Oftentimes in leftist circles you can hear folks
decrying liberals and liberalism. If you ask them why they hate liberalism,
most of them will point you in the direction of Mao’s Combat Liberalism to
better understand them, but this is a mistake. Combat Liberalism is effectively
an internal memo, warning other communists of the need to avoid liberalism lest
it be detrimental to their work. It details results of that ideology, but not
causes. To that end, I’ve compiled a brief description of what liberalism is
and why it’s bad.
The ideology of liberalism is denoted by three
Free-market capitalism. Liberals believe that
capitalism is good, or at least “the best we have”. While liberals
may argue over how much intervention in the market is necessary, they all agree
on the fundamental goodness of capitalism, and that it should be tweaked rather
The state and representative
“democracy”. Liberals believe that the state is good, and that
representative democracy is an effective means of creating social change and an
acceptable level of participation. They reject any aims outside of the state,
and try to co-opt movements towards state action (e.g. electing Democrats).
Nonviolence: The liberal insistence on
“nonviolent” protest (usually invoking a whitewashed history of Dr.
King) is largely derived from state-worship. They see the state as the only
legitimate user of force, and all others as violent looters and rioters;
because of that, they refuse to even consider violence as a method of protest or direct action (e.g. antifascism).
Indirect action and representative
problem-solving: Linked to the lionization of representative democracy,
liberals care little for direct action, even as indirect as blocking a street
for a few hours. They believe that the power to change things is vested solely
in those representatives, and that the common person shouldn’t bother; direct
action, to them, is illegitimate for the same reason as violence.
A focus on individual rather than class politics.
Liberals see all social issues as issues primarily affecting individuals,
rather than groups. In other words, they lack a class analysis; they see
racism, for example, as the result of individual prejudices and
“meanness” and something to be fixed at that level, rather than a
system of structural violence against non-white peoples aimed at dividing the
Liberalism, as an ideology, is dangerous. These
three tenets combine to form an analysis that is insufficient to encompass the
whole of the enemy, and more importantly a praxis that is ineffective at
combating it. It infects activists and ordinary workers alike, and railroads
them into believing that they cannot change a society that benefits only those
at the top. It railroads them into believing that the burdens they bear cannot
be thrown off, and stands in the way of our collective liberation. It must be
combated, for it is at the root of the struggle.
I'd to point you to a couple of things. They are. Soviet Russia. Maoist China
Soviet Russia and China are examples of countries that were still entrenched in feudalism at the times of their respective socialist revolutions, which effectively catapulted them into variations of state capitalist development instead of full workers-democratically-control-production socialism. The state became the analogous capitalist class and instituted developments and policies over the course of a few decades that private capitalists elsewhere were pushing for centuries – think forced proletarianization of peasants and concentrated industrialization. The state took over the functions of a bunch of private capitalists, appropriating surplus value generated by workers and distributing the surplus where deemed necessary; they often put this towards the industrialization of infrastructure and public services, but it just as often was used to enrich the party apparatus. Even Lenin literally deemed this setup as “state capitalism”, the idea being an intermediary stage for formerly-feudal societies before full socialism.
As a libertarian socialist/Marxist, I don’t defend the actions taken in these countries, but it’s important to contextualize what was going on. The idea is that it’s near-impossible to just jump from feudalism to socialism – a period of capitalist development/accumulation and liberal institutions makes the jump more viable. As far as I’m concerned, this could have been accomplished through mutualism or market socialism, combining the liberalism of markets with the democratic accountability of worker control (thus mitigating much of the poverty and violent consequences of class domination).
