Mr. Janan Ganesh celebrates the inevitable decline of The Welfare State and it’s misbegotten, indeed mendacious origins, and it’s political/ethical defeat in terms of ideas and practice, a bit too soon. He invokes History as a political actor in a way that some, even he, might find uncomfortably Hegelian, even enlisting the geological ‘tectonic movements’ and Hobbes’ Leviathan in his arguments. His essay is cock-a-block with usable historical metaphors. The usual stance of Neo-Liberal apologists is to attack the proven failure of ‘Socialism’ and ‘Social Democracy’, while utterly and quite rightly ignoring, all in the name of self-serving political myth-making, the rather egregious failure of ‘Free Market Economics’ in 2008.
The empirical evidence of American and European economies still floundering after the collapse of the ignoble fantasy, of that self-correcting Market, are everywhere, except to ideologues. Five years of waiting for the mirage of recovery to manifest itself, aided by an enlightened Austerity is not long enough?
But Mr. Ganesh, true to form,chatters on about welfare and pension spongers and celebrates the Queen Bee of that collapsed mythology, Mrs. Thatcher, and her collection of Political Romantics masquerading as Economists. And in the process celebrates the inevitable victory of the Austerians as Mr. Krugman calls them. The victory of the Neo-Liberals in the politics/economics of America and Europe has been disastrous and it just continues to worsen. No answers from Mr. Ganesh, except a kind of loathsome political fatalism.