imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

GERMANY: Notes on Neoliberalism

by Jacob Augstein Saturday, Mar. 28, 2009 at 10:01 AM
mbatko@lycos.com

"The neoliberal revolution was the product of an historical development, a reaction to changed circumstances. In its course, many western states in the 1970s and 1980s reordered the relation of state and private power.."

NOTES ON NEOLIBERALISM

By Jacob Augstein

[This blog entry uploaded 3/6/2009 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.freitag.de.]




In the debate on www.freitag.de, there were sharp reactions to my use of the word “neoliberalism.” Some commentators quickly found the associative way to Pinochet’s torture state or even to German National Socialism. That was surprising. Obviously these commentators do not understand the word “neoliberalism” as a term from the political-economic sphere describing a certain economic school of thought that can be supported or criticized with good arguments. To them, the word has become a fighting political term that one can never use soberly but only with disgust.

Looking behind the word to the subject could be very helpful.

The limits of the state are central in the debate. This theme is prominent worldwide and in Germany. In Freitag, the economist Rudolf Hickel said the German government is “completely disoriented” in its policy toward the crisis and acts in a “quasi blind flight.” The problem of calculating the limits of the state is obviously difficult. Still the process is not so remarkable. The question always risers below the surface in western societies, at least the European societies: the question about the relation of public and private power. It is never uniform and never answered once and for all. States have decided for very different power balances according to temporal phases and according to economic-cultural characteristics. There are many capitalisms, not one capitalism.

Because capitalist and planned mechanisms work together in western systems, they are called “mixed economies.” The mixed relation is important. The spectrum extends from the Swedish welfare state to US-American Reaganomics. The adjustment of capitalism to the respective temporal conditions and economic cultures is reflected there.

After the Second World War, Great Britain established an economic system in which a strong state influence was accepted. The term “Keynesian social democracy” was coined for strong state influence. This system began in England in 1944 when the war coalition obligated its successors to a high employment level. It ended in 1976 when former premier Callaghan said at a labor conference that all attempts to reach full employment by increasing public spending would only lead into pumping “a high dose of inflation into the system.” In the same year, England needed a support credit of the international monetary system.

At this time the English debater was already marked by a strong polarization. Labor was seized by neo-socialist ideas; the Tories developed into neo-liberals. But neo-socialists and neo-liberals were agreed on one point: the idea of a third way between state and market, between capital and labor and between personal freedom and social justice was outdated. The English politician and journalist David Marquand wrote a very readable book about this development: “The Unprincipled Society” in which he describers the breaking of the English postwar model and decries Great Britain’s reorganization under Margaret Thatcher. (In the 1980s Marquand was a co-founder of the Social Democratic Party and wrote many articles for The Guardian.)

The English way into neoliberalism cannot be understood without the preceding thirty years. It cannot be referred back to the sinister influence of several gloomy economics professors. A long continuing development in the English economy and politics is marked by de-industrialization, de-colonialization, a strained approach to Europe and the loss of the pound as the international currency, to name only a few of the most important factors. In a word, the subject is complex. A whole society can hardly be expected to change its economic paradigms.

What was the reason for the English change of course? Opinions of readers will probably differ greatly. An explanation could include the influence of international financial capital, US-American striving for dominance, strain of the state welfare system, and dissolution of a social consensus on just distribution and adjustment of the expectations of unions and management to the conduct of government…

In any case the neoliberal revolution was the product of an historical development, a reaction to changed circumstances. In its course many western states in the 1970s and 1980s reordered the relation of state and private power.

One obvious example is the reassessment of vital public necessities for which the state has to be concerned – the privatizations. Only opinions can be found here, not truths.

Local public transportation, water, electricity, food, streets, pensions, telecommunication, license numbers, schools, penal system… What is the state? What is the market? What should the authorities accomplish? What should firms do? These are value questions, not truth questions.

On principle there are many reasons to assume that private enterprises work more efficiently than state enterprises. Therefore one need not wait so long today for a telephone connection as in the seventies. As a matter of principle, there are many reasons to assumer that entrepreneurial efficiency is not always decisive.

There is no reason to assume that Germany was similarly seized and changed by the neoliberal revolution as Great Britain. With Agenda 2010 the German Schroeder government deformed the social market economy. There can be no talk of its abolition. In 1960, the state share in West Germany amounted to less than a third of the economic output. In 1975, it was 49 percent and since the 1990s approximately 50 percent. At the end of October 2008, finance minister Peer Steinbruck remarked at a meeting in Frankfurt that 70 cents of every euro collected in taxes wanders in the so-called “social realm.” Measured in those statistics, the influence of the state in economic life has constantly increased.

When Angela Merkel set out to become the German chancellor, she pretended she wanted to change this. The Merkel of 2003 announced the state share should be lowered to 40 percent within a decade – “to give a home again to individual dynamic in Germany,” as she formulated in a letter in January. She abandoned that project – to the regret of conservative commentators, as everybody knows – after she became chancellor. This was a sign either of how weak Angela Merkel is or how strong are the traditional economic-cultural characteristics in Germany.

RELATED LINKS

Amartya Sen: “Adam Smith’s Market Never Stood Alone”

http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2009/03/adam-smiths-market-never-stood-alone.html

Amartya Sen: “Capitalism Beyond the Crisis”

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22490

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy