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Fri Dec 11, 2015, 12:16 PM

American Nightmare: the Depravity of Neoliberalism

American Nightmare: the Depravity of Neoliberalism

by Michael Welton

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/04/american-nightmare-the-depravity-of-neoliberalism/



Deciphering the meaning of Neo-liberalism as a historical force and societal form requires the energies and know-how of a sagacious sleuth like Hercule Poirot. Wendy Brown, a philosophy professor at UCLA (Berkeley) and author of Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution, has a Poirot intellectual sensibility and acuity that sees what most of us cannot.

Those of us who have written on neo-conservative politics and neo-liberalism as an economic form have illuminated many dimensions of “something new” that has emerged out of the collapse of welfare state liberal democracy in the West over the last five decades.

But putting all the pieces of this intricate puzzle together and detecting not only particular patterns but also the logic underlying neo-liberalism is a complex task.

What is the connection between the US Empire’s contempt for law and truth-telling and neo-liberalism?

And how is it that citizens can be so passive in the face of evident government prevarication, endless spinning of false narratives, the evisceration of democratic morality and countless corporate and government scandals?

Continued:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/04/american-nightmare-the-depravity-of-neoliberalism/

34 replies, 3420 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply American Nightmare: the Depravity of Neoliberalism (Original post)
newthinking Dec 2015 OP
merrily Dec 2015 #1
fredamae Dec 2015 #4
merrily Dec 2015 #6
fredamae Dec 2015 #11
TIME TO PANIC Dec 2015 #20
Hepburn Dec 2015 #32
eomer Dec 2015 #29
hedda_foil Dec 2015 #2
Dragonfli Dec 2015 #3
hedda_foil Dec 2015 #5
KoKo Dec 2015 #7
tecelote Dec 2015 #9
SoapBox Dec 2015 #12
Vincardog Dec 2015 #14
ConservativeDemocrat Dec 2015 #16
tecelote Dec 2015 #24
Vincardog Dec 2015 #26
bobthedrummer Dec 2015 #33
Samantha Dec 2015 #13
yallerdawg Dec 2015 #25
navarth Dec 2015 #27
1norcal Dec 2015 #8
hedda_foil Dec 2015 #15
haikugal Dec 2015 #10
yallerdawg Dec 2015 #17
Phlem Dec 2015 #18
TIME TO PANIC Dec 2015 #19
Phlem Dec 2015 #21
hedda_foil Dec 2015 #22
Rebkeh Dec 2015 #23
hedda_foil Dec 2015 #28
colsohlibgal Dec 2015 #30
Judi Lynn Dec 2015 #31
DaveT Dec 2015 #34

Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 12:50 PM

1. Lots of food for thought.

Neo conservatives are a lot more like conservatives than neo liberals are like liberals. In fact, neo liberals are more like conservatives than they are like liberals.

The welfare state began collapsing in 1965? Who knew? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Society

"Free market" or corporate welfare?

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Response to merrily (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 12:53 PM

4. I consider NeoLibs the

Republican Wing of the Dem Party.

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Response to fredamae (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 01:21 PM

6. Or the moderates of the Republican Party.

Teddy Roosevelt's wing of the Republican Party was its left wing. Neoliberals are considerably to Teddy's right, if you adjust for changes in time.

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Response to merrily (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 01:59 PM

11. Good points n/t

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Response to fredamae (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 03:19 PM

20. Third-Way/DLC types.

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Response to TIME TO PANIC (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 12, 2015, 11:10 AM

32. Ditto. n/t

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Response to merrily (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 07:02 PM

29. All conservatives and neocons are neoliberals.

Neoliberalism is a school of economics that advocates free markets as the solution to everything. It has nothing to do with the liberalism of US politics except that they both include the word "liberal".


