What is "neoliberalism"?

This is a placeholder, this page is currently in the process of being written.

As I've said before, although some of its spokespeople are not necessarily intentionally evil people, I believe the neoliberalism of today to be a dangerous cult, with a lot of similarities to Social Darwinism and therefore, also fascism.

This is a WIP (work in progress) which will hopefully soon contain some different perspectives. Its particularly horrible how they are trying to destroy public higher and even primary education. They want to dump public education. That much is clear to me. Not just privatize it so it can be outsourced, their ultimate goal is to stop paying for it altogether.

Even as the country is shedding jobs.

The following are random snippets which will be added to.


The essence of neoliberalism, by Pierre Bourdieu


G Duménil, D Lévy


This is from:

"Social Exclusion, Education and Precarity: neoliberalism, neoconservatism and class war from above"

by Louise M Prendergast, Dave Hill & Sharon Jones

(Its mostly about the neoliberal transformation of education specifically.)

"In terms of policy, neoliberalism is marked, inter alia, by the marketization,
commodification, degradation, managerialisation and privatization or pre-privatisation of public services (Giroux, 2004, 2008, 2015; Harvey, 2005; Hill,
2013a, b, 2017; Hill and Kumar, 2009; Hill and Rosskam, 2009; Saad-Filho,

As Saad-Filho puts it,
In essence, neoliberalism is based on the systematic use of state power, under the ideological guise of ‘non-intervention’, to impose a hegemonic project of recomposition of the rule of capital at five levels: domestic resource allocation,
international economic integration, the reproduction of the state, ideology, and the
reproduction of the working class.

(Saad-Filho, 2011).
Neoliberalism is identified with minimal state intervention and minimal public
expenditure in services such as the National Health Service, social services and
education. This has impacts. Generally poor people and those with ill health who cannot work and rely on state intervention are frowned upon and derided and vilified within the media. A recent surge (in the UK) in what has been
dubbed as` poverty porn'- television programmes highlighting and scorning the lives of poor communities, programmes such as Benefits Street (Channel 4,
2014) creates divisions between different strata of the working class (that class of people who sell their labour power), excoriating the poorer sections of the working class classes, promoting intra-class hostility and distrust. Programs like
Benefits Britain (Channel 5, 2015) vilify and mock those whose life is `on the dole' (i.e. in receipt of state unemployment benefits. Such programmes are regularly shown on television station in Britain. Sections of the low paid service and manual sector working class, who struggle to make a living from low-pay
work, are often appalled by those on benefits, and, encouraged by the right wing Press in Britain to reject any group solidarity and any form of compassion for those they are encouraged to view as `feckless', as `welfare scroungers'.

Communities are broken down as the level of solidarity and trust diminishes.

As Giroux (2015) points out, quoting Silva (2013:25), `austerity produces a world without safety nets or the social and political formations that embrace
democratic forms of solidarity'. Neoliberalism not only causes the majority of our society’s young people to seize a narcissistic attitude but many `develop a deep distrust, if not resentment, of any notion of the social and shun obligations to others' (Giroux, 2015 quoting Silva, 2013:25).

Neoliberalism, Education and the Labour Market

For capitalism, education is a market from which profits can be made. It is a
particularly important market that is being increasingly marketised. For the
transnational and national capitalist class and their corporations and
governments, nothing must get in the way of the reproduction of capitalist
social relationships and capitalist economic relationships. And that includes resistant and alternative models and practices in public education. Hence, not only is education being marketised, privatised and softened up for privatization- in some countries actually privatised, such as with ‘For Profit’ Charter Schools
in the USA-, and commodified, but the very curriculum and pedagogy
themselves within schools and universities are being controlled, constrained and
sanitized (Rikowski, 2008) to make a world safe for capitalism. Social class
based hierarchicalisation- of provision, of status, of outcome- jobs, life-chances,
rewards or lack of them- are developed and reproduced, through the schooling and education systems. They, in turn, feed a hierarchically segmented labour market-

jobs (or lack of them).
Neoliberalism and Education
The State, Education and Schooling

Marketization of education in England developed significantly with the 1988
Education Reform Act of the Thatcher era (1979-91) when neo-liberal policies were central for the delivery of public policy. Markets became deliberately
stimulated with the introduction of new types of school (such as Grant
Maintained Schools) and the introduction of `Local Financial Management',
whereby each school became semi-autonomous in its spending policies, and characteristics, and the regulatory powers of the directly elected local education
authorities (municipalities, county councils) were substantially diminished. In Conservative rhetoric, this `increased parental choice' (Rikowski, 1996). New
Labour, the post-social democratic, neoliberalised version of the Labour Party, while in power 1997-2010, accepted and extended these neo-liberal policies,
which very effectively tore up the social democratic post-war educational consensus established by the 1944 Education Act. After becoming Prime
Minister in 1997, Tony Blair continued with ‘competitive market policies in
education’ (Chitty, 2004). The publication of the league tables was a bid to `drive up standards’ and to provide visible evidence of how schools perform to
give parents greater choice in where they wanted to send their child to school.

The UK government invested heavily in education in order to produce a skilled and motivated workforce for a profitable economy and to produce a workforce which was to be internationally competitive. Such sentiments and discourse are
typical with respect to the education policies and the labour market policies of neoliberalised economies globally.

This focus on the social production of human capital, this focus on the
vocational and economic aims of education became more and more
predominant over social and civic aims. In this global and local environment, the stress on competition increasingly penalised those who could not compete
very well. To quote Tomlinson (2005),
disadvantaged groups found raised hurdles and moved goalposts in the struggle to acquire qualifications. The increasingly competitive nature of education meant further
control of the reluctant, the disaffected and those ‘special needs’ groups who were unlikely to join the economy at anything but the lowest levels.

Liasidou points out how the very best students will be lined up for the very best jobs whilst those students who add ‘negative value...are avoided where possible in this economy’ (2002:175).

It has long been apparent that the league tables exacerbate inequalities between schools (Whitty et al., 1998) and that the promotion of competition within the education system, between schools, which sees middle class parents choosing the academically (and socially) `better schools' (Burton, Bartlett, & Anderson de
Cuevas, 2009). Ball (2003) has demonstrated how `middle class' parents have the cultural and economic capital to use their choice `wisely' whilst Laureau
(1987) argued how parents from the lower classes do not have the cultural or economic capital to get beyond their belief that schooling is the responsibility of the teacher and therefore will not use their choice `wisely'. Although this might
not typify all parents with low socioeconomic status, school choice accentuates the uneven social class related impacts of `school choice'.