6 Responses

  1. Kenneth McGill
    Kenneth McGill February 27, 2012 at 10:11 am |

    Hi Chad…I agree with your analysis of the terminology here, especially about the idea that what many are talking about here is “the way things are around me” rather than some strictly analyzable phenomenon. It seems to me that most scholars use “neoliberalism” to indicate that there has been some sort of crisis in liberal ideology, such that state actors have to pursue ideologically liberal goals by only tenuously liberal means. By using “neoliberalism,” however, they also indicate that liberal ideology still survives in a rather strong form in spite of its attenuated realization in the practice of state actors.

    Overall, I find the term irksome–I wish most people would just analyze the sorts of contradictions they see in the articulation of liberal ideology (including its attenuation through the welfare state, but also its relationship to a more strictly construed libertarianism here in the US in particular).

    As someone who works on the former East Bloc, thought, the term I really dislike is “post-socialism.” Socialism as a political possibility can never be definitively assigned to the past unless it becomes clearly unimaginable that the state might own the means of production in some form or another–in which case, why would you want a term for such an unimaginable thing?! At least the “neo-” prefix makes sense of history as a complex, emergent process. The “post-” prefix (cf. postmodernism, post-industrial, etc.) is more likely to mislead.

    And btw, I don’t the Economist’s blogger is right even to define socialism so strictly. Clearly, health care has a commodity character–and so the NHS is a socialist institution. But are we comfortable with defining education as a commodity? If we are, then most “public” schools in the US are socialist institutions. The term “socialist” (and indeed the notion of “means of production”) only makes sense against the background of what is and what is not commodified.

  2. Kenneth McGill
    Kenneth McGill February 27, 2012 at 10:54 am |

    Written in a more journalistic vein, here is my attempt to analyze liberal ideology in the sense I suggest…

    http://home.southernct.edu/~mcgillk1/eurodebt2.pdf

  3. What would America look like without any socialism? - Page 5 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

    [...] – Article: Facing Socialism in America On socialism, liberalism, and neo-liberalism Lexical accuracy: The failure of American political speech | The Economist Obama's No Socialist. [...]

  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous May 31, 2012 at 10:09 pm |

    [...] you can help me see it… Some food for thought: OpEdNews – Article: Facing Socialism in America On socialism, liberalism, and neo-liberalism Lexical accuracy: The failure of American political speech | The Economist Obama's No Socialist. [...]

  5. Habtbit
    Habtbit October 18, 2012 at 9:16 am |

    I Like it all.

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous December 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm |

    The only “liberty” that today’s “liberal” believes in is this: the govt. can do whatever it wants.

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