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Some Implications of This Dead End
  1. The Crisis of Neoliberalism – By Gerard Dumenil and Dominique Levy
  2. Neoliberalism and the Crisis of Liberalism - NYU Jordan Center
  3. The Crisis of Neoliberalism
  4. The crisis of neoliberalism in Buenos Aires
  5. Main Article Content

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The Crisis of Neoliberalism – By Gerard Dumenil and Dominique Levy

Sort order. Jul 10, Sid rated it really liked it. Their breadth of topics often seems to demand more targeted study, especially with respect to elucidating the mechanisms of the post's financialization and globalization processes working in tandem. Even so, this work would be an effective primer for more specific study. They offer some contributions to theory, specifically their theory of tripolar class structure, but the consequences and development of this structure lacks the empirical support they rely upon for their other points. This leaves not only this argument, but a number of their other theoretical arguments without the same support they provide for their analysis of the neoliberal period.

As a primer and a general introduction to global finance and developments in the US macroeconomy since the neoliberal revolution this book is worthwhile—I would recommend it for anyone looking for a well-supported left critique of the crisis. However, others develop a more thorough history of the crisis in action most notably Barry Eichengreen's Hall of Mirrors and a more specific financial history since the 's may be a good companion. Apr 26, Nathan Fisher rated it liked it.

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On occasion this is dry stuff data-heaviness aside, the writing style is hardly enticing , but it's a healthy read considering broadsides against 'neoliberalism' tend to commonly take a more ideological character. Considering the density of information offered here picking apart neoliberalism as a series of concrete economic configurations, you are almost guaranteed to learn something.

At the very least, there are a ton of very nifty charts!

Neoliberalism and the Crisis of Liberalism - NYU Jordan Center

Wonderfully written. Review to come shortly. View all 3 comments. Alan Fogelquist rated it it was amazing Oct 02, Paul Vittay rated it really liked it Jun 08, Jasper rated it really liked it Sep 26, Jeffrey rated it liked it Dec 13, Mohammed rated it it was amazing Mar 12, Kristofer Petersen-Overton rated it liked it Jun 11, Kurt rated it really liked it Oct 06, Ian rated it liked it Aug 04, Haja rated it it was amazing Oct 26, Thomas rated it liked it Jun 22, David Benbow rated it really liked it May 12, DFT rated it liked it Apr 13, Arthur rated it liked it Aug 16, Jeremy rated it really liked it Jul 21, But when finance capital is globalized, meaning, when it is free to move across country borders while the state remains a nation-state, its opposition to fiscal deficits becomes decisive.

Neoliberal Policies Are Tanking the Argentine Economy

If the state does run large fiscal deficits against its wishes, then it would simply leave that country en masse , causing a financial crisis. The state therefore capitulates to the demands of globalized finance capital and eschews direct fiscal intervention for increasing demand. But, precisely for this reason, monetary policy is an ineffective instrument, as was evident in the United States in the aftermath of the —09 crisis when even the pushing of interest rates down to zero scarcely revived activity.

It may be thought that this compulsion on the part of the state to accede to the demand of finance to eschew fiscal intervention for enlarging employment should not hold for the United States. But there is an additional factor operating in the case of the United States: that the demand generated by a bigger U.

This fact deters any fiscal effort even in the United States to boost demand within a neoliberal setting. Therefore, it follows that state spending cannot provide a counter to the ex ante tendency toward global overproduction within a regime of neoliberal globalization, which makes the world economy precariously dependent on occasional asset-price bubbles, primarily in the U.

It is this fact that underlies the dead end that neoliberal capitalism has reached. There are at least four important implications of this dead end of neoliberalism. The first is that the world economy will now be afflicted by much higher levels of unemployment than it was in the last decade of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first, when the dot-com and the housing bubbles in the United States had, sequentially, a pronounced impact.

It is true that the U. Adjusting for this lower participation, the U. Indeed, Trump would not be imposing protection in the United States if unemployment was actually as low as 4 percent, which is the official figure. Elsewhere in the world, of course, unemployment post continues to be evidently higher than before.

Indeed, the severity of the current problem of below-full-employment production in the U. The weakness of the U. Indeed, since the United States has been targeting China in particular, some retaliatory measures have already appeared. But if U. However we look at it, the world would henceforth face higher levels of unemployment. But the fact that global macroeconomics in the early twenty-first century will look altogether different compared to earlier has not been much discussed.

In light of the preceding discussion, one could say that if, instead of individual nation-states whose writ cannot possibly run against globalized finance capital, there was a global state or a set of major nation-states acting in unison to override the objections of globalized finance and provide a coordinated fiscal stimulus to the world economy, then perhaps there could be recovery. Such a coordinated fiscal stimulus was suggested by a group of German trade unionists, as well as by John Maynard Keynes during the Great Depression in the s.

The second implication of this dead end is that the era of export-led growth is by and large over for third world economies. The slowing down of world economic growth, together with protectionism in the United States against successful third world exporters, which could even spread to other metropolitan economies, suggests that the strategy of relying on the world market to generate domestic growth has run out of steam.

