Niall Ferguson on ‘The clash of generations’, a comment by Almost Marx

You have to wonder at ‘Modern Conservatism’ ! Disraeli used his novels to express his evolving ideas about the practice of politics, and it’s philosophical foundations. How arresting is the fact of this kind of genius? it inspires a kind of awe, even if of one disagrees with Disraeli’s evolving notions of the exercising of the benevolence of a landed aristocracy as foundational, one has to acknowledge his mastery in both politics and literature. He and Plato were both political thinkers and literary practitioners. There were others, of course.

Then look at Mr. Ferguson and his attack not just on Marxism but on Social Democracy, although not in the least surprising. What has escaped Mr. Ferguson’s ken is the utter failure of his favorite hobbyhorse, Neo-Liberalism , or is this part of his propaganda strategy? I’m being deliberately obtuse.

Since the collapse of the codified Neo-Liberal Dogmas in 2008 there has been no return in ‘Western’ economies of anything resembling prosperity, another  strategic absence in Mr. Ferguson’s polemic. The absences in his screed are more important to his retrograde defense of Neo-Liberalism, in his hectoring lecture to the young supporters of Sen. Sanders.

Like so many of  imported British ‘Conservative Thinkers’ like Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Ferguson suffers not just from self-serving ideological myopia, but a strategically necessary, even a cultivated  tone deafness. Take the question of the supporters of Sen. Sanders, they are young and Mr. Ferguson produces the statistical data to prove that. Sanders appeals to the posited insurgent mood of disaffected youth, yet he misses the voter like me, a retired, not by choice but by circumstance, voter. I’m the inconvenient exception to his Conservative  youth paranoia, and it’s chronicler Alan Bloom, in his Closing of the American Mind. I’m nearing seventy one and disaffected from the brutal necessities of Mr. Ferguson’s Neo-Liberalism. The failure of which: Bail Out followed by Austerity, and the dismal economic present stand in stark contrast to the Free Market Catechism Mr. Ferguson repeats as Revealed Truth. I’m surprised that Mr. Ferguson hasn’t become an advocate of TPP and TTIP or Free Trade as it’s propagandist call it, perhaps I have missed this, as the successor to the utterly failed Neo-Liberal Utopianism.

Almost Marx



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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2 Responses to Niall Ferguson on ‘The clash of generations’, a comment by Almost Marx

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