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Op-ed

Is Neoliberalism Ruining Everything?

Freedom, in some cases, should be stimulated with the idea that there is ‘no other option.’ Since the revolution of the modern world in the 60s, people seemed to exercise their redefined freedom through spending. Psychologists claim that Neoliberalism has heavily impacted today’s society because of overconsumption. Society today has also redefined its basic set of needs, and amped up the belief that “money can buy happiness.” There are luxury cars, luxury furniture, luxury appliances, luxury sporting equipment-  just about luxury anything. This generation has undefined freedom to create and consume, so much that we cannot keep up. Markets have crashed due to overconsumption, and businesses have shut their doors. Now we excercise how dangerous it is to have the ability to vote, and change the course of our lives. There is a great belief in the consumer/shareholder ‘democracy’. This steams of the little power of the poor and the middle.

In this photo provided by the Library of Congress, President Abraham Lincoln, seated and holding his spectacles and a pencil on Feb. 5, 1865. (AP Photo/Library of Congress/Alexander Gardner)

In this photo provided by the Library of Congress, President Abraham Lincoln, seated and holding his spectacles and a pencil on Feb. 5, 1865. (AP Photo/Library of Congress/Alexander Gardner)

That is because of Neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is defined as relating to a type of liberalism that believes in a global free market, without government regulation, with businesses and industry controlled and run for profit by private owners.

In his new book What About Me?, Paul Verhaeghe explores the epidermis of self-harm, eating disorders, depression, loneliness, anxiety and social phobia as a result to Neoliberalism. In Britain, neoliberalism is rigidly applied, and now it has separated itself from the European Union. Neoliberalism teaches us that making a profit is the essence of democracy, and citizenship is defined by the consumption of goods. The blame could be shifted on to the fast spread of mass consumerism. Neoliberalism also means the privatization of public wealth and the allowance of anonymity. The core of Neoliberalism is the privileged, the commodified and sell-outs.

The argument is this: we were led to the world of commodity. This was the new revolution, the new era of millennial independence, and freedom. How everything became a business, and happiness was found at its peak within a department store. This is the era of extreme social neoliberalism. The revolution and rebellion became both a symptom and a cause of power. Much like today’s society… for example: the financial meltdown of 2008, the Panama Papers, resurgent of child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, collapse of ecosystems and the rise of Donald Trump.

Markets make sure everyone gets what they deserve. This is a natural acceptance to millenarian faith, and the concept has now reshaped human life and the pinpoint of power. Humans are defined as characters. Citizens are consumers, and planning isn’t required to feel mutually achieved. Governments attempt to limit taxes and generate wealth. The natural hierarchy of winners and losers is somewhat distorted by trade unions and bargaining. These efforts to create equality are both counterproductive and morally wrong. The rich ignore their advantages, education, inheritance and class – where their wealth originates. The impoverished point the finger at themselves, even if they were born with no other choice. Then there’s unemployment. If you don’t have a job, it’s your own fault. If you get fat, but can’t afford to eat healthily or exercise, it’s your fault.  The world is so competitive now that those who fall behind are defined as losers.

“Neoliberalism has brought the worst in us.” – Paul Verhaeghe

banksy__follow_your_dreams_

(Banksy, Follow Your Dreams, 2010)

It could be perceived as an attack on society, because it blurs the economics from ethics and realism within social costs. It could be blamed for terrorism, and the mockery morals within politics. It mocks democracy, and works to dismantle welfare and thrives off military. Politicians running for President actually have the belief that immigrants are both unmotivated and unemployed, and taking all of our jobs. This society promotes hatred and violence amongst each other, and uses waterboarding as a technique to campaign. This is the era of extreme warfare and nuclear crises every week, and the society that glamorizes guns and weaponry as if it has the potential to become the newest branch of luxury things. The argument could be defined by the harsh emphasis on free individualism, and defeating the social bonds and nature of social responsibility.

Neoliberalism is the antithesis of democracy. – Henry A. Giroux

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Enthusiast of unwashed politics and all other impenetrable phenomenons, from Jupiter Florida.

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