Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom … The International Monetary Fund has admitted that some of the decisions it made in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis were wrong, and that the €130bn first bailout of Greece was "bungled"… The problem is that the ruthless sentimentalists of neoliberalism like to tell themselves – and anyone else who will listen – that removing the dead hand of state control frees the individual citizen to be entrepreneurial and productive. Instead, it places the financially powerful beyond any state, in an international elite that makes its own rules, and holds governments to ransom. That's what the financial crisis was all about. The ransom was paid, and as a result, governments have been obliged to limit their activities yet further – some setting about the task with greater relish than others. – UK Guardian
Dominant Social Theme: The current system doesn't work so we need more government.
Free-Market Analysis: This opinion piece in the UK Guardian is a mixture of profound insight and naïve analysis. It also provides us with a predictable meme: Government knows best.
The article is advancing the idea that the financial elites running the IMF and the rest of the world's financial apparatus are taking over financial and redistribution responsibilities better left to elected officials.
The profundity of the article has to do with the assessment that modern "civilization" is an artificial enterprise that takes tremendous resources to sustain and cultivate. The naïveté arises from the perspective that the current Western paradigm is 1) sustainable and 2) to be supported via government actions.
They know the crash was a debt-bubble that burst. What they don't seem to acknowledge is that the merry days of reckless lending are never going to return; even if they do, the same thing will happen again, but more quickly and more savagely. The thing is this: the crash was a write-off, not a repair job. The response from the start should have been a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe, a "structural adjustment", as the philosopher John Gray has said all along.
… Now the task, supposedly, is to get the free market up and running again. But the basic problem is this: it costs a lot of money to cultivate a market – a group of consumers – and the more sophisticated the market is, the more expensive it is to cultivate them. A developed market needs to be populated with educated, healthy, cultured, law-abiding and financially secure people – people who expect to be well paid themselves, having been brought up believing in material aspiration, as consumers need to be.
So why, exactly, given the huge amount of investment needed to create such a market, should access to it then be "free"? The neoliberal idea is that the cultivation itself should be conducted privately as well. They see "austerity" as a way of forcing that agenda. But how can the privatisation of societal welfare possibly happen when unemployment is already high, working people are turning to food banks to survive and the debt industry, far from being sorry that it brought the global economy to its knees, is snapping up bargains in the form of busted high-street businesses to establish shops with nothing to sell but high-interest debt?
Why, you have to ask yourself, is this vast implausibility, this sheer unsustainability, not blindingly obvious to all? Markets cannot be free. Markets have to be nurtured. They have to be invested in. Markets have to be grown. Google, Amazon and Apple haven't taught anyone in this country to read. But even though an illiterate market wouldn't be so great for them, they avoid their taxes, because they can, because they are more powerful than governments. Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom.
We have long internalized the idea of neoconservatism as a variant of regulatory democracy and but this article advances the term "neoliberalism," which is apparently a term in vogue among leftists in Europe who use it to define the current globalist paradigm:
Neoliberalism is a political philosophy whose advocates support economic liberalization, free trade and open markets, privatization, deregulation, and decreasing the size of the public sector while increasing the role of the private sector in modern society. (Wikipedia)
What this article is suggesting, then, is that since "austerity" obviously hasn't worked, the alternative ought to be re-implemented. The alternative is the European super-state of the 20th century with all of its activism, gigantic welfare-ism, etc.
This is, however, a concept at once devious and erroneous. What passes for "free-market" activism in the mainstream globalist community is innately flawed because money stuff itself is not free but is controlled by monopoly central banking.
How can you claim that market capitalism has failed when it has never been tried? And how can you argue for a return to big-government regulatory democracy when it is has never disappeared?
What IS needed is a general comprehension that governments need to be shrunk along with the globalist infrastructure that has sprung up in the past century.
This article gets some of the problems right but its analysis of what constitutes market capitalism is just as flawed as the solution: A return to the 20th century's triumphal Leviathan.