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“I, for one, am not an anti-Neoliberal”

“I, for one, am not an anti-Neoliberal”

On the one hand, people who claim neoliberalism exists say that Hayek thought capitalism and free markets could aid democracy, but if not, well too bad!

But on the other hand, people who claim neoliberalism exists say that Hayek was predicting an inevitable slide into servitude (rather than hypothesising about potential risks).

Which one is the true one?

The reason I don’t trust the usual lines of assertion and rhetoric regarding Hayek and Friedman is that people try to have it both ways. They want to associate Hayek and Friedman with the pernicious ‘Washington Consensus’ of crony capitalism, but they also want to be taken seriously as people acquainted with the writings of Hayek and Friedman.

But everyone who has read even a little Hayek and Friedman knows that they were at best deeply sceptical, and at worst pretty critical, of continental-level or global-level crony capitalist institutionalism.

As you can see already, I am not defending this or that element of what they have written; that’s not the point here. I am merely pointing out that any association of scholars sceptical of global-institutional/continental-institutional ‘crony capitalism’ with the very same objects of their scepticism, or even criticism, can only ever stem either from cynicism, a lack of intelligence, or a lack of serious acquaintance with their writings.

And this is really not a grey area at all. Have you read the chapter near the end of ‘The Road to Serfdom’ where Hayek lays this all out fairly neatly?

Ultimately, the myth of neoliberalism risks severely discrediting intelligent and rational critics of globalist crony-capitalism; just as 9/11 Truthers, anti-vaxxers, and Ickean lizard-hunters risk imperilling the cause of non-interventionism.

The Vast Neoliberal Conspiracy is a busted spunk, and it needs to be binned, if people have the merest whit of ethical seriousness about the substantial limitations of globalist crony capitalism.

***
Adapted from my comments at the Facebook Group: Zizek and the Slovenian School. Further adapted from a post at Jonathan Arts and Critique.
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Posted in Politics, Serious Commentary2 Comments

A Mini Manifesto

A Mini Manifesto

In the first blog post I ever published on Jonathan Arts and Critique, I said:

I am:

Pro peace, not merely anti war.

Pro privacy, not merely anti state voyeurism.

Pro speech, not merely anti censorship.

Pro capitalism, not merely anti far left. Continue Reading

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Posted in Opinion/Editorial, Serious Commentary0 Comments

Ireland: Reproductive Agency is One Thing, Intrusive Meddling is Another

Ireland: Reproductive Agency is One Thing, Intrusive Meddling is Another

Some may feel yesterday’s piece on Amnesty International, abortion, and Ireland is flippant. I can certainly see why people might think that; but I am 100% unapologetic. However, I will now speak in a less polemical and satirical manner, and weaponize a more prosaic tone against Big Human Rights.

It might seem churlish to sneer at the ‘humanitarian interventionism’ Amnesty International is perpetrating against Irish people of all identities. ‘After all,’ some might say, ‘Isn’t your postcolonial angle a minor distraction from the most important thing, which is the rights of women, and the necessity to reform the laws in a direction that respects women’s bodily autonomy and right to reproductive agency?’ Continue Reading

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Dear England: You Can Support Abortion Availability Without Being An Imperialist

Dear England: You Can Support Abortion Availability Without Being An Imperialist

Amnesty International has tried to save more people from ourselves (this time, Irish people), with its campaigning on Ireland’s abortion laws.

Of course, the situation for women in Ireland, north or south, is not perfect. But there is no excuse whatsoever for taking up the white man’s burden against Ireland; no matter how just or unjust the laws may be in Ireland, whether North or South.

No one need deny that the question of how to ensure more freedom and equality for women is an important issue in any country. Continue Reading

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Uncritical Pro AND Anti Immigration Stances? Sentiment, not Reality

Uncritical Pro AND Anti Immigration Stances? Sentiment, not Reality

Just have a look at my comment below, for an article on the site of the publisher Verso Books:

http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2679-the-hegemonic-powers-of-the-eu-have-gone-one-step-too-far-on-governing-borders-and-the-right-to-move

Immigration is nothing to do with the question of deserving or not deserving this or that. Immigration is an entitlement, a legal provision; to confuse entitlements with desert is to confound a legal category with a morally charged ethical notion.

I further add: Continue Reading

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Posted in Serious Commentary, World News2 Comments

The Remain & Leave Campaigns Have Been Vile. Let’s Move Forward & Get Down to Business

The Remain & Leave Campaigns Have Been Vile. Let’s Move Forward & Get Down to Business

The referendum result has already been known for a while in the UK. The economy has taken a hit, for now.

