Post-neoliberalism?

With the recent development of the Occupy Movement, public criticism of neoliberalism has climaxed since the onset of a global financial crisis in late 2008. The mobilization of protesters in cities throughout the world was preceded by much speculation in the media and blogosphere over the past few years, where commentators have been quick to suggest that the end of neoliberalism is upon us. The validity of post-neoliberalism, however, remains tenuous, as its advocates continue to treat neoliberalism as a monolithic, static, and undifferentiated end-state. The ambiguity of post-neoliberalism forces us to recognize and appreciate such breaks from neoliberalism without losing sight of its continuities. This is why the current moment is so frightening, because a new hyphenated post-neoliberal era has not arrived and we may instead be bearing witness to the emergence of a new version of neoliberalism that substantially extends its content. The very notion of crisis consists, Antonio Gramsci once argued, “precisely in the fact that old is dying and the new cannot be born: in this interregnum, morbid phenomena of the most varied kind come to pass.” So while “neoliberalism is dead” insofar as it has run out of politically viable ideas, Neil Smith is also quick to point out that “it would be a mistake to underestimate its remnant power. . . neoliberalism, however dead, remains dominant,” precisely because “the left has not responded with good and powerful ideas.”

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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