From Neoliberalism to Neofascism
Fascism of the classic variety is associated with Germany, Italy and Japan. It ends at the conclusion of World War II. But in the recent years there has been the development of a different variety which is neofascism. Neo is a Greek prefix meaning new. From Modi’s India to Erdogan’s Turkey neofascist autocratic regimes have taken hold. There is a direct connection from the failed economic policies of what is called neoliberalism to neofascism. Neoliberalism was given a huge boost in the 1980s by Reagan and Thatcher. Its characteristics are deregulation, cutting government spending, shredding the social safety net, privatization and tax cuts for the rich. The result: widespread immiseration and discontent. In its wake, demagogues exploit the situation. They are coming to power by scapegoating, instigating violence against minorities, coupled with loud calls for “getting our country back,” and lots of flag waving.
Prabhat Patnaik is an internationally renowned economist. He is a professor emeritus at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He is the author of Monopoly Capital Then and Now and The October Revolution and the Survival of Capitalism and co-author with his wife, Utsa Patniak, of The Drain of Wealth and Capital and Imperialism: Theory, History, and the Present.