“Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?” George Monbiot deconstructs the roots, secretive propagation and deep impact of a doctrine that has played a profound role in transforming our economics, politics, environment, and even how we’ve come to view ourselves – converting us from citizens to consumers in the process.
Asking the question: “Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?” – Monbiot deconstructs the roots, secretive propagation and deep impact of a doctrine that has played a profound role in transforming our economics, politics, environment, and even how we’ve come to view ourselves – emphasizing competition as the defining characteristic of human relations, and converting us from citizens to consumers in the process. Thanks to neoliberalism, we find ourselves more atomized and lonely than ever.
Yet few of us fully understand – let alone can begin to articulate – what neoliberalism actually IS.
Since the 1970s and collapse of Keynesian economics, Neoliberal policy has dominated the political & economic agenda of the West. With a focus on corporate deregulation, slashing taxes on the wealthy, the privatization of public services & resources, and eviscerating the power of labor unions – this “capitalism on steroids” has been indicted for a stunning variety of crises. From the offshoring of manufacturing; to the never-ending cycle of financial meltdowns & bailouts; to soaring economic inequality; to climate change; to the rise of authoritarianism – neoliberalism lies at the core.
“The Invisible Doctrine” explores the secret history of neoliberalism – from its development in the late ‘30s by a pair of obscure Austrian political philosophers in exile, to its clandestine propagation by a wealthy elite, to the covert history of think tanks and dark money, to the rise of its influence in the US & UK administrations of the 70s and 80s, to the ideology that has come to control our lives today – the only thing “liberal” about neoliberalism is its single-minded dedication to allowing corporations to operate as freely and unrestricted as possible, damn the consequences.
Importantly, “The Invisible Doctrine” provides a vital and refreshing counter-narrative to neoliberal thought. Drawing upon recent studies that refute the pervasive notion that we are self-serving individuals by design – and, rather, the species most adept and attuned to cooperation, mutual aid and altruism – Monbiot calls for a “rewinding of politics”. Through participatory practices that increase democratic engagement in community and regional politics, a new “politics of belonging” can emerge – a remedy for the vicious spiral of alienation and loneliness we find ourselves mired within.