The rise of authoritarian capitalism Has capitalism broken its traditional link to democracy? The talks also highlighted growing ideological and political divisions within the continent and also globally. It was a David vs.
But any real-world economic system has a corresponding political system to promote and sustain it. This essay will begin by sketching out the core tenets of neoliberal theory, tracing its history from the classical liberal tradition of the Enlightenment.
I will then present some hypotheses on how relations between the neoliberal state and society operate, contrasting the state theories of Ralph Miliband and Nicos Poulantzas to create a framework that shows how the neoliberal state is a product and enforcer of anti-democratic practices.
I will argue that the implementation of neoliberal economic policy, and the subsequent evolution of the neoliberal state, has historically been completed through anti-democratic methods.
Further, in an effort to produce social relations that are more favorable to the accumulation of capital, austerity is employed as a tool to move further toward a market society, creating a larger, more interventionist state and promoting authoritarianism. Neoliberalism in Theory The term neoliberal is often convoluted, confused, and misinterpreted, especially in the American context where the center-left Democratic Party has traditionally held the title of liberal.
The original liberals, or classical liberals as they are usually called, were those Enlightenment-era thinkers of Western European origin who desired to limit the authority of the feudal state and defended individual rights by restricting the power of the state, the crown, the nobility, and the church.
Neoliberal economic thinkers are famously known for deriding government intervention in the economy, precisely because they trace their foundation to a period when markets were Shaping of the transformation of authoritarian not just as a source of better economic outcomes, but as a weapon to challenge concentrated political power.
This revamping of liberalism appeared in the twentieth century at a time when its proponents believed they were facing a similar struggle against the expanded state apparatuses of Europe—communist, social-democratic, and fascist.
Friedrich Hayek, whose text The Road to Serfdom, published inis arguably the most celebrated of the neoliberal canon, sought to show how government interference in the economy forms the basis of fascist and other totalitarian regimes, contrary to the then widely accepted notion that it was capitalist crisis that had produced fascism in Europe.
For Hayek, the strong state, whether in the form of fascism, Soviet communism, or the creeping socialism of the British Labour Party, was to be eschewed. If neoliberalism springs from a desire to combat the growing power and influence of the state, how is it that neoliberalism has produced not only a very robust state apparatus, but, as I will argue, an authoritarian one?
The answer is that neoliberalism in practice has been quite different from its theory. A judicial system is necessary to designate and regulate the interaction between private actors on the market. While intimations of the regulatory state can be seen in this formulation, it is hardly anything controversial.
Only the most extreme of laissez-faire economic thinkers would not acknowledge the requirement of a state structure that creates the space for and regulates contracts.
If the people were free to make decisions about their lives democratically, surely the first thing they would do is interfere with the property rights of the elite, posing an existential threat to the neoliberal experiment. Whether these popular aspirations take the form of drives towards unionization, progressive taxation, or pushing for social policies that require the redistribution of resources, the minimal state cannot be so minimal that it is unable to respond to and crush the democratic demands of citizens.
After all, as pointed out in the first contradiction, the neoliberal state exists in theory to guarantee the rights of the individual over the demands of a majority.
Two Levels of Authoritarianism Any method that seeks to subvert the democratic demands of citizens, whether through force, coercion, or social engineering, is authoritarian. I argue here that the neoliberal state is authoritarian in two distinct but related forms. First, the historical imposition of neoliberalism on nation-states is the result of anti-democratic forces.
Second, the maintenance of neoliberalism requires a market society achieved through a transformation in civil society. For this transformation to take place, welfare states must be slimmed down by austerity policies in order to turn over to the market potentially lucrative sectors of the social economy in health care, education, social security, and so on.
Public resources must become privatized; the public good must be produced by private initiative. Neoliberal economic policy can only function with a state that encourages its growth by actively shaping society in its own image, and austerity is the tool to push for that transformation.
While the subversion of democracy is clearly authoritarian, the drive towards a market society and the social engineering necessary to maintain that society are further expressions of the de facto authoritarianism of neoliberalism and the neoliberal state.We observed this together in Wroclaw, noting that around the world that there are similarities among the new authoritarian leaders.
We also agreed that they do have differences: the extreme brutality of Duterte, Erdoğan’s combination of Islamism and nationalism and Kaczynski’s blend of fundamentalist Catholicism and Nationalism, .
The Politics of Memory in Post-Authoritarian Transitions, Volume Two vii policy leaves its mark on the post-authoritarian transformation. Secondly, The Politics of Memory in Post-Authoritarian Transitions, Volume Two xi narratives and highlights the key differences between the countries.
Organization. Globalization has therefore increasingly taken the appearance of the transformation of the international system from a multipolar or bipolar system to an imperial system under American hegemony. Within this system, decisions and outcomes are largely the result of American unilateralism.
In The Contentious Public Sphere, Ya-Wen Lei shows how the Chinese state drew on law, the media, and the Internet to further an authoritarian project of modernization, but in so doing, inadvertently created a nationwide public sphere in China—one the state must now endeavor to control.
Reports Beyond Tradition and Modernity: Dilemmas of Transformation in Saudi Arabia. The narrative depicts Muhammad ben Salman as a modernist conducting social engineering in a conservative society. That is, although authoritarian regimes are highly unstable, authoritarianism is likely to survive for a long time, as one authoritarian regime replaces another.
The collapse of authoritarian regimes does not always lead to the establishment of democracy.