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104

Four

From Colonialism to the Coup

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terms
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notes

Hickel, J. (2017). Four. In Hickel, J. The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions. William Heinemann, pp. 104-144

108

[...] The democratic state should regulate the market and harness its powers towards desired social ends, securing economic stability and improving living standards. The market should be made to serve society, not the other way round. This new system relied on a class compromise between capital and labour: the state would guarantee strong rights and good wages in exchange for a docile, productive workforce that would have sufficient money to consume mass-produced goods, thereby keeping the economy stable and growing.

I love the subtle critique of Keynesian embodied in the language used ("docile"--definitely subtler than "bovine", but not that far off)

he explicitly criticises Keynesianism on the next page: it leaves out middle-class women (excluded from workforce and thus dependent on men) and minorities of all sorts

—p.108 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 3 months ago

[...] The democratic state should regulate the market and harness its powers towards desired social ends, securing economic stability and improving living standards. The market should be made to serve society, not the other way round. This new system relied on a class compromise between capital and labour: the state would guarantee strong rights and good wages in exchange for a docile, productive workforce that would have sufficient money to consume mass-produced goods, thereby keeping the economy stable and growing.

I love the subtle critique of Keynesian embodied in the language used ("docile"--definitely subtler than "bovine", but not that far off)

he explicitly criticises Keynesianism on the next page: it leaves out middle-class women (excluded from workforce and thus dependent on men) and minorities of all sorts

—p.108 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 3 months ago
128

[...] It is 'neo' in the sense that it revived classical market liberalism from the death it had suffered after the Great Depression, but it also added a few new elements. The notion that market freedom is tantamount to individual liberty was a new and distinctive feature of the ideology--and became central to its political success in the West. And neoliberalism abandoned any pretence to neutrality in favour of a more politically charged agenda: it was against subsidies and protections for the working class and regulations that supported unions, but was quite comfortable with subsidies and protections for the rich and regulations that supported large corporations.

—p.128 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 3 months ago

[...] It is 'neo' in the sense that it revived classical market liberalism from the death it had suffered after the Great Depression, but it also added a few new elements. The notion that market freedom is tantamount to individual liberty was a new and distinctive feature of the ideology--and became central to its political success in the West. And neoliberalism abandoned any pretence to neutrality in favour of a more politically charged agenda: it was against subsidies and protections for the working class and regulations that supported unions, but was quite comfortable with subsidies and protections for the rich and regulations that supported large corporations.

—p.128 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 3 months ago
135

[...] Nixon was engaged in expansionary monetary policy--in other words, he was effectively printing money. On top of this, government spending on the Vietnam War at the time was spiralling out of control. As international markets worried that the US would not be able to make good on its debts, the dollar began to plummet in value and contributed further to inflation. And while all of this trouble was unfolding, another crisis hit. In 1973, OPEC decided to drive up the price of oil. The price of consumer goods suddenly shot up too, because the energy required to produce and transport them was more expensive. And because production became more expensive, economic growth slowed down and unemployment began to rise. It was a perfect storm.

this is probably the best summary I've seen yet. he goes into the reasons behind the OPEC price hike later on: it was a response to the US (among other nations) supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur War

to consider: what role did the impending collapse of Bretton Woods play in this (or is it more of a consequence than a factor)? what about the geopolitical impact of the rise of manufacturing powerhouses in Germany and Japan

—p.135 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 3 months ago

[...] Nixon was engaged in expansionary monetary policy--in other words, he was effectively printing money. On top of this, government spending on the Vietnam War at the time was spiralling out of control. As international markets worried that the US would not be able to make good on its debts, the dollar began to plummet in value and contributed further to inflation. And while all of this trouble was unfolding, another crisis hit. In 1973, OPEC decided to drive up the price of oil. The price of consumer goods suddenly shot up too, because the energy required to produce and transport them was more expensive. And because production became more expensive, economic growth slowed down and unemployment began to rise. It was a perfect storm.

this is probably the best summary I've seen yet. he goes into the reasons behind the OPEC price hike later on: it was a response to the US (among other nations) supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur War

to consider: what role did the impending collapse of Bretton Woods play in this (or is it more of a consequence than a factor)? what about the geopolitical impact of the rise of manufacturing powerhouses in Germany and Japan

—p.135 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 3 months ago
139

In short, the fight against poverty and underdevelopment during this period was understood as a political battle. It sought to challenge the prevailing distribution of power and resources around the world.

on the rise of developmentalist policies in developing countries pre-1980 (more protectionist/redistributionist) which ofc concerned the West, because their economies depended on the existence of an underclass of pliant developing nations ... their response was to demonise these policies as "Communist" and use that as a cloak to justify economic (or physical) warfare against them

—p.139 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 3 months ago

In short, the fight against poverty and underdevelopment during this period was understood as a political battle. It sought to challenge the prevailing distribution of power and resources around the world.

on the rise of developmentalist policies in developing countries pre-1980 (more protectionist/redistributionist) which ofc concerned the West, because their economies depended on the existence of an underclass of pliant developing nations ... their response was to demonise these policies as "Communist" and use that as a cloak to justify economic (or physical) warfare against them

—p.139 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 3 months ago