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The Limits of Left Neo-Liberalism Revisited

Henry Farrell writes:

The Limits of Left Neo-Liberalism: [Brad DeLong wrote:]

Henry’s theory of politics is that successful and beneficial long-run politics can only be accomplished by a political party that is the political arm of a universal class—of a self-confident, organized group whose collective material interest is in fact the public interest.

Brad – I’m not at all sure where you’re getting this from, but it’s about as far from my theory of politics as one can get. If you can point to somewhere where I make an argument that even hints at this, I would love to see it. My ideal of politics is one in which power asymmetries between different classes of actors are as minimal as possible, so as to forestall the development of systematic inequalities of outcome in the marketplace, in society, and in politics...

Oh. I got Henry wrong then.

I thought that he thought that rational public policy was possible only within the Democratic coalition. Thus I thought he wanted our interest groups--Big Labor and Big Celebrity--to absolutely and completely stomp their interest groups so that our side could exercise political hegemony and make the world a better place.

It turns out that what he want is for our Big Labor and Big Celebrity to neutralize and offset their Big Business and Big Fundamentalism, so that then the public interest can bubble up via grassroots democracy.

And I really don't think that is workable or advisable. I don't think that is the way things work...