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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 12:50 PM

2. Great post. Let's get this to the Greatest page.

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 12:52 PM

3. Bookmarked for later reading, looks fascinating and enlightening. /nt

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 01:10 PM

5. This is so important to read that I HAVE to post this excerpt.


Aware that the mere restoration of some ragtag social welfare state spiced with a pinch of climate change rhetoric is a dangerous delusion, Brown slices through the bramble bush of esoteric terminology to enable us to see that “neo-liberalism carries a social analysis which, when deployed as a form of governmentality, reaches from the soul of the citizen-subject to education policy to practices of empire.” Neo-liberal rationality “involves extending and disseminating market values to all institutions and social actors, even as the market itself remains a distinctive player.”

Neo-liberalism ruthlessly sets out to subvert democracy

Neo-liberalism is a project requiring ruthless construction: plotting, planning and execution of the animating vision—in every domain of life. Donald Gutstein’s detailed study of Harperism: How Stephen Harper and his thank tank colleagues have transformed Canada (2014) hit me between the teeth.

Good god! This guy moved stealthily and incrementally according to a “master plan”: to dismantle Canadian democracy and free the society for total corporate domination without citizen recourse. It was systematic! It was devilish! He did it behind closed doors and in the twilight under our noses! Voter ignorance permits these bastards to blast the world back into the medieval era of serfdom and anti-enlightenment beliefs and degrading practices.

This intention to subvert liberal democracy has not been fully grasped by those on the left. That’s Brown’s wake-up call. And it is a salient one. It may provide us clues to understanding puzzling elements of the contemporary world such as lying without consequences, total absence of moral principle underpinning actions, abject inconsistency, utter hard-heartedness towards the vulnerable and contempt for democratic deliberation and international diplomacy.

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 01:25 PM

7. .....! Definitely good to have this snip..

to help those who need to bookmark to read later.

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 01:47 PM

9. Canada voted for change over the status quo...

"Good god! This guy moved stealthily and incrementally according to a “master plan”: to dismantle Canadian democracy and free the society for total corporate domination without citizen recourse. It was systematic! It was devilish! He did it behind closed doors and in the twilight under our noses!"

It's already happened here... right under our noses!

America also needs to vote for change. We can do that by voting for Bernie.

A right leaning Democrat isn't going to change much.

We need a real liberal that will start to build an America for Americans.

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Response to tecelote (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 02:22 PM

12. What you said.

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Response to tecelote (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 02:44 PM

14. A right leaning Democrat isn't going to change ANYTHING for the better. Their purpose is to subvert

And destroy democracy.

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Response to Vincardog (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 03:05 PM

16. Ah yes, you have discovered my nefarious plans!

Subvert and destroy the very concept of rule of the majority!

How can I do that, you may ask? Indeed, you may!!

And once done, there will be no one left on the earth who will. See?

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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Response to Vincardog (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 04:06 PM

24. Don't you love it when they say...

"Proud Member of the Reality Based Community"

In other words, afraid of change and fine with the status quo.

Part of the problem not the solution.

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Response to tecelote (Reply #24)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 04:37 PM

26. EGGGG ZZZZactly

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Response to tecelote (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 15, 2015, 12:50 PM

33. + 1 K&R#60 Their "reality" comes from MK ULTRA/MK SEARCH imo. A Bill of Rights Day kick for DU n/t

 

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 02:25 PM

13. When I got to that part, I just kept thinking about the TPP

"He did it behind closed doors and in the twilight under our noses! Voter ignorance permits these bastards to blast the world back into the medieval era of serfdom and anti-enlightenment beliefs and degrading practices."

Again, TPP....

Sam

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Response to Samantha (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 04:07 PM

25. Pssst. Hey!

I've got a copy of the TPP. It's posted - final version and in full - on the internet.

Would you like to see it?

Just click on the link: https://medium.com/the-trans-pacific-partnership

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 05:10 PM

27. Looks like a must-read.

Thanks you guys.

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 01:38 PM

8. Good Catch

Thanks new thinking, this book has similar potential it seems to me as Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine." Thanks again.