To quote Terry Eagleton:
“Marx himself never imagined that socialism could be achieved in impoverished conditions [i.e. Russia and China]. Such a project would require almost as bizarre a loop in time as inventing the Internet in the Middle Ages. Nor did any Marxist thinker until Stalin imagine that this was possible, including Lenin, Trotsky, and the rest of the Bolshevik leadership…
Building up an economy from very low levels is a back-breaking, dispiriting task. It is unlikely that men and women will freely submit to the hardships it involves. So unless this project is executed gradually, under democratic control and in accordance with socialist values, an authoritarian state may step in and force its citizens to do what they are reluctant to undertake voluntarily. The militarization of labor in Bolshevik Russia is a case in point. The result, in a grisly irony, will be to undermine the political superstructure of socialism (popular democracy, genuine self-government) in the very attempt to build up its economic base…
As Marx insists, socialism also requires a shortening of the working day – partly to provide men and women with the leisure for personal fulfillment, partly to create time for the business of political and economic self-government. You can not do this if people have no shoes; and to distribute shoes among millions of citizens is likely to require a centralized bureaucratic state. If your nation is under invasion from an array of hostile capitalist powers, as Russia was in the wake of the Bolshevik revolution, an autocratic state will seem all the more inevitable…
To go socialist, then, you need to be reasonably well-heeled, in both the literal and the metaphorical senses of the term. No Marxist from Marx and Engels to Lenin and Trotsky ever dreamt of anything else. Or if you are not well-heeled yourself, then a sympathetic neighbor reasonably flush in material resources needs to spring to your aid. In the case of the Bolsheviks, this would have meant such neighbors (Germany in particular) having their own revolutions, too. If the working class of these countries could overthrow their own capitalist masters and lay hands on their productive powers, they could use those resources to save the first workers’ state in history from sinking without a trace. This was not as improbable a proposal as it might sound. Europe at the time was aflame with revolutionary hopes, as councils of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies (or soviets) sprang up in cities such as Berlin, Warsaw, Vienna, Munich, and Riga. Once these insurrections were defeated, Lenin and Trotsky knew their own revolution was in dire straights.
It is not that the building of socialism cannot be begun in deprived conditions. It is rather that without material resources it will tend to twist into the monstrous caricature of socialism known as Stalinism. The Bolshevik revolution soon found itself besieged by imperial Western armies, as well as threatened by counterrevolution, urban famine, and a bloody civil war. It was marooned in an ocean of largely hostile peasants reluctant to hand over their hard-earned surplus at gunpoint to the starving towns. With a narrow capitalist base, disastrously low levels of material production, scant traces of civil institutions, a decimated, exhausted working class, peasant revolts, and a swollen bureaucracy to rival the Tsar’s, the revolution was in deep trouble almost from the outset…
Imagine a slightly crazed capitalist outfit that tried to turn a pre-modern tribe into a set of ruthlessly acquisitive, technologically sophisticated entrepreneurs speaking the jargon of public relations and free market economics, all in a surreally short period of time. Does the fact that the experiment would almost certainly prove less than dramatically successful constitute a fair condemnation of capitalism? Surely not. To think so would be as absurd as claiming that the Girl Guides should be disbanded because they cannot solve certain tricky problems in quantum physics. Marxists do not believe that the mighty liberal lineage from Thomas Jefferson to John Stuart Mill is annulled by the existence of secret CIA-run prisons for torturing Muslims, even though such prisons are part of the politics of today’s liberal societies. Yet the critics of Marxism are rarely willing to concede that show trials and mass terror are no refutation of it.”
1) You can’t just expect socialism to quickly arise in materially- and socially-isolated countries in the throngs of feudalism (Russia and China). A material base of industrialization and a social base of liberalism are generally understood to be useful/basically-necessary prerequisites to build from. If other capitalist countries had undergone socialist revolution and provided aid to the struggling formerly-feudal state capitalist countries, they probably wouldn’t have congealed into top-down bureaucracies. A domino effect of worker revolutions across capitalist countries is considered necessary for socialism to fully take hold, just as a domino effect of bourgeois revolutions across feudal countries was needed for capitalism to fully take hold.
2) The violent primitive accumulation of early capitalism and the concentrated industrialization of state capitalist Russia and China served similar analogous functions in the broader context of historical materialism. Private capitalism for the enrichment of individual capitalists over the centuries, state capitalism supposedly for the enrichment of society’s material base and an eventual transition to full socialism.
