Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Neoliberalism" isn't a left-wing insult but a monstrous political system of inequality. By Sam Kriss // A strong new voice in resistance to Trump

The One Word Guaranteed to Make the Corporate Pundit Class Squirm
Neoliberalism is not particularly hard to define. It’s not only an ideology or a set of principles; it’s a system of practices, and an era, the one we’re living in now. What it means, over and above everything, is untrammeled ruling-class power, an end to the class-collaborationism of the post-war years and a vicious assault of the rich against the poor. This is achieved through market mechanisms, fiscal austerity and the penetration of capitalist relations into every possible facet of human life. It doesn’t mean that the role of the state vanishes—an essential precondition for neoliberalism is the destruction of working-class power and collective bargaining, and this has to be achieved, often brutally, through laws and their enforcement. There isn't just "some role for market forces" either, but their invasion into every fathomable social situation.

Warehouse workers are electronically monitored and made to compete against each other in efficiency rankings? This is neoliberalism. The young and unemployed are encouraged to build a "personal brand" and sell themselves as a product? This is neoliberalism. If you don’t like any of this, you’re encouraged to shop ethically, reduce your personal carbon footprint and consume vaguely antagonistic culture-commodities. This is neoliberalism.

The result of all this is that our society has become atomized: we see all our relations as essentially competitive, and the people around us as rivals for scarce goods; we are all, socially and existentially, alone. Everything we do is turned into a market transaction, a form of buying and selling. And this is because the free and unfettered market isn’t a neutral system for processing human interactions, but an instrument of class power… read more:

Leftwing Breitbart? Chapo Trap House is strong new voice in resistance to Trump
The hosts, who are aligned with the Brooklyn arm of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), met on social media, gaining followers with their offbeat humor and views on what is termed “Left Twitter”. That led to a series of podcasts on the popular Street Fight Radio before the launch of Chapo Trap House, named for Sinaloa cartel head Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and the hip-hop term for a drug house.

One DSA member familiar with the thinking of the podcast producers offered the Frankfurt School of neo-Marxism as an ideological reference and said the spat with the New Republic illustrated the resistance of neo-liberals to warnings that a hard left turn is necessary to counter the rise of the so-called alt-right and avoid continued electoral defeat. They are very anti-establishment,” said the DSA member, “and believe neo-liberalism as a doctrine has failed, and they want centrist Democrats to acknowledge that it was their failure that destroyed the working class and allowed this atrocity [the Trump presidency] to take place in the White House.”

John Mason, professor of political science at William Paterson University in New Jersey, said a leftwing “counter-reaction” has been building for a decade. “It’s the feeling that the new liberal agenda resulted in a whole generation of young Americans being shafted, locked into a gig economy, loaded down with student debt and no access to healthcare,” he said. “So there’s been a building a reaction against Democrat politicians of the 90s who tried to make a compromise with corporate capitalism and then defined liberalism around cultural issues of diversity, immigration, women’s rights and so on, while riding along with the shafting of the working class.”.. read more.. 

see also
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