Mr. John Lloyd provides an interesting, almost compelling political travelogue, yet it is lopsided in that the specter that haunts ‘The West’ is that the once ascendant dogmas of Neo-Liberalism have, in sum, been shown that it was a political/civic delusion based on the idea that The Market was the only essential kind of knowledge. And that the republican heritage that can be traced from Greece and Rome, to the Italian City States, The Glorious Revolution to the American constitutional experiment needed to be discarded in favor of something called The Free Market. Has this experiment in the primacy of Market epistemology and it’s Neo-Liberal politics proven itself to be viable or even tenable? Of course, this is The Financial Times, and capitalist apologetics and self-exculpatory propagandizing is the rule, this publication being one of the most prestigious of that rare but necessary antidotes to the predations of the Left, as imagined by the defenders of an utterly failed epistemological/political model. The specter that haunts the bourgeois imagination is not just Marx, Keynes or even Piketty but the Left that ‘still swims in cold waters’ to slightly alter this assertion.
Mr. Lloyd’s essay does offer some valuable insights, yet the challenge is to separate those from the political hysterics in a minor key. Mr. Lloyd points to ‘Marine Le Pen’s National Front’ as indicative of the power of the Right in opposition to the Neo-Liberal dispensation. But other manifestations of a resurgent Right remain unmentioned. Either due to considerations of space, or more likely in service to an ideological perspective.