On February 18, 2017, as part of its third European Conference, the Platypus Affiliated Society organized a panel discussion, “The Crisis of Neoliberalism,” at the University of Vienna. The event brought together the following speakers: Chris Cutrone, President of Platypus; John Milios, former chief economic advisor of SYRIZA; Emmanuel Tomaselli, of the International Marxist Tendency; and Boris Kagarlitsky, of the Institute for Globalization Studies and Social Movements in Moscow. What follows is an edited transcript of their discussion.
Populism is not an ideology, it is, therefore, intrinsically neither right nor left wing, but it may depending on the circumstances display elements ideological considered to be of the right or the left. As wrote Pierre-André Taguieff, who is based on an analysis of the political scientist rennes Yves Mény, in his book entitled ‘The revenge of nationalism’ (published in 2015), the populist movements appear when political parties do not respond to a strong demand for a substantial part of the people.
“We have to remove our complicity,” Blumenthal argued. “And that means when think tanks in Washington, especially those that are promoted by the same country that is helping fuel the violence in Yemen, in Bahrain, in Syria are promoting people like Alloush, that we call them out, that we expose them, that we make sure that arms stop flowing to figures like that.”
The paralysis afflicting the left movements in the era of neoliberalism must be overcome. The performance of the large global drama in which we all have still a role to play. We have to take responsibility for risky and dangerous decision, understand that it is impossible to be nice and pleasant for all, it is impossible to win without struggle and sacrifice.