Category: Political Economy
Rising Militarization after Two Decades of Workers’ Party Government
In February, I published an article in the International Marxist-Humanist reporting that the political scene was horrible in Brazil. Five months ago, I had in my mind how fascism was growing quickly under the hegemony of identity politics, especially with social movements’ fragmentation, and the increase of anti-communist thought, with slanders against Marx as totalitarian, Eurocentric and colonial. I said that all of this, in addition to the legacy of almost 15 years of Workers’ Party government that ended via an institutional coup d’état in 2016, was leading to the destruction – ideological and material – of the left.
Quinn Slobodian. Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism. Harvard University Press, 2018. 381pp.
Neoliberalism is dead, if it ever existed at all. Centrists and so-called moderates dismiss it as nothing more than a slur bandied around by leftists. On the left on the other hand, neoliberalism is at times portrayed as mere free market fundamentalism, or simply as a return to capitalism as it was intended, before the post-war social democratic hiatus. Thatcher and Reagan, the thinking goes, along with Milton Friedman and his “Chicago Boys”, wanted to unleash the full power of free markets’ self-regulating force.
On the return of a Marxist political economy
The path taken by political life around the globe since the end of the Cold War appears as if designed to crush the liberal optimism with which this period excitedly began. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism manifestly disturbs a concept of peace understood in terms of sovereign states. Economic disquiet persists nearly a decade after a financial crisis highlighted the epochal decline that had occurred in the world economy after the post-Second World War growth boom. American populism has seized the allegiance of vast masses, led to a spontaneous storming of Wall Street, emboldened proud neo-Nazis to take to the streets, and wracked the nerves of liberals at home and abroad as it saw Donald Trump descend an ill-advisedly gaudy escalator to the White House.