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400 pages, Hardcover
First published March 16, 2018
Ordoliberals promoted the concept of the social market economy, and this concept promotes a strong role for the state with respect to the market, which is in many ways different from the ideas connected to the term neoliberalism. Oddly the term neoliberalism was originally coined by ordoliberal Alexander Rüstow.but the German language one disagrees
Der Ordoliberalismus gehört zu einer heterogenen wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Strömung, die unter dem Oberbegriff Neoliberalismus zusammengefasst wird...Die Begriffe Ordoliberalismus und Neoliberalismus werden in der Literatur teilweise aber auch synonym verwendet.My understanding is that leftist critics of liberalism have tended to indiscriminately label all free-market liberals as neoliberals (Thatcher, Reagan, Milton Friedman...), but see ordoliberals as different; however in truth the differences between ordo- and neoliberals are nugatory compared to their mutual distance from standard liberalism. Slobodian at least chooses to focus on the subgenre of neoliberal most similar to ordoliberals, that of what he terms (parallel to the "Freiburg School" of ordoliberalism) the "Geneva School". (Globalist cosmopolitanism, of course, is very Swiss.)
the generation which in its youth saw the sunset glow of that long and glorious sunny day of the western world, which lasted from the Congress of Vienna until August 1914, and of which those who have only lived in the present arctic night of history can have no adequate conception.Chapter Five focuses mostly on Wilhelm Röpke, a heterodox neoliberal (he quit the neoliberal Mont Pelerin society after disagreements with Hayek) who was a notable defender of South African apartheid. However, Hayek and Milton Friedman were also skeptical about boycotts of the regime, emphasising neoliberalism's priority of markets over human rights. (This is basically Friedman's only appearance in the book, adding to the confusion of the term "neoliberal".) Another example is the way the Geneva School supported freedom of movement for capital, but not for people. In the words of Gottfried von Haberler:
The Ruhr Valley would become unbelievably crowded, and the Alps would empty out entirely...One need not be a nationalist for such things to be undesirable...free trade is beneficial for all even when there is no freedom of migration and the peoples remain firmly rooted in their countries.Slobodian relates how the founding of the European Economic Community, far from being a boon to ordoglobalists, actually worried them. A colonial bloc spanning from "the Baltic to the Congo" meant simply a vast space of imperial protectionism, a trading bloc that would disrupt the natural flow of capital in and out of its borders (while liberating it internally). (In Schmitt's terminology, it was empirium, not dominium, which perhaps can be said of its successor European Union.) In fact some European rearguard defenders of colonialism projected a potential Eurafrique trading zone - but it was not to be. Decolonisation meant a potentially destabilising wave of countries leaving the framework of empire and allowing the particular interests of their populations to threaten global trade. It was in global institutions that neoliberal ideas would now come to expression.