3) Capitalist societies have unleashed violent imperialism, mass enslavement, systemic poverty, and police states. If we’re going to bring up the disasters of isolated countries that set their aims at socialism, then we need to bring up the centuries-long disasters of not-isolated capitalist countries that have actively oppressed domestic and foreign populations of people.
4) We live in an era of material abundance aided by advanced technology and automation; any attempt at socialism in late-capitalist countries would be significantly easier than what Russia and China experienced. As such, these industrialized late-capitalist countries need to undergo social revolution and provide aid to each other and to struggling countries that would have otherwise been state capitalist.
(This answer has mainly been for the benefit of people already at least relatively sympathetic to anti-capitalism; I realize it is unlikely to sway someone so entrenched in capitalist ideology that they have no clue what socialist movements have entailed and strove for. If your analysis stops at “Russia and China were bad and that’s what socialism means and therefore it’s not worth fighting for”, then I don’t know what to tell ya. If your analysis stops at “capitalism preaches liberal individual freedom so therefore it is good”, then I don’t know what to tell ya. Dig past the ideology you’ve been spoon-fed by capitalist media and the state since childhood and recognize that you’ve been conned, all for the enrichment of the bosses and the bureaucrats.)
“The global mentality is moving towards free world trade and increased market liberalism. A world full of opportunities. A world where dreams can come true. It sounds fantastic, and it is fantastic … for a very small percentage of us. But for the vast, poor majority, the capitalist system only means one thing: death and suffering. While we live out our days thoughtlessly, and stuff ourselves with cheap food, the poor people of the Earth struggle in factories. Wages are forced down to the minimum, while the work hours keep increasing. Unionisation is illegal, and the working conditions are intolerable. Before applauding freedom, we must remember one thing: our over-consuming society stands on the shoulders of the coffee beans from Peru. We gorge on cheap food produced by underpaid children’s hands from India.”
There’s nothing about markets that necessitate private ownership (autocratic ownership) over the means of production. Nothing. Right-libertarians love to praise the (free) market in all its glory, and then in the next breath they’ll praise owners of property and capital as the life blood of markets.
Now, I have mixed opinions on markets (necessities should be democratized to serve communities, but I suppose there are sound arguments in favor of putting non-essentials into a marketplace), but I also recognize that markets and capitalism are two separate things – the former is a means of allocation and the latter is a socio-political-economic organizational mode; the former can be found in a variety of systems and the latter is a particular system that subordinates labor to capital and involves that autocratic management style at the helm.
Mutualism is a leftist setup that utilizes markets for allocation, but it ditches the private/autocratic control of capitalism by structuring institutions cooperatively. By extension, it does away with absentee ownership and rent, exploitative functions of class society that thrive under capitalism. Think about it – what do landlords, CEOs, rent, and hierarchical surplus appropriation have to do with markets? Again, nothing – neoliberals/right-libertarians already have their reactionary focus set upon the inherent class stratifications of capitalism and the market rhetoric is merely the “freedom-oriented" superstructural justification for it all.
Capitalism itself can even be non-market-oriented. State capitalism (basically what everyone and their grandmother, including cappies themselves, think socialism is) is a variant that replaces private owners with state officials and the system as a whole can function with a market or with government-planning, but both systems are still capitalism because there is still an owner of capital sitting at the top of a pyramid milking workers of surplus and autocratically deciding what to do with that surplus (unless the state puts the surplus towards things that the people democratically decide need attention, but that doesn’t ultimately change the organizational class structure); labor is still subordinated to capital.
