It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems

page: 1
17

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 06:20 PM
link   
It's the title of the article, with which I am in total agreement.


Never mind structural unemployment: if you don’t have a job it’s because you are unenterprising. Never mind the impossible costs of housing: if your credit card is maxed out, you’re feckless and improvident. Never mind that your children no longer have a school playing field: if they get fat, it’s your fault. In a world governed by competition, those who fall behind become defined and self-defined as losers.


Sometimes on youtube, I watch records of judges talking to the accused, and I often find myself thinking "Does the judge have any idea of what he is talking about, does he even have the smallest possible general view of society and its problems ?". Often the judges say with a patronising tone something like "don't you think you should find a job, don't you think it would be better, what are you waiting for ? etc..". Those people (the judges AND the accused, and all those involved in the process) have generally no idea of what's going on, they have probably never heard the word "neoliberalism" and if by chance they've heard it, they probably thought it had nothing to do with their daily lives, they probably thought it is part of the useless theoretical stuff people learn about in a classroom, nothing concrete.


The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you’ll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is? Its anonymity is both a symptom and cause of its power. It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007‑8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump. But we respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, apparently unaware that they have all been either catalysed or exacerbated by the same coherent philosophy; a philosophy that has – or had – a name. What greater power can there be than to operate namelessly?


The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist ? Or here is another quote "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free". Because to recognize that there is a problem with something, first you have to open your eyes and see the situation. Does a fish in the ocean ever question the existence of the water ? Most people have come to believe that this system in which we live is the result of natural causes, that it's the untampered expression of nature.


So pervasive has neoliberalism become that we seldom even recognise it as an ideology. We appear to accept the proposition that this utopian, millenarian faith describes a neutral force; a kind of biological law, like Darwin’s theory of evolution. But the philosophy arose as a conscious attempt to reshape human life and shift the locus of power. We internalise and reproduce its creeds. The rich persuade themselves that they acquired their wealth through merit, ignoring the advantages – such as education, inheritance and class – that may have helped to secure it. The poor begin to blame themselves for their failures, even when they can do little to change their circumstances


It is a system made by the rich for the rich, in which if you already have a lot, you can only have more, and if you have very little you have very little chances to get more and you are condemned to the life of a proletarian who sells his work force in order to survive from day to day or month by month.


...After Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan took power, the rest of the package soon followed: massive tax cuts for the rich, the crushing of trade unions, deregulation, privatisation, outsourcing and competition in public services. Through the IMF, the World Bank, the Maastricht treaty and the World Trade Organisation, neoliberal policies were imposed – often without democratic consent – on much of the world. Most remarkable was its adoption among parties that once belonged to the left: Labour and the Democrats, for example. As Stedman Jones notes, “it is hard to think of another utopia to have been as fully realised.”



Everything we feared about communism -- that we would lose our houses, savings, and be forced to labor eternally for meager wages with no voice in the system -- has come true under capitalism.



Let's discuss.




posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 06:37 PM
link   
An interesting subject and an OP which I agree with wholeheartedly.

It'll be a thread worth watching to see if our oh so vocal political pundits can digest this complex subject. I'm not holding my breath but will endeavour to partake should the conversation become stimulating.



posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 06:44 PM
link   
a reply to: gosseyn

Ok but if a good look is taken a post revolutionary Russia there was no great harvest for the people. They worked harder for less.....oh for the state.

But yea when the capital Ponzi deal needs adjusted from time to time as it always will, just make sure your not in the dumbass crowd that believed everything they were told about investing ect.



posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 07:08 PM
link   
a reply to: gosseyn

My old understanding of neo-liberalism is that it encourages social change but only to the degree that it can be capitalized upon financially. Social change that does not encourage a continued reliance upon the capitalist machine should not be allowed. Neo-liberalsim was used to broaden markets, saturate the people with materialist products designed to attract people who did not already fall within the conservative ranks of consumers. Neo-liberalism is a tool of the wealthy capitalist class. But this is how I learned it to be decades ago.

Also, much of what you present above sounds to me to be much like Social Darwinism, the idea that survival of the fittest not only holds to evolutionary progress, but also into the market place. Those who are smarter will be more successful and others, those who are different from the successful norm of this philosophy are deemed to be losers. This meme of Social Darwinism is equally as repressive as neoliberalsim. They seem to go hand in hand.



posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 07:34 PM
link   
Great...another term to accept.

