Lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living

For a new economism

I was reading Brown’s Neoliberalism and the End of Liberal Democracy last week in order to teach it, and it occurred to me while doing so that many of my students were born not long before Clinton was elected; in other words, they have lived their entire lives in a period when the broad coordinates of neoliberalism were accepted by the mainstream left as much as the right. A consequence of this, which became apparent during discussion, is that the pre-neoliberal liberal democracy that Brown identifies as an object of left nostalgia, doesn’t really exist for them (indeed, I don’t know that exists for me as much except vague memories of the miners’ strike and Merseyside’s universal hatred for Thatcher when I was growing up). I wonder if this hasn’t contributed to the increasing irrelevance of the left: an appeal to nostalgia for something that is increasingly unavailable as an object of anything at all, least of all nostaligia. Read more↴