Neoliberalism and Covid-19

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Balbus, May 28, 2020.

  1. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Its not surprising to me that the two countries that didn’t seem able or willing to put the effort in to deal with this pandemic are the UK and US, countries that are most dominated by a corrupting and corrupted form of neoliberal thinking, with right wing governments in control that are infected by that same thinking.

    The fantasy of neoliberalism was that the free market would unleash the genie of competition that would allow anyone the possibility of getting the things they wanted, that the deserving would thrive and only the unworthy would fail.

    But this was a con

    There never has been and there never will be a free market - such a system would always favour the already advantaged and the advantaged that promoted it had no intention of allowing themselves to be adversely affected or open themselves to real competition but they were happy to see other suffer because of the lies they peddled.

    Certain types of governance that tried to help people, it was claimed, got in the way of the free market utopia happening because it assisted those that should fail and stifled those that would succeed by making them into dependence.

    Governments were bad markets were good, private good public bad.

    Another con

    Markets are about the maximization of profit not public service corporations try to give as little as they can for the most they can get, public service is about trying to do the most amount of good for the most amount of people.

    The two philosophies are incompatible unless the private is heavily regulated so is it surprising that the neoliberalism wealth promotes is opposed to regulation.

    The damage and hardships caused by neoliberalist policies - that cut public services, supported corruption, cut regulations that protected people and gave tax cuts to the already wealthy - had to be covered by more lies and misdirection.

    So wealth paid a lot of clever (and not so clever) people to spin lies. They claimed the hardships were caused by too much government, too many regulations and too many taxes.

    Government wasn’t the solution it was the problem.

    The enemy were those that wanted to curtail American ‘freedom’ through government regulation and taxation (be they Republican or Democrat)

    And the solution was to give your vote to those who supported more cuts to public services, more deregulations and even bigger tax cuts.

    Creating more damage and more hardships that then needed to be covered up with more lies, more misdirection.

    It has created a society in which many people have become so disorientated and tribal that they cannot see the difference between the rational and irrational or see them as of equal value. A society where people accept the notion of ‘alternative’ facts A place where many see everything as motivated by political viewpoint, so that if anyone says something they disagree with it is because they are a political opponent not because they might have facts, figures or knowledge that have brought them to that conclusion and so an alternative view that fits in with their political viewpoint has equal weight even though there are no real facts, figures or knowledge with which to back it up.

    This can be dangerous but when this mentality comes up against something like a virus that has no political affiliation, does not care about politics, does not care if you call it a hoax, does not care who it infects and which doesn’t care who it kills – then things go beyond dangerous.

    When you have people running the government that think government is the problem rather than a solution, who think that government should stand back and not help out but who think that the solution to any problem is to cover it up with lies and misdirection, then what you get is what happened in the UK and US.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
    MeAgain likes this.
  2. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    To boil it down

    When you have in power free market politicians with a certain set of beliefs you are likely to have the large number of unnecessary deaths that we have seen in the UK and US

    These ideas been

    Favouring individualistic Social Darwinism over communal government actions

    Believing that rules are for other people not for them

    Favouring the welfare and interests of wealth over those of everyone else

    Believing that the solution to any problem is to lie, misdirect and blame others.

    This is how neoliberalism has been spread and it has normally worked, the problem is that a pandemic is not ‘normal’.
     
  3. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    So what happened in the US and UK was that the politicians began by favouring the economy (wealth) over people’s lives (and probably assuming the wealthy could protect themselves and not really caring about everyone else). With ideas like ‘herd immunity’ and just ‘pushing through’.

    They were wary of communal and government action such as testing, tracing and quarantines often suggesting things that other government imposed as public safety measures.

    Then there was the lying and misdirection and blame game, with the biggest lie been that they were doing a brilliant job as the corpse mounted up.

    And since they never really wanted to lockdown and don’t really care about those who die they are now pushing to open up too early.
     

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