Tuesday , February 7 2023
Home / Mike Norman Economics / Luke Savage — Liberalism in Theory and Practice

Luke Savage — Liberalism in Theory and Practice

Summary:
Contemporary liberals are temperamentally conservative — and what they want to conserve is a morally bankrupt political order.,,, A characteristic of neoliberalism? Maybe I was predisposed to democratic socialism; I always considered myself to be “on the Left,” even as a teenager. In any case, it’s become clear in retrospect that watching the liberal class respond to events over the past decade has been a powerful stimulus in my politicization. Which is to say, I didn’t acquire radical politics simply through reading Marx in college (though it certainly aided the process). Nor did I become irredeemably frustrated with liberalism merely by absorbing some abstract argument about its flaws. I didn’t have a Road to Damascus revelation while thumbing through some volume by Chomsky or David

Topics:
Mike Norman considers the following as important: , , , , ,

This could be interesting, too:

Matias Vernengo writes New book on the crisis of economics and teaching in Latin America

Matias Vernengo writes What is heterodox economics? Some clarifications

Robert Vienneau writes Elsewhere

Matias Vernengo writes Laissez-faire policies, self-adjusting market system, and neoliberalism

Contemporary liberals are temperamentally conservative — and what they want to conserve is a morally bankrupt political order.,,,
A characteristic of neoliberalism?
Maybe I was predisposed to democratic socialism; I always considered myself to be “on the Left,” even as a teenager. In any case, it’s become clear in retrospect that watching the liberal class respond to events over the past decade has been a powerful stimulus in my politicization.
Which is to say, I didn’t acquire radical politics simply through reading Marx in college (though it certainly aided the process). Nor did I become irredeemably frustrated with liberalism merely by absorbing some abstract argument about its flaws. I didn’t have a Road to Damascus revelation while thumbing through some volume by Chomsky or David Harvey. And while I would certainly count them as formative to my political evolution, it wasn’t the likes of Ralph Miliband and Tony Benn — let alone Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn — who ultimately imbued me with a burning hatred for anything and everything that calls itself “moderate” or “centrist.”

No, that instinct owes much more to watching Barack Obama summon forth a tidal wave of popular goodwill, then proceed to invite the same old cadre of apparatchiks and financiers back into the White House to carry on business as usual despite the most punishing economic crisis since the Great Depression; to seeing the “war on terror” become a permanent fixture of the global landscape long after its original architects had been booted from the halls of power, courtesy of supposedly enlightened humanitarians; to witnessing a potentially monumental hunger for change be sacrificed on the altar of managerialism and technocratic respectability. It comes from watching a smiling Nick Clegg stand next to David Cameron in the Rose Garden at Number 10 Downing Street before rubber-stamping a series of lacerating cuts to Britain’s welfare state and betraying a generation of students in the process; to seeing the dexterity by which Canada’s liberals gesture to the left then govern from the right; and from seeing the radical demands of global anti-austerity movements endlessly whittled down and regurgitated as neoliberal slam poetry to be recited at Davos by the hip young innovators du jour.
These triangulations, and many others like them, helped me realize that the malaise was the product of a congenital trait rather than a temporary blip. The problem, in other words, wasn’t that contemporary liberalism was failing to live up to its ideals, but that it was living up to them all too well....
Bourgeois liberalism.
In theory, modern liberalism is a set of ideas about human freedom, markets, and representative government. In practice, or so it now seems to me, it has largely become a political affect, and a quintessentially conservative one at that: a set of reflexes common to those with a Panglossian faith in capitalist markets and the institutions that attempt to sustain them amid our flailing global order. In theory, it is an ideology of progress. In practice, it has become the secular theology of the status quo; the mechanism through which the gilded buccaneers of Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and multinational capital rationalize hierarchy and exploitation while fostering resignation and polite deference among those they seek to rule....
Jacobin
Liberalism in Theory and Practice
Luke Savage

See also
In France, however, there is no centrist opposition or alternative left. Macron won by ingesting and replacing the decayed remnants of all the parties of the centre left and centre right, and even so he only won 24 percent of the vote in the first round of last year’s presidential elections. For liberals, he is literally the only game left in town. If he is defeated in the next presidential elections in 2022, then as things stand today, the overwhelming probability is that the next French president will be Marine le Pen of the National Front (or “National Rally” as it now calls itself).
With this, conservative nationalism would move into the very heart of European politics, and the European Union in anything like its existing form would cease to exist. Moreover, at this point, the main French opposition would become the Marxist (but equally anti-EU) left-wing movement of Jean-Luc Melenchon’s “Unbowed France” (La France Insoumise). If this becomes the only real choice left to French voters, then liberal democracy will be dead and democracy of any kind may not survive for much longer.
Well, maybe not neoliberal "democracy" of bourgeois liberalism. That is a far cry from democracy of any kind.

Otherwise, it is a useful article.


Valdai Club Discussion
The French Fifth Republic: Sinking Fast, with No Lifeboat in Sight
Anatol Lieven | professor at the campus of Georgetown University in Doha, Qatar, Associated Scholar of the Transnational Crisis Project, Chair of International Relations and Terrorism Studies at King's College London, and Senior Researcher (Bernard L. Schwartz fellow and American Strategy Program fellow) at the New America Foundation, where he focuses on US global strategy and the War on Terrorism,

Mike Norman
Mike Norman is an economist and veteran trader whose career has spanned over 30 years on Wall Street. He is a former member and trader on the CME, NYMEX, COMEX and NYFE and he managed money for one of the largest hedge funds and ran a prop trading desk for Credit Suisse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *