Sunday, December 29, 2019

Ben Ehrenreich on the Global Uprisings Against Neoliberalism

Before the year ends I want to share author Ben Ehrenrich's informed and insightful take on one of the most significant events of 2019: the ongoing global uprisings against the economic doctrine known as neoliberalism. Ehrenreich shared his perspective in a November 25 article in The Nation magazine. Following is an excerpt.

[Since September] protests have spanned five continents – most of the planet – from wealthy London and Hong Kong to hungry Tegucigalpa and Khartoum. They are so geographically disparate and apparently heterogeneous in cause and composition that I have not yet seen any serious attempt to view them as a unified phenomenon.

. . . The disconnect between elite perception and mass experience [of these protests] is as widespread as it is fundamental: all of the countries recently experiencing popular revolts – and most of the rest of the planet – have for decades been ruled by a single economic model, in which the “growth” celebrated by the pedigreed few means immiseration for the many, and capital streams into American and European accounts as reliably as sewage flows downhill. Chile was a notorious early laboratory: Pinochet’s assassination squads worked in tandem with Chicago-trained economists to create an 'economic miracle' that only the fortunate, the unscrupulous, and the blind were able to appreciate. Should popular mobilizations in Bolivia fail to reverse the November 10 coup, they can expect similar acts of god.

The word gets thrown around a lot these days, but this is what neoliberalism means: a globally applicable method for preserving the current overwhelming imbalance of power. It works microcosmically on a municipal level – think decaying public transit systems with an apparently bottomless budget for racist fare enforcement, while billionaires hop in helicopters from rooftop to rooftop – and macrocosmically on a planetary scale, in which national elites collude with multinational corporations and international financial institutions to keep labor cheap and wealth and resources confined into established channels.

– Ben Ehrenreich
Excerpted from “Welcome to the
Global Rebellion Against Neoliberalism

The Nation
November 25, 2019

Above: An indigenous woman and her child lead a march in Brazil – October 2019. As Anuj Tiwari documents in his December 27, 2019 photo essay, women and girls across the world are at the forefront of movements that are challenging forces opposed to gender equality, economic justice, environmental sustainability, and democratic values.

Related Off-site Links:
Neoliberalism – the Ideology at the Root of All Our Problems – George Monbiot (The Guardian, April 15, 2016).
The Collapse of Neoliberalism – Ganesh Sitaraman (The New Republic, December 23, 2019).
How the Neoliberal Story Infected the World and Strangled Our Economies – Kate Raworth (Evonomics, December 28, 2019).
We Must Overcome Our Atomization to Beat Back Neoliberal Fascism – Henry A. Giroux (TruthOut, December 6, 2019).
If You Look Behind Neoliberal Economists, You’ll Discover the Rich: How Economic Theories Serve Big Business – Dániel Oláh (Evonomics, October 29, 2017).
Seven Ways to Transform 21st-Century Economics – and Economists – Kate Raworth (Evonomics, May 6, 2017).
36 Powerful Images Of Women Protesters Leading From The Front Across The World – Anuj Tiwari (India Times, December 29, 2019).
We Cannot Indulge in the Luxury of Despair. We Need to Engage in the Hard Work of Hope – John Falzon (The Guardian, December 27, 2019).
Only Rebellion Will Prevent an Ecological Apocalypse – George Monbiot (The Guardian, April 15, 2019).
After Neoliberalism – Ganesh Sitaraman (The Nation, December 24, 2019).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Balancing the Fire
Hope in the Midst of Collapse
The End of the World As We Know It . . . and the Beginning As We Live It
See the World!
As the Last Walls Dissolve . . . Everything is Possible
Threshold Musings
The War Racket
Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Medicine Songs
Move Us, Loving God
Andrew Harvey on Radical, Divine Passion in Action
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – June 28, 2017
Making the Connections
The People’s Climate Solidarity March – Minneapolis, 4/29/17
“The Movement of Love and Inclusion Has Just Been Unleashed”
“It Is All Connected”
Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson: “We’re Living at a Critical Moment in Our Democracy”
This Is the Time
Discerning and Embodying Sacred Presence in Times of Violence and Strife
Thoughts on Prayer in a “Summer of Strife”
Resilience and Hope
Hope, History, and Bernie Sanders

Opening image: The mass mobilization of people in Santiago, Chile – October 2019. The flag at the very top is the indigenous Mapuche flag. (Photo: Susana Hildago)

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