All of this is a really important distinction too, because it highlights the farcical fetishization of markets as a cover for something deeper. A market economy within the capitalist mode of production exacerbates inequality because it requires that workers sell their labor like any other commodity to a capitalist buyer, and I think that many reactionaries know and understand this well. Class inequality, a societal “obligation of deference and command”, is, as I argued in a post a couple days ago about Hans-Hermann Hoppe, the foundation of rightist ideology; there are a variety of ways in which this desire for a vertical social order is expressed, and I fundamentally believe that cultural focus on “markets” and “freedom” is our epoch’s way of dodging the inequality question. Because, ultimately, it is in poor taste these days to come right out and say that there is a “natural order” of elite and tenant, so shifting the attention onto “liberty” and installing a “private property is not government and not government is freedom” mindset into people becomes a powerful mechanism for the ruling class to maintain dominance.
If you are a right-libertarian who genuinely believes that markets uphold freedom, but have no personal attachments towards the superfluous hierarchy of class stratification we have in our present market economy (and maybe even wish to see it remedied), then I would strongly recommend checking out mutualism and even Center for a Stateless Society’s “market anarchism”. Both acknowledge that private property – the autocratic management of socially-operated production and activities – is a deviation from legitimate individualism, and they advocate societies where workers run self-managed enterprises in a market economy.
Furthermore, because a setup like this breeds a flatter society, you’re less likely to wind up with cronyism or “corporatism”; you may argue that corporatism and state intervention are deviations from genuine principles of capitalism, but you must understand that the inherent class nature of capitalism inevitably leads to a ruling class that owns the means of production and has the ability to mold government policy to its own benefit because of that societal power – “pure capitalism” generates the conditions for “corporate capitalism” to always take root, in other words. Cooperative structures, ones that don’t have a naturally self-interested owner at the top looking to bend market laws for their benefit and pay off politicians, are much less likely to generate chasms of wealth and power inequality, and in effect you wind up with a freer and more fulfilled population of people.
The entire time I was a socialist, I was fighting against my own principles. I was fighting for the right to privacy and liberty the entire time I was a socialist, not knowing that socialism is by definition the elimination of all privacy, which ultimately includes self ownership in which liberty exists. No coincidence that I became such a self defeating, dependency oriented, unworking mooch when I was at the peak of my socialist idealism. I’m honestly still recovering.
The global mentality is moving toward free world trade and increased market liberalism. A world full of opportunities. A world where dreams can come true. It sounds fantastic, and it is fantastic. For a very small percentage of us. But for the vast, poor majority, the capitalist system only means one thing: Death and suffering. While we live out our days thoughtlessly, and stuff ourselves with cheap food, the poor people of the earth struggle in factories. Wages are forced down to the minium, while the work hours keep increasing. Unionization is illegal, and the working conditions are intolerable. Before applauding freedom, we must remember one thing: Our over consummating society stands on the shoulders of the coffee beans from Peru. We gorge on cheap food produced by underpaid children’s hands from India.
“We say that a society and a people are in good shape when: 1) they remain aware of their cultural and historical origins; 2) they can gather around a mediator—individual or symbolic—capable of gathering energies and catalyzing the will to destiny; 3) they retain the courage to designate their enemy. None of these conditions are realized in the present liberal market society, which: 1) dissolves memories; 2) extinguishes the sublime and crushes the passions; 3) does not want to have an enemy and believes that it is indeed possible to chose not to have one.” — Alain de Benoist, 1982
What are thoughts when Americans say the US will lose it's important role as a superpower to China or whoever?
I have a lot of thoughts on this. I think it’s possible that China will overtake the US as the predominant world power at some point over the next century, but it’s far from guaranteed. It’s useful to imagine three scenarios to illustrate a range of possibilities:
China-pessimistic: China stagnates. The CPC fails to continue development at current rates or experiences a severe crash it can’t manage. The failure of the CPC to continue delivering economic gains to Chinese citizens opens the door for demands for significant democratization, likely leading to state repression and a reversal of any gains made in political liberalization.
Middle-way: China meets the US in strength. China continues to develop, albeit at a slower rate than before, and fully meets the United States in global power at some point over the century, establishing a new bipolar international system.
China-optimistic: China overtakes the US. The CPC overcomes structural problems in the Chinese economy and keeps China on a path of strong growth, allowing for an expansion of international influence. The Party allows for greater cultural freedom, giving them cultural exports to compliment their new international roles. This leads to China overcoming the US at some point over the next century.
