I was listening to a very interesting radio story this morning and wondered what everyone's perspective on it could be, it revolved around the idea pretty much of the popularity of gold standards in libertarian capitalist ideology, this is a main stay of the libertarian camp in the US at least were I believe it has been most developed as a popular ideology at least and not simply a mix of vagaries about personal responsibility, rolling back the frontiers of the state, small government and big society and all that.
Anyway, there was a Chinese economist who fairly and accurately stated the libertarian thinking and case for Gold Standards, that it would pretty much curtail and end keynesian demand management and associated fiscal policies altogether, military or otherwise, necessitating a return to the pre-welfare state days of subsistence living for the majority, with the majority of the population excluded from employment and from the economy as consumers necessitating competition in wages and permitting the developed world to compete with the developing world on labour costs, pretty much because no one will have any choice.
There was no real discussion of the social implications or the kind of class struggles that'd give rise to but I'd just expect that more or less, the thinking has always been that one half of the working population can always be paid to police or kill the other half and that's pretty factual so far as I can tell.
However, there was some suggestion from the Chinese economist that if the US itself decided to do that, to engage in some sort of serious neo-liberal experiment on a par with the USSR's experiments in central planning and command economies that the rest of the world need not necessarily follow suit, I wondered about that.
First of all would it be possible? Can there be a two or three speed world? Is there already? I do not mean with respect to global ranking or prosperity in terms of creating wealth or seizing parts of the existing wealth in investment or whatever, I mean in terms of apply strictly ideologically underpinned economic models for production and distribution? What would be the consequences for the US and the world? Would it just be likely to result in an ideological vs. worldly division like that prevailing during the cold war but with the US as the more ideological hue than the converse which was the case at that time?
The idea interested me because on the one hand I sort of wondered was it a reflection of what I think has been the mindset among legacies in the US and UK for a long time, that they just want to protect their legacies and enjoy them, like some withered and withering estate or southern plantation, western Oblomovs but also a reflection of the ideological appeal, which is pretty much unassailed, of pure capitalist dreams and dreamers.
Neo-liberalism, to my mind, is about as utopian/dystopian as anything heralding from the socialist camps, I kind of try to imagine the world which would exist if it was tried out in practice and had the humbling experience that socialism underwent or if its supporters would just find reasons why it wasnt the ideologies fault but people failed to live up to it or something like that. At least it should lose its popular base if that happened and who cares about the ideological stalwarts.