@GIEconomist @StephenKMackSD

Thank you for your comment. Three decades of being an Economist is quite impressive: The heavy responsibilities of interpreting the Sacred Texts of that ‘Science’ from Smith onward-is this the point where I should pay obeisance to your Authority? Yet the ‘Dismal Science’ is the endeavor of such Political Romantics, Social Darwinist, and other Free Market Nostalgics like the dreaded Trinity of Mises/Hayek/Friedman.

Wolfgang Streeck raises some very interesting questions and offers some telling insights on the Trump political phenomenon in the March/April 2017 edition of New Left Review:


What are we to expect now? Trump’s demolition of the Clinton machine, Brexit and the failure of Hollande and Renzi—all in the same year—mark a new phase in the crisis of the capitalist state system as transformed by neoliberalism. To describe this phase I have proposed Antonio Gramsci’s term ‘interregnum’, [20] a period of uncertain duration in which an old order is dying but a new one cannot yet be born. The old order that was destroyed by the onslaught of the populist barbarians in 2016 was the state system of global capitalism. Its governments had neutralized their national democracies in post-democratic fashion so as not to lose touch with the global expansion of capital, putting off demands for democratic and egalitarian interventions in capitalist markets by conjuring up a global democracy of the future. What the still to be created new order will look like is uncertain, as is to be expected of an interregnum. Until it comes into being, according to Gramsci, we have to accept that ‘a great variety of morbid symptoms will appear’.

An interregnum in Gramsci’s sense is a period of tremendous insecurity in which the accustomed chains of cause and effect are no longer in force, and unexpected, dangerous and grotesquely abnormal events may occur at any moment. This is in part because disparate lines of development run unreconciled, parallel to one another, resulting in unstable configurations of many kinds, and chains of surprising events take the place of predictable structures. Among the causes of the new unpredictability is the fact that, following the populist revolution, the political classes of neoliberal capitalism are forced to listen rather more closely to their national populations. After decades in which national democracies were hung out to dry in favour of institutions that promoted globalization, they are now coming back into their own as channels for the articulation of discontent. The times are now past for the planned demolition of lines of national defence in the face of the rationalizing pressure of international markets. Trump’s victory means that it is highly unlikely that there will be any second referendum in Great Britain on the eu model according to which referendums are repeated until the people produce the right answer. A newly composed electorate will no more go along with supposed economic necessities than it will acquiesce to claims that border controls are technically impossible. Parties that have relied on responsibility will have to relearn what responsiveness means [21] or else they will have to give way to other parties.


This should give you an idea of where I stand politically.




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.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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