chapter  2
15 Pages

The continuing ecological dominance of neoliberalism in the crisis

ByBOB JESSOP

This chapter relates four main forms of neoliberalism and their development to the interaction of capital’s economic logic and the territorial logic of imperialism in the world market and interstate system. An important, but by no means exclusive, role is played by US transnational capital and imperial interests. For, despite the loss of American economic hegemony and multiple challenges to its domination from the 1980s onwards, the ideational and structural capacity of US economic and political power to shape the world remains preponderant on a global scale. This is related to the active and/or reactive integration of key features of US economic paradigms into strategies pursued by many of the key economic and political forces in other economies and to the formation of transnational blocs organised under US hegemony (or, at least, dominance) that promote policies on scales ranging from the global to the local that tend to favour the interests of an imperial United States and its major economic and political allies. This reflects and tends to reproduce the continuing ‘ecological dominance’ (see below, pp. 28-32) of forms of financial innovation that have been promoted by the US federal government, related international economic apparatuses, and transnational financial capital. This ecological dominance still holds after the financial crisis that emerged in mid-2007, rippled out through the world market in 2008 in the form of an increasingly deep recession, and is likely to become a global depression in 2009-10. In addressing these issues, this chapter comments on different forms of neoliberalism, identifies the highpoint of neoliberalism in 1985-97, discusses the nature of economic determination, argues that the logic of US neoliberalism is ecologically dominant in the world market, and concludes with remarks on the contradictions and limits of US domination.