John Lloyd’s article is helpful, above all, in revealing more fully his forms of thought. He appears to think my article was a piece of Marxist economics. Unfortunately it was entirely pre-theoretical: an attempt to introduce the claims of neo-liberals like Lloyd to some pertinent facts, with the aid of standard techniques of policy analysis.
Thus, my article included a refutation of Lloyd’s earlier central justification for Shock Therapy: his rather aggressively asserted claim that neo-liberal institutional engineering is needed in Eastern Europe because we live in a world dominated by globalized production.footnote1 My criticism was simply based on published oecd research indicating that Lloyd’s ‘globalized production’ stagnated during the 1980s. unctad research covering the 1970s as well suggests a decline in such production. Milton Friedman has also attacked the brand of globalization ideology which Lloyd espoused.footnote2 So has Lloyd’s own former newspaper, the Financial Times.footnote3 Attempts to dismiss all this as Marxist economics won’t do.
Lloyd now says my criticisms on this point are ‘worth refuting’. But he doesn’t refute them. He thus lets his earlier justification for Shock Therapy pass.footnote4 He tries to explain away his silence by saying the matter was not central to my argument. True, but it was central to his earlier justifications for the miseries of millions who have lived through Shock Therapy, or what Lloyd prefers to call Economic Reform, in the first half of the 1990s.
Lloyd is upset because I suggest only at the end of my article that the concept of imperialism should be explored for understanding the facts I have laid out. He portrays me as if, at the end of a civilized discussion on
Lloyd is also so shocked by the word ‘imperialism’ that he wants to solemnly banish me to the camp of the so-called Red-Brown coalition. This is surely precipitate, since he used to use the word himself, back in 1992, when speaking of the International Monetary Fund’s role in Russia. If I may quote him:
James Morgan, writing in the Financial Times, described the Fund and the [World] Bank as ‘the new imperialists’ spreading the new gospel [or, if you prefer, Cargo Cult]—the ‘Structural Adjustment Programme’. . .The evolution of such programmes has involved total integration of the imf and the World Bank into the life of the target countries.’ This is what is happening now in Russia. . .This phenomenon has gone largely unnoticed in the rich countries. . .but it is a fact of life. . .More than that, it is a determining element in their politics.’
For, as Lloyd also wrote: ‘From being a system as far as possible impervious to foreign intervention, the Russian government has become one of the most porous in the world.’footnote5 This was Lloyd back in early 1992, a long time ago. Since then, much has changed not only in Russia but, it seems, also in Lloyd.