In the past decades, neoliberal thought, the idea of deregulation privatization and business-friendly policies, was en vogue. Traditional leftists and social democrats adopted neoliberal ideas, like Bill Clinton with his "third way", Tony Blair with "New Labour" or Gerhard Schröder in Germany, who streamlined the welfare state. On the right, we had even more prominent supporters of deregulation and privatization, like Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher or Angela Merkel's pro-free market platform from 2003 on which she ran in 2005. All this seems to be gone with the financial and economic crisis. Most observers blame a lack of regulation for the financial collapse, and everybody calls for a strong state again, which is supposed to bail out companies to prevent a total economic collapse. Both left and right in America have agreed on such a bailout plan -- the same people who only a few months ago said we have to leave as much as possible to the market and the smaller the state is, the better. Here in Germany, it's even more extreme. Many prominent observers and even moderate politicians from left and right now officially declare the crisis is proof of the failure of neoliberal ideology -- the ideology of untamed free markets. For example, the new Prime Minister of Bavaria and chairman of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), Horst Seehofer, in the latest print issue of Der Spiegel: Horst Seehofer (CSU) (...) SPIEGEL: Does the financial crisis change the political coordinates in Germany? Seehofer: I am glad you are asking this question, because I had been victim of a worldview that now has collapsed. I had been labelled as backwards, a Blümian [reference to a former politician with a strong social democratic streak]. SPIEGEL: The financial crisis is an advantage for you? Seehofer: Not just baks have collapsed, but the philosophy of brute neo-liberalism. I did not expect that would happen so fast, but I had seen it coming for a while. This mere maximation of profits, this chase for interest yields, which sees life only through economic glasses, but which ignores everything else that's important in life, this ideology has collapsed. (...) You know the debate about dismissal protection. Do we want a social calibration of society? Is solidarity still modern, or is egoism the ultimate yardstick? I was frowned upon when I criticized that Nokia left Germany with a yield of 20 percent, because they considered it too few. They were not interested in the question what that means for the families of the 2000 employees who lost their jobs. Equity prices and budgets were all they cared for. (...) Human well-being had not been the yardstick anymore, for quite a while. (...) When thousands lose their jobs, we cannot just leave them behind. This has nothing to do with leftism, it is essential for a Christian party. SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation why neoliberal ideas were so successful, especially within the Christian Democratic Party (CDU)? Seehofer: These ideas were considered modern. It was mainstream. The whole economy pushed these ideas, and when you had the nerve to voice even the slightest opposition, you were branded as backwards. I neither want a centralized command economy, nor neoliberalism. Germany has a traditional model of success: The social market economy. For more than one century, it stood for great economic success and social safety. Of course it has to be reformed and revitalized. The problem is to equip the positive aspects of the market with a social guard railing. The balance between social security and innovation must once again be found. SPIEGEL: Is neo-liberalism now entirely dead? Seehofer: Yes. At least for my lifetime, it will be dead. SPIEGEL: And who is the winner of this shift of coordinates? Seehofer: The common people. So far, only an elite, a few, had profited from the neoliberal system. There was a loss of welfare in the broad mass of the population. I am not a socialist, but I want that there is a balance again. (...) So even a right-leaning conservative politican declares the failure of neo-liberal market ideology. What do you think? Is neo-liberalism dead?