The actual reality, as I imagine, could be any shade of gray in between those options. I tend to gravitate towards the middle way. There’s a number of factors that make me skeptical of the idea China will be able to blow past the United States in global power. I’ll break this up into two parts: economic and military.
Chinese GDP growth, even after accounting for their inflated numbers, is almost certainly higher than American GDP growth. However, growth rates have been trending downwards for years. For 2016, China published its annual lowest growth rate since 1990- the year following the turbulence of the Tiananmen Square protests- and it was only even that high because of a significant government stimulus. There’s a number of reasons for China’s economic slowdown:
Like the US, the country is in the early stages of a pretty significant demographic crisis, but unlike the US, their’s is due primarily to the one-child policy. The portion of the population in the workforce is on the decline, while the portion of the population needing support in old age is on the rise. This demographic transition will much harder for China to handle than the US due to their lower state of development.
Tyler Cowen gives a good, simple argument in the video below about a structural problem that the Chinese economy has hit which partially explains their over-reliance on debt-based investment. China could achieve massive gains in growth in earlier decades by grabbing all of the “low-hanging fruit,” all of the reforms that a dictatorship can accomplish quite easily which are necessary to create a sound economy- liberalizing trade; investing in the basics like infrastructure, transportation, housing, etc.; and so on. High levels of investment were enabled by its high levels of pre-reform savings, allowing for an explosion in growth once liberalization occurred. However, as they’ve reached a higher level of economic development, they’re now faced with much more complex problems that a dictatorship is less well-equipped to deal with: creating systems like education and healthcare which are hard to design and which require a lot of feedback from those most closely involved in them, creating an environment for market-based entrepreneurship, etc. Instead of going after those hard tasks, the Chinese government has continued to poor investment into enterprises with lower and lower returns, leading to overcapacity in a number of sectors in the economy. They waste all this money on inefficient investments to keep the economy propped up and make it look like it’s growing at a fast pace so as to keep the loyalty of Chinese citizens, attract foreign investors, and so on. I strongly recommend the video.
All of this complicates the CPC’s ultimate goal of moving China from an export-based economy to a domestic consumption-based economy. Accomplishing this goal would make the Chinese economy significantly more stable, and is probably a smart move for long-term prosperity. Doing that requires a number of things: raising wages, establishing a stronger social safety net, improving education in both quality and reach, and liberalizing markets. That’s a transition that will be difficult to accomplish for the CPC, especially as they’re trying to simultaneously balance their debt burden and their oncoming demographic crisis.
Add to that balancing act one final problem: enormous levels of pollution in Chinese cities that do significant damage to their economy. Part of the reason for this is not only China’s massive population, but also the inefficient nature of their economy. In a quote I linked to earlier, Chinese economist Gao Shangquan points out that, from 1949-2009, China’s GDP increased 14-fold, but its consumption of natural resources increased 40-fold. But, even with this fact aside, keeping Chinese growth high over several more decades to come will only bring greater environmental challenges, which need to be dealt far sooner than later.
All of this is greatly complicated by the fact that the Chinese government can’t necessarily sacrifice short-term growth for long-term gains, because, to quote Evan Osnos (in his book, “Age of Ambition”): “without ideology, the legitimacy of the Chinese government rest[s] ever more on its satisfying and pleasing the public.” A failure to deliver material goods to Chinese citizens would allow for the emergence of the popular pressures for democratization that the CPC is trying to repress.
China’s military is strong and growing, but they’re still far behind the US in their ability to project power internationally.
The United States has a military presence all over the world, while China has only just announced the creation of its first overseas military base (this, as part of an overarching trend of China breaking with it’s anti-colonial past).
