Farewell to neoliberalism

27 Dec, 2017 at 09:58 | Posted in Politics & Society | 3 Comments

KR: The death of the centre-left has also led to the rise of the Right. You note … that working class white women overwhelmingly voted for Trump, while Clinton lost votes among African Americans and Latinos compared to Obama’s election in 2008. How have so many social groups associated with the Left – the working class, minorities, women – turned away?

Wolfgang Streeck: wolfThat’s a difficult question as the “racial” complexities of American politics in particular are endless. Basically I believe that at some point material deprivation trumps (if the word is allowed) cultural identification, especially if the alternative – in this case, Clinton – is so unattractive and indeed untrustworthy. Clinton’s hobnobbing with the Californian movie stars and other celebrities, let alone her material greed and the incredible sums she collected for her Wall Street appearances, must at some point have destroyed her claim to defend “hard-working Americans and their families”. What was left then was Trump. I think we have reasons to believe that had Bernie Sanders been allowed by the Democratic party machine to will the nomination, he could have defeated Trump handily, certainly in places like Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio.

King’s Review


  1. “Wolfgang Streeck — The Return of the Repressed
    Neoliberalism arrived with globalization or else globalization arrived with neoliberalism; that is how the Great Regression began. [1] In the 1970s, the capital of the rebuilt industrial nations started to work its way out of the national servitude in which it had been forced to spend the decades following 1945. [2] The time had come to take leave of the tight labour markets, stagnant productivity, falling profits and the increasingly ambitious demands of trade unions under a mature, state-administered capitalism. The road to the future, to a new expansion as is always close to the heart of capital, led outwards, to the still pleasantly unregulated world of a borderless global economy in which markets would no longer be locked into nation-states, but nation-states into markets.”
    Wolfgang Streeck | Emeritus Director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Research in Cologne and Professor of Sociology at the University of Cologne

  2. How Will Capitalism End: Reflections on a Failing System-
    by Wolfgang Streeck who argues that the world is about to change.

    The marriage between democracy and capitalism, ill-suited partners brought together in the shadow of World War Two, is coming to an end. The regulatory institutions that once restrained the financial sector’s excesses have collapsed and, after the final victory of capitalism at the end of the Cold War, there is no political agency capable of rolling back the liberalization of the markets.
    Ours has become a world defined by declining growth, oligarchic rule, a shrinking public sphere, institutional corruption and international anarchy, and no cure to these ills is at hand.

    Wolfgang Streeck is Director Emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. He is a member of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. His books include Buying Time and How Will Capitalism End?http://www.bu.edu/european/files/2017/03/streeck.pdf

    How Will Capitalism End: Reflections on a Failing System – A Lecture by Wolfgang Streeck

  3. I really enjoyed reading the linked article – interesting points about the neo-liberal capture of the originally welfare-statist EU. He also cites Andrew Gamble – someone whose lectures I have attended and whose books I would highly recommend.

    A Johnson – Corbyn contest would be interesting – it might be the battle that Sanders-Trump would have played out.


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