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Response to 1norcal (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 02:50 PM

15. Perhaps even more important than The Shock Doctrine because it also includes fundamentalist Xtianity

It closes a loop for me that I've been trying to solve since the Clinton impeachment kicked off. My question has been how do fundamentalism and corporatocracy fit together?

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 01:58 PM

10. Thanks for posting this!

K&R and bookmarked.

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 03:10 PM

17. Apparently 'neoliberalism' is a dogwhistle applied to 'some' Democrats today?

While some particular policies are on the face of them similar, at the heart of the 'new liberal'- the 'Third Way' - is the application of real 'social justice' philosophy.

Considering 'capitalism' as the unequivocal and unchallenged prevailing economic system in America, the Democratic Party has sought ways to mitigate the excesses of 'capitalism' through government social programs and progressive taxation.

The difficulty facing 'social justice' policies rests in the success of the Republican Party to brand the Federal government as a bloated, excessive, bureaucratic failure and progressive taxation as a socialist 'plan' for redistribution of wealth.

Conflating 'neoliberalism' as 'the new liberal' is just another cheap shot at misdirection.

There is 'neoliberalism' represented by the pictured Reagan and Thatcher. I know of no Democrats remotely in the same ball park by any factual reckoning!

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 03:14 PM

18. Way to try and take the heat off Hillary.

Nice try though.

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 03:16 PM

19. K & R !

A must-read for anyone supporting the establishment candidate.

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 03:21 PM

21. K&R!!!!

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 03:46 PM

22. Kick! Because everybody needs to rec and kick and READ THIS article!

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 04:03 PM

23. Good post!

I heard an interview on The Majority Report earlier this year that covered this topic, it was eye opening. It's disconcerting how so many lefties seem to be unaware.

A week or so later Salon published a short but similar piece but it didn't make much of a splash. I hope this one does, it needs eyeballs. As many as possible.


http://www.salon.com/2015/06/15/democracy_cannot_survive_why_the_neoliberal_revolution_has_freedom_on_the_ropes/|

The interview was with Nicole Aschoff the week of May 14, 2015, if you are a MR member and have access to the archives.


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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 06:50 PM

28. Kick .. This needs more recs

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 08:30 PM

30. All Enabled By The Oblivious

The ideas of Bernie used to be more mainstream democrat than where HRC is. That is how far right on economic issues we are now. It will be a long way back if there is a way back....the MSM is a partner to Neo Democracy these days, the days of Uncle Walter and Edward R Murrow are gone.

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2015, 08:47 PM

31. Thank you. Rec. n/t

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Tue Dec 15, 2015, 03:32 PM

34. Neoliberalism is psycotic




I am not sure that I agree with every point the reviewer makes or attributes to Wendy Brown, but this is an excellent explication of how the last three decades have played out in the erstwhile Free World.

Neoliberalism is an idea that almost all the functionary class around the world has internalized as "being realistic" or "growing up." It is the reification of the Economics 101 "model" of homo economicus. Back in 1972 when I took that course at the University of Texas, the textbook and the professor both went to the trouble of mocking the concept, and stressed that it was an analytical tool of extremely limited usefulness.

The guy teaching the class dismissed the concept as a preposterous projection of hedonism upon humanity, confusing the "rational" idea of grabbing everything you could possibly grab with how any normal human being deals with life.

The anti-democratic method and practice of neo-liberalism reached its reductio ad absurdam with Citizens United. The Supreme Court used its power to overrule democracy to establish the Constitutional Fact that a corporation is a "person." But, the laws that govern corporate governance require the human beings who run one to check their humanity at the door. In fact, they can be sued for betraying their trust of office by NOT acting like a hedonist with no heart at all.

Corporations do not die. They can't be drafted. They can't go to jail.


It is an echo of Mary Shelley. We create a new form of life and it turns on us.

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