The End of Neoliberalism

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 7:00pm
Cliff DuRand

The collapse of liberal democracy and the rolling crisis of neoliberalism converge with other crises to leave us disoriented in a world that seems to be falling apart. Is unbridled global capitalism self-destructing? Will we go down with it?

Since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, neoliberalism has been the dominant ideology in the US. Rather than seeing the democratic collective action of citizens through government as the means for addressing social problems, neoliberalism sees government as the problem. Instead it looks to individual self-interested actions operating through the market as the most effective approach. Also called, market fundamentalism, neoliberalism opposes social programs and regulation of the market, seeking the privatization of everything. The present Trump administration with its deconstruction of the administrative state, gutting of what remains of the New Deal, while further enriching the wealthy is the culmination of this neoliberal agenda. Unrestrained capitalism only increases the economic and political power of the wealthy.

Popular revulsion to the inhumanity of these policies and growing inequality is now leading many to question neoliberalism and even capitalism itself. This offers progressives an opportunity to advance an alternative vision of a more humane world as we reach for a new discourse to replace the neoliberal story.