Allan Patience observes in The Conversation (6.2.17) that the crisis now confronting neoliberal capitalism suggests that its internal contradictions are undermining its very foundations. The author ponders what we can expect from a ‘post-neoliberal’ world.
‘It is unfashionable, or just embarrassing, to suggest the taken-for-granted late-modern economic order – neoliberal capitalism – may be in a terminal decline. At least that’s the case in what former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott likes to call the “Anglosphere”.
‘What was once known as the Chicago school of economics – the neoclassical celebration of the “free market” and “small government” – still closes the minds of economic policymakers in the US and its satellite economies (although perhaps less so in contemporary Canada).
‘But, in Europe, there has always been a deep distrust of the Anglo-American celebration of “possessive individualism” and its repudiation of community and society. Remember Margaret Thatcher’s contempt for the idea of “society”?
‘So, it is unsurprising that neoliberalism’s advocates dismiss recent European analyses of local, regional and global economies as the nostalgia of “old Europe”, even as neoliberalism’s failures stack up unrelentingly.
‘The consequences of these failures are largely unseen or avoided by policymakers in the US and their camp followers in the UK and Australia. They are in denial of the fact that not only has neoliberalism failed to meet its claimed goals, but it has worked devastatingly to undermine the very foundations of late-modern capitalism. The result is that the whole shambolic structure is tottering on the edge of an economic abyss.’