Sean Gervasi Lecture
Masters of the Universe
'Think Tank' & Ideas
Much more will be added here
Big Business Installing Neoliberalism in the 20. Century
“Pierre Bourdieu: "There have been a growing number of studies, in Britain, the US and France, which describe very precisely the procedures whereby this worldview is produced, disseminated and inculcated. Through a whole series of analyses of texts, the journals in which they were published and which have little by little imposed themselves as legitimate, the characteristics of their authors, the 'Globalization' Myth and the welfare State seminars in which they meet to produce them, etc., they have shown how, in Britain and France, constant work was done, involving intellectuals, journalists and businessmen, to impose as self-evident a neo-liberal view which, essentially, dresses up the most classic presuppositions of conservative thought of all times and all countries in economic rationalizations. I am thinking of a study of the role of the journal Preuves, which was financed by the CIA and had some noted French intellectuals on its editorial board, and which, for twenty or twenty-five years - it takes time for something false to become self-evident - tirelessly, and initially against the current, produced ideas which gradually became taken for granted.! The same thing happened in Britain, and Thatcherism was not invented by Mrs Thatcher. The ground had been prepared over a long period by groups of intellectuals most of whom wrote columns in the leading newspapers." Acts of Resistance, 1998
The movement toward the neoliberal utopia of a pure and perfect market is made possible by the politics of financial deregulation. (..) .. the nation, whose space to manoeuvre continually decreases. In this way, a Darwinian world emerges - it is the struggle of all against all at all levels of the hierarchy, which finds support through everyone clinging to their job and organisation under conditions of insecurity, suffering, and stress."
-- Pierre Bourdieu, The Essence of Neoliberalism, 1998, Le Monde Diplomatique
"The state nobility, which preaches the withering away of the state and the undivided reign of the market and the consumer, the commercial substitute for the citizen, has kidnapped the state: it has made the public good a private good, has made the 'public thing', res publica, the Republic, its own thing. (..) The national states are undermined from outside by these financial forces, and they are undermined from inside by those who act as the accomplices of these financial forces, in other words, the financiers, bankers and finance ministry officials. I think that the dominated groups in society have an interest in defending the state, particularly in its social aspect."
-- Pierre Bourdieu, Acts of Resistance, 'Against the Destruction of a Civilization', 1998: 25
"One might say that in the headquarters of the corporations, whose collective interest is clearly reflected in American government policies, nostalgia has lingered on for the good old days of Hitler’s Third Reich, which was a paradise for German as well as American and other foreign firms: no left-wing parties, no unions, unlimited numbers of slave labourers, and an authoritarian state that provided the necessary discipline and arranged for an “armament boom” and eventually a war that brought “horizonless profits..."
-- Jacques Pauwels, Author Big Business and Hitler
Big Business Use of CIA Methods for Class War after 1970
At a 1973 Conference Board meeting of top American business leaders, executives declared: "We are fighting for our lives," "We are fighting a delaying action," and "If we don’t take action now, we will see our own demise. We will evolve into another social democracy." Leonard Silk and David Vogel, Ethics and Profits,1976:44-47
"One might say that in the headquarters of the corporations, whose collective interest is clearly reflected in American government policies, nostalgia has lingered on for the good old days of Hitler’s Third Reich, which was a paradise for German as well as American and other foreign firms.." Jacques Pauwels, See HS Big Business Behind WWI & II
"Opening the Door to Neoliberalism
Bringing down Nixon opened the door to Milton Friedman and neoliberal fanatics. The new President, Gerald Ford, the only President never elected as Vice President or President, appointed Alan Greenspan to his board of economic advisors. Greenspan brought his mentor, Ayn Rand to the White House to watch him be sworn in. Greenspan also directed the Council on Foreign Relations from 1982 to 1988, overseeing the expansion of international trade agreements. Greenspan became chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank from 1987 to 2006, and was probably the most influential figure in US economic policy.
