Epic Ideological Fail

by digby

Before you listen to one more wingnut try to tell you that the financial crisis and global recession was caused by irresponsible black people, illegal immigrants and Fannienfreddie, take this short, simple trip down memory lane with economist Joseph Stiglitz in the latest issue of Vanity Fair. It concludes with this:

The truth is most of the individual mistakes boil down to just one: a belief that markets are self-adjusting and that the role of government should be minimal. Looking back at that belief during hearings this fall on Capitol Hill, Alan Greenspan said out loud, “I have found a flaw.” Congressman Henry Waxman pushed him, responding, “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right; it was not working.” “Absolutely, precisely,” Greenspan said. The embrace by America—and much of the rest of the world—of this flawed economic philosophy made it inevitable that we would eventually arrive at the place we are today.

Democrats are working very hard to discredit the very concept of ideology in favor of technocratic competence. And I would guess most Americans find that to be something of a relief by now. But I think it's as much a mistake to sweep this under the rug as it is to let bygones be bygones on the torture regime. There is ideology and then there is ideology and people should know the difference. These dogmatic deregulators and market fundamentalists ran a decades long experiment that failed on an epic scale. If the country doesn't understand what went wrong here -- if they get confused by complexity and propaganda --- there is every reason that the free lunch mentality these ideologues promoted will make a comeback the minute we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Ideology matters.

Update: Some of us have talking about this for a long, long time.