By neoliberalism I mean the no-state-no-frontiers-all-for-grabs idea that has been sunk into our lives as the way we need to live and think.
I, for one, believe its unhealthy, unethical and ultimately will end this world, so summarizing: I don’t like it.
There are three premises to understand the neoliberal frame of mind, and these are:
“All is business”
We have seen in the last 70 years an impressive growth in the economies of certain states, but more specifically of certain people in those states. This has been driven by an immeasurable desire by those people to accumulate more and more, not for the common good. And in the last decades we have seen the growth of markets we would have never thought could be possible, because of this desire. Examples of this are:
– Futures markets. These markets initially created to help agricultural producers access loans to insure that they could produce, calculated (guessed) what would be the production of a certain crop the next year and thus the price of it. This also allowed banks to know how risky it was to give a loan to a producer of this crop. However the system has been perverted and it now dictates.
– Derivative markets. Using the same principle as the futures market, i.e. guessing, these markets speculate (bet) on pensions, insurances, debt (private and state), fishing quotas, countries food production, ozone-emissions, etc.. Everything is business.
“To make something abundant into a business, you must first make it scarce”
Business is looking everywhere. But what about the things we have taken for granted for so many years, that couldn’t possible have a price.
Water is a natural element. Available everywhere but now in the rich states you get your water brought to you and you pay for it. So it seems ok. But when did water become a business? When it became difficult to obtain.
So using this premise, companies are seeing how to make us pay eventually for the air, for walking, for every single thing we need, because since we need it is a business opportunity Even if this means contaminating the air (or simply saying its not healthy) or putting barriers where there never was.
But what if it is not a basic need?
“If there is no demand for a product, create the demand, make it indispensable”
What is the new thing we must have next? Why? Because its trendy, because its new, because cool people have it,… The same social pressure that was present before: to marry, have children, etc.. now exists to purchase things that ultimately don’t make us happier but that relieve the social pressure. Who wins? Business.