The fall of Nixon was a pivotal moment in the process of transforming the once prosperous American heartland into the “rustbelt,” plagued by opioids, low wages, and suicide. The forces that brought down Nixon, while embracing social and cultural liberalism, had no need to protect the living standards of the “Archie Bunkers” and “Hard Hats.” Jobs were shipped overseas, lending was deregulated, and public budgets were gutted. - Following Nixon’s demise, both the Democratic and Republican parties gradually embraced the economic theories of Adam Smith, Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand. Pat Buchanan and other advocates of protectionism were driven from the Republican Party. Eventually, Bill Clinton’s Democratic Leadership Council emerged to purge the Democratic Party of all who advocated Rooseveltian policies." Recalling Nixon in the Trump-Era: The Geopolitics of Impeachment, Caleb Maupin
"This liquidation is the essence of the so-called neo-liberal revolution, or rather, counter-revolution: counter not only to the main tendencies of the postwar 30 years, but also to the whole period of European history since the Renaissance. It is not just a regression; it is counter-progress. It is deliberate counter-progress. (...) The guiding document of the neo-liberal counter-revolution was the report Crisis of Democracy, [pdf] written at the request of the Trilateral Commission
by Samuel P Huntington, Michel Crozier, and Joji Watanuki, in 1975. The document is very interesting. The authors wrote that the only cure for the evils of democracy was not more democracy, but the moderation of democracy. The report argued that, for a democratic political system to function effectively, it usually required some measure of apathy and non-involvement on the part of some individuals and groups.
They meant the middle class and upper groups of the working class. The democratic surge, the report said, was a general challenge to existing systems of authority, public and private; and the main conclusion was that a diminution of public influence was needed. So, in fact, this document was a reaction to the rise of the middle class and working class, due to industrialization in the 30 postwar years. The solution was very simple: deindustrialization. The deindustrialization of the North Atlantic core, and an offensive against the middle class and working class. And we saw it in Thatcherism and Reaganomics." The Current World Crisis: Its Social Nature and Challenge to Social Science, Andrey Fursov
"The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere. - The origins of this machine
, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the CIA.
(..) During the 1970s, these men would take the propaganda and operational techniques they had learned in the Cold War and apply them to the Class War. Therefore it is no surprise that the American version of the machine bears an uncanny resemblance to the foreign versions designed to fight communism. The CIA's expert and comprehensive organization of the business class would succeed beyond their wildest dreams. In 1975, the richest 1 percent owned 22 percent of America’s wealth. By 1992, they would nearly double that, to 42 percent — the highest level of inequality in the 20th century. (..) The CIA also helped create the conservative think tank movement.
Prior to the 70s, think tanks spanned the political spectrum, with moderate think tanks receiving three times as much funding as conservative ones. At these early think tanks, scholars typically brainstormed for creative solutions to policy problems. This would all change after the rise of conservative foundations in the early 70s. The Heritage Foundation opened its doors in 1973, the recipient of $250,000 in seed money from the Coors Foundation. A flood of conservative think tanks followed shortly thereafter, and by 1980 they overwhelmed the scene. The new think tanks turned out to be little more than propaganda mills, rigging studies to "prove" that their corporate sponsors needed tax breaks, deregulation and other favors from government. Of course, think-tank studies are useless without publicity, and here the CIA proved especially valuable
. Using propaganda techniques it had perfected at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, the CIA and its allies turned American AM radio into a haven for conservative talk show hosts." The Origins of the Overclass, By Steve Kangas
"There have been a growing number of studies, in Britain, the US and France, which describe very precisely the procedures whereby this worldview is produced, disseminated and inculcated
. Through a whole series of analyses of texts, the journals in which they were published and which have little by little imposed themselves as legitimate, the characteristics of their authors, the 'Globalization' Myth and the welfare State seminars in which they meet to produce them, etc., they have shown how, in Britain and France, constant work was done, involving intellectuals, journalists and businessmen, to impose as self-evident a neo-liberal view which, essentially, dresses up the most classic presuppositions of conservative thought of all times and all countries in economic rationalizations. I am thinking of a study of the role of the journal Preuves, which was financed by the CIA
and had some noted French intellectuals on its editorial board, and which, for twenty or twenty-five years - it takes time for something false to become self-evident - tirelessly, and initially against the current, produced ideas which gradually became taken for granted.! The same thing happened in Britain, and Thatcherism was not invented by Mrs Thatcher. The ground had been prepared over a long period by groups of intellectuals most of whom wrote columns in the leading newspapers." Acts of Resistance, 1998
