Neoliberalism++; The New World Order | Avneet Singh
Neoliberalism has been the dominant World Order for the last twenty-five to fifty years. In simplest terms, it is a ‘dog eat dog’ world. The stronger prey on the weaker, while manipulating their mind to make it look as if it is for the good of all. Employers prey upon employees, larger corporations prey on smaller businesses, and larger countries prey upon smaller countries. The purpose of Neoliberalism is to transfer wealth, power, and prosperity from smaller entities to large entities. Every action of individuals, corporations, and government is expected to support this grand objective.
Neoliberalism is the ‘system’ we talk about.
Enabling neoliberalism is the ‘Deep State’. The Deep State is an informal nexus of government, politicians, and corporations. Neither the stronger oppressor, nor the weaker oppressed are aware of it.
George Monbiot calls Neoliberalism “the ideology at the root of all our problems”. Prof. Richard Wolff says “The failure of neo-liberal states in their preparations against coronavirus lies in the nature of neo-liberalism”. Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, winner of Nobel prize in economics in 2001 says that “Three decades of neoliberal policies have decimated the middle class, our economy, and our democracy”.
Neoliberalism is not only getting stronger but is morphing into a full-on, unrestricted, undiluted form we can call Neoliberalism++. Almost every global event and local news event makes sense when we understand Neoliberalism++.
All these elements of Neoliberalism++ affect all of us globally even if we are not aware of it.
Elements of Neoliberalism++: The New World Order
Irrelevant Public: High Street has minimal influence on Wall St. The economic conditions of the masses are disconnected from the stock market where the rich individuals and corporations make money. This is best illustrated by the events around COVID-19 pandemic. As the leisure and corporate travel collapsed due to the pandemic with no recovery for months, the stock price of hotels went up. The senior executives and shareholders profited while hotels stood empty.
Politicians no longer need to work for the public. A hacked democracy (discussed below) ensures their re-election. Prof. Yanis Varoufakis, the former Minister of Finance for Greece, said in 2015 “Capitalism will eat Democracy”. It already has: “capitalism has broken free of the shackles of democracy”.
The government does not need to work for the public. If tax revenues fall, the government simply cuts the public programs while still retaining the government framework, privileges, and government employees. They don’t share our pain.
Shutting down the economy for months decimates the public but has minimal effect on the prosperity of government, politicians, and corporations. They have apathy for the public, and arrogance due to their unchecked power.
Government, politicians, and corporations don’t care, or need, or even pretend to work for the public. The public is irrelevant to their continued prosperity.
Hacked Democracy: Emotions, personality, and money win elections at all levels. Electoral college, gerrymandering, and influencing the minds of the masses via traditional media and social media collectively undermine democracy. Democracy no longer produces a sensible outcome. “The oligarchs have discovered the formula for persuading the poor to vote for the interests of the very rich”: George Monbiot.
End of Hypocrisy, & Self-Hypocrisy: In Neoliberalism, consumers and employees had to be manipulated by the media and employers. In Neoliberalism++, the oppressed manipulate themselves for someone else’s benefit, and the oppressors don’t bother hiding their toxic mindset.
Zombie Corporate Citizens: People are driven by invisible force(feelings, habits, impulses, and thoughts) that they can’t explain. They can’t explain what they do, what drives their actions, and why they do it. Anyone asking them to justify or explain or elaborate on their behavior is seen as a nuisance and spoilsport. People don’t want to be told there is a crisis tomorrow, they have their mind fixated on the party today evening.
This is a consequence of several decades of coddling, and building confidence in consumers while keeping them ignorant of issues which affect us all. The Neoliberalism++ model wants people to act on impulse, feelings, and habit without much thought.
Joyless Economy: People don’t find happiness or satisfaction from their work but are expected to be engaged and act as if they enjoy it. Inc article says that “60 Percent of Workers Have Quit or Are Considering Quitting Right Now”, and “When employees are not respected or valued as workers and human beings, when they are not served well and developed as people and professionals, when obstacles aren’t cleared from their paths so they can perform well, when their voices aren’t heard or are ignored, they experience disengagement, as early as weeks into a new job”.
