Neoliberalism As Water Balloon on Vimeo

At the request of one of my esteemed commenters (incidentally an avowed Liberal but of the rarest kind: intelligent and thoughtful), I am spending time on practical and prosaic considerations beckoning in these hard times. Thanks to the blog Relentlessly Progressive Political Economy for first drawing my attention to this brilliant video, in which even Liberals will be able to detect fundamental contradictions in the very system they hold so dear!

http://widgets.vodpod.com/w/video_embed/Groupvideo.3706542

more about “Neoliberalism As Water Balloon on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

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Posted on October 22, 2009, in neoliberalism. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. in which even Liberals will be able to detect fundamental contradictions in the very system they hold so dear!Given that the last Liberal PM was among the few leaders in the World to rein in the banking system during the ascent of neoliberalism, this statement is very unfair. Canada also managed to preserve fairly decent levels of organised labour through that period. Liberals are at heart Keynesians, not Freedmanites.

  2. Sure they are Ti-guy – that's why libs wanked on the anti-scab legislation, after it went through 2nd reading a couple of years ago. Don't you remember that priceless utube clip of Dion being booed by the CAW labour union even though Buzz was on the stage – poor Dion couldn't finish his rah rah speech.And talking about libs being at the heart of Keynesian, well strolling down memory lane reminds me of Martin did as finance minister when he cut EI, social programs, and transfers to provinces. Oh, and the libs stole the workers' EI money. Sure libs are Keynesian – when they are in Opposition and campaigning – ruling they just do alot of talking.

  3. And talking about libs being at the heart of KeynesianGod, go read a book.

  4. Ti-Guy, you're probably right to point out that I'm being unduly unfair to Liberals, but only to the extent that I ignored to mention the Conservatives alongside the Liberals. I should probably start referring to an amorphous political entity known as the LiberTories when making such accusations.You're right to point out that Liberals have traditionally opted for more of a Keynesian solution to the problem of capitalism, whereas Tories and Libertarians have opted for a more Freedmanite solution.However, we can't forget that the liberal impulse in the very DNA of Liberalism has much less to do with compassion or rights than with laissez faire free market capitalism. Secondly, even to the extent that Liberals have ever truly adopted a Keynesian approach, let's not confound it with socialism. The Welfare State was created to prolong capitalism not to replace capitalism. It wasn't about compassion and respect for human dignity, it was about arriving at a workable solution to an unworkable economic system. Lastly, I think Jan is absolutely correct to point out that the extent to which Liberals are truly Keynesian in their economics is highly suspect. More so when they have a leader that comes from the right flank of the party and has yet to bring anything to the table. For instance, I'd be interested in his position on corporate taxation, his views on the widening prosperity gap etc.All to say, you can perhaps understand the justifiable cynicism regarding Ignatieff's attempt to woo back women in his recent photo ops, a significant voting bloc whose support the Liberals have traditionally been able to take for granted, much like new Canadians. The Mr. Rogers makeover is a little too desperate.

  5. The Welfare State was created to prolong capitalism not to replace capitalism. It wasn't about compassion and respect for human dignity, it was about arriving at a workable solution to an unworkable economic system.Like there was any other choice.You know, after living in the 3rd World, I find this kind of haughtiness from First World socialists to be, well, insufferable, quite frankly.

  6. Of course there were other choices, but if you're suggesting the Welfare State seemed the most viable at the time, I would agree. The Welfare State was created with, even if grudgingly, the support of the Left. I mentioned the fact that it was mainly Liberals pushing for the Welfare State to counteract a common assumption that the Welfare State was part of some pinko commie revolutionary plot. It was instead largely about the preservation of existing economic and power relations than about hope or change. Barack Obama is the reform Liberalism (i.e. Welfare State) of the 21st century and thus represents the greatest extant challenge to the Left, except possibly "the Left" itself. Trust me, I don't spare criticism upon "the Left" as well.One begins where one finds oneself. Under capitalism I will always support measures that mitigate the growing inequality and bring dignity to people, but I also will never stop trying, democratically, to transform our sham of a democracy nor will I adopt an uncritical relation to capitalism. I haven't seen Michael Moore's latest documentary, one where he professes to provide an alternative to capitalism that is not rooted in socialism, but I'm curious to see it.p.s. I too have lived in the developing world, and from where I stood capitalism wasn't storming in in the interest of the people, but rather in the interest solely of itself (i.e. for competitive advantage aka exploitation). You could argue for a trickling down of the economy, but that would be very neoliberal of you. Knowing as we do where and how surplus value is created in the economy and at what cost to human dignity, I'll never understand how the "First world" sleeps at night.

  7. I haven't seen Michael Moore's latest documentary, one where he professes to provide an alternative to capitalism that is not rooted in socialismI haven't seen it either, nor would I go to Moore first to find out. I imagine it's something along the lines of anarcho-syndicalism based on worker-owned/run enterprises and cooperative (not competitive) commercial relationships. It's all still too utopian for me. I'd rather we do something to radically curtail the rights of corporations to do anything other than what is related strictly to their primary purpose (whatever that may be).That won't happen either. You and I may have to face the fact that nothing is going to change until the Americans get a lot poorer and more desperate. We're just along for the ride.

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