History and ideology come in waves. After the socialdemocratic era (1940s-70) and the neoliberal era (1980s-2010s) we seem to be entering a new phase in the evolution of capitalism, in which the “protectivist” state takes centre stage.

(The Great Recoil, Ch. 1)
This is key to the overall approach/method of the book. What matters to politics is not just ideology (in the sense of specific left/right positions), but "master ideology" at any given historical time, broad social consensus on key issues.
When people referred to neoliberalism as "unique thought" they alerted to broad consensus cutting across centre-left/centre-right on benefits of free market, with disagreements on how it should be handled. Even anti-neoliberals ended up accepting some of neoliberalism's premises.
Master ideology imbues political common sense. At any point in time the range of acceptable positions is restricted by perception of "spirit of the times" defining which things are speakable/unspeakable. Even dissent/contestation internalise such dominant frames in inverted form.
This is a bit structuralist and perhaps dispiriting. But as Arab proverb puts it "people resemble more their times than their parents". There is such a thing as "the spirit of the times", broad popular perception of what the challenges of a generation are.
This "spirit of the times" manifests itself in dominant "social demands" to which different "political responses" can be issued. Dominant social demands under neoliberalism revolved around freedom, opportunity, flexibility. Dominant demands these days focus more on "security".
Security is good example of how different "political responses" can be issued to specific "social demands" as it's highly polysemic
• Right: security against migrants, crime, identity crisis
• Left: social security, safety nets, environment protection, safe spaces, minorities
All in all, to quote Touraine there are "central conflicts" in society at any point in time around which antagonisms are organised. We live in the same "world" as our most hated opponents and have to deal w the same social dilemmas. Simply our "responses" are different.
Example Touraine makes is that both workers and capitalists shared something: they thought industry/modernity was a good thing. They vociferously disagreed on what industry was for: to make the rich richer or to improve the condition of workers.
We could say that today the same logic applies to "security".
• Trump wanted to "secure borders"
• AOC wants to "safeguard citizens" and "protect people" threatened by eviction
These are radically different "political responses" to the "social demand" for security.
As frequently happens the Right has been been quicker to react to this than the Left. The Left is more anchored to the past and has problems renouncing to some of its familiar enemies. Yet this makes for serious strategic problems. Hopefully we shall all soon smell the coffee.

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More from @paologerbaudo

3 Aug
Best way to read anti-vaxxers is as extreme coping mechanism: control mania as balancing response vis-a-vis a world out of control. When political control is eroded desires of control focus on the only thing one can still partly control: one's own body.
Anti-vaxx sentiment in this sense is similar to many new age practices: extreme diet regimes, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises. Shared aim is control over body and its functioning.
NIMB: not in my body.
Read 4 tweets
3 Aug
The contemporary ideological horizon is defined by the clash between Neoliberalism and Populism and the rise of an Interventionist Neo-statism which presents itself as a solution to this deadlock.

(From “The Great Recoil”, Chapter 1)
The assumption is that what is changing atm is the general ideological horizon on which various left/right views are positioned.
The basic idea notion here is that of ideological eras:
liberal > socialdemocratic > neoliberal > neostatist (?)
The return of the interventionist state was already apparent in the 2010s as the "phantom content" of various "populisms". Advocacy of hard borders on the right; recuperation of Keynesian economics on the left.
Read 9 tweets
22 Jul
Nell'articolo uscito su Le Grand Continent sostengo che siamo in fase di transizione ideologica simile a quelle vissuta a fine '70 che diede vita all'era neoliberista. Lo stato interventista sta tornando. legrandcontinent.eu/it/2021/07/21/…
Qui alcune idee chiave /thread
1/ L'idea è quella di cicli ideologici che si succedono: 1. era liberista classica fine '800, 2. era socialdemocratica dagli anni 30, 3. era neoliberista da fine '70. Quello che vediamo adesso ha tutto il sentore dell'inizio di una nuova era.
Read 21 tweets
5 May
With Pablo Iglesias gone it feels a bit like the end of an era. For those in my generation who witnessed occupied squares of 2011 and then their electoral spinoffs (Corbyn, Syriza, Sanders, Podemos) it may seem like the usual boulevard of broken dreams. It ain't.
As Iglesias himself said in his resignation speech "we have changed Spanish politics and broken two-party rule". Podemos has made a wedge into the Spanish political system that is profound and structural.
Same thing for many other countries. Sanders and Corbyn came very close to snatching away a presidential nomination, and winning majority in Commons respectively. This was unthinkable before 2011.
Read 13 tweets
11 Apr
A must-listen interview with Brian Deese, director of Biden’s National Economic Council on Bidenomics. It highlights profound shift in discourse and policy. Here are some points: thread. nytimes.com/2021/04/09/opi…
Deese argues that the massive stimulus and other economic measures taken by Biden are not simply response to the pandemic. They aim at radically redirecting economic system in the long term.
He identifies two major threats: economic inequality and climate change. But his concern is also geopolitical. He fears US is in increasingly bad position vis-a-vis ascending China
Read 12 tweets
7 Apr
Since 2008 scholars have discussed various "variants" of neoliberalism in its zombie phase: authoritarian neoliberalism, punitive neoliberalism, etc. Yet, what we are now witnessing in the West is something quite different from neoliberalism. New concepts are urgently needed.
Neoliberalism's key tenets are all in question:
1) Monetarism: already gone with post-2008 QE
2) Fiscal Conservatism: largest deficits since World War II
3) Global Trade: Biden is almost as protectionist as Trump
4) Low taxation: ppl are discussing a minimum global corporate tax!
Very difficut to chart what comes next, as it is a very fast moving terrain, and hard to discern conjunctural from structural trends. But many signs point to a more statist model of capitalism than the one we have witnessed from late in 1980s to 2010s.
Read 6 tweets

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