Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Neoliberalism and The Twilight Of The Social State

Here we sit FAT/FATHEADED, DUMB/UNTHINKING and LAZY/INACTIVE... While the evil forces within our government weaves the web of deceit and destruction all around us and for what? TO MAKE THE RICH GET RICHER AND THE POOR GET POORER. Sound too bizarre? Sound too simple? Read the two articles within this post and then judge for yourself. I don't know what we can do about it but if we do not at least acknowledge that it is happening, future generations are going to suffer the consequences of our indifferent ignorance! (Listen up Tea Party!!!)

Two must reads for anyone who thinks (No let me rephrase, FOR EVERYONE WHO CAN THINK) http://www.thethinkingblue.com/neoliberalism.html

Amplify’d from www.thethinkingblue.com


Neoliberalism?

EXCERPTS: "Neo-liberalism" is a set of economic policies that have become widespread during the last 25 years or so. Although the word is rarely heard in the United States, you can clearly see the effects of neo-liberalism here as the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer.

AND

The main points of neo-liberalism include:

1. THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating "free" enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say "an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone." It's like Reagan's "supply-side" and "trickle-down" economics -- but somehow the wealth didn't trickle down very much.

2. CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply -- again in the name of reducing government's role. Of course, they don't oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.

3. DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environmentand safety on the job.

4. PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.

5. ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves -- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."

In the United States neo-liberalism is destroying welfare programs; attacking the rights of labor (including all immigrant workers); and cutbacking social programs. The Republican "Contract" on America is pure neo-liberalism. Its supporters are working hard to deny protection to children, youth, women, the planet itself -- and trying to trick us into acceptance by saying this will "get government off my back." The beneficiaries of neo-liberalism are a minority of the world's people. For the vast majority it brings even more suffering than before: suffering without the small, hard-won gains of the last 60 years, suffering without end.

---

Then read this amazing article “In the Twilight of the Social State: Rethinking Walter Benjamin's Angel of History”

by: Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

http://www.truth-out.org/in-twilight-social-state-rethinking-walter-benjamins-angel-history66544

EXCERPTS: Like the angel of history in Benjamin's rendering of Klee's painting, the American public is surrounded by another catastrophe of history visibly invisible in the horrible suffering produced by two unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the current economic recession exacerbating already high levels of poverty, homelessness and joblessness now spreading like a poisonous blight across the American landscape. But unlike the forces constricting Benjamin's angel, the storm that pins the wings of the current diminutive angel of history is more intense, more paralyzing in its hyper-materialistic visions and more privatizing in its definition of agency. The historical forces producing this storm and its accompanying catastrophes are incorrigibly blind to the emergence of a "pulverized, atomized society spattered with the debris of broken inter-human bonds and their eminently frail and breakable substitutes." This is best exemplified in the now infamous and cruel tenets of a harsh neoliberalism stated without apology by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s in their mutual insistence that "government is the problem not the solution" and "there is no such thing as society."

AND

Not only has the American public lost its ability, perhaps even its will, to talk about public values such as sharing, caring and preserving, but it can no longer distinguish between a market-driven society and a democratic society. As Sheldon Wolin has insisted, the supportive culture for a viable democracy - "a complex of beliefs, values and practices that nurture equality, cooperation and freedom" is incompatible with the market-driven values of neoliberalism and their emphasis on a crude consumerism, over-the-top materialism, brutal competition, a culture of lying, a possessive individualistic ethic and an aggressive battle to privatize, deregulate and commodify everything.

It's time to pull the WOOL FROM OUR EYES and realize what is happening to the us in THE US! thinkingblue

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