Daily Archives: June 17, 2016

A Country under Siege: A Brief History of Neoliberalism in Australia. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Forget every conspiracy theory you’ve ever heard. Forget the Zionists, the Illuminati, Rothschilds, Reptilians, UFOs and the aliens who walk among us, forget HAARP and geo-engineering, nothing will prepare you for the nightmare ideology of Neoliberalism and its powerful acolytes, from the early postwar propaganda of the Walter Lippmann Colloquium to the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS), an elite clique of businessmen, bankers, statesmen and academics who’ve done more to overtly influence political thought and shape the foreign policies of governments in the last 75 years than all the great economic theorists of the last two centuries combined.

For a better historical account you could refer to Philip Mirowski’s work, or any of Adam Curtis’ great documentaries; however for the sake of this argument I find myself reaching for a Brodie’s Notes version, so here goes:

Neoliberalism stretches Adam Smith’s idea of rational self-interest and competition about as far as it can be stretched, stating that “only the mechanism by which prices are determined by the free market allows the optimal organisation of the means of production and leads to the maximal satisfaction of human needs”. In a nutshell it places individuals as consumers at the bottom of the food chain with corporations their rightful rulers. Within this paradigm the free market mechanism is sacrosanct, and the sole purpose of government to ensure that whatever money wants, money gets. This is the true blueprint for corporate statehood; a brave new world of milkshake sized lattes and 14 hour work days.

It’s fair to say that Hayek was not a huge fan of democracy, and terrified of socialism. He was similarly unimpressed by notions of altruism and the common good. By all accounts if Hayek was ever confronted by a noble savage he would probably stab him in the back and steal his purse. You might say that his was a rather pessimistic world view, or perhaps he was simply a product of his time. Markets by contrast he perceived to operate with mathematical precision, and when freed from the distortions of state intervention would be impervious to the boom-bust cycle that had plagued generations of economists.

via A Country under Siege: A Brief History of Neoliberalism in Australia. – » The Australian Independent Media Network