The Chinese Navy is at a natural geographical disadvantage compared to the United States, being surrounded by the Korean Peninsula, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia; while the US has unimpeded access to both the Pacific and Atlantic. This natural disadvantage is likely part of the reason they’re pursuing claims of territorial control over the East and South China Seas so aggressively. And, as I’ve briefly mentioned elsewhere, it seems like China is currently more focused on the development of a regional, “green-water” Navy than the type of sea force capable of projecting power globally. This may be a temporary orientation on their part, attempting to appear humble and, to use Deng Xiaoping’s phrase, “lie low” until they have the ability to construct a larger navy.
As a counterpoint: as is discussed in that second link, China has responded to its comparative military weaknesses by placing focus on high-tech “asymmetric” military capabilities meant to interfere with America’s command of the commons: anti-satellite technology, drones, cyberattack capabilities, etc.
As for soft power, China is doing very well on the institutional end and very poorly on the cultural end. Investment in Africa, getting the Renminbi elevated to the status of a key global currency, and the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as an alternative to the World Bank are all very smart moves on the part of Beijing to claim a larger role in the international system. The last, in particular, is important considering the dominance of the US and Europe over the current international finance system. However, China’s restrictions on artistic expression and risk-taking prevent them from developing cultural exports that can be used to further spread China’s influence (See: the “Kung Fu Panda” problem).
In sum, though China’s rise may sometimes seem inevitable, it has a number of obstacles preventing it from matching the US in global power. First, further economic development requires an extremely precarious balance between sometimes conflicting goals (management of demographic problems, deleveraging, shifting to a consumption-based economy, anti-pollution measures), and the stakes are high due to the importance of maintaining economic growth. Second, China is significantly behind the US in its ability to project global military power, though it has shown signs of starting to compete for international political influence. I imagine China will continue to grow in power both absolutely and relatively, but I’m skeptical of the idea that it will easily overpower the United States at any point in the near future.
There is nothing laissez faire about the government over purchasing fucktons of weapons every year because industries lobbied them to fabricate demand for their products at the expense of half of everyone’s tax dollars.
0.46 seconds. 0.46 seconds on Google was all a socialist like @lily-peet needed to learn that Sweden and other Scandinavian countries are not socialist. They can’t even bother to spend less than half a second to research!
<b>what she says:</b> i'm fine<p/><b>what she means:</b> The global mentality is moving toward free world trade and increased market liberalism. A world full of opportunities. A world where dreams can come true. It sounds fantastic, and it is fantastic. For a very small percentage of us. But for the vast, poor majority, the capitalist system only means one thing: death and suffering. While we live out our days thoughtlessly, and stuff ourselves with cheap food, the poor people of the earth struggle in factories. Wages are forced down to the minimum, while the work hours keep increasing. Unionization is illegal, and the working conditions are intolerable. Before applauding freedom, we must remember one thing: Our over consummating society stands on the shoulders of the coffee beans from Peru. We gorge on cheap food produced by underpaid children's hands from India<p/></p>
Don’t reblog this, because I’m not in the mood to get in the 43,000th identical argument about my views today.
I’m gonna answer these questions together.
I try to avoid explicitly attaching myself to an ideology right now, because I draw influence from a lot of different strains of political thought and thus have a position that is often pretty idiosyncratic. However, if asked to label it using popular terms, my views are closest to those of social democrats and democratic socialists.
In the immediate term, I’m an advocate of reformist efforts in favor of a mixed market economy with a strong redistributive welfare state, political and economic democracy, anti-racism, feminism, internationalist anti-interventionism, labor rights, environmentalism, and civil liberties. I hope such reforms can the be built on to achieve more transformative change over the longer-term: the permanent democratization and decentralization of political and economic power, a form of democratic, liberal, market socialism. I’ve hinted at my thoughts about what exactly that looks like (cooperative businesses, democratizing political reforms, public utilities, credit unions and public banks, housing co-ops, etc.) but I’ve yet to go into detail about it.
To help provide context, I draw theoretical influence from Eduard Bernstein, John Rawls, Leonard Hobhouse, Amartya Sen, John Stuart Mill, John Maynard Keynes,
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Michael Harrington, Noam Chomsky, Thomas Paine, Gar Alperovitz, and countless others.
