Wednesday, September 10, 2014

On neoliberalism

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
John Kenneth Galbraith

Neoliberalism is easily the most serious subject on the planet.  In the name of this belief set, the ecosphere has been almost terminally damaged, billions of people have had their lives shortened, their social relationships destroyed, their means of gainful employment shattered, and the very concept of having a life worth living reduced to a hideous joke.  It is believed by religious leaders, editorial writers, academics, and most certainly by the tote-baggers.

We are told that this ugliness is actually a science.  It is not.  It is perhaps the most thoroughly discredited con job in the history of the human species.  There are tried and true methods of managing an economy that are proven to have much higher levels of generalized prosperity.  Compared to the insanity of neoliberalism, WW I was an exercise in deeply rational thought.

Neoliberalism — a self-serving con

31 August, 2014

If neoliberalism were anything other than a self-serving con, whose gurus and think tanks were financed from the beginning by some of the richest people on earth … its apostles would have demanded, as a precondition for a society based on merit, that no one should start life with the unfair advantage of inherited wealth or economically-determined education. But they never believed in their own doctrine. Enterprise, as a result, quickly gave way to rent.

All this is ignored, and success or failure in the market economy are ascribed solely to the efforts of the individual. The rich are the new righteous, the poor are the new deviants, who have failed both economically and morally, and are now classified as social parasites.

The market was meant to emancipate us, offering autonomy and freedom. Instead it has delivered atomisation and loneliness. The workplace has been overwhelmed by a mad, Kafka-esque infrastructure of assessments, monitoring, measuring, surveillance and audits, centrally directed and rigidly planned, whose purpose is to reward the winners and punish the losers. It destroys autonomy, enterprise, innovation and loyalty and breeds frustration, envy and fear.  George Monbiot  more

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