Covid Journal, September 1, 2020
Covid Exposes the Plague of Neoliberalism
Truthout explores the issues that Covid has exposed.
Particularly with what we know of as Neoliberalism.
In short, neoliberalism focuses on ‘me’.
‘We’ (and not the charity that’s experiencing so many conflicts right now) need to focus how we can get out of this alive while trying to minimize the volume of waste that I’m sure will come of the situation.
Truthout zeroes in on the medical community, but there are so many other ‘industries’ that we could pull apart in great detail and get to the root of the evil that’s been allowed to brew within each one.
I’ve been focused on education, but food, defense, health care, nursing homes, road building, municipal planning and many more aspects of our daily lives will have to face more scrutiny if we’re going to improve on the way we live.
Americans live in an age when neoliberalism wages war on the public and inequality is recast as a virtue. This age supports notions of individual responsibility that tear up social solidarities in devastating ways. This is a historical moment that puts a premium on competitive attitudes and unchecked individualism, and allows the market to become a template for structuring all social relations. The social contract has been all but eliminated while notions of the public good, social obligations and democratic forms of solidarity are under attack. This is a form of gangster capitalism that speaks only in the market-based language of profits, privatization and commercial exchange. It also legitimates the language of isolation, deprivation, human suffering and death.
Ravaged for decades by neoliberal policies, U.S. society is plagued by a series of crises whose deeper roots have intensified the stark class and racial divides. Such a divide is evident in the millions of workers who do not have paid sick leave, the millions who lack health insurance, the hundreds of thousands who are homeless, and the fact that as the Boston Review points out, “One in five Americans cannot pay their monthly bills in full, and 40 percent do not have the savings needed to cover an unexpected $400 expense.”
We can emerge, but have to want to emerge.
Right now, fear is still driving the agenda.