Neoliberal ideology and conceptions of the state
Sometimes we talk about the state and the people it governs distinctly, other times we conflate them. There's a reason.
Brief observation I’ll just set down here: compare two different ways that neoliberal rhetoric talks about the state.
Neoliberals are calling for sanctions against Russia. If you really hold their feet to the fire and demand they say what they want specifically and precisely, it’s clear what this really means: what they want is sanctions that hurt ordinary Russian people, which they think will end up having an effect on the decisions made by Russian government officials. This is why Joe Biden, near the end of his Thursday press conference announcing sanctions, explained in a moment of candor that “we have to show resolve so he knows what’s coming and so the people of Russia know what he’s brought on them. That’s what this is all about.”
But that isn’t how we usually see people actually make the case for sanctions!