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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

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August 8, 2010

The neo-liberal mode of governance, which emerged out of the critique and assault on regulated welfare capitalism and works at a number of levels has become the economic commonsense of our time. The bipartisan consensus on neoliberalism is now sufficiently deeply entrenched that there's almost no public discussion as to how it has transformed our society; or how it will continue to transform Australia in the future.

The taxi driver account which has passed into everyday usage: get the state off our backs, why should people get welfare for doing nothing, and the market knows best. Underpinning this commonsense is a suspicion of the state, the stress on freedom, a belief in entrepreneurship, and the capacity of individuals to do what’s best for themselves. Market relations are the only relations recognized as real.


The paradox is that for all the talk of economic growth and prosperity from the long global wave we have increasing inequality; for all the talk of change, innovation and digital technological utopianism we have a deep conservatism and conformity.

Jeff Sparrow in his Manufacturing political reality at ABC's The Drum makes reference to neoliberalsim. He says:

One of the most socially significant developments in Australian political and cultural life over the last few decades has been the evolution of neoliberalism from a fringe doctrine to a philosophy now largely ubiquitous. The neoliberal turn was always about more than pure economics, involving an insistence that notions of individual autonomy, consumerism, efficient markets and transactional thinking should be extended into all social relations, even - or, perhaps, especially - those that had previously been dominated by quite different rules.

Neoliberalism, however, recognises only one kind of social engagement: the market transaction. The neoliberal marketisation of society explicitly and consciously reshapes the country to suit homo economicus, who is defined exclusively as a rational profit-maximiser, for whom any collective identity constitutes a market failure.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:45 PM | | Comments (2)


And who is not a taxi driver, in these times.
The taxi driver analogy is the example of a blase medievalism or Aristotelianism, for want of a better word- its been voided of time and risk. As with the Boatsman drifting out to see there is an underlying uneasiness, that its not what it seems, tho.
So people make a show of concern whilst slipping quietly away from engagement, commitment and decision-making,lest they ar emade accountable and are happy to delude themselves meantime that all's well, while they come to terms at the most private level, with their loss of "memory" and disempowerment.

Income was concentrated in the hands of the very rich during the Howard COALition era whilst the share of income for all other income levels decreased.
I presume wealth, as distinct from income, showed the same inegalitarian trend.

During the same period poverty in Australia increased to a tad under 12% of all Australians, about 1 in 9 such, over 2 million Australians.

The major issues of our time, those above, plus violence against women, blatant racism and xenophobia against those who are 'different' both indigenous to this nation and from outside, continued aggression overseas in at least 2 countries, denial of the major global issue for millenia which has been subject to unprecedented obfuscation, the continuing degration of our environment plain to all to see but without clear articulation of solutions thanks to vested interest domination ...

I could go on, I often do, but what is the point when the means of communication, the mainstream mass media, in the country is blatantly transparently biased and dominated by a narrow privileged ologarchy which actively daily subverts the fragile democracy we believe in our optimistic moments we are supposed to have?

And now we face the horrifying prospect of a repeat of the darkness that blighted Australian parliamentary politics for 11 plus years.
Thanks largely to the putrid media.

I shall sit here and continue to despair.