What is Neoliberalism?
People greatly disagree on what exactly neoliberalism is; some focus on the rise in Global Commerce after the opening of the world to trade after the fall of the Soviet Union. Some refer to the “Third Way” of Clinton or Blair where the Centrist Left embraced reducing social handouts, while embracing corporate desires.
For me, the are several characteristics of neoliberalism:
1. The embrace of Global Trade, and emphasis on low tariffs, regardless of the impact on the bulk of the working and middle classes.
2. The desire to spread Democracy, no matter how socially fractured, how little experience the target country has with it, or the dangers of a strong fundamentalist plurality is (Iraq, Egypt’s Arab Spring, Libya).
3. The push of mass immigration as a good in and of itself. The main selling point is “Diversity”, which contrary to Sociology a society would benefit from having a huge number of individuals enter the country; it’s especially problematic when the entrants are encouraged to keep and defend their own culture instead of assimilation. The real goal of mass immigration is to provide landlords with growing rents and lowering wages, when the flat to negative natural birth rate would result in power being transferred to the bulk of the populace since rents would drop and wages would rise in a declining or flat population.
4. The fact that despite having two “Railroads” – The Internet and Cell/Smart Phones – the standard of living for the middle 50% of most Western nations has remained stagnant or nearly stagnant; flat wages, and rising ‘iron costs of living’ in the form of housing, health, and education which are needs that can’t be delayed and are regular, recurring charges for much of the population, counter balances the slow decrease in the cost of consumer goods.
5. The enshrinement of the idea that Politicians are simply “Administrators” or “Managers” rather than Leaders or Visionaries. Politicians primary job is to “run the business” of the country, rather than providing a vision for the future.
The reaction to all these factors is what fuels populism.