Neoliberalism makes us mad

Must be true, George Monbiot tells us so:

Neoliberalism is creating loneliness. That’s what’s wrenching society apart

Very thin stuff this, lightly reheated Marx about capitalism and 60’s bleatings on the anomie of modern life.

Idiotically wrong too of course. Neoliberalism is to argue that it should be the little platoons of life that get on with organising the building blocks of our society, not some vast state bureaucracy. Quite how this contributes to loneliness, anomie and the wrenching apart of society is unknown.

22 thoughts on “Neoliberalism makes us mad”

  1. I never feel lonelier than when surrounded by an endless phalanx of hivemind social democrat multiculturalists.

    Which is most of the time.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    I’ve just been listening to a book panel on some research organised by the neo-liberal Mercatus Centre: Community Revival in the Wake of Disaster Book Panel and it turns out that those little platoons are the best route to community recovery:

    When disaster strikes a community, the natural instinct of those who want to assist in the recovery process is that ‘we must do something,’ which usually translates into a bureaucratic effort to centrally plan the recovery. However, in this book, the authors put forth a compelling case for decentralizing recovery efforts and allowing space for entrepreneurial activity to take place in the wake of a disaster. Storr, Haeffele-Balch, and Grube effectively argue that it is entrepreneurship that leads to a more robust and long-term recovery for the community affected by the disaster. This work is an important step in the process toward understanding the role that individuals and informal institutions play in post-disaster community recovery.”
    — Peter J. Boettke, University Professor of Economics and Philosophy, George Mason University

    And its not just neo-liberal theorising:

    “Having spent hundreds of hours interviewing New Orleans and Gulf Coast residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, my fellow researchers and I have been repeatedly struck by the scale and scope of the challenges disaster victims must overcome as they attempt to rebuild their homes and their communities. In Community Revival in the Wake of Disaster, Storr, Haeffele-Balch, and Grube demonstrate vividly and compellingly how entrepreneurs across all sectors drive community recovery by providing necessary resources and coordinating recovery efforts. Scholars, students, and practitioners who are interested in how communities can rebound in the wake of disaster and how policymakers can promote resilient communities should read this book.”
    — Emily Chamlee-Wright, Provost and Dean, Washington College; author of The Cultural and Political Economy of Recovery: Social Learning in a Post-Disaster Environment

    If only SJWs would get off their arses and organise research like this they might understand what really drives society. But then again, I suppose they would have to admit that the role of a centrally organised bureaucracy isn’t as great as they’d like, and that would fuck up their sinecures and opportunities for control.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    “I never feel lonelier than when surrounded by an endless phalanx of hivemind social democrat multiculturalists.”

    +1

    I heard some real crap when I was out at dinner recently with a bunch of my wife’s arty friends. It was like sitting in a room and being force fed quotes from the Guardian like a Chinese water torture.

  4. In other news the Sage of Ely has announced his opposition to FTTs and appears to think that accounting in Euros will have the consequence that any £ sale is at a loss, irrespective of where that product is made

    Astonishing

  5. By complete and STUNNING coincidence, George has an album of music out this week about how neoliberalism causes loneliness and how, I dunno, rewiliding can put us back in touch with trees and flowers and ooooh, aren’t corporations nasty and all that tree-huggy fluffy bollocks he spouts.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    Well he does have a point, of sorts. In so far as neo-liberalism has been driving this insane idea of a borderless world.

    Ethnic and racial diversity depress social capital. Living near a lot of people from foreign places does make people more isolated and lonely. Less trust. More mental illness.

    So the solution is to end immigration.

  7. I wonder what the mental health was like among children sent up chimneys and whatnot. And I fail to see any causative link between neoliberal “hyper-individualism” and the rise of social media. They’re in opposition.
    I also note the usual leftie reluctance to get down to brass tacks. Should we be banning Facebook? (more?) indoctrination in schools?

    “So why are we engaging in this world-eating, self-consuming frenzy of environmental destruction and social dislocation, if all it produces is unbearable pain?”

    “yes but apart from all that, what have the Romans done for us? “

  8. The Internet is destroying conversation and creating social isolation. I was just saying this when chatting on all those online forums where I converse and socially interact with people all over the world….

  9. Neoliberalism is creating loneliness.

    Nothing to do with the idiotic feminists telling women not to get married and to emulate the four women in Sex and the City then? Can you buy futures in cat sales?

  10. anon – the same benefit system that has been that way since at least the 70s?
    How has that worked out the last 40 years? My parents were on benefits for a number of years, they didn’t split up. Have been on benefits myself, didn’t split up. Perhaps other factors affect splits?

  11. In other Guardian news, a real titanic political campaigner dies – Dario Fo.

    There was more talent in one of Dario Fo’s shits than in the whole body of Monbiot and all of his works.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    Martin – “Perhaps other factors affect splits?”

    Certainly the incessant denigration of marriage and of husbands has not helped. Nor has No Fault divorce that has become a tool for punishing men. If you make the economic incentives for divorce high enough, women will divorce.

  13. @Martin
    “anon – the same benefit system that has been that way since at least the 70s?”
    No it hasn’t tax credits is new, and of course the housing crisis has made being on benefits compared to working more attractive.

    BTW splitting up for a couple is a lot more attractive than it was in the past.

  14. Can I just add, I have nothing against people who are on benefits for no fault of their own. Those who decide to have children rather than work is another matter.

  15. “The Internet is destroying conversation and creating social isolation. I was just saying this when chatting on all those online forums where I converse and socially interact with people all over the world….”

    Thats the thing – there’s just as much socialising going on, its just not concentrated on the people who you are physically nearest to.

  16. “a real titanic political campaigner dies – Dario Fo”

    Bloody Dario Fo. For some reason he was the theatre world’s flavour du jour when I was younger and involved in the theatre, and I’ve had enough of him to last a lifetime.

    But yes, he was a lot more talented than twits like George Monbiot.

  17. There was more talent in one of Dario Fo’s shits than in the whole body of Monbiot and all of his works.

    If you say so, Bravefart,

    But his pays were shite.

  18. Moonbat should read Alan Macfarlane’s minor classic ‘The Origins of English Individualism’, which shows that English society has been individualistic and increasingly ‘atomised’ since at least 1150.

    The last few decades have seen a large rise in the number of single person households (eg easier divorce, longer lives, feminism). Putting aside the house-bound, are all these people lonely, or are they perhaps seeking some solitude while remaining engaged in society? My impression is that many single people are deeply involved in local groups and societies, and that these organisations would not thrive without these singletons. Moreover, with the internet, it is much easier than in times past to locate clubs and societies to join. Separation isn’t the same as loneliness.

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