Hegemony creates the conditions for transformation, rather than for its replacement by counter-hegemony.
What is the current neoliberal world transforming into due to the failed fulfillment of its promises and the pressure of resistance movements and rising new economic and political actors?
1. 1968 movement generated the conditions for neoliberalism: anti-authoritarianism and the consequent belief in merit, competition, individualism and the autonomy of the market as open/level playing field where who deserves gains and more in general where everyone does “their own thing”.
2. The 1994-2001 (?) season of movements against neoliberalism has opened towards the transformation of world society into something to be investigated which is neither the confirmation of neoliberalism as hegemon nor the victory of the counter-hegemonic bloc. A suggestion that leads my thoughts is formulated by Gibson (literature ahead of scholarship): a society of full and total information openness and access where contradictions and inconsistencies are exposed “sooner or later”. This is not very much but it is a beginning of a thesis to be investigated.
1. The old aristocracy of politics and economy has been disbanded by the post-68 readjustment. If the argument according to which the same class (political and economic) remained in power can hold to a certain point it is true nonetheless that a whole new generation of people came from the most disparate places. Berlusconi and Craxi being only two paradigmatic examples.
2. The new readjustment at the global level of the current/recent wave or protest is shifting some degree of power from west to east and from north to south (the movements want to associate them now with the South, with the political elites of the south, see the WSF just as in post-68 the newly born NGO movement reinterpreted and made its own third-worldism)
1. the conditions for the 68 movement were to be found in the failed promises to offer the new generation (the baby boomers!) a different world from the one that had generated the destruction of WWII and the monstrosity of the Shoa. The welfare state provided those young people with the analytical and practical instrument to comprehend the failed promises and react against their rulers. These conditions are usually referred to as education and health.
2. By the same analytical token the promises of neoliberalism have not be fulfilled and the little economic growth (in certain places not little at all indeed) has generated potential for the challenge of world hegemony and the exposure of the inherent inconsistency of the neoliberal promises of openness and access. The instruments that expose instrumental claims of moral righteousness and legitimate leadership are exposed and generate the conditions for rebellion are now (Gibson again but so much scholarship as well starting with Castells at least and onwards) ICTs.