Recent announcements of neoliberalism’s demise in the wake of the pandemic are mistaken. Ending neoliberalism will require purposeful effort and struggle, not just economic and political crises.
Capitalists long ago learned that they could profit by manipulating both supply and demand to create or sustain “shortages” that would enable them to get higher prices. Capitalism created the advertising industry to boost demand above what it might otherwise be. At the same time, each industry organized to control supply (via informal agreements among producers, mergers, oligopolies, monopolies, and cartels). Social conditions and changes beyond the control of capitalists require them to constantly adjust their manipulations of demand and supply. In reality, markets are useful institutions for capitalists to manipulate for profit. In ideology, markets are useful institutions for capitalists to celebrate as somehow ideal-for-everyone pathways to optimal efficiency.
The market is not the go-to solution to the major problems of our age.
Our DMNC model also distinguishes ‘market economy’ and ‘capitalist economy’…
Contrary to popular myth, a capitalist economy is not the same as a market economy. In fact, they are almost diametric opposites. A capitalist economy by design concentrates control of the means of production in the hands of the few to the exclusion of the many, which is exactly what our present economy does. It has of course won out over communism. What is less often noted is that it has also won out over democracy and a market economy. The capitalist economy features monopoly, financial speculation, absentee ownership, deregulation, public subsidies, and central economic planning by megacorporations. A market economy, in contrast, is organized by people engaging in the production and exchange of goods and services as a means of livelihood. A market economy features human-scale enterprises, honest money, rooted local ownership, and a framework of democratically chosen rules.