The essence of neoliberalism is privatization, in which the oligarchs own everything, including you and me. I call it neo-feudalism, because in feudal Europe, the noblemen and the clergy owned all the land and the wealth. Everyone else was a serf who paid rent to their owners. Today we are fast reverting to this situation.
In Brazil, for example, the new post-coup government is privatizing every public industry it can, as quickly as it can. Public assets are being given to the rich, so they can charge rent. This is the fastest way to widen the gap between the rich and the rest.
Comedian George Carlin summed up neo-feudalism this way…
“Politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything.”
Correct. It’s not about “markets.” It’s about owners and owned. Neo-feudalism is about the transfer of ownership from the public sphere to the 1%.
I mention this because too many people believe the cover story that neo-feudalism is aimed at fostering “market economies.” It is not. Neo-feudalism aimed at fostering ownership of the markets by the rich.
Here is the Salon blog…
Neoliberalism believes that markets are self-sufficient unto themselves, that they do not need regulation, and that they are the best guarantors of human welfare.
No. Wrong. That is the bullshit cover story. Neo-feudalism is aimed at giving all public assets to the rich. It is also aimed at creating monopolies so there is no competition, and no markets.
Neoliberalism encourages anything that promotes the market, i.e., privatization, deregulation, mobility of finance and capital, abandonment of government-provided social welfare, and the reconception of human beings as human capital. Wrong. Meanwhile neoliberalism discourages everything that supposedly diminishes the market, i.e., government services, regulation, restrictions on finance and capital, and conceptualization of human beings in transcendent terms.
Wrong. In neo-feudalism, the lords don’t care about “the markets.” They care about getting more money and power for themselves. How can everything be based on “the markets” when a handful of people own everything?
Stop believing the lies. Neo-feudalism is not about “the markets.” Nor is it about capitalism. It is about concentrating wealth, power, privilege, and ownership in the hands of the 1%. It’s that simple.
For example, the TPP has nothing to do with “free trade” or “the markets.” The TPP is designed to give all wealth, power, and sovereignty to the private owners of corporations.
The opposite of neo-feudalism is socialism, in which the public owns most of the means whereby goods and services are produced. The extreme form of socialism is communism, in which there is no private property at all. Ideally we need a balance (or a mixture) of capitalism and socialism, in which the public owns banks, utilities, roads, the police, the military, and everything else that is necessary to sustain life in its most basic form, while everything else is owned privately (e.g. your house or your car).
Neoliberalism is often described as “market fundamentalism,” but in neoliberalism there is no such thing as the market as we have understood it from previous ideologies.
Correct. Unfortunately the next several paragraphs relapse into meaningless gibberish that I shall eliminate. Let’s skip to this…
The project of neoliberalism—i.e., the redefinition of the state, the institutions of society, and the self—has come so far along that neoliberalism is almost beyond the need of individual entities to make or break its case. Its penetration has gone too deep, and none of the democratic figureheads that come forward can fundamentally question its efficacy.
The “redefinition of the state, the institutions of society, and the self” means privatization. There is no need for long-winded analyses.
When the USA used slaves from Africa, the slaves were quite simply the property of their owners. This is the direction that the world is rapidly moving in right now. Everyone and everything is becoming the property of the 1%. For instance, if you are shackled by student loan payments, then the 1% own a large portion of your energy, and therefore own a large portion of you.
Throughout human history there have been occasional experiments in socialism, but the default condition of human society has always been owners and slaves. This condition is sustained by force, and by bullshit (e.g. religion).
The reason why Bernie Sanders is so threatening to neoliberalism is that he has articulated a conception of the state, civil society, and the self that is not founded in the efficacy and rationality of the market.
Wrong again. Stop using that bullshit term “market.” The article mentions it 51 times.
Creditors own you, or at least a part of you. When Sanders calls for free college education and universal health care, he is calling for Americans to have more ownership of themselves. He is calling for more freedom.
Sanders does not believe—unlike Hillary Clinton—that the market can tackle climate change or income inequality or unfair health and education outcomes or racial injustice, all of which Clinton propagates.
Hillary doesn’t believe it either. She just wants to be queen. Rich people’s garbage about “market efficiency” or “free markets” is camouflage for their real project, which is to own everything and everyone.
In the current election campaign, Hillary Clinton has been the most perfect embodiment of neoliberalism among all the candidates, and I believe this explains the widespread discomfort among the populace toward her ascendancy.
As I said, Hillary wants to be worshipped as a queen.
People can perceive that her ideology is founded on a conception of human beings striving relentlessly to become human capital (as her opening campaign commercial so overtly depicted), which means that those who fail to come within the purview of neoliberalism should be rigorously ostracized, punished, and excluded.