Clown Culture: Nature of work has changed and most jobs are boring, repetitive, and soul-destroying. Employees are expected to be engaged. Just commuting to work is a daily struggle. Their work day drains them emotionally. They crave unrealistically high level of fulfillment, excitement, and entertainment from family and friends after work. Abnormal behavior is normalized as they have to be shocked to feel normal levels of fulfillment. An abnormal clown culture with its twisted set of realities and amplified entertainment promoted by manufactured, selfish celebrities attracts them. Joyless economy creates a clown culture.
Killer Clowns: In a Neoliberal system, people with influence and power talk of causing extensive hurt to millions, and laughing about it. Super-villain Joker from Batman movies is described as “A psychopathic criminal mastermind and mass murderer with a warped, sadistic sense of humor”. Such killer clowns now occupy prominent positions in government and corporations. They laugh and joke while talking of hurting millions. The masses enjoy the spectacle. The whole world is a giant gladiatorial arena where Emperors of today stage spectacles for the entertainment of the masses.
Storm In A Teacup: The important issues that are of relevance to all of us are not discussed. The public narrative is around marginal issues only. ‘What is important is not salient, and what is salient is not important’: George Monbiot.
Analysis Paralysis & Gas-Lighting: Analysis, discussion, and debates are ad-nauseum. The purpose of analysis is to confuse you and sow doubt in your mind. There is lots of activity, but no real achievement. There is no clarity and no call to action.
Watchdogs Become Lapdogs: The media is the fourth pillar of democracy. The important government and corporate decisions are made in private in closed doors with no transparency. Deep discussion or analysis of what is important is not allowed. Irrelevant and trivial topics are given to the corporate media to publish as news.
Occasionally, a handful of real journalists working for the handful of real newspapers bring out a story after months of investigative journalism. They are real heroes. Such a story on important topics is quickly squashed with noise, token gestures, and other techniques to divert attention. Instead of welcoming the investigative journalism, the journalists are harassed and investigated. This discourages all but a handful of people from investigating deeply.
The below info-graphic is a great resource to see media bias and quality of reporting.
News more entertaining than movies or drama: Who needs movies and drama when you have news?
Personality and presentation over content and relevance: Serious discussion in public sphere are driven by personalities and presentation rather than the content or its relevance.
News, weather reports, current affairs, politics, all have to be entertaining and connect emotionally with viewers. People only care about the immediate entertainment value, drama, or emotional appeal.
Violence as first response: There can be no “negotiation” between unequal parties. There can only be thinly veiled threats of economic/legal violence or physical violence during negotiation between unequal. This is true of most negotiations between employer and employee, government and citizen, corporation and consumer, privileged and minority, and unequal nations. Economic/legal violence can be as bad or worse than physical violence.
“Poverty is the worst form of violence”
The consequences of Neoliberalism are all around you and for us to see – financial insecurity, inequality, crisis after crisis, climate crisis, Genetic Modification, Artificial Intelligence, threat of nuclear wars, population explosion, broken social and family structures, dysfunctional relationships. List goes on and on.
No single individual or entity developed or supported this model. It grew because all of us let our most pressing global problems fester for decades. We ignored core issues, and preferred to be distracted by entertainment, personalities, emotions, and comfortable life.
All the global problems are interconnected and stem from the same root cause. We won’t fix one global problem in isolation. We will fix none, or we will fix all.
Call to Action
This is a call to action for all to unite.
The government, bureaucratic institutions, and large corporations have formal and informal commitments to work with each other. They forget their petty differences and unite when the opportunity comes to exploit the public or public resources.
Will the wildlife conservation NGO join the fight with the religious organization? Will the concerned scientists join the recreational fishermen in their next battle for fishermen’s rights? Will the artists march with the coal miners?
Will you work for our common interests with people whom you don’t always agree with because they have a different approach or other ideas? Will we heed Dr. Martin Luther Kings’ call “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”?
Will our fragmented resistance forget its differences and unite for its rights, and for freedom from exploitation and extortion? Don’t fight alone, join the army.
Neoliberalism++ is the new world order of our times. It is an unrestricted, brutal, cruel, unequal, government and police enforced, dog-eat-dog capitalism for the poor; and coddling, benevolent, government supported socialism for the privileged. Understanding of this new world order explains global and local events. The call to action is to unite for our freedom from exploitation and extortion.
Voice of Mankind is a non-profit Think Tank working to influence public opinion on issues that affect us all. We are here to make sense of this changing world.
Photo by andres on Flickr.