Corrente

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Best called shot ever?

Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, 1932-34:

The approach of the free trade movement is based on a theoretical error whose practical origin is not hard to identify: namely the distinction between political society and civil society, which is made into and presented as an organic one, whereas in fact it is merely methodological. Thus it is asserted that economic activity belongs to civil society, and that the state must not intervene to regulate it. But since in actual reality civil society and state are one and the same, it must be made clear that laissez-faire too is a form of state ‘regulation’, introduced and maintained by legislative and coercive means [Take that, libertarians!]. It is a deliberate policy, conscious of its own ends, and not the spontaneous, automatic expression of economic facts [Take that, neo-liberals!]. Consequently, laissez-faire liberalism is a political programme, designed to change – in so far as it is victorious – a state’s ruling personnel [Bob Rubin], and to change the economic programme of the state itself [heck, name it] – in other words the distribution of the national income ["income inequality" and increase in Gini Coefficieint, 1975 - 2013].

Yes, a called shot on exactly what NAFTA was designed to do, and did. In 1932-34. Not too shabby.

Additionally, the idea that the distinction between state and civil society is "methodological" is very important, because it makes a nonsense of the idea of "the revolving door." The doors revolve between rooms in the same lavishly appointed suites in the same Grand Hotel, so what does it matter which side of which door Lanny Breuer, to pick today's bete noir, is on? It doesn't. In every room the sheets are still warm, no matter which Lanny will have taken Lanny's place.

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