NeoLiberalism 101

media economics, political-economy of media, critical theories

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April 23rd, 2008 · No Comments


NEOLIBERALISM KILLS. The domination of neoliberalism is a victory of ideas, or precisely: a set of myths. Accordingly, to be succesful in defeating the myths we must redouble our efforts to win “the battle of ideas”. Winning this battle requires conserted efforts to reveal that neoliberalism functions as “an ideological cover for the promotion of capitalist interests, not as a scientific framework for iluminating the economic and social consequences of capitalist dynamics” (Hart-Landsberg, 2006). As a set of myths, neoliberalism consists of, among other things, the myth of the superiority of “free trade”; the myth that unregulated free market is essential precondition for the fair distribution of wealth and for political democracy; the myth that economic growth will reach its maximum speed when the movement of goods, services, and capital is unimpeded by government regulation. Well yes, the human race on planet Earth, taken as an aggregate mass abstraction, may be getting richer. But there is another side of reality: a new report from the World Institute for Development Economic Research of the United Nation University (as quoted in Hirschhorn, 2006) shows that wealth creation is “criminally” unequal: the richest 1 percent of adults alone owned 40 percent of global assets in the year 2000; the richest 2 percent owned more than half of household wealtyh; and the richest 10 percent accounted for 85 percent of the worl total. The trend shows that the unequal distibution of wealth may get worse; the riche are still getting richer, more millionaires are becoming billionaires. That leaves very little for the remaining 90 percent of the global population. As for them, the bottom half of the world owned barely 1 percent of global wealth; over 1 billion poor people subsist on less one dollar a day. Even worse, according to Unicef, 30.000 children die due to poverty — that’s over 10 million children killed by neoliberals every year. The poor will not survive neoliberalism!!!

The proposition that unregulated free-market is essential precondition for political democracy, or that economic liberalization is a necessary precondition for political liberalization, is another myth. The reality shows that neoliberals’ free market is slowly killing political democracy in various part of the world as politics become more and more commodified, as state now makes a stronger and stronger alignment with corporate capital, and as the state emphasize more on its policing functions, with a political willingness to punish rather that serve the poor (which are most visible in the increasing use of the coercive state appartuses to arrests homeless, to execute anti-begging laws, to clean up cities from side streets vendors, to guard environmentally harmful urban projects, etc.), to take side with capitalists in industrial relations disputes. Democracy will not survive neoliberal free market!!!.

Neoliberalism kills children, and democracy !!!

Tags: political economy