It's like being Neoconservative.....only.....not., right?

So to shorten lets say Neocon and Neo Lib.

however, if I may, is mention you are still "labeling", I mean, don't we have enough?

What is the difference between a Neocon and a Neolib? They are both "elite" and do the same exact thing.

It's the same # that frustrates me with science. Special Relativity, General Relativity and Quantum mechanics, at least in my simple brain if any were accurate it would explain all three. So there's that.



posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 08:54 PM
link   

originally posted by: Rosinitiate
Great...another term to accept.

It's like being Neoconservative.....only.....not., right?

So to shorten lets say Neocon and Neo Lib.

however, if I may, is mention you are still "labeling", I mean, don't we have enough?

What is the difference between a Neocon and a Neolib? They are both "elite" and do the same exact thing.

It's the same # that frustrates me with science. Special Relativity, General Relativity and Quantum mechanics, at least in my simple brain if any were accurate it would explain all three. So there's that.


Actually, I miss real Liberals. Now we have "Progressives" which worship Totalitarian Statism unlike freedom minded Liberals (now called Classic Liberals by many).

Progressives are not Neo-Libs.... They are Neo-Comms (Stalin / Mao Style). Utilizing the power and FORCE of Government.


If you haven't noticed (social issues), the "Right" tries to mostly "prevent" things from being legalized or changed. Rarely are they trying to Force people to "do something" new (or else). The "Left" is exactly the opposite, they try to "push" their agenda by attempting to force everyone to "comply" with their ideas and values, specifically through laws, regulations, and social shaming.

Not much difference between Neo-cons and Neo-Comms on foreign policy. Both continue the same doctrine of foreign intervention and unnecessary wars.
edit on 4-8-2016 by infolurker because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 09:52 PM
link   
a reply to: Rosinitiate

Same sort of imperialist / conqueror / disaster capitalist mindset, just applied in different ways (and the staple of BOTH Republicans & Democrat's one way or another between the two).

And the Neocons were founded on the influence of leftists:





posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 10:29 PM
link   
a reply to: infolurker

I miss Liberals too. Most of us have died off I suppose. I've seen a few try to go the Progressive route but they were miserable being told what to think and what to say.
A dear friend of mine has struggled for years to stay on board with the Democrats despite her dissatisfaction with the road she saw them heading down. She called me after the Democrat convention, wanting me to be the first to know that she was leaving the party and going independent. She's 93 years old and sharp as a tack. She raised more kids than I can count and every one of them is a successful, productive citizen today. She said after watching the convention speeches her only reaction was that she wanted to slap their jaws for their speeches. She found the entire spectacle reprehensible for the divisiveness of it all. Her words were, "I would say they could all go to the devil but I'm thinking they're already with him."

Liberals were fun because they didn't tell you how to party...what to eat...what to drive...they just wanted everyone to be free and happy. The road you took to free and happy was up to you, not them. The strongest rebuke you were likely to encounter from a Liberal was, "Shut up and pass that bowl, sister."
Today's progressives are not the Liberals of the '60s, much as a lot of folk would like to believe. We didn't suddenly turn into fascists when we hit 40. We know a fascist when we see one and we see a lot of them in politics today in both major parties.
Liberals didn't abhor work, didn't think the world owed us anything except freedom. We worked hard for that.
We got the Civil Rights Act passed and the draft abolished. Now these nutjobs are lining up behind people who want the return of segregation and the draft reinstated. It's enough to drive a sane, thinking person to drink...or drugs...legal ones of course!



posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 10:33 PM
link   
a reply to: diggindirt

DIG!

You should join in the discussion over here that's exactly what you're talking about:
Let's Compare 10 Years Ago Versus Today....
edit on 4-8-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 01:52 AM
link   
a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

