“When things are obvious or clear, using ‘obvious’ or ‘clear’ is redundant. Use these words sparingly in your writing”, noticed Robert Gallager. I recalled this technical advice while thinking about writing something, let’s call it, substantial in the light of the dark events in the US. But for a long time already all relevant topics have been extensively discussed here from various perspectives… There is nothing new under the sun. Blindness, however, bedazzledness, and subservience still bemuse me. Although I cannot restrain myself from recollecting Zygmunt Bauman’s observation that “this was the unspoken credo which lent credibility to the unclouded trust that post-Enlightenment liberals vested in the human individual’s capacity for immaculate conception.” (2000: 168).
Five years ago I wrote that the major collision of polities and ideologies in the 21st century will be about Authoritarian Neoliberal Regime (or tendencies) versus Democratic Social State (or spirit). I wish I could say with confidence that I know which side carried the day on January 6th, 2021. I know what my mind and soul strive for and are committed to, as well as all members of our community. But in Immanuel Wallerstein’s last words: “I think there is a 50-50 chance that we’ll make it to transformatory change, but only 50-50.”
The post’s title quotes Polanyi in his great The Great Transformation – you’ll find an insightful and striking excerpt from it in the first link aired with some accompanying thoughts two days after Trump’s inauguration. Wasn’t it obvious then?..
The other selected links also present various important reflections on the subject matter:
> Forms of Capital and Moral Legitimation of Capitalism (by Ivan Light)
> How Neoliberalism Prepared the Way for Donald Trump (by Zygmunt Bauman)
> Social Media, Authoritarian Capitalism, and Donald Trump (by Christian Fuchs)
> Folk economics, economic sociology, and Trump’s campaign (regarding Richard Swedberg’s “Folk Economics and its Role in Trump’s Presidential Campaign”)
> Polanyi’s Prescience: Covid-19, Market Utopianism, and the Reality of Society (by Margaret Somers and Fred Block)
> Back to the Future: Authoritarian Neoliberal Regime versus Democratic Social State (regarding Ralph Miliband’s classic The State in Capitalist Society)