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Thread: Neoliberalism's Dark Path to Fascism

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    Neoliberalism's Dark Path to Fascism

    Over the past few years, I've done quite a bit of reading on what Neoliberalism is and its consequences. This piece, in which Chris Hedges and David Harvey explore Neoliberalism, is among the better examinations I've come across. It ended up being a nice piece to sit and sip my coffee to in the quiet of my sitting room.

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/ne...th-to-fascism/


    Some snippets:

    Neoliberalism as economic theory was always an absurdity. It had as much validity as past ruling ideologies such as the divine right of kings and fascism’s belief in the Übermensch. None of its vaunted promises were even remotely possible. Concentrating wealth in the hands of a global oligarchic elite—eight families now hold as much wealth as 50 percent of the world’s population—while demolishing government controls and regulations always creates massive income inequality and monopoly power, fuels political extremism and destroys democracy. You do not need to slog through the 577 pages of Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” to figure this out. But economic rationality was never the point. The point was the restoration of class power.

    [...]

    “As a political project, it was very savvy,” he said. “It got a great deal of popular consent because it was talking about individual liberty and freedom, freedom of choice. When they talked about freedom, it was freedom of the market. The neoliberal project said to the ’68 generation, ‘OK, you want liberty and freedom? That’s what the student movement was about. We’re going to give it to you, but it’s going to be freedom of the market. The other thing you’re after is social justice—forget it. So, we’ll give you individual liberty, but you forget the social justice. Don’t organize.’ The attempt was to dismantle those institutions, which were those collective institutions of the working class, particularly the unions and bit by bit those political parties that stood for some sort of concern for the well-being of the masses.”

    “The great thing about freedom of the market is it appears to be egalitarian, but there is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequals,” Harvey went on. “It promises equality of treatment, but if you’re extremely rich, it means you can get richer. If you’re very poor, you’re more likely to get poorer. What Marx showed brilliantly in volume one of ‘Capital’ is that freedom of the market produces greater and greater levels of social inequality.”

    [...[

    Neoliberalism transforms freedom for the many into freedom for the few. Its logical result is neofascism. Neofascism abolishes civil liberties in the name of national security and brands whole groups as traitors and enemies of the people. It is the militarized instrument used by the ruling elites to maintain control, divide and tear apart the society and further accelerate pillage and social inequality. The ruling ideology, no longer credible, is replaced with the jackboot.
    As a bit of an aside; I've noticed since the midterm elections that in some corporate media articles I've read, that many of the Democrats who are in fact neoliberals are being referred to as "progressives". It's an interesting sleight of hand. Case in point is this piece from Policico where the caption below the top photo of Rep Adam Smith (D-Wash) reads "Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) who is set to become the first progressive in decades to run the House Armed Services Committee." When Smith is not, in the slightest, a progressive in the traditional sense of the word.
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”
    Voltaire

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    Re: Neoliberalism's Dark Path to Fascism

    neoliberalism is not aimed at creating a capitalist economy it's intent is to give free rein to greed. Almost the first thing they do is remove all the checks to prevent the abuse by companies of their economic strength to stop any competition and remember the triumphalism as banking controls were lifted by bush the second and over here by thatcher who saw the sell off by the mutual societies for no better reason than they smack of socialism.

    It's corporate fascism in a pretty wrapper.

    Monetarism is an insane economic theory, wealth is created by what is made or grown bankers don't generate wealth all they can do at best is facilitate things for business.

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    Re: Neoliberalism's Dark Path to Fascism

    That's an interesting article!

    I think the biggest con in the sales pitch is the idea that economic anarchy is the same thing as personal freedom. Freedom is a slippery idea, since we're never told who is free to do what to whom.

    On thing I saw visiting in California this summer was interesting. Large companies are almost creating little self contained cities within a mega campus. Where you can get free food, cheap clothing, medical care, subsidized transportation, etc. Some are even looking at free housing. It's just a perk of working there. It's like a little socialist bubble operating on top of a capitalist system. Almost everything is free. But it's only available if you have an employee badge.

    Airports are similar, though nothing is free. They are like a giant mall on the inside once you get past the gate. But everyone goes through a security check.

    Imagine if nothing was outside the airport except for dirt fields. That's kinda the direction I expect capitalism to take long term...

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    Re: Neoliberalism's Dark Path to Fascism

    Well said, yaaarrrgg, and in a way that was very clear to me. I came away thinking: "Yeah, but you still owe your soul to the company store."

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    Re: Neoliberalism's Dark Path to Fascism

    A whole new serf society.
    "The trouble with people isn't that they don't know, but that they know so much that ain't so." - Will Rogers

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    Re: Neoliberalism's Dark Path to Fascism

    Quote Originally Posted by LarsMac View Post
    A whole new serf society.
    I like the comparison, Lars. Well, it's not that I "like" it, it's that I agree.

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    Re: Neoliberalism's Dark Path to Fascism

    Quote Originally Posted by yaaarrrgg View Post
    That's an interesting article!

    I think the biggest con in the sales pitch is the idea that economic anarchy is the same thing as personal freedom. Freedom is a slippery idea, since we're never told who is free to do what to whom.

    On thing I saw visiting in California this summer was interesting. Large companies are almost creating little self contained cities within a mega campus. Where you can get free food, cheap clothing, medical care, subsidized transportation, etc. Some are even looking at free housing. It's just a perk of working there. It's like a little socialist bubble operating on top of a capitalist system. Almost everything is free. But it's only available if you have an employee badge.

    Airports are similar, though nothing is free. They are like a giant mall on the inside once you get past the gate. But everyone goes through a security check.

    Imagine if nothing was outside the airport except for dirt fields. That's kinda the direction I expect capitalism to take long term...
    Nothing outside ... except for dirt fields means that they can charge whatever they like without fear of competition.

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    Re: Neoliberalism's Dark Path to Fascism

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    Quote Originally Posted by yaaarrrgg View Post
    That's an interesting article!

    I think the biggest con in the sales pitch is the idea that economic anarchy is the same thing as personal freedom. Freedom is a slippery idea, since we're never told who is free to do what to whom.

    On thing I saw visiting in California this summer was interesting. Large companies are almost creating little self contained cities within a mega campus. Where you can get free food, cheap clothing, medical care, subsidized transportation, etc. Some are even looking at free housing. It's just a perk of working there. It's like a little socialist bubble operating on top of a capitalist system. Almost everything is free. But it's only available if you have an employee badge.

    Airports are similar, though nothing is free. They are like a giant mall on the inside once you get past the gate. But everyone goes through a security check.

    Imagine if nothing was outside the airport except for dirt fields. That's kinda the direction I expect capitalism to take long term...
    I'm still trying to work out how you equate that to socialism? What kind of socialism is that? Sounds more like a commune to me.

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