Martin Wolf on Populism, Left and Right. A comment by Political Observer

Headline:Democrats, demagogues and despots

Sub-headline: Fear and rage must not be used as an excuse to destroy America’s core institutions

This is my second reading of Mr. Wolf’s essay of December 21,2016, I’m reading it on December 24,2016 , and it seems as if I’ve read this essay many times before, in its various guises: with the addition to his cast of characters, of the most reactionary of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton. Who is having a popular revival with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hip-Hop Musical.

Again Mr. Wolf posits himself as part of a ‘vital center’ between the extremes of Right and Left Populism. The regular reader of The Financial Times will recognize his extemporizing on the perennial theme of the ‘Rebellion Against the Elites’, in another guise. What Mr. Wolf leaves out of his narrative is the fact that that ‘center’ has been completely infected by the Neo-Liberal Delusion. And has moved that ‘center’ to the extreme Right of the political spectrum: in sum Mr. Wolf defends what he and his newspaper have always advocated/defended Neo-Liberalism. Even as we are about to enter the ninth year of an economic collapse-where is the mythical Self-Correcting Market? – that is a direct result of that unstinting advocacy wedded to,  in the aftermath of the 2008 collapse, an unending campaign of wan apologetics for this demonstrably  failed economic theology.

To engage in the hyperbolic, for a moment: one can look at the The Mont Pelerin Society  as the mapmakers for the Road to Serfdom, and Globalization as Capitalist Collectivism, even though Soviet Collectivism was the enemy of both Hayek and Popper: my speculation then pushes irony to its outer limit!

Political Observer


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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