Source Jim Devine
Date 07/04/17/10:08

Doug writes:
> Capitalism is not an empty signifier - the definition
> is pretty well-established, though of course there are variants
> across time and space. But what is not-neoliberalism? Nazis, Greens,
> social dems, council Communists, and Trotskyists could all be against
> neoliberalism.

Not-neoliberalism would refer to a (capitalist) policy regime in which
the state's positive contributions to capitalism are admitted (beyond
those of maintaining order, protecting property rights, enforcing
contracts, etc., which the neoliberals recognize). Social democracy
and New Deal-ism are two main kinds of not-neoliberalism. The are both
capitalist policy regimes that try to impose technocratically-designed
policies on capitalism that increase the system's efficiency, so that
"all can gain a piece of the pie."

Neoliberalism, of course, is just a new name for "laissez-faire,"
which is free-market in theory, but simply pro-business in practice
(favoring those businesses with the most lobbying power). It's "neo,"
I believe, because it's a revival of old-style 19th century liberalism
or because it's different from New Deal liberalism. (It's not because
it's named after a Keanu Reeves character.)

In practice, it's rare to see either pure neoliberalism or pure
not-neoliberalism. Real-world phenomena are never as clear-cut as
theoretical concepts are.

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