"Inception 1971. In a short span of time in the 1970s, dozens of think tanks were established across the western world and billions of dollars were spent proselytizing the tenets of the Powell Memo
in 1971, which galvanized a counter-revolution to the liberal upswing of the Sixties. The neoliberal economic model of deregulation, downsizing, and privatization was preached by the Reagan-Thatcher junta, liberalized by the Clinton regime, temporarily given a bad name by the unhinged Bush administration, and saved by telegenic restoration of the Obama years. The ideology that underlay the model saturated academia, notably at the University of Chicago, and the mainstream media, principally at The New York Times. Since then it has trickled down to the general populace, to whom it now feels second nature. Today think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, the Brookings Institute, Stratfor, Cato Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, Carnegie Endowment, the Open Society Foundation, and the Atlantic Council, among many others, funnel millions of dollars in donations into cementing neoliberal attitudes in the American mind. The ideological assumptions, which serve to justify what you could call neocolonial tactics, are relatively clear: [read on]" Colonizing the Western Mind, 2018, Jason Hirtler CP
"The triumphant advance of so-called neoliberalism is an example of the amazing triumphant advance of an ideology whose consequences worked against those who elected them or their representatives since the 1970s in the leading states of the West. Why and how was this possible? - In view of the massive neoliberal paradigm burdening politics and the public, another worldview seemed hardly possible. However another worldview dominated because of the crisis in the late 1920s and 1930s. After 1945, neoliberalism was nothing more than an economic sect. This must be remembered. Even institutions like the World Bank and the World Trade Organization were founded in the Keynesian spirit to regulate international competition and not keep a tight reign on individual states and deregulate the competition. (...) The authority of neoliberal thinkers seemingly sanctioned by Nobel Prizes helped (seven Nobel Prizes for members of the Mont-Pelerin Society in 18 years). The head of the Nobel Prize committee, the Swedish central banker Erik Lundberg, was a member of the Mont-Pelerin Society. " How Neoliberalism Gained Hegemony, 2014, Armin Thurnher
"A spectre is haunting Europe and the world - the spectre of a new, previously unknown global Fascism. What are the root causes and preconditions for the resurgence of Fascism/Nazism in Europe and the West in general? - Fursov: 'The root cause for what is called the resurgence of fascism and Nazism in Europe and the West in general lies within the fundamentally similar goal setting of modern western elites and the Nazi top of the Third Reich
. No wonder some people talk about Global Fascism nowadays, it’s not just the resurgence of fascism, but a new form, which is called "Global Fascism." Of course, it is not a scientific term, it is more of a metaphor, but it captures the essence of the defined subject precisely. What are the similarities? First, there is the partition of the world into a kind of “chosen part” and “expendable material”. But while the Nazis discriminated by race, the modern western elites camouflage it in all sorts of sociocultural terms, but in fact, the Anglo-Saxon core of the Western world stands in first place. And now, looking back in time from today, we understand that the Third Reich was an experiment of Western elites
[see HS page here
]. In fact, according to the results it was an experiment of Western elites, brutally carried out by Hitler. The experiment was very diverse: control over the population, rejection of a large part of low-grade, racially unworthy population, according to the Nazis. First of all, we are talking about the Slavs, then the Jews and the Gypsies … Today, the western rulers drive out of the historical process a very large part of the population as well, although it is done under pseudo humanistic slogans, but the essence stays the same: there is a chosen billion (or much less), and there are the others. Thus, western elites with no hesitation talk about reducing the population of the planet, saying there are a lot of extra people, a lot of "superfluous eaters". So this goal setting is in common between part of the modern western elites and the Nazi top. (...) An attack on the positions of the middle class, the positions of the working class began and the welfare of postwar thirty years was whittled away. And then from 1980 to 2010
“Inglorious Thirty” began, which ended with crisis and, in fact, we live in the war era. The crisis tied up such knots that probably cannot be untied peacefully. The washing out of the middle class in the West, the shrinking of civil society, the weakening of the nation and the state, decline in the standards of public education, and much, much more can be labeled as the signs of crisis. (...) If the Europeans don't want to turn Europe into a desert zone like the planet of Mars, where „the aliens“ and „the predators“ will boss it, they have to fight for the European tradition, values and civilizational identity. The European tradition is targeted by the globalists, just like any other tradition - Chinese, Russian or Indian.
