Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Neoliberalism: The Ideology at the Root of All Our Problems

From:  Truth Out 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 00:00  
By George Monbiot, The Guardian US | Op-Ed 

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan at the White House in Washington, Feb. 20, 1985. (Photo: Paul Hosefros / The New York Times)
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan at the White House in Washington, February 20, 1985. After Thatcher and Reagan took power, neoliberalism soon followed. (Photo: Paul Hosefros / The New York Times)  

Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. 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?  MORE