As such, I find myself in a very weird place in political circles. There’s surprisingly little going on that’s left of Bernie Sanders but right of Socialist Alternative. I feel very much the same way you do, second anon- far too anti-authoritarian for Leninists, too reformist and focused on feasibility for anarchists, and constantly frustrated with the shallowness and insufficiency of mainstream left-liberalism.
When it comes to action, my idea is to support whoever’s ideologically close to me doing serious work right now. If I’m being honest, I’m not doing nearly as much activism work as I should be right now, but I’d like to support the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, support progressives running for office and keep pressure on the Democratic Party, join protests and campaigns that local progressive organizations are holding (NAACP, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, etc.), and continue educating myself and others.
I think Hicks missed the most important part of the aspect of the strategy that a religious person has in rejection of evidence against their faith, and this is actually one of the typical identifiers of pseudoscience, and that is the claim of a conspiracy against their claims. In typical religious language, that would be in the form of “the devil is trying to deceive me”, or in marxist/feminist terms, it’s the idea that all ideas to the contrary are oppressive social constructs made by those who are privileged by the system to justify capitalism/patriarchy to themselves and to those who are “oppressed” by it.
Neoliberalism, it will be argued here, has only ever existed in ‘impure’ form, indeed can only exist in messy hybrids. Its utopian vision of a free society and free economy is ultimately unrealizable. Yet the pristine clarity of its ideological apparition, the free market, coupled with the endless frustrations borne of the inevitable failure to arrive at this elusive destination, nevertheless confer a significant degree of forward momentum on the neoliberal project. Ironically, neoliberalism possesses a progressive, forward-leaning dynamic by virtue of the very unattainability of its idealized destination. In practice, neoliberalism has never been about a once-and-for-all liberalization, an evacuation of the state. Instead, it has been associated with rolling programs of market-oriented reform, a kind of permanent revolution which cannot simply be judged according to its own fantasies of free-market liberation. Hence the concern here with neoliberalization as an open-ended and contradictory process of regulatory restructuring. Beneath the mythology of market progress lies a turgid reality of neoliberalism variously failing and flailing forward- for example, as the initial forays into privatization and deregulation triggered quasi-market failures, and then further rounds of (mis)intervention in the form of market-friendly governance. Neoliberalism’s curse, then, is that is cannot help itself but to be a kind of interventionist project, which confers on the project a certain dynamic directionality, if not a destination. To the extent that neoliberalism has been, since the 1970s, 'victorious’ in the war of ideas, its victories have always been Pyrrhic and partial ones. Yet the project ploughs forward, never arriving at its stated destination, and never knowing where to stop. The neoliberal lemmings, in this sense, are always prone to throw themselves (not to mention others) off the cliffs of deregulation.
Neoliberalism’s burden- as a resilient, responsive and deeply reactionary credo- is that it can never remake the world in its own image. As a result, it is doomed to coexist with its unloved others, be these the residues of state socialism, developmental statism, authoritarianism, or social democracy. Like the idealized market to which it defers, neoliberalism is destined to remain a frustrated presence in an impure world, a condition with profound consequences for the righteousness and dogged momentum that have become long-run characteristics of the market revolution. The residues of these discrepant formations provide an array of convenient scapgoats for neoliberal policy failures. Even after decades of neoliberal reconstruction, it is remarkable how many present-day policy failures are still being tagged to intransigent unions, to invasive regulations, to inept bureaucrats, and to scaremongering advocacy groups. Again and again, the task of market-modeled reconstruction has proved to be an intractable one, even if in other ways it has been an unstoppable one.
Everyone is so in awe of Evie Frye as being the “first” female assassin. Hello, you forgot Aveline de Grandpre. She was the true first female assassin, and everyone forgets her! It’s sad because I love Aveline! Liberation was the first AC title I played and I really have a deep love for Aveline. She’s brave, fierce loyal and spunky. Aveline deserves more and I’m sad that Evie overshadows her.