Third world economies, including the ones that have been very successful at exporting, would now have to rely much more on their home market. Such a transition will not be easy; it will require promoting domestic peasant agriculture, defending petty production, moving toward cooperative forms of production, and ensuring greater equality in income distribution, all of which need major structural shifts.

For smaller economies, it would also require their coming together with other economies to provide a minimum size to the domestic market. In short, the dead end of neoliberalism also means the need for a shift away from the so-called neoliberal development strategy that has held sway until now. The third implication is the imminent engulfing of a whole range of third world economies in serious balance-of-payments difficulties. This is because, while their exports will be sluggish in the new situation, this very fact will also discourage financial inflows into their economies, whose easy availability had enabled them to maintain current account deficits on their balance of payments earlier.

In such a situation, within the existing neoliberal paradigm, they would be forced to adopt austerity measures that would impose income deflation on their people, make the conditions of their people significantly worse, lead to a further handing over of their national assets and resources to international capital, and prevent precisely any possible transition to an alternative strategy of home market-based growth. In other words, we shall now have an intensification of the imperialist stranglehold over third world economies, especially those pushed into unsustainable balance-of-payments deficits in the new situation.

The Crisis of Neoliberalism

By imperialism , here we do not mean the imperialism of this or that major power, but the imperialism of international finance capital, with which even domestic big bourgeoisies are integrated, directed against their own working people. The fourth implication is the worldwide upsurge of fascism.

Neoliberal capitalism even before it reached a dead end, even in the period when it achieved reasonable growth and employment rates, had pushed the world into greater hunger and poverty. For instance, the world per-capita cereal output was kilograms for triennium average for —81 divided by mid—triennium population and fell to in , leveling at Clearly, in a period of growth of the world economy, per-capita cereal absorption should be expanding, especially since we are talking here not just of direct absorption but of direct and indirect absorption, the latter through processed foods and feed grains in animal products.

But this growing hunger and nutritional poverty did not immediately arouse any significant resistance, both because such resistance itself becomes more difficult under neoliberalism since the very globalization of capital makes it an elusive target and also because higher GDP growth rates provided a hope that distress might be overcome in the course of time.

Peasants in distress, for instance, entertained the hope that their children would live better in the years to come if given a modicum of education and accepted their fate. In short, the ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop.

To sustain itself, neoliberal capitalism starts looking for some other ideological prop and finds fascism. Fascist groups of one kind or another exist in all modern societies. They move center stage and even into power only on certain occasions when they get the backing of big business. And these occasions arise when three conditions are satisfied: when there is an economic crisis so the system cannot simply go on as before; when the usual liberal establishment is manifestly incapable of resolving the crisis; and when the left is not strong enough to provide an alternative to the people in order to move out of the conjuncture.

But when the left poses a serious threat, the response of the big bourgeoisie typically is to attempt to split it by offering concessions. It uses fascism to prop itself up only when the left is weakened.

Contemporary fascism, however, differs in crucial respects from its s counterpart, which is why many are reluctant to call the current phenomenon a fascist upsurge. But historical parallels, if carefully drawn, can be useful.

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  • While in some aforementioned respects contemporary fascism does resemble the phenomenon of the s, there are serious differences between the two that must also be noted. First, we must note that while the current fascist upsurge has put fascist elements in power in many countries, there are no fascist states of the s kind as of yet.


    Even if the fascist elements in power try to push the country toward a fascist state, it is not clear that they will succeed. There are many reasons for this, but an important one is that fascists in power today cannot overcome the crisis of neoliberalism, since they accept the regime of globalization of finance. This includes Trump, despite his protectionism.

    In the s, however, this was not the case. The horrors associated with the institution of a fascist state in the s had been camouflaged to an extent by the ability of the fascists in power to overcome mass unemployment and end the Depression through larger military spending, financed by government borrowing. Contemporary fascism, by contrast, lacks the ability to overcome the opposition of international finance capital to fiscal activism on the part of the government to generate larger demand, output, and employment, even via military spending.

    Such activism, as discussed earlier, required larger government spending financed either through taxes on capitalists or through a fiscal deficit. Finance capital was opposed to both of these measures and it being globalized made this opposition decisive.


    The crisis of neoliberalism in Buenos Aires

    The decisiveness of this opposition remains even if the government happens to be one composed of fascist elements. Another difference is also related to the phenomenon of the globalization of finance. Contemporary fascism, however, operates in a world where interimperialist rivalry is far more muted. Both Kautsky and Lenin were talking about a world where finance capital and the financial oligarchy were essentially national—that is, German, French, or British.

    Main Article Content

    And while Kautsky talked about the possibility of truces among the rival oligarchies, Lenin saw such truces only as transient phenomena punctuating the ubiquity of rivalry. In contrast, what we have today is not nation-based finance capitals, but international finance capital into whose corpus the finance capitals drawn from particular countries are integrated. This globalized finance capital does not want the world to be partitioned into economic territories of rival powers ; on the contrary, it wants the entire globe to be open to its own unrestricted movement.