Nov 262016

A friend sent me this article to read: It was the Democrats’ embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump

I sent her back my thoughts and she seemed to think they were cogent, so I’m sharing them more publicly. (Thanks for the encouragement, kele!)

Not sure I agree completely (and it’s a bit self-serving since the Leap Manifesto is Klein’s baby) but it certainly encompasses how we’ve seen the NDP sputter federally and politically here in Canada.

But Hillary Clinton was definitely part of the problem… not because of past scandals or being a woman, but because of the Wall Street coziness aka neoliberal championing. It would have been really interesting to see a Trump/Sanders face-off, that’s for sure.

I think, though, that racism and misogyny are probably stronger forces here than Klein cares to admit in this article. Neoliberalism has put people in more precarious positions and that has heightened their fears, for sure, and when people’s fears are heightened, they are more likely to lash out, blame others, and not listen to their better angels… but it’s not like neoliberalism created racial and gender divisions to start with—it just creates scenarios where people can exacerbate them for their own gain (Trump and the Republicans).  You could dramatically improve the economy for the working class white male and that wouldn’t make his bigotry disappear, just go underground.

And I still think the media issue is a HUGE issue.  But ultimately the failure of the press could be seen as a direct result of neoliberalism, it’s true.

Ugh.  Not sure how we get people to realize the huge problem of neoliberalism.  Capitalism just enjoys this insane position of power and favour in our society and it’s hard for people (without a very specific background) to understand how capitalism in the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s is vastly different from capitalism since them.  The dramatic shift towards neoliberal policies is so cleverly positioned as just the “natural evolution” of capitalism, the “inevitability” of globalization… *sigh*

It comes back to how things like “the market” are just presented as these somehow “natural” forces that are outside human control, their own living breathing things.  ALL of this is under our control.  It only exists because we choose to allow it to exist, to make and enforce (or not enforce) laws that allow it to exist, to build (or demolish) institutions that are essential to it existing.