Here's another post on neoliberalism. This time a short one that mainly serves as an introduction to the video that's linked below, and is about how neoliberalism promotes authoritarianism and erodes democracy.
Neoliberalism is often misunderstood as merely market-fundamentalism, as the retreat of government and the belief that markets are self-correcting, allocate resources efficiently and serve the public interest better than any government could. Commonly known neoliberal policy prescriptions are privatization, liberalization and a push for small government, all based on the above mentioned belief in the omnipotent free markets. This is only half the story though and the part about wanting smaller government is an outright lie. I already explained, last month, that neoliberalism needs government to create new markets as well as protect existing markets, that they embrace the truth about there being clear winners and losers in competitive markets, and that the losers have only themselves to blame and therefore deserve no assistance from the government.
But that's where I want to expand on last month's post, Exchange Ideology. If neoliberals were only market-fundamentalists, they would call for the complete removal of any welfare programs. But they don't. No, they still offer money for poor people to not starve to death, only they attach conditions to it. Like mandating that recipients of welfare search for a job. Any job. And they have to prove that they've been searching for a set number of hours and that they've written applications for a set number of jobs. This has to be verified of course by the appropriate government agencies, which brings with it an enormous administrative task and many hours of work for that government. You see, it's like I wrote in last month's post:
Individuals behave, and are taught to behave as little private enterprises, constantly honing their worth on the marketplace and in constant competition with other individuals to claim their share of the pie. Schools compete with each other over students, hospitals compete over patients, states compete over (government) contracts, and countries compete over multinational businesses to settle on their ground.
Small government my ass. Neoliberals want a strong overbearing government in order to shape individuals, institutions and society as a whole according to their perverted vision of a highly competitive marketplace in every aspect and every segment of society. Authoritarianism is built-in, and decades of neoliberal policies have created the environment in which authoritarian leaders like Trump, Bolsonaro and Johnson have won elections. Watch the below linked video; it's an older one from the last stretch of the 2020 American general elections, and provides a good explanation of neoliberalism and how Biden has helped create the Trump presidency.
Authoritarian Neoliberalism and the Shadow of Democracy
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