Perry Anderson: “Why the system will still win”

The West is protesting, from the left and the right, against the neoliberal, globalist orthodoxies of the past 40 years:  “For anti-systemic movements of the left in Europe, the lesson of recent years is clear. If they are not to go on being outpaced by movements of the right, they cannot afford to be less radical in attacking the system, and must be more coherent in their opposition to it. That means facing the probability the EU is now so path-dependent as a neoliberal construction that reform of it is no longer seriously conceivable. It would have to be undone before anything better could be built, either by breaking out of the current EU, or by reconstructing Europe on another foundation, committing Maastricht to the flames. Unless there is a further, deeper economic crisis, there is little likelihood of either.”

Adam Tooze responds that ‘the fear of systemic disruption trumps the radical energy of the left mobilization’ because ‘the movements of the left have emerged directly out of the crisis. They capture, mobilize and articulate the shocked response of socio-cultural groups who thought the future belonged to them and have discovered both the cyclical risks in capitalist growth and the structural biases that manifest themselves in “hard times”’.