This is a great deep dive on neoliberalism.
Even though it is from a Left perspective, I agree with about 90% of it. It has taken me all evening to watch these four videos and ponder my response. I agree with the division of the 20th century and early 21st century into classical liberalism until the Crash of 1929, embedded liberalism from FDR through Carter and neoliberalism from Reagan through Trump.
I understand this is a work in progress, but throughout these videos little thought is given to the impact of neoliberalism on the Right which is psychologically predisposed to valuing hierarchy, authority, order and tradition. The Right is also “collectivist” in the sense that it values the health and stability of religion, our culture, the family, the nation, communities, etc. The overwhelming majority of rightwing voters are motivated by these sentiments, not by liberal abstractions which are fundamentally at odds with them.
The truly volcanic reaction against neoliberalism in Europe and North America is coming from the Right precisely because it is a solvent that is destroying all the things the Right cares about. The “spontaneous order” created by the radical individualism and price signals of the market in a neoliberal state which has been both culturally and economically deregulated has massively destabilized the social order and has generated an authoritarian populist response.
What happens when you deregulate marriage and the family? What happens when Christianity is deconstructed by a hostile elite that has come to control the mass media and the universities in Karl Popper’s Open Society? What happens when the borders of the nation are deregulated and opened up to an endless flow of Third World immigrants? When new genders are invented? These pillars of social stability in the West – religion, marriage, the family, the nation, community – have all been undermined by flows of labor and capital that has generated a transnational elite with no sense of loyalty to any particular place and which is only interested in enriching itself.
Neoliberalism has brought about decades of wage stagnation and enriched a tiny oligarchy, but the “spontaneous order” it has created has done far more damage to our culture than our economy. This is resented even more by the White middle class and working class than the economic side of it. While life sucks in Jeffrey Tucker’s soulless neoliberal consumer utopia, he isn’t wrong about the McDouble, Amazon Prime, Uber or the Samsung flatscreen television. Overall, life is more materially comfortable albeit unequal for the dispossessed under neoliberalism while it has grown staggeringly more culturally and psychologically uncomfortable. The GDP and Wall Street are doing great while suicides are at the highest level since the Great Depression.
This is the biggest problem with Left critiques of neoliberalism. They fail to see and appreciate the other side of the coin which is how our culture has been deregulated and the social order has been destabilized. In particular, they are blind to how mass immigration, cultural degeneration and political correctness are generating more resentment than economic inequality. Trump exploited this blind spot to become president and push neoliberal economics even further.