Furthest Right

Anatomy of the Uniparty: Neoliberalism versus Market Socialism

It became clear with the rise of Donald Trump that a Washington, D.C. Establishment was working to perpetuate itself, not govern the nation well, and that both parties were complicit in this ongoing scheme.

As it became known, the “Uniparty” is as fake as WWE wrestling. The Republicans and Democrats pretend to square off, then one wins half of an election and the other the other half, so they play-fight while siphoning off taxpayer funds.

Sure, most of what they do is legitimate government, albeit based on precedent so that at this point it mostly consists of moving money around to keep past obligations funded, especially entitlements that are three-quarters of the budget.

At its core the Uniparty resembles the political systems in most of the world after National Socialism and Communism departing, leaving no competition for liberal democracy.

Many in the West complain about neoliberalism, which they see as a recent entrant that is disturbing the order of things:

Neoliberalism is a policy model that encompasses both politics and economics and seeks to transfer the control of economic factors from the public sector to the private sector. Many neoliberalism policies enhance the workings of free market capitalism and attempt to place limits on government spending, government regulation, and public ownership.

Neoliberalism is often associated with the leadership of Margaret Thatcher–the prime minister of the U.K. from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990–and Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the U.S. (from 1981 to 1989). More recently, neoliberalism has been associated with policies of austerity and attempts to cut government spending on social programs.

Neoliberalism is sometimes confused with libertarianism. However, neoliberals typically advocate for more government intervention into the economy and society than libertarianism. For example, while neoliberals usually favor progressive taxation, libertarians often eschew this stance in favor of schemes like a flat tax rate for all taxpayers.

In the bigger picture, however, neoliberalism and neoconservatism are one and the same: a hybrid between Left and Right that keeps the Uniparty funded. The Right uses defense and free markets to make money, and the Left taxes it for redistribution to the diversity poor, who then spend it to keep the system running.

Neoliberalism arose in order to lessen the socialist influence on the market socialism of the 1970s, which in response to the Leftist cultural takeover of the 1960s pushed forward heartwarming feelgood ideological policies.

Much as the policies of the Carter administration in the USA, by pursuing ideological goals at the expense of markets and military strength, delivered the country into a long depression, market socialism tanked in Europe too.

Conservative politicians of the mainstream sort — Thatcher and Reagan, most notably — took over in the 1980s and attempted to privatize all of the benefits written into law in the previous decade, with some success.

In the bigger picture, however, neoliberalism is simply a slightly more conservative version of market socialism, which means that it is still free market supported socialism based in the entitlements state:

Market socialism, also called liberal socialism, [is the] economic system representing a compromise between socialist planning and free enterprise, in which enterprises are publicly owned but production and consumption are guided by market forces rather than by government planning. A form of market socialism was adopted in Yugoslavia in the 1960s in distinction to the centrally planned socialism of the Soviet Union.

In the decades immediately following World War II, the economies of the major capitalist countries, all of which had adopted some version of the welfare state, performed well, restoring some of the confidence in the capitalist system that had been lost in the 1930s. Beginning in the 1970s, however, rapid increases in economic inequality (see income inequality; distribution of wealth and income), both internationally and within individual countries, revived doubts among some people about the long-term viability of the system. Following the financial crisis of 2007–09 and the Great Recession that accompanied it, there was renewed interest in socialism among many people in the United States, especially millennials (persons born in the 1980s or ’90s), a group that had been particularly hard-hit by the recession.

While it seems like neoliberalism is a contrary direction, that appearance arises from the relative distance from the direction things were going. In a Leftist era, any step back from the path to Communism seems like a Right-wing takeover.

The West has been waffling around with market socialism for over a century since entitlements once granted are impossible to remove, meaning that government has to contort to find a way to cope with rising costs brought by infinite demand.

Past centuries knew that success carried risk. In particular, democracy leads to chaos and then tyranny, and capitalism leads to benefits and then socialism, because each produces a huge body of dependents who demand these things.

Since neither democracy nor socialism are functional, dipping the toe into either one means getting more every generation as people face a binary choice: admit that the system is not working, or double down and keep thinking happy thoughts.

An economist might one-up Karl Marx by saying that there is not so much a “surplus theory of labor” but a “surplus theory of laborers.” Capitalism begets efficiency and technological efficiency, both of which eliminate jobs.

When you can deliver coal with an automobile, you no longer need four guys on a horse team and ten back at the stable. When an automated electric cart delivers the coal, you need a total roster of five administrators and ten mechanics.