" Andrey Fursov: Interview for the project Fascism-XXI at your door, 2012
"It's very hard to fire workers in Europe," he complained. His answer: the euro. The euro would really do its work when crises hit, Mundell explained. Removing a government's control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession. "It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians," he said. " (And) without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business." He cited labor laws, environmental regulations and, of course, taxes. All would be flushed away by the euro. Democracy would not be allowed to interfere with the marketplace – or the plumbing." -- Greg Palast: 'Robert Mundell, evil genius of the euro', 2012, The Guardian
Also see HS Corporate Destruction of Europe/Greece
But the Neoliberal Counter-Attack was planned before WW2
"Although modern neoliberalism was born at the “Colloque Walter Lippmann
” in 1938, it only came into its own with the founding of the Mont Pèlerin Society, a partisan “thought collective,” in Vevey, Switzerland, in 1947. Its original membership was made up of transnational economists and intellectuals, including Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, George Stigler, Karl Popper, Michael Polanyi, and Luigi Einaudi. From this small beginning, their ideas spread throughout the world, fostering, among other things, the political platforms of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and the Washington Consensus." The Road from Mont Pèlerin. The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective, 2009, Edited by Philip Mirowski, HUP
"Without Buchanan’s ideas and Koch’s money, the libertarian right would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Now, with Mike Pence as Vice President, the cause has a longtime loyalist in the White House, not to mention a phalanx of Republicans in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and the courts, all carrying out the plan. That plan includes harsher laws to undermine unions, privatizing everything from schools to health care and Social Security, and keeping as many of us as possible from voting. Based on ten years of unique research, Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This revelatory work of scholarship is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government." Book description Democracy in Chains
“How did we get to where we are today? How did corporations come to possess ‘rights?’ How did democracy come to be defined as selfish individualism? Or money as free speech? Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains provides the answers. It is essential reading in order to understand the ideas that billionaires use to justify their control of our political institutions. I can’t imagine a more timely or urgent book.”, Greg Grandin reviews: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America, 2017, by Nancy MacLean
Swedish Central Bank made Nobel Prize Economics to destroy social democratic policies. They control the Economic Profession
Nobel Prize economists have shaped the economic profession. But it is The Swedish Central Bank that has the power to control the selection of economists, who shall receive the prize. The Swedish Central Bank thereby control, what should be rewarded: what shall and shall not count as important, true and correct knowledge in the economic profession. So, The Swedish Central Bank has more or less controlled the development of the Western economic profession and the development of economic faculties all over the Western world. The role of MIT is important here too.
This way a uniform neoliberal economic profession has emerged to 'inform' the Western world. Moreover, the profession is given even more power in a historical neoliberal hegemonical context dedicated to the rule of (neoliberal) economics. The profession's economic advice is praised by neoliberal governments and the 'knowledge' is blessed with the prestige of a particularly powerful social, political and scientific legitimacy from the continuation of Nobel Prize awards. It is almost a waterproof system dedicated to god-like untouchable experts.
No wonder, that practically no economist from withing the profession ever feels an urge to question not to talk about problematizing the social power and legitimacy of their scientific credentials, which their scientific prestige and power monopoly rests on. They simply cannot fail, mind you, as long as they stick to the neoliberal and neo-classical dogmas. This way, and this way only, they enjoy the full benefits of the power and the glory. Add also, that they are systematically trained not to be able to understand the connections between their 'science' and the real world. As for social reality, it seems that Harold Pinter's diagnosis of Western muteness fits in here too: "You wouldn't know it. It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest." For the economists, the important thing is the concept of less 'hindrances' toward a free market utopia and, of course, their mathematical models. It is tragic-comical.
Pierre Bourdieu explains the economic profession: "Without necessarily sharing the economic and social interests of the true believers, economists have sufficient specific interests in the field of economic science to make a decisive contribution, whatever their emotional responses to the economic and social effects of the utopia that they dress up in mathematical reason, to the production and reproduction of the neo-liberal utopia. Cut off by their whole existence and above all by their generally purely abstract and theoretical intellectual training from the real economic and social world, they are, like others in other times in the field of philosophy, particularly inclined to take the things of logic for the logic of things.