Both sides have behaved appallingly. Continue Reading

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Posted in Serious Commentary, World News0 Comments

The UK Will Never Leave Europe: But Will We Have the Courage to Leave the EU?

The UK Will Never Leave Europe: But Will We Have the Courage to Leave the EU?

Behind the distortions and exaggerations of both sides, one fact remains unshakable:

Europe is not the EU.

A ‘stay’ vote in tomorrow’s referendum is not a vote to remain in Europe.

A ‘leave’ vote in tomorrow’s referendum is not a vote to leave Europe. Continue Reading

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Speaking Truth to Power: The Intercept is Defending Boehmermann’s Freedom with Full Consistency

Speaking Truth to Power: The Intercept is Defending Boehmermann’s Freedom with Full Consistency

In the past, I have been heavily critical of The Intercept, and of Glenn Greenwald’s stance on the Charlie Hebdo martyrs. However, I have noticed a pattern developing recently.

First of all, upon the renewal of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie (essentially a glorified hitman contract from God!), The Intercept did not blame Rushdie for ‘provoking’ his critics. Continue Reading

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Better to be a Coppersmith in Purgatory than to Reign in Hell

Better to be a Coppersmith in Purgatory than to Reign in Hell

Liberal secular parliamentary democracy is an absolute necessity for the UK and USA.

And I wholeheartedly condemn, without qualification, the kind of arrogant and hubristic critique that strays from criticizing how the political systems of these countries operate in terms of their results, and ends up criticizing the legitimacy of liberal secular parliamentary democracy itself.

Continue Reading

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9/12/2001 – The Days After Cheney Became President – Part 21

9/12/2001 – The Days After Cheney Became President – Part 21

9/12/2001
THE DAYS AFTER CHENEY BECAME PRESIDENT
The Rumsfeld Synopsis
Part
(A serial book excerpt)

Previous installments – After Flight 93 crashes into the White House on 9/11/2001 killing President Bush as was originally planned, Dick Cheney, the Vice President, is made the leader of the country. He begins immediately to make changes.

– – – – – – – – –

Rumsfeld took the news surprisingly well. His dismissal had been engineered so carefully that it came as no insult, although it was a bit embarrassing to the old man. But he knew that it was getting to be time to go out to pasture. He had worked hard enough in his life that he could now enjoy the fruits of his labor. He knew that with all the sudden changes in the world that a younger man was perhaps needed to take care of things. He guessed that Bolton had been chosen to push through any agenda Cheney wanted, something that Rumsfeld himself was getting too old to do. Continue Reading

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Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (V): The Gilded Birdcage of Spoilt Gods

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (V): The Gilded Birdcage of Spoilt Gods

Quite frankly, if someone believes that children must be deprived of blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses), or of all medical care (Christian Scientists), or that women are the property of men, or that gay people are sodomites who are all going to eternal hellfire, or that disabled people are suffering the results of our evil and atrocious deeds in the past…

Then that concerns me very deeply.

But on the other hand, if someone personally believes that Jesus literally turned the water into wine, that Muhammad made the moon split in two, or that Sri Krishna performed many wondrous miracles, then in all seriousness, that does not trouble me in the least. There are more important things in life to worry about.

But even so, concerning ‘limits’ to satire, I will affirm that I do reserve the inalienable right to treat religion as not pristine, as not above theoretical critique, or above satirizing, or above ‘blasphemy.’

And I have little to no respect for anyone who makes religion exceptional, in terms of the inalienable right and sovereign prerogative to criticize and satirize; an entitlement and a ‘privilege’ that can and must be shared be all like, without neither cavil nor complaint.

‘Shame on me,’ indeed! Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Serious Commentary0 Comments

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (IV): Are Critics of Religion ‘Hateful Extremists?’

Charlie Hebdo Anniversary Tribute (IV): Are Critics of Religion ‘Hateful Extremists?’

But what, then, are my own limits for religious satire?
I will not provide an exhaustive discussion here.

I will, however, say that I do not believe that religion is either a ‘force for good’ or a ‘force for evil’ in some one-sided sense.

For, superstition and dogmatism are great evils, but I do not think that the history of religion is merely or even primarily a catalogue of backward, primitive errors, as so many of the ‘New Atheists’ seem to imply.

Of course, if it is not the intention of any New Atheists, to imply such, then perhaps there is something very faulty with their rhetorical and communicative strategies. This would not perhaps be so surprising, given that much New Atheist rhetoric is deeply problematic.

For example, I consider the late humanitarian interventionist and former Luxemburgist radical, Christopher Hitchens, to be an intellectual suicide bomber who destroyed himself and the consciences of anyone who stood by and approved of his disingenuous, militaristic sophistries. Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Serious Commentary0 Comments

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