The time has come, off the back of the current crisis, to proclaim that the great neo-liberal experiment of the past 30 years has failed, that the emperor has no clothes. … Neo-liberalism, and the free-market fundamentalism it has produced, has been revealed as little more than personal greed dressed up as an economic philosophy. … Government is not the intrinsic evil that neo-liberals have argued it is. Government, properly constituted and properly directed, is for the common good, embracing both individual freedom and fairness, a project designed for the many, not just the few.
Paul Kelly has pinged the politics:
He shuns any embrace of old-fashioned socialism. For Rudd, Labor’s task is to hold the middle ground – between state socialism and free-market fundamentalism. He argues the failure of neo-liberalism has made the state the primary actor; it must save the financial system, stimulate the economy and impose a new global regulatory regime.
Rudd has put Turnbull on notice. His plan is to convert the global crisis into a historic failure of Liberal Party philosophy and its pro-market ideas.
I’m a bit sceptical about whether the Howard government actually was a neo-liberal regime. Dirigism for its supporters at the top end of town and populist handouts for the masses, while seeking to control more or less everything was more its style. But here probably the direction and intent of regulation and interventionism is more important than the size of the state. I suspect, though, Rudd will get away with making the charge stick to the Liberals. And that, I think, is the purpose of the exercise. I’m not sure how much ideological content there actually is in Rudd’s essay. I think the ideological chasm Lenore Taylor perceives might be a tad illusory.
Elsewhere: Jason Soon, probably predictably, isn’t impressed, but I think he has exposed some flaws in Rudd’s argument and logic.
Elsewhere: Guy Beres.