Why not just say. “Slaves who defy their owners will be crushed”?
This is the dark side of neoliberalism’s ideological arm (a multiculturalism founded on human beings as capital), slaves or property which is why this project has become increasingly associated with suppression of free speech and intolerance of those who refuse to go along with the kind of identity politics neoliberalism promotes.
In order to maintain the gap between lords and peasants, the lords must terrorize the peasants, and sometimes exterminate them. The Bastille in Paris was a dungeon in which anyone who defied the rich was tortured to death. Thus, rich people kept the peasants in line through fear and terror. In any society, the wider the gap between peasants and their owners, the more the peasants must be terrorized. That’s why the mob rose up and tore down the Bastille during the revolution of 1789. It’s why the USA has become a police / surveillance state, with mass incarceration.
I believe that the generation of people—in their forties or older—supporting Hillary have already internalized neoliberal subjectivity, which they like to frame as realism or pragmatism, refusing for instance to accept that free college or health care are even theoretical possibilities. After all, they have maintained a measure of success in the past three or four decades after conceptualizing themselves as marketplace agents.
Among average Americans, the number of people who actually like Hillary is very small. Hillary will win because the process is rigged. Everyone knows this. The corporate media outlets keep saying that Hillary has “clenched the nomination,” which is a flat-out lie. The “super-delegates” cannot, by Democratic Party rules, commit themselves to Hillary, or even be tallied until the convention on July 25th.
Since most “super delegates” are anonymous, the media outlets can make up any lie they wish. The whole purpose of “super delegates” is to make it seem that the establishment’s favored candidate has a bigger lead than is actually the case.
Neoliberalism likes to focus on public debt—in the Clinton years national debt reduction became a mania, though George W. Bush promptly spent all the accumulated surpluses on tax cuts for the wealthy and on wars of choice—rather than inequality, because the only way to address inequality is through a different understanding of public debt; inequality can only be addressed through higher taxation, which has by now been excluded from the realm of acceptable discourse—except when Sanders, Trump, or Jeremy Corbyn in England go off script.
Raising taxes on the rich will do NOTHING to help the poor. Poor people need money, which can come from the U.S. government. There is no need to raise taxes on anyone. The U.S. government creates its spending money out of thin air. Hence, federal taxation should be abolished.
Also, the Clinton surpluses of 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2,000 were not “accumulated.” Nor were they “spent” on wars and tax cuts. That money was removed from the U.S. economy, and was effectively destroyed. The creation, destruction, and transference of money is exactly the same as changing numbers on a sports scoreboard.
So to recapitulate neoliberalism’s comprehensive success, let us note that we have gone from a liberal, Keynesian, welfare state to a neoliberal, market-compliant, disciplinary state.
Nope. We are moving toward a neo-feudal state, in which the 1% own the markets.
The merging of giant corporations so they become even more giant is not about “the markets.” It’s about creating monopolies that eliminate markets and competition. It’s about power and control. When you are held captive by a monopoly, you are not part of a “market.” You are a slave or a serf. You must pay tributes. If you own an apartment complex, then your tenants are not your “market.” They are tenants. Neo-feudalism is about creating a planet of tenants, ruled by the 1%.
Neoliberalism expects that economic decision-making will be applied to all areas of life (parenthood, intimacy, sexuality, and identity in any of its forms), and that those who do not do so will be subject to discipline. Everyone must invest in their own future, and not pose a burden to the state or anyone else, otherwise they will be refused recognition as human beings.
Wrong again. Neo-feudalism is not about entrepreneurship, or “market calculi.” It is about reducing the 99% to being slaves of the 1%. It is about everyone and everything being owned by the 1%.
Hillary Clinton’s animus against free college education; which was a reality from the 1950s to the 1980s, cannot be allowed to return. Human beings are supposed to invest in their own future earnings potential.
No. Human beings are supposed to accept their status as property.
Hillary doesn’t want you to “invest in your own future earnings potential.” She doesn’t want entrepreneurs. She wants slaves and worshippers.
Neoliberalism’s task, from this point on, is to mask and manage the increasing inequalities that befall humanity, especially as the planet reaches a crisis point in its health.
Hence the increasing surveillance, the increasing police brutality, and the increasing manipulation of elections.
With Hillary Clinton, the movement will be toward further privatization of social welfare, “reforming” it along market principles.
The privatization of Medicare and Social Security is not about “market principles.” It is about ownership. It is about the public (i.e. the government) handing 1.1 trillion dollars a year in FICA tax revenue to the private thieves of Wall Street.
I shall cut it off here, because the author continues to prattle on about nothing, in a style that is so academic it is unreadable.