What happens to the extra horse cart workers, stablers, drivers, loaders, and HR department? In the capitalist ideal, new technology opens up new needs, so they get jobs there.

However, technological advancement moves through plateaus and ramps. It takes a long time to reach new realizations, but when it does, those are thoroughly exploited until they no longer return high margins.

This means that throughout history, lots of jobs will be eliminated, and then there will be a long wait before new jobs rise in their places. These surplus workers will demand subsidies from someone else.

Market socialism came up with the idea of the administrative state to address this, basically creating millions of clerkships and affirmative action jobs in order to keep people employed.

With entitlements, since demand increases with use while supply remains roughly the same, such programs go through an arc: at first they work, then they grow, and finally they run out of money. This is where we are in history now.

By producing efficiency, capitalism guarantees that entitlements will be needed, but those entitlements reduce efficiency and produce huge populations of dependents who then tear down the system.

This more accurately describes what most criticize about capitalism, namely its tendency to fix human inefficiency and, in doing so, bring an economic boom that ends in a crash:

Many critics have alleged that capitalism suffers from an inherent instability that has characterized and plagued the system since the advent of industrialization. Because capitalist growth is driven by profit expectations, it fluctuates with the changes in technological or social opportunities for capital accumulation. As opportunities appear, capital rushes in to take advantage of them, bringing as a consequence the familiar attributes of an economic boom. Sooner or later, however, the rush subsides as the demand for the new products or services becomes saturated, bringing a halt to investment, a shakeout in the main industries caught up in the previous boom, and the advent of recession. Hence, economic growth comes at the price of a succession of market gluts as booms meet their inevitable end.

The surplus of laborers turns government into a type of bank for the nation, creating jobs by writing laws and handing out money in order to constantly stimulate spending to keep a simulacra of a free market alive.

In turn that takes governments to a state of immobility. They cannot change, since they exist to guarantee entitlements and redistribute money, so barring a giant event — war, asteroid, plague — they simply keep the system running.

This brings us to an era where we have become inflexible and repetitive, leaving us with an absence of hope, and only the fear of failure keeping the system alive:

Look at the news: levels of CO₂ in the atmosphere are setting new records and rising faster than ever. The cost of living crisis risks teetering over into the second recession in two years.

The average Briton, to cite just one example, is projected to earn less in real terms in 2026 than in 2008. Oh, and Russia is threatening nuclear war. We’ve quietly ditched the idea of progress. Perhaps high-income countries don’t need it any more. The new human mission, both global and personal, is avoiding disaster.

Only in the past two centuries did humanity get richer, chiefly by burning fossil fuels. The suburbs, postwar locus of the American dream, were predicated on endless resources and cheap oil. But now politicians are shifting from promising an “energy transition” to talking about energy reduction(opens a new window). Westerners may revert to our grandparents’ era of less stuff, smaller homes and bikes instead of cars.

We see again the wisdom of our ancestors. By entrusing most of the land and wealth in the hands of aristocrats, they reduced the degree to which the market could swing, and ensured that monetary value would remain relatively consistent.

In addition, they adopted a type of “cellular” system where manors and local towns hired their own staffs, ensuring that each population would not grow too fast to maintain a functional local economy.

Only cities stood in their way because by their nature, cities produce excess people. Designed after the factory, they efficiently corral people to jobs and exploit finance, but do not generate corresponding opportunities.

In cities we see the process for which capitalism is blamed, where new trends produce sudden wealth, and then the markets reclaim value by downgraded the trend as it fades. This is the boom-bust cycle.

The “bubbles” created by trends — the pocket of time between when a trend gets public notice and when its lack of value is recognized — allows many to generate income, transfer it to another form, and then skip town.

Not surprisingly, since we lost our kings, this has been the default standard human behavior. Create drama, get others involved, then take the money and run. You profit at the expense of others before they can do it to you.

In contrast, a traditional society avoided reckless growth as well as “progress” schemes, and aimed for a slow steady increase in quality in its learning, technology, institutions, and populations.

That is the formula for a society that resists the neoliberalism-socialism seesaw which will take it to third world levels of dysfunction, but also requires rejecting the pretense of human equality.

If we look at that pretense as a type of advertising, where something excellent is promised for purchasing a product, it becomes clear that modernity — the time after The Enlightenment™ based on individualism — is a trend itself.

Its bubble has been slowly ending for some time, but at this point, the stressors of its various ideological policies including socialism and diversity have brought it to an age of collapse. Even neoliberalism cannot save it.

Tags: , , , ,

Share on FacebookShare on RedditTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn