The Troika and the House of Cards It Built
Three years after the Great Market Meltdown, and only now it seems that some are finally taking stock of their own complicity in bringing about the fiasco. I guess that is why “thought” is always in the past tense.
The Troika — the ménage à trois of neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism, and neo-socialism — has never really been well accounted for, in my opinion, except as a diseased outgrowth of Margaret Thatcher’s “there is no alternative” and Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” screed (and perhaps as some perversely realised zombie outcome of a so-called “post-ideological age“). In the old Dark Age Blog I did attempt, through a number of posts, to account for these ill-named “neos” as being only reactionary responses to the emergence of the planetary era, insofar as they were attempts to reach backwards to older models and the earlier answers and responses of the early Modern Era to certain social problems and crises arising during the historical transition from the decadent Medieval period to the Modern Era. They all emerged during the 70s as responses of the Adam Smith variety to the economic crisis of stagflation, the energy crunch, and resource limits. And in that sense, there was nothing “new” or innovative and revolutionary about these “neos”, for it is quite typical of eras and civilisations in the throes of decadence and decline to try to resurrect and rehabilitate the seemingly successful responses and answers that were given by earlier generations or “founding fathers” to their own particular historical cases, crises, and circumstances.
They never work quite the same way. The “neos’ were all old ideological responses to an emerging historical problem that required a fundamental restructuration of consciousness and perception itself. Everybody began to speak enthusiastically about a “paradigm shift,” but, in fact, it was the last thing they understood or even wanted to see come emerge. Their understanding of “paradigm shift” was largely delusive or deceitful. What these “neo” builders built was only a house of cards that must inevitably collapse.
They will continue to tell you, despite the obvious, that “the fundamentals are sound.” They are not sound. They are not even sane. Since 2000, bubbles are bursting everywhere, and with increasing rapidity.
A few articles I discovered today in my cruising around the internet that get much of it right. “In the battle for the right, the market always wins” by Jeff Sparrow is highly recommended. Sparrow’s article will provide the broader context for understanding the UK conservative columnist Charles Moore’s mea culpa “I’m starting to think that the Left might actually be right” and also Pankaj Mishra’s “The dead end of globalisation looms before our youth“. Moore’s observation that neo-liberal economics has resulted in “debased democracies” is quite to the point — and the main issue. It even sets the context for why some billionaires and millionaires today are demanding, “tax me, please!”
There are a few other articles I discovered today, even by neo-conservative and neo-liberal authors, that are now reflecting of whether the choices and decisions made weren’t actually self-destructive ones.
That someone is reflecting is, at least, a hopeful sign.