Neoliberalism — a threat to democracy

31 January, 2017 at 19:02 | Posted in Politics & Society | 3 Comments

 

Perhaps the most dangerous impact of neoliberalism is not the economic crises it has caused, but the political crisis. As the domain of the state is reduced, our ability to change the course of our lives through voting also contracts. Instead, neoliberal theory asserts, people can exercise choice through spending. But some have more to spend than others: in the great consumer or shareholder democracy, votes are not equally distributed. The result is a disempowerment of the poor and middle. As parties of the right and former left adopt similar neoliberal policies, disempowerment turns to disenfranchisement. Large numbers of people have been shed from politics.
donald-trumpChris Hedges remarks that “fascist movements build their base not from the politically active but the politically inactive, the ‘losers’ who feel, often correctly, they have no voice or role to play in the political establishment”. When political debate no longer speaks to us, people become responsive instead to slogans, symbols and sensation. To the admirers of Trump, for example, facts and arguments appear irrelevant.

George Monbiot

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3 Comments

  1. Why would anyone expect neoliberalism not to be a threat to democracy?

    Neoliberalism in its original conception was a calculated ideological rejection of the expressed preferences of the masses:

    http://0055d26.netsolhost.com/friedman/pdfs/other_commentary/Farmand.02.17.1951.pdf

    It was paleoliberalism with a fresh coat of paint. Inevitably the rubes would sooner or later catch on that GDP and median household income measured two different things, only one of which mattered. At which point, a return to the dynamics articulated by Polanyi in The Great Transformation was foreordained.

    Analyzing the root causes of the collapse of Liberalism into authoritarian collectivism was, lest we forget, his motivation for the book in the first place. Return to the root causes, and expect a return to the consequent outcomes.

  2. The left is in a hopeless state and mostly consists of useful idiots who sell themselves to the highest bidder. There are some exceptions such as Slavok Zizek but the left mainstream is rotten to the core.
    Neoliberalism isnt rotten to the core which is why it can easily influence politics

  3. Neoliberalism is continuation of liberal predicate of David Ricardo in XIX century. Ricardo was criticized by Henry Charles Carey in two senses. First false premises in his rent definition, Carey show how rent is growing in all stages of humanity, in counter Ricardo’s decreasing returns. Second Ricardo conclusions directly causes slavishness. Ricardo and his economists claque directly and explicitly, with his concepts create conditions that empoverish people , for example promoting habitant depending on foreign commerce, when this activity is limited by high cost in transport and foreign demand and contingency.


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