Ten years ago we were hunkered down getting ready for the bubble to burst, making preparations for the recession.
Anyone who was paying the slightest attention knew where the road we were on ended up. It didn't appear to me then that either party was going to make a nickel's worth of difference.
To provide for a slightly more comfortable retirement and be able to help our family should they need it, we became true capitalists and invested in mutual funds. But when the predictions of some pretty smart people started looking like truth in 2006, we took our winnings and walked away from that crap table. At the time we tried our very best to caution some family members that taking the word of a banker who was saying, "You can't lose money on this deal." wasn't always a good idea.
But they were riding high at the time and would not believe that the future could be anything but rosy, these youngsters who were toddlers during the Carter years. To them, waiting two years to jump into a mortgage was just wasting time that they could be making money by having it "invested" in a house. The fact that they were paying $250k for a house actually worth $135k (at most) passed them in both lanes. They just didn't "get it" until the bank sent them the letter telling them that the value of the house was actually $140k but the mortgage was still $250k. Then the banker who urged them to this deal lost his job, his house, etc....and their 401k accounts lost half their value. It was a sad, hard lesson they've had to learn about greed. The contagion is very real.
We weren't listening to bankers trying to loan us money. We were listening to those considered fringe thinkers. We were safe from the bankers and were able to help others get to safety.
Ten years ago I hoped that the NeoLiberalism of the Clintons was dead and buried. I'd had enough of the Doublespeak. I was disgusted by the NeoCons as well. I devoted most of my political energies to getting good local candidates and urging them to run as independents. I've had limited success. Money and power hold more allure than servitude.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 07:42 AM
link   
Capitalism is inherently evil. We have a cutthroat society based on personal gain at all cost fulled by greed. Our government no longer refers to us as people but instead thinks of us as consumers. They print the money and we spend it until it all gets sucked to the top 1%. The poor are ostracized and used as a weapon to scare the middle class. The middle class are brainwashed into believing the poor are the cause of societies financial problems. When less then 1% of the people in this nation own more wealth then the other 99% combined I'd say that's a serious problem. The wealth use to be distrusted through jobs. Instead of supplying us with jobs they use foreign slave labor. Why should these people exploiting foreign slave labor at the cost of the American people get to live here and enjoy our freedoms we fought and bled for? If they want to exploit foreign slave labor at our cost maybe they should go live there.
edit on 5-8-2016 by wantsome because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 09:01 AM
link   
Another capitalism is evil post. Yawn.

If you don't work, you don't eat. Either (A) grow your own food, or (B) have something to trade/barter to get food. Since caveman times. Capitalism makes it easier to than ever in history to do (B).



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 01:23 PM
link   

originally posted by: jjkenobi
Another capitalism is evil post. Yawn.

If you don't work, you don't eat. Either (A) grow your own food, or (B) have something to trade/barter to get food. Since caveman times. Capitalism makes it easier to than ever in history to do (B).


I am left speechless by your argumentative power.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 03:11 PM
link   

originally posted by: wantsome
Capitalism is inherently evil. We have a cutthroat society based on personal gain at all cost fulled by greed. Our government no longer refers to us as people but instead thinks of us as consumers. They print the money and we spend it until it all gets sucked to the top 1%. The poor are ostracized and used as a weapon to scare the middle class. The middle class are brainwashed into believing the poor are the cause of societies financial problems. When less then 1% of the people in this nation own more wealth then the other 99% combined I'd say that's a serious problem. The wealth use to be distrusted through jobs. Instead of supplying us with jobs they use foreign slave labor. Why should these people exploiting foreign slave labor at the cost of the American people get to live here and enjoy our freedoms we fought and bled for? If they want to exploit foreign slave labor at our cost maybe they should go live there.


Capitalism is a tool---only a tool---to be used. Is a hammer evil? Is a knife evil? You have obviously confused inanimate objects with people. Perhaps you need to do a bit of study on capitalism and present us with a workable alternative.
You claim you want jobs and yet you say capitalism is evil---how does that work? Do you want the fruits of your labor to go to the government so they can determine how much you deserve? Do you think yourself incapable of determining your own fate?
It seems you're confused about greed. People are greedy---it is a human emotion; systems (capitalism, socialism, etc.) don't have emotions.
Is it greedy to work to provide for family? Is it greedy to amass money to be able to provide help for those who might be caught in unforeseen circumstances? No, it is prudent to do so. Capitalism is the only system that allows one to do so, to amass means to help one's fellow humans. It has allowed our country to become the most generous nation in the world when it comes to helping others on an individual basis.
I agree that we shouldn't be exploiting slave labor in foreign countries. I'm not doing that. I do all that is within my power not to do so by watching very carefully where the items I purchase are manufactured and not purchasing products from companies that operate on slave labor.
I'm truly sorry your education was so inadequate that you ascribe human emotional traits to an economic system. The good news is that it's not too late to become better educated. Obviously you have the means to access a computer so you can expand your knowledge.



posted on Aug, 5 2016 @ 04:33 PM
link   
a reply to: gosseyn

I disagree. Behaving according to any ideology creates problems. Ideology is nothing more than an excuse to not think about situations as they arise, and evaluate everything on a case by case basis. It's the idea that if everything is handled in the same way, according to the same formula, that the outcome will be positive.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 10:42 AM
link   
a reply to: gosseyn

I want to add another source to this discussion (though I come late) that I saw this morning:

www.truth-out.org...

