Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sebastian Buckup — A New Course for Economic Liberalism

Finally a blockbuster out on Project syndicate instead of the usual Establishment fare and an occasional sop to the "loyal opposition." Must-read. Kudos to the author and Project Syndicate for publishing.
Neoliberal economics has reached a breaking point, causing the traditional left-right political divide to be replaced by a different split: between those seeking forms of growth that are less inclined toward extreme concentration and those who want to end concentration by closing open markets and societies. Both sides challenge the old orthodoxies; but while one seeks to remove the “neo” from neoliberalism, the other seeks to dismantle liberalism altogether.
The neoliberal age had its day. It is time to define what comes next.
Let the debate begin.

I would caution that the issue is not economic liberalism in isolation. It is the traditional challenge of liberalism, namely, integration of social, political and economic liberalism, and harmonizing personal liberty, egality, and community. The objective is living a good life in a good society. Liberals of all stripes agree that liberalism is required for this since freedom is for self-determination, both personally and socially.

The problem is that economic liberalism is assumed to be capitalism as ordinarily approached, and capitalism is suited to democratic republics that are really plutonomic oligarchies and not genuine democracies as rule of, by and for the people.  Genuine democracy is more compatible with socialism than capitalism.

Project Syndicate
A New Course for Economic Liberalism
Sebastian Buckup | Head of Programming at the World Economic Forum

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