Discussion of Neoliberalism

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working class
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Mar 9 2012 07:33
Discussion of Neoliberalism

What are some recommended readings on neoliberalism?

So far, I have come across Mark Fisher's 'Capitalist realism' and David Harvey's 'A Brief History of Neoliberalism'.

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CamelBlip
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Mar 9 2012 13:57

I would recommend Philipe LeGraine's 'Open World: The Truth About Globalisation.' It's an interesting read by a proponent of economic globalisation and neoliberalism. The entirety of the book has an underlying neoliberal slant and there are some pretty pictures in the middle too.

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Mar 9 2012 14:16

Yeah but you said LeGrain is a complete tosser.

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ocelot
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Mar 9 2012 16:03

It's a bit of a sideways approach, but I would recommend Marc Levinson's "The Box" as shedding light on the material basis for globalisation. Harvey & co tend to present neoliberalism as simply a policy package (which by implication means that the pre-neoliberal world can be brought back by electing a more pro-Keynesian government - naturally the electoral left like this perspective).

Oenomaus
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Mar 10 2012 05:55

Yeah, you should bear in mind that many of the readings on "neoliberalism" are misleading since they are often contrasted with "Keynesianism." The former, however, is really only the most recent form of the latter. It's a word that is used in activist and academic discourse often to avoid using the "c" word (that is, capitalism).

There is actually little "free trade," since you can see on the international scale that there is continual state-debt financing. What's cut are actually relatively minor state expenditures (such as welfare). Rather than being an economic policy or some steady form of capital, "neoliberalism" is more of an ideology for class war.

There is a critical review of David Harvey by Paul Mattick, Jr here: http://libcom.org/library/review-david-harveys-limits-capital-paul-mattick-jr. I haven't gotten to it yet, but I think Andrew Kliman's "The Failure of Capitalist Production" debunks the fashionable arguments of "neoliberalism" you see on the left, besides being an analysis of the recent financial crisis and capital as it exists today as a whole.

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Mar 10 2012 07:00
Oenomaus wrote:
Rather than being an economic policy or some steady form of capital, "neoliberalism" is more of an ideology for class war.

David Graeber talks about this a bit, saying that neoliberalism is really more political rather that an emphasis on a strict bottom line. That is, neoliberals will sacrifice even short-term profitability if the ideological point can be made that capitalism is the only possible 'reality'. At least I think that's what he said. (It's on this video.)

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LaForce
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Mar 10 2012 07:14

I think a really interesting approach to understanding neoliberalism is to take a look at the world of fine art. Its methodology is the epitome of neoliberalism.

isawamouse
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Mar 10 2012 10:13

laforce, could you expand on this point? are you talking strictly in terms of the operations of the fine art market, or fine art as a thing and process in itself, as being the epitome of neoliberalism?

i've read some bits and pieces that have discussed this notion, in particular julian stallabrass' high art lite, but i'm looking at trying to read this one as well

http://www.amazon.ca/dp/0192806467/ref=rdr_ext_tmb#reader_0192806467

(most of the introduction can be read here)

which looks as though it's taking a much more general view on the contemporary art world, but from a similar perspective.

isawamouse
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Mar 10 2012 10:21

a bit more of art incorporated available here:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=selFdqBjNNEC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

might it be an idea to spin this off to a new discussion?

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knotwho
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Mar 10 2012 19:01
shaun23 wrote:
might it be an idea to spin this off to a new discussion?

Started it here:
http://libcom.org/forums/theory/art-neoliberalism-or-art-capitalism-10032012

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Mar 12 2012 16:49
Serge Forward wrote:
Yeah but you said LeGrain is a complete tosser.

...And, this is a thread about neo-liberalism, a viewpoint based upon complete tosserism. It's still an interesting read.
Dammit, you can't send me to my room any longer pacho!

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Mar 12 2012 17:10
CamelBlip wrote:
Dammit, you can't send me to my room any longer pacho!

Can't I? hand No supper for you laddie. Get to bloody bed! black bloc

And it's paĉjo!

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Mar 12 2012 17:30
ocelot wrote:
It's a bit of a sideways approach, but I would recommend Marc Levinson's "The Box" as shedding light on the material basis for globalisation. Harvey & co tend to present neoliberalism as simply a policy package.

I completely concur. I got much more out of reading The Box than I did out of reading A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Although the latter did have good descriptions of early experiments in austerity in New York City, Chile and Argentina.