Janis about Neoliberalism.
6:57 Every regime has its myth. It’s legitimizing story. The Soviet Union had Marx. If Marx was alive in Moscow he would be in the gulag, the first person to be arrested and thrown in prison would be Marx. And yet every Soviet leader was referring to Carl Marx. If Marx appeared today in Bejing he would disappear in the prison system. The theory which is utilized by the regime in order to legitimise what it does. Usually is utterly disconnected from what the regime actually does. Let us look at capitalism. The legitimising story that I was thought when I was a young man, before neoliberalism took over, the liberal story. The Liberal story is founded on Adam Smith. The original political economist who legitimised capitalism. The story was - nobody likes capitalists, nobody likes people who look after themselves. But, if you have a market, and a market is competitive, and you have the butcher, the baker, the brewer (this is three professions that Adam Smith mentions in the world of nations) and each of them looks after themselves. They will provide the best bread, the beer and the best meat at the lowest prices. Not because they care for the public, but it’s the best way to look after themselves and in looking after themselves they look after the public interest in the best possible way. So this is the philosophical contradiction, but also the beauty of Adam Smith story that the public interest is best served when no one is trying to serve it. Because those who proclaim (you know the president, the prime minister, the king) the those who proclaim to work for the public newer do. They are all liers they all on it for themselves. So, if you have a market, the market is an instrument, the tool, it allows people, in pursuing a private interest, completely honestly, to produce public goods. That was the original story for legitimising capitalism. If you compare this with neoliberalism. Why neoliberalism is different? It is different. In one important way. If you look at it as mythology. The mythology after Tacher and Reagan is fundamentally different from the mythology of Adam Smith. In one important way, even the all talk about Adam Smith. Since 1970-ties the market no longer appeared as the useful instrument. Because think about it, if the market is an instrument, then must be someone, who knows what it should be used for. So if you have a hummer, the hummer doesn’t have a mind, it is useful for hammering things. Somebody must know what needs to be hammered. So that was the original idea of Adam Smith. The market is a hummer. We know what the public interest is. It is cheaper commodities. Large quantities. Education (which we provide by the state). That was the Adam Smith. But it means that it is a society with morality and with aspirations what it wants and the market is the hammer with which you fix it. You fix those things. But after mid-1970-ties the market was transformed from the instrument to the objective. The market was god, it was not the instrument of God. 11:33
Politics, economics, ideas 11:33