It really isn't so much about Trump as it is about Trump as a product of the cult of neo-liberaism written by a wonderful thinker and writer.

To wit:


Within neoliberal ideology, an emphasis on competition in every sphere of life promotes a winner-take-all ethos that finds its ultimate expression in the assertion that fairness has no place in a society dominated by winners and losers. As William Davies points out, competition in a market-driven social order allows a small group of winners to emerge while at the same time sorting out and condemning the vast majority of institutions, organizations and individuals "to the status of losers."


and


Atomization fueled by a fervor for unbridled individualism produces a pathological disdain for community, public values and the public good. As democratic pressures are weakened, authoritarian societies resort to fear, so as to ward off any room for ideals, visions and hope. Efforts to keep this room open are made all the more difficult by the ethically tranquilizing presence of a celebrity and commodity culture that works to depoliticize people. The realms of the political and the social imagination wither as shared responsibilities and obligations give way to an individualized society that elevates selfishness, avarice and militaristic modes of competition as its highest organizing principles.


While I recommend the entire article, just a bit more:


Neoliberalism fosters the viewing of pain and suffering as entertainment, warfare a permanent state of existence, and militarism as the most powerful force shaping masculinity. Politics has taken an exit from ethics and thus the issue of social costs is divorced from any form of intervention in the world. For example, under neoliberalism, economic activity is removed from its ethical and social consequences and takes a flight from any type of moral consideration. This is the ideological metrics of political zombies. The key word here is atomization, and it is the defining feature of neoliberal societies and the scourge of democracy.


It is unfortunate that many are not aware that classic 'liberatism' is defined as the State and Corporate (read monied) interests working together. Where once the State and Commerce were somewhat counterbalanced - the State nominally looking out for the common welfare - Commerce looking out for capital - liberalism posited joining the two into a megalithic entitiy that has come,with the advent of neo-liberalism (trickle down), to pursue the interests of capital exclusively.

Those habituated to Corporate and Government systems live in a bubble, 'unable to see', the needs of anything or anyone outside the demands of Capital. The acquisition of capital is the only legal and eithical option in such a system.

I hear it so much "nothing else works" and see so many blank stares "that's idealism" or wrose yet "that's socialism" when I speak to those with neo-liberal blinders on, whether left or right, progressive or conservative about the failure of our current political/economic/social paradigim.

Good topic, worth joining.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 03:09 PM
link   
a reply to: FyreByrd

Good article.

Yes, Trump is a symptom of a deeper problem. It reminds me of the movie "idiocracy" in which the president is a real moron


Recently I have rematched the movie "1984", and it's just incredible how what is taking place in the movie resonates with our today world : permanent state of war against an elusive and almost undefined enemy. War is peace, ignorance is strength, slavery is freedom... Everyone is isolated from everyone else, individuals have no past, no family, no knowledge, they become perfect targets for manipulation of all kinds.

Actually, I want to take the movie and add to it small clips taken from the media or documentaries to show how our today world is similar to the world of the movie.



posted on Oct, 6 2016 @ 11:27 PM
link   

originally posted by: jjkenobi
Another capitalism is evil post. Yawn.

If you don't work, you don't eat. Either (A) grow your own food, or (B) have something to trade/barter to get food. Since caveman times. Capitalism makes it easier to than ever in history to do (B).


No, science and technology makes it easier than ever, not capitalism. The means of production are being confiscated by a few, and in an ideal world, it should be the role of the government - which in theory is the highest manifestation of the will to cooperate of a given community - to distribute those means of production and make them available for the people to create, to build, to produce. What exactly prevents this sort of real social progress, in an age where we can build fully automated factories, if it isn't stupid and archaic ideologies and people who keep repeating the same words again and again and the same thought processes again and again ?







 
17

log in

join