Trusting in models that they have practically never had the occasion to subject to experimental verification, tending to look down from on high on the conclusions of the other historical sciences, in which they recognize only the purity and crystalline transparency of their mathematical games and whose real necessity and deep complexity they are most often unable to comprehend, they participate and collaborate in an enormous economic and social transformation which, even if some of its consequences horrify them (they may subscribe to the Socialist Party and give considered advice to its representatives in the highest decision-making bodies), cannot entirely displease them, since, with a few 'blips', mainly attributable to what they call 'speculative fevers', it tends to give reality to the ultra-consistent utopia (like some forms of lunacy) to which they devote their lives."
Still, the economic profession function as a uniform non-controversial scientific collective, as if there were no basic assumptions to problematize or discuss. This 'science' has gotten a most simple but powerful mission (no doubt, most of the economist have no idea that they have been duped), that is, to systematically whitewash and praise all kinds of neoliberal policies with scientific legitimacy.
The Western economic profession is completely disconnected from reality and infested with neoliberal ideology and mathematical abstractions. It is a profession based on totally false and destructive ideas and assumptions, which coincidently back all the neoliberal policies originating from the corporate system's ideological drafts for a neoliberal utopia.
What are the consequences in the real world? Just look at our societies' development since 1975. The Western world has been experiencing the same economic thinking, the 'chok-doctrine that used to be used only on 'third-world' nations and for Russia's 'katastroika', where it continues a systematic destruction of the historical civilizational gains that were won through labor and political struggles up through the twentieth century.
It is totally false and totally destructive. Thatcher's and Reagans' infamous TINA dictum: There Is No Alternative is a false iron cage created by big business and upheld by scientific fraud. The most amazing thing is perhaps that most economists have never realized that they have been duped into acting useful idiots to help implement the neoliberal utopia. They have never received any training that gives them the intellectual tools necessary to question their neo-classical economic training. So, they are in fact helpless but powerful fools.
Nobel's wishes for his prize are clearly just as betrayed in economics as they are on the Peace Prize, when for instance given to President Obama the worst war making president in US history. "Nobel specified that his prizes should go to people who’s work has “conferred the greatest benefit on mankind”
. Jeremy Williams, 2016. Read more on this HS Big Business' Nobel Prize
Steve Keen & Michael Hudson
Michael Hudson (among many things) tells the story of Steve Keens career. Keen is an Australian economist, who was among the economists that predicted the finance crisis in 2008
. Keen has arguably written the most systematic critique of the economic profession's lack of empirical evidence, logical argument and false epistemology (basic assumptions): Debunking Economics - the Naked Emperor Dethroned?
In his important book, Keen addresses economic students and their parents to warn them against the profession. Keen's university in Australia could not fire him, tells Hudson, so they simply closed down the whole economic faculty. They had to pay Keen for lost payment, but he was out. Hudson then explains that the Washington list of 'fake news' sites entailed all the sites that publishes Hudson's articles. Michael Hudson explains Junk Economics, 2017
It sure looks like a common strategy to keep true economics out.
Stuart Chase shows that true economic thinking is suppressed
The 'classical' economics/ideology prevailing during the US depression in the 1930'ties was exactly as senseless inhumane as the neo-classical economic profession is today. And it is killing and causing human suffering on an enormous scale once more. The economic knowledge that would cure the killing and suffering has been available for more than hundred years. But it is deliberately and systematically suppressed. Can one imagine that the economic insights that played a leading role in the 'New Deal' and for labour parties' programmes after the second world war, could be suppressed? Well, that is exactly what has happened. Just read Bill Mitchell's piece on Stuart Chase here:
"Chase noted that in the Depression there was idle labour and other productive resources – the “money cost became a brake on the whole economic machine” – despite the availability of these resources and unsold goods: 'I have in my files pictures of veritable mountains of oranges, potatoes, coffee, marked for destruction.'
So many of the essential insights that Modern Monetary Theory
(MMT) are based on were known 100 years ago and remain as true today as they were then (and every period in between). Conclusion. The rest of the book explains why this puzzle was easy to solve but came up against an ideological resistance (to government spending in peacetime that advanced well-being).
