics that "seeks to maximize the role of the private sector in determining the political and economic priorities of the state."

As an aside: the Republican economic point of view ""seeks to maximize the role of the private sector in determining the political and economic priorities of the state" by helping the "incumbents" in the private sector use the government to suppress competition and accountability: In fact, the only mainstream enemies of open markets in US politics are the Republicans, the party of entrenched monopolies that rely on the government to intervene in the economy to protect them from competition and to provide them with public funds. The battle over oil company subsidies is exactly on this topic: the Administration wants open markets and competition with Wind and Solar, while the Republicans want the taxpayers to directly subsidize the oil business with tax breaks and indirectly subsidize the oil business by allowing them to evade the environmental costs that their operations impose on other participants in the market.

"As an aside" illustrates, i think, the problem at hand.

as far as who is a neoliberal. RationalWiki says Paul Krugman, Michael Kinsley, and Bill Clinton are "prominent domestic neoliberals" (but here's 2004 talk with Cardoso/Krugman on The Future of Neoliberalism). if you're an Obamabot, Naomi Klein is problematic: A Lexicon of Disappointment)—so i'm reading a 2007 post (The neoliberalism-shock therapy connection: Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine) just to be clear what she brings to the table.

i like: Michael W. Clune on Masters of the Universe: What Was Neoliberalism?—may be a possible starting point.

i'll add to this post as i learn more...

{1} didn't finish shock therapy connection when i posted this, what convinced me to check it out: "convey the sense of hidden riches located within the Klein book, a sense I’m not sure is fully conveyed in other reviews". ok, that's worth a shot, i thought, saving link for later. finally reading, very happy to see: "Klein solemnly announces that "disaster capitalism" is not the result of a conspiracy"—and then quotes relevant passage. got the book, it's in Chapter 21, p.426, "No Conspiracies Required". but first, why is this important? the Manifesto's Interegnum essentially states:

the essen­tial meta­bol­ism of cap­it­al­ism is accel­er­a­tion

here's Klein's quote (slightly modified from the link):


The recent spate of disasters has translated into such spectacular profits that many people around the world have come to the same conclusion: the rich and powerful must be deliberately causing the catastrophes so that they can exploit them… The truth is at once less sinister and more dangerous. An economic system that requires constant growth, while bucking almost all serious attempts at environmental regulation, generates a steady stream of disasters all on its own, whether military, ecological or financial. The appetite for easy, short term profits offered by purely speculative investment has turned the stock, currency and real estate markets into crisis-creation machines. —Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

{xix} "Introduction", John Morris Dixon, Pencil Points Reader — As the Depression deepened, debate over the validity of America's economic system surfaced, even in the pages of this ostensibly non-political journal. The January 1933 issue featured an article by David Cushman Coyle, a consulting engineer, entitled "New Aspects of the Distribution Problem." He attributed reduced construction demand to mechanization, which eliminated jobs, and a declining birth rate, which flattened population growth. (He didn't mention the xenophobic immigration laws of the 1920s, which had reduced the previous flood of immigrants to a mere trickle.) In his opinion, the recent election that put Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the White House showed that American voters "do not want to scrap the existing social order at the present time. They are willing to keep the capitalist system if it can be made to come out of its coma and get to work."

Coyle's article inspired heated letters printed in subsequent issues. one from Homer L. Hylton of Toledo, Ohio, showed no patience with the existing system. "Why," he asked, "should the American people be willing to retain a crazy, cruel, profit-mad capitalism which breeds unemployment and poverty? Certainly, when the capitalistic system comes out of its coma and gets down to the serious business of providing economic security and social justice for the masses, it will not still be the 'capitalistic system.' A 'socialized system' will be inaugurated and that is much more desirable." It is hard to imagine an architectural journal of the past fifty years printing — or inspiring — such a political exchange.

final quote selected by shock therapy connection—and what should concern Accelerationist Politics:

The dirty secret of the neoliberal era is that these ideas were never defeated in a great battle of ideas, nor were they voted down in elections. They were shocked out of the way at key political junctures. (450)

if capitalism can't shake itself from this coma & provide jobs, maybe we should roll up our sleeves and work on it. (and that's the other topic i want to get to before Section 3: the gears & the mechanisms of accelerationism).

{2} Introduction (PDF) to Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics by Daniel Stedman Jones.

{3} conclusion to all the above: Capital Vol. I (PDF: Capital Vol. I): it is the ultimate aim of this work, to lay bare the economic law of motion of modern society.

my neighbor gave me coffee, which i brewed & put honey in, creating an extremely toxic (but it works!) substance.

{2}: Stedman doesn't use "fatal flaw" in Masters, but Clune (in his review) does—setting off a lot of red flags. the fatal flaw in capitalism (manifesting currently as "neoliberalism") is not directly, i think, opposite any fatal flaw of Marx, but Clune seems to be setting up a polarization to take a stab at Marxism (whether consciously or not). what makes neoliberalism the current fatal flaw of capitalism is its refusal to be mastered (TINA). if Marx's LTV is in error then: "justice and truth are two points so fine that our instruments are too blunt to touch them exactly". pointing to a human process (struggle) of trial and error & that (as they say) humans aren't perfect? which...

{3}: Letter from Marx to Pavel Vasilyevich Annenkov

Needless to say, man is not free to choose his productive forces—upon which his whole history is based—for every productive force is an acquired force, the product of previous activity. Thus the productive forces are the result of man's practical energy, but that energy is in turn circumscribed by the conditions in which man is placed by the productive forces already acquired, by the form of society which exists before him, which he does not create, which is the product of the preceding generation. The simple fact that every succeeding generation finds productive forces acquired by the preceding generation and which serve it as the raw material of further production, engenders a relatedness in the history of man, engenders a history of mankind, which is all the more a history of mankind as man's productive forces, and hence his social relations, have expanded. From this it can only be concluded that the social history of man is never anything else than the history of his individual development, whether he is conscious of this or not. His material relations form the basis of all his relations. These material relations are but the necessary forms in which his material and individual activity is realised.

is "dark exit" ("end of history!") having problems with this? : neoliberalism is the end state of the current generation of productive forces, and will be acquired (as raw material) for the next generation of productive forces.

i don't know. maybe Marx is explaining the clitoris of political economy & the phallus of capitalism goes, eek! you turned the gaze off me! if we're going to take the time to read books (or endless reviews) like Shock or Masters (or even Moldbug), isn't it better, i finally realized, to read Marx instead? or explain Marx clearly to the rest of us?

That is the good side of your suggestion, but here is the reverse of the medal: the method of analysis which I have employed, and which had not previously been applied to economic subjects, makes the reading of the first chapters rather arduous, and it is to be feared that the French public, always impatient to come to a conclusion, eager to know the connexion between general principles and the immediate questions that have aroused their passions, may be disheartened because they will be unable to move on at once. {1872 Preface to the French Edition}