Paolo Gerbaudo on Fri, 17 Sep 2021 19:13:15 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> On the return of the interventionist state 7 fact-check

Hi everyone and thanks for the comments and questions:

Brian: the spirit of the book is a mix of Polanyi and Hegel. In fact Polanyi's idea of second movement is very Hegelian. Obviously our situation is markedly different from what Polanyi witnessed in the 1930s. The similarity has to do with a moment of capitalist expansion and global integration, the Belle Epoque before WWI and WWII and now the expansion of the 1990s and 2000s, ensued after 2008 by populist rebellions that already crippled its foundations.

The point on protection, and who protects whom from what is crucial in the book. There is a chapter dedicated to class analysis with a mapping of right, left, and centre class coalitions. I counterpose the proprietarian protectionism of the right (based on the equivalence nation=home/property) and the social protectivism emerging on the left. The class coalition of the right typically comprise peripheral workers fearful of international competition and middle and upper class fearful of declining conditions and of people getting their money respectively. The pivot of the left coalition is instead service workers and the professional class in the broad sense. Service workers want to be protected from precariety and low salaries, professionals from their incipient proletarianisation.

David: I think in the European case thinks get more complicated. Indeed one could say that the European Union recovery plan and the slow move towards Euro bonds. The EU to date has been a weird structure in-between a suprastate a nonstate. Some signs point to the move away from disciplinary neoliberalism also at that level. And I think there is a change in attitude also towards government spending despite resistance from austerians. But anyway much of this neostatism is national. And also the pandemic has seen much activity from states within then EU often adopting policies not coordinated continentally.

Thanks for your points Andreas in EU institutions and the relationship Commission/Council. I think it’ll be interesting to see what happens if anything in terms of EU reform in the aftermath of German elections

Btw a teaser of the book was just released

I hope you enjoy it. I hope we will have chances to discuss these issues in more depth and hopefully in person!



On Wed, Sep 15, 2021 at 5:52 PM János Sugár <> wrote:
At 1:23 PM +0200 9/15/21, Andreas Broeckmann wrote:
>Dear David,
>please, fact-check; this is incorrect:
>>  the most powerful decision-making body in the EU is
>>  the European Commission is comprised of unelected officials
>You may see deficits in the following procedure, but there are in
>fact elections and democratic confirmations:
>"The president-elect selects potential Vice-Presidents and
>Commissioners based on suggestions from EU countries. The list of
>nominees has to be approved by all EU heads of state or government,
>meeting in the European Council. ... Following Parliament's vote[*],
>the Commissioners are appointed by the European Council. ..."
>(* Remember that, in autumn 2019, the European Parliament rejected
>the Romanian and Hungarian commissioners-elect first proposed by U.
>von der Leyen, due to "conflicts of interest.")
>If the Commission is ruled, as you claim, by a "neo-liberal
>orthodoxy", then this selection process shows that the problem is
>much bigger than just the assembly of Commissioners. (And arguably
>the EU of 2021 is not any more the EU of 2010.)
>Moreover, the "most powerful decision-making body in the EU" is
>clearly the European Council:
>"The members of the European Council are the heads of state or
>government of the 27 EU member states, the European Council
>President and the President of the European Commission."
>As we have seen in the last years, the role of the European
>Parliament has been strengthened gradually, if too slowly.
>Otherwise, thank you for pointing out some of the problematic
>concepts and levels of argumentation in the reference text!
>Am 15.09.21 um 11:57 schrieb
>>Thanks Paolo for this very interesting article. Just a few
>>questions that I imagine will be answered by reading the book.
>>I am unclear what is meant here by 'the state'. Is it
>>interchangeable with 'government'? Does the argument that
>>neoliberalism (market fundamentalism) is being replaced by
>>'neostatism' mean that you see neoliberalism as a kind of polity or
>>set of constitutional arrangements rather than an economic
>>To take one example the most powerful decision-making body in the
>>EU is the European Commission is comprised of unelected officials
>>whose principal task is to ensure that no national election of a
>>member state will ever overturn the parameters of the neo-liberal
>>orthodoxy. Anyone who doubts this should remember what happened to
>>Greece in the debt crisis of 2009/10. So do you see the Commission
>>as an example of a 'neostate'? Or is it something else again? Is
>>the EU Commission included in the book?
>>I am curious whether your analysis of the neo-state addresses the
>>current position of 'liberal democracy'which (for better or for
>>worse) is in a (over used word) crisis. It seems to me that the
>>liberal view of the state continues to trade on the old the
>>increasingly tired old ruse of making a virtue of obscuring the
>>answer to the question, who governs?   them or us, people or
>>government. This deliberate ambiguity is the beating heart of
>>classical liberalism and seen as a way holding the line between
>>tyranny vs mob rule. But its effect is simply to keep the status
>>quo in place.  This dubious magic trick (once described as the
>>manufacturing of consent) has apart at the seams to be replaced by
>>a techno/populist logic that depends on the 'manufacture of
>>None of this hall of mirrors would matter if we were not facing a
>>climate emergency that needs decision, action and immediate deep
>>I am looking forward to reading the book.
>#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
>#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
>#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
>#  more info:
>#  archive: contact:
>#  @nettime_bot tweets mail w/ sender unless #ANON is in Subject:

Paolo Gerbaudo
Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society, King's College London
my blog:
twitter: @paologerbaudo
UK mobile: 00447432383579
Egyptian mobile: 00201111052097      

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info:
#  archive: contact:
#  @nettime_bot tweets mail w/ sender unless #ANON is in Subject: