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51

Why Are They Winning? The Making of Neoliberal Hegemony

5
terms
1
notes

Williams, A. and Srnicek, N. (2016). Why Are They Winning? The Making of Neoliberal Hegemony. In Williams, A. and Srnicek, N. Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work. Verso, pp. 51-68

the postulate that markets are organised most effectively by private enterprise and that the private pursuit of accumulation will generate the most common good; accomplished by opening international markets and financial networks, and downsizing the welfare state

53

neoliberalism differs from classical liberalism in ascribing a significant role to the state. A major task of neoliberalism has therefore been to take control of the state and repurpose it.

—p.53 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

neoliberalism differs from classical liberalism in ascribing a significant role to the state. A major task of neoliberalism has therefore been to take control of the state and repurpose it.

—p.53 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

the German variant of social liberalism that emphasizes the need for the state to ensure that the free market produces results close to its theoretical potential

54

the Walter Lippmann Colloquium held in Paris just before the eruption of World War II. For the first time, this event brought together the classical liberal theorists, the new German ordoliberals, the British LSE liberals, and Austrian economists such as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises

—p.54 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

the Walter Lippmann Colloquium held in Paris just before the eruption of World War II. For the first time, this event brought together the classical liberal theorists, the new German ordoliberals, the British LSE liberals, and Austrian economists such as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises

—p.54 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

(stagnation + inflation) when inflation is high, the economic growth rate slows, and unemployment remains steadily high

60

In the 1970s, however, both problems arose simultaneously – rising inflation and rising unemployment, or ‘stagflation’. The traditional Keynesian policy solutions were incapable of dealing with this conjunction, thus seemingly dictating a turn to alternative theories. It is important to be clear that, at this point, multiple interpretations of the economic problem were possible. The production of inflation through wage rigidities and trade union power was not the only possible framing of the problem, and neoliberalism was not the only possible solution.

—p.60 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

In the 1970s, however, both problems arose simultaneously – rising inflation and rising unemployment, or ‘stagflation’. The traditional Keynesian policy solutions were incapable of dealing with this conjunction, thus seemingly dictating a turn to alternative theories. It is important to be clear that, at this point, multiple interpretations of the economic problem were possible. The production of inflation through wage rigidities and trade union power was not the only possible framing of the problem, and neoliberalism was not the only possible solution.

—p.60 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

a slogan refering to globalization popularised by Margaret Thatcher; means that the market economy is the only system that works, and that debate about this is over

62

The novel conjunctural moment of the 1970s was quickly forgotten by the public, and neoliberalism took on the universal and natural qualities that Thatcher’s doctrine of ‘there is no alternative’ had espoused. Neoliberalism had become a new common sense, accepted by every party in power. It mattered little whether the left or right won; neoliberalism had stacked the deck.

—p.62 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

The novel conjunctural moment of the 1970s was quickly forgotten by the public, and neoliberalism took on the universal and natural qualities that Thatcher’s doctrine of ‘there is no alternative’ had espoused. Neoliberalism had become a new common sense, accepted by every party in power. It mattered little whether the left or right won; neoliberalism had stacked the deck.

—p.62 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

a term for the loans provided by the IMF and the World Bank to countries that experienced economic crises, which come with strings attached: privatisation and deregulation, mainly (the conditions are also known as the Washington Consensus)

62

By the mid 1990s, with the collapse of the USSR, neoliberalism’s extension via IMF structural adjustment policies, its consolidation in the UK’s New Labour and Clinton’s US administration, and its ubiquity in the academic field of economics, neoliberalism had reached its hegemonic peak.

—p.62 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

By the mid 1990s, with the collapse of the USSR, neoliberalism’s extension via IMF structural adjustment policies, its consolidation in the UK’s New Labour and Clinton’s US administration, and its ubiquity in the academic field of economics, neoliberalism had reached its hegemonic peak.

—p.62 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek
notable
2 years, 8 months ago
64

At the same time, we should recognise that this production of subjectivity was not simply an external imposition. Hegemony, in all its forms, operates not as an illusion, but as something that builds on the very real desires of the population. Neoliberal hegemony has played upon ideas, yearnings and drives already existing within society, mobilising and promising to fulfil those that could be aligned with its basic agenda. The worship of individual freedom, the value ascribed to hard work, freedom from the rigid work week, individual expression through work, the belief in meritocracy, the bitterness felt at corrupt politicians, unions and bureaucracies – these beliefs and desires pre-exist neoliberalism and find expression in it. Bridging the left–right divide, many people today are simply angry at what they see as others taking advantage of the system. Hatred for the rich tax evader combines easily with disgust for the poor welfare cheat; anger at the oppressive employer becomes indistinguishable from anger at all politicians. This is linked with the spread of middle-class identities and aspirations – desires for home ownership, self-reliance and entrepreneurial spirit were fostered and extended into formerly working-class social spaces. Neoliberal ideology has a grounding in lived experience and does not exist simply as an academic puzzle. Neoliberalism has become parasitical on everyday experience, and any critical analysis that misses this is bound to misrecognise the deep roots of neoliberalism in today’s society. Over the course of decades, neoliberalism has therefore come to shape not only elite opinions and beliefs, but also the normative fabric of everyday life itself. The particular interests of neoliberals have become universalised, which is to say, hegemonic. Neoliberalism constitutes our collective common sense, making us its subjects whether we believe in it or not.

—p.64 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek 2 years, 8 months ago

At the same time, we should recognise that this production of subjectivity was not simply an external imposition. Hegemony, in all its forms, operates not as an illusion, but as something that builds on the very real desires of the population. Neoliberal hegemony has played upon ideas, yearnings and drives already existing within society, mobilising and promising to fulfil those that could be aligned with its basic agenda. The worship of individual freedom, the value ascribed to hard work, freedom from the rigid work week, individual expression through work, the belief in meritocracy, the bitterness felt at corrupt politicians, unions and bureaucracies – these beliefs and desires pre-exist neoliberalism and find expression in it. Bridging the left–right divide, many people today are simply angry at what they see as others taking advantage of the system. Hatred for the rich tax evader combines easily with disgust for the poor welfare cheat; anger at the oppressive employer becomes indistinguishable from anger at all politicians. This is linked with the spread of middle-class identities and aspirations – desires for home ownership, self-reliance and entrepreneurial spirit were fostered and extended into formerly working-class social spaces. Neoliberal ideology has a grounding in lived experience and does not exist simply as an academic puzzle. Neoliberalism has become parasitical on everyday experience, and any critical analysis that misses this is bound to misrecognise the deep roots of neoliberalism in today’s society. Over the course of decades, neoliberalism has therefore come to shape not only elite opinions and beliefs, but also the normative fabric of everyday life itself. The particular interests of neoliberals have become universalised, which is to say, hegemonic. Neoliberalism constitutes our collective common sense, making us its subjects whether we believe in it or not.

—p.64 by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek 2 years, 8 months ago