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Instead, neoliberal theory asserts, people can exercise choice through spending. But some have more to spend than others: in the great consumer or shareholder democracy, votes are not equally distributed. The result is a disempowerment of the poor and middle. As parties of the right and former left adopt similar neoliberal policies, disempowerment turns to disenfranchisement.

Large numbers of people have been shed from politics. When political debate no longer speaks to us, people become responsive instead to slogans, symbols and sensation. To the admirers of Trump, for example, facts and arguments appear irrelevant. Judt explained that when the thick mesh of interactions between people and the state has been reduced to nothing but authority and obedience, the only remaining force that binds us is state power. Like communism, neoliberalism is the God that failed. But the zombie doctrine staggers on, and one of the reasons is its anonymity.

Or rather, a cluster of anonymities. The invisible doctrine of the invisible hand is promoted by invisible backers. Slowly, very slowly, we have begun to discover the names of a few of them. We find that the Institute of Economic Affairs, which has argued forcefully in the media against the further regulation of the tobacco industry, has been secretly funded by British American Tobacco since We discover that Charles and David Koch , two of the richest men in the world, founded the institute that set up the Tea Party movement. The words used by neoliberalism often conceal more than they elucidate.

But it is fraught with power relations. One is the funding of productive and socially useful activities, the other is the purchase of existing assets to milk them for rent, interest, dividends and capital gains. A century ago, the nouveau riche were disparaged by those who had inherited their money. Entrepreneurs sought social acceptance by passing themselves off as rentiers.

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Today, the relationship has been reversed: the rentiers and inheritors style themselves entre preneurs. They claim to have earned their unearned income. These anonymities and confusions mesh with the namelessness and placelessness of modern capitalism: the franchise model which ensures that workers do not know for whom they toil ; the companies registered through a network of offshore secrecy regimes so complex that even the police cannot discover the beneficial owners ; the tax arrangements that bamboozle governments; the financial products no one understands.

The anonymity of neoliberalism is fiercely guarded. Those who are influenced by Hayek, Mises and Friedman tend to reject the term, maintaining — with some justice — that it is used today only pejoratively. But they offer us no substitute. For all that, there is something admirable about the neoliberal project, at least in its early stages.

It was a distinctive, innovative philosophy promoted by a coherent network of thinkers and activists with a clear plan of action. It was patient and persistent.

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The Road to Serfdom became the path to power. When laissez-faire economics led to catastrophe in , Keynes devised a comprehensive economic theory to replace it. When Keynesian demand management hit the buffers in the 70s, there was an alternative ready. But when neoliberalism fell apart in there was This is why the zombie walks.

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The left and centre have produced no new general framework of economic thought for 80 years. Every invocation of Lord Keynes is an admission of failure. To propose Keynesian solutions to the crises of the 21st century is to ignore three obvious problems.


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It is hard to mobilise people around old ideas; the flaws exposed in the 70s have not gone away; and, most importantly, they have nothing to say about our gravest predicament: the environmental crisis. Keynesianism works by stimulating consumer demand to promote economic growth. Consumer demand and economic growth are the motors of environmental destruction. Went from 56 percent — and it stayed there for years, between 50 and 56 — to 94 percent. And we — all of us — are living by two simple rules: Buy American and hire American. Very simple. Unemployment has recently reached the lowest rate in 51 years.

What is free movement, what does it mean for EU migration and when will it end?

More — and think of this: More Americans are working today than ever before in the history of our country. Almost million people. More than ever before, by far. Asian American unemployment is at an all-time low. Hispanic unemployment — an all-time low. And soon the basic number will be historic. Fifty percent since the election. And veteran unemployment is now at the lowest level ever, ever, ever recorded. They were taking out billion a year for many years from our country. Five hundred billion, not million.

Think of what that means. Five-hundred billion dollars a year taken out of our country. And their economy is way down. But their economy is down 32 to 38 percent. And our economy, if you look at the numbers, since my election, is up almost 50 percent. And the world economy — the world economy is not good. And frankly, if the world economy were good, that would be, in a way, good for us. Europe is down, Asia is down — a lot of places. Almost every place is down. Except the United States is up.

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And just think of what that would be. The world goes up; we go up with the world.

The world is down, but we still go up. Something is happening. Last week, as I said, Toyota announced a massive investment. Ford is bringing hundreds of new jobs to Chicago and other places. Volkswagen is creating 1, brand new jobs in the state of Tennessee. Think of that. But I said I was going to do it.

How do you top that in a debate? What are they going to say? I watched them on television.

What is free movement, what does it mean for EU migration and when will it end?

But the unions — the people that work there are on our side. I had —. But I had them in, and we explained how good it was for the car industry, for this, for that. Oh, this is unbelievable. Thank you, sir. But then I see one of the guys the next day on a television show. But I just left the guy. Nobody else could do it. I want to deal with the people in the union, not the heads of the union.

Because the heads of the union are not honest people. They ought to stop with the dues.