Cassiodorus details the ways in which progressives fail to provide an alternative to neoliberalism. But what he calls a flaw in ideology is more a flaw in execution, a flaw of will.
Progressive ideology, however, offers only a half-hearted resistance to neoliberal power. Here are some of the ways in which it succumbs:
- Minimal demands
- Aversion to the class struggle
The problem clearly is that progressives offer no alternative vision and are averse to political combat, hence the continual caving in and incrementalism. Do they want genuine change? Not really.
I am not going to suggest a sweeping abolition of the “free market,” here, as the solution to everything, nor am I going to suggest anything which looks like “Marxist dogma.” We get out of “discussion-on-the-cheap” by real discussion, discussion between actually existing people and not utopian constructs, about what has to happen if the political/ economic situation is to get any better.
Goodness, let’s have none of that socialism stuff instead let’s go to Starbuck’s and talk about what might be done. Sigh. Look, capitalism is clearly in big trouble. What we have now is more a theftocracy than capitalism anyway. The patient needs major surgery not a bandage.
There are a large number of obvious ways in which we can do this: collectives, for instance, and modes of “exchange” (or, more straightforwardly, gift) which are independent of the regimes of corporate production and of money.
This is similar to what John Robb is proposing. But you can’t really live outside the system. Hippies tried that, and found you can’t drop out completely. Plus, the system will intrude upon such modes of exchange. Thus the answer has to include politics and confronting / changing the existing system. That means getting into the battlefield. There is no alternative.