The fate of neo-liberalism, and the Democrats.


Editors’s Note: An informative and critical post by Jim Pivonka : one of the most balanced people I have met and who offers hope for a new, dynamic Democrat party. Even if I occasionally disagree, I always find his views well informed and balanced with minimal rhetoric. Thanks for your support Jim bhai.

The terms neoliberal and ‘Washington Consensus” have been around for, I think, at least two decades and maybe more. Long enough that when people, in the early days of the Cheney-Bush regime, were trying to get a grip on the ‘neo-conservative’ term being used to describe those war hawks, said “neo-conservatism is neo-liberalism with very sharp teeth”. Both terms were widely used and well understood by politicians, media, and publics in Latin America at least two, possibly three decades ago.

Despite this long history, the media in the US has failed completely to explain to the US public why the terms, and the policies behind them, are so significant that ordinary citizens of other countries use them, and feel certain they and their nations have been abused by the policies and the nations and international institutions (World Bank, IMF) which have implemented their economic policies.

The resulting ignorance is so extreme that, during the recent US Presidential campaign, there were arguments among democrats about the meaning of neo-liberalism, and whether it even existed, when it was used to describe Clinton.

My own practice is to describe the Clintonian, “New Democrat” Democratic Party as the Clinton Neo-liberal Democratic Party. I believe that party must be either reformed, to purge its neo-liberal bias and the dominance of neo-liberals in its organization, or it must be abandoned and replaced by a new party.

At the very least, we in the US, our media and our politicians, must acknowledge the existence of neo-liberal control over the US Democratic party, and the intellectual and psychological import that control has to the people of other countries who have been used and abused by neo-liberalism for decades.