Interregnum

From Wolfgang Streek:

Neoliberalism arrived with globalization or else globalization arrived with neoliberalism; that is how the Great Regression began…

Heathen practices such as controls on the movement of capital, state aid and others were to be tracked down and eradicated; no one must be allowed to escape from ‘global competition’ and sink back into the cushioned comfort of national protections of whatever kind…

As a process of institutional and political regression the neoliberal revolution inaugurated a new age of post-factual politics. [5] This had become necessary because neoliberal globalization was far from actually delivering the prosperity for all that it had promised…

Instead of trickle-down there was the most vulgar sort of trickle-up: growing income inequality between individuals, families, regions and, in the Eurozone, nations…

It began with the Laffer Curve, which was used to prove scientifically that reductions in taxation lead to higher tax receipts…

From the perspective of neoliberal internationalism, of course, which had developed the propagation of illusions into the fine art of democratic government, the post-factual age began as late as 2016, the year of the Brexit referendum and the smashing of Clintonism by Donald Trump…

The fact that the Great Unwashed, who for so long had helped promote the progress of capitalism by passing their time with the Twitter feeds of Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber e tutti quanti, had now returned to the voting booth, was registered as a sign of an ominous regression…

One of the reasons why this took so long was that those who had earlier spoken up on behalf of society’s losers had ended up joining the fan club of globalization, by the late 1990s at the latest. For a while, then, those experiencing globalization as a problem rather than a solution had no one to stand up for them…

As a concept, ‘populism’ has a long history, one that goes back to the Progressive Era in the United States and to the likes of Robert M. La Follette (1855–1925; presidential candidate for the Progressive Party in 1924). Later on, populism was something of a neutral name for an ideology especially of Latin American political movements, which saw themselves as representing ‘the people’ in opposition to a self-selected and self-enriching ‘elite’. [15] In recent years, populism has been used by the parties and media of liberal internationalism all over the world as a general polemical term for the new opposition which is pressing for national alternatives to that internationalization declared to be without alternatives…

‘Populism’ is diagnosed in normal internationalist usage as a cognitive problem. Its supporters are supposed to be people who demand ‘simple solutions’ because they do not understand the necessarily complex solutions that are so indefatigably and successfully delivered by the tried and tested forces of internationalism; their representatives are cynics who promise ‘the people’ the ‘simple solutions’ they crave, even though they know that there are no alternatives to the complex solutions of the technocrats…

In response, losers and refusers of internationalization try to elude moral censure by exiting from public media and entering the ‘social media’. In this way they can make use of the most globalized of all infrastructures to build up their own separatist communication circles in which they need not fear being reprimanded for being culturally and morally backward…

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 financialized crisis capitalism of the present is no more governable nationally from below than internationally from above…

The utter destruction of national institutions capable of economic redistribution, and the resultant reliance on monetary and central-bank policy as the economic policy of last resort, have made capitalism ungovernable, whether by ‘populist’ or technocratic methods…

Anyone in favour of humanitarian intervention in the broadest sense may well lament this.

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