It is very insightful. Humans have made massive technological progresses since that time. But the degree of intellectual regress in terms of the way we construct macroeconomics or even simple understandings of money and government is staggering. The rest of the booklet [by Stuart Chase] outlines the flawed reasoning among economists and the policy makers they influence who look the other way when governments are spending billions prosecuting war efforts and bringing all idle resources into productive use (recognising that productive results in this context is, in Chase’s own words, “pretty rough ones”) but in peacetime, continually claim that governments cannot afford anything much. He noted the hypocrisy in opposing broad-based “welfare projects” in times of high unemployment, because they do not deliver a “pay out” but supporting military expenditure, although “nobody expects tanks to pay out”. (..) "Chase quoted from Winston Churchill’s 1929 book – The World Crisis: The Aftermath
where the conservative Churchill clearly understood the absurdity of the argument that a currency-issuing government could be short of money to advance public welfare." "Chase was vilified by academic economists but his views were very popular." - "In 1932, Stuart Chase published his book A New Deal
(Macmillan), which became the totem for Franklin Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression." Stuart Chase – a visionary ahead of his time, 2017, Bill Mitchell
Neoliberalism is an ideological willed and financed big business project. The corporate business system systematically corrupt science (not only economics), journalism and politics, where the most cynical ambitious people make careers by promoting and implementing the most cynical policies for the corporate system. The perfect politicians, as the French novelist Michel Houellebecq portrays it in Submission, are politicians that never think one thought themselves. It is an ideology created and propagated all over the political and intellectual landscape since WWII. Therefore, the destruction of workers rights and welfare rights inclusive the 'globalist trade-deals' etc. that we have witnessed since the 1970'ties are all part of a deliberate plan to create 'free-market-corporate-state-societies'.
Michel Foucault lectured about the dangerous ideological versions of neoliberalism (see below) in the late 1970'ties. Pierre Bourdieu analyzed how French bureaucrats silently implemented neoliberal housing 'reforms' in the 1970'ties. Bourdieu and a team of researchers made an important book in the 1990'ties on the social sufferings caused by neoliberalism The Weight of the World
(La Misere du Monde
). Bourdieu went out and talked in solidarity for French workers on strike 'Against the Destruction of our Civilization
', he attacked the chief of the German Bundesbank
"In this way, a Darwinian world emerges - it is the struggle of all against all at all levels of the hierarchy, which finds support through everyone clinging to their job and organisation under conditions of insecurity, suffering, and stress. (...) "The movement toward the neoliberal utopia of a pure and perfect market is made possible by the politics of financial deregulation. And it is achieved through the transformative and, it must be said, destructive action of all of the political measures (of which the most recent is the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), designed to protect foreign corporations and their investments from national states) that aim to call into question any and all collective structures that could serve as an obstacle to the logic of the pure market: the nation, whose space to manoeuvre continually decreases; ..." "And yet the world is there, with the immediately visible effects of the implementation of the great neoliberal utopia: not only the poverty of an increasingly large segment of the most economically advanced societies, the extraordinary growth in income differences, the progressive disappearance of autonomous universes of cultural production, such as film, publishing, etc. through the intrusive imposition of commercial values, but also and above all two major trends. First is the destruction of all the collective institutions capable of counteracting the effects of the infernal machine, primarily those of the state, repository of all of the universal values associated with the idea of the public realm. Second is the imposition everywhere, in the upper spheres of the economy and the state as at the heart of corporations, of that sort of moral Darwinism that, with the cult of the winner, schooled in higher mathematics and bungee jumping, institutes the struggle of all against all and cynicism as the norm of all action and behaviour. Can it be expected that the extraordinary mass of suffering produced by this sort of political-economic regime will one day serve as the starting point of a movement capable of stopping the race to the abyss? Indeed, we are faced here with an extraordinary paradox." Read Bourdieu's most important text here: 'The Essence of Neoliberalism - Utopia of Endless Exploitation, 1998, Pierre Bourdieu
I have studied and used Pierre Bourdieu's sociology in my teaching and research for twenty years. I possess ten thousand non-fiction books, also to check out if there are better knowledge out there. But I have not found anything better nor have I been able to find a mistake in Bourdieu's analyses (Bourdieu tells us to dismiss all sociology written after Max Weber and read Weber). But it was not until I learned about Bill Mitchell and Warren Mosler and their Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) that I found an economic philosophy, which makes justice to my sociological understanding of the world. It is surely no coincidence that Warren Mosler is the only person that I have ever seen give the exact same analysis as Pierre Bourdieu that "We are Destroying our Civilization because of a false economic thinking" (Mosler never heard of Bourdieu, before I told him).
