Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste

Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste:How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown

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At the onset of the Great Recession, as house prices sank and joblessness soared, many commentators thought that neoliberalism itself was in its death throes. And yet it seems that—post-apocalypse—we’ve awoken into a second nightmare more ghastly than the first: a political class still blaming government intervention, a global drive for austerity, stagflation, and exploding sovereign debt crises.
Philip Mirowski argues that, as in classic studies of cognitive dissonance, neoliberal thought has become so pervasive that any countervailing evidence serves only to further convince disciples of its ultimate truth. Once neoliberalism became a Theory of Everything—a revolutionary account of self, knowledge, information, markets, and government—it could no longer be falsified by mere data from the ‘real’ economy.
In this sharp, witty and deeply informed account—taking no prisoners in his pursuit of ‘zombie’ economists—Mirowski surveys the wreckage of what passes for economic thought, and finally provides the basis for an anti-neoliberal account of the current crisis and our future prospects.


  • It is hard to imagine a historian who was not an economist (as Mirowski is) being able to encompass the economics of the second half of the 20th century in its diversity and technicality.

    London Review of Books
  • Philip Mirowksi is the most imaginative and provocative writer at work today on the recent history of economics.

    Boston Globe