I went to a conference (see my critique here) that had some nuggets of gold. One of them was a short and engaging presentation by one Bill Dunn. There’s a longer paper that I hope to link to, but for now, based on scribbled notes, here are those 8 reasons
1. The term is used so widely as to be impossibly vague
2. Internal (international) experiences of social change are too dissimilar to have the same label (cited Andrew Glynn, Captialism unleashed)
3. Term of abuse/opprobrium – could just as easily substitute ‘nasty’ or ‘horrid’ used almost exclusively by the academic left
4. Our opponents don’t accept the term
5. Most folks don’t speak ancient Greek – what doe neo’ mean…
6. Nothing new in neoliberalism. There’s some complicated maths, but basically it’s the same asocial methods/assumptions. Old practices in new bottles
7. Nothing liberal in neolieralism
8. It’s politically disabling, in that it has you arguing for softer forms of (old, social democratic) capitalism
I am ambivalent about this – I am in a [currently stalled] reading binge on Neoliberalism (David Harvey is a good starting point, btw), but there was sense in what Dunn said.
What do you think?