I am convinced that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is the only intellectual weapon capable of countering and defeating neoliberalism. See HS MMT against Neoliberalism
More: what neoliberalism is, wants and where it originates from
The New Way of the World (Verso) is the best modern realization of Foucault's pioneering approach to the history of neoliberalism. It wonderfully explores the European roots and branches of the neoliberal thought collective over the twentieth century, and warns that unthinking misrepresentations of its political project as espousing 'laissez-faire' has had the effect of allowing the Left to submit to its siren song." Philip Mirowski
"Exploring the genesis of neoliberalism, and the political and economic circumstances of its deployment, Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval dispel numerous common misconceptions. Neoliberalism is neither a return to classical liberalism nor the restoration of “pure” capitalism. To misinterpret neoliberalism is to fail to understand what is new about it: far from viewing the market as a natural given that limits state action, neoliberalism seeks to construct the market and make the firm a model for governments. Only once this is grasped will its opponents be able to meet the unprecedented political and intellectual challenge it poses." The New Way of the World: On Neoliberal Society, 2014, Laval & Dardot
'A brilliant, lucid and supremely relevant survey of the true origins of the state which cuts through the imprecision of much more theory and offers ideas which are of direct relevance not just to academics but to those engaged in the political process. A reminder that academic analysis need not be dull and irrelevant. A text, drawn from live speech, which captures the magic of a brilliant mind at work.' - Nick Butler. The Birth of Biopolitics. Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978-1979, Michel Foucault
From review of Foucault's: The Birth of BioPolitics, MetaPsychology: "From Lecture Four, Foucault pursues, in turn, analyses of two partially divergent theoretical traditions which, he argues, form the matrix of contemporary neoliberalism: the German (neo)liberalism of the Freiburg School from the 1920s (so-called "ordoliberalism"), and what he terms American "anarcho-liberalism". Focusing, in particular, on debates concerning the reconstruction of Germany after World War II, Foucault hones in upon the key differences that ordoliberals posited between their thought and that of the classic liberalism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Thinking through the implications of the shift in liberal thought from a society of exchange to a society of competition, ordoliberals argued that the classical liberal principle of non-intervention in the market (laissez-faire) can only imply a "naive naturalism" concerning the economy. Foucault traces how, instead, they propose that the market is a "principle of formalization" with its own internal logic, whose positive effects are produced only when this logic is respected. (pp. 118-21)
In other words, a crucial neoliberal insight [Polanyi, JK Galbraith, Bourdieu etc.], which complicates criticism of the market, is that economic competition is not a natural phenomenon, but a coherent idea that must be realised and sustained by the state. As such, the state must intervene, not to limit the market, but in society, so as to create the conditions that support competition. Foucault points out that a central tension in ordoliberalism lies in its judgment that market processes are fragile and need the support of welfare state interventions, if the market is to be viable
.Foucault draws important conclusions from these transpositions. First
, he argues that creation of the market is increasingly that which grants sovereignty to the state. Not only does this represent a fundamental shift in the constitution of state sovereignty, it also suggests that the state and the market are no longer distinct domains. Instead, there is a single "economic-judicial" system, in which judicial institutions are multiplied to negotiate the tensions of multiplying enterprise. However, with some foresight, Foucault recognizes that these do not constitute a feared extension of state power, but are distinct from it, reflection the delimitation of the state under neoliberalism. Finally,
in a point of importance for contemporary debates about capitalism, Foucault further highlights that such an economic-judicial conjunction means that there is no such thing as "Capitalism" in the singular. Rather there is a need for specific analyses that interrogate the specific economic-institutional systems that give rise to particular economic forms. (pp.164-5)" The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978--1979 (Lectures at the College de France), 2010, Michel Foucault
More links will come
Other Links to Diagnose Neoliberalism
“The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more, and tolerated by all.Tacitus
Bill Mitchell: a CIA document
NB. Under construction..
USA Right Wing Development