By Joris Leverink for ROAR Magazine – Years from now, when we look back at the 2010s, what will be the images that come to mind? Will we recall the wealth and prosperity brought to us by free markets and private investment? The freedom and democracy we enjoyed under our neoliberal governments? Or the ways in which we bravely protected our cultural and natural heritage, safeguarding it for future generations? Most likely not. When we think of the 2010s, we will remember the protesters in the streets, the wars ravaging the Middle East, causing entire populations to leave home and hearth behind, and the millions of people across the globe risking their lives just to make a living somewhere else. We will remember the xenophobic attacks, the racist politicians, the gag orders and the crackdowns.
By Bhaskar Sunkara for the Guardian. The reality is the only way to ditch the establishment Democrats is to ditch the Democrats. The party has shown itself to be unreformable and a destroyer of political movements. Half the voting population has left the two parties. The movement must give them somewhere to go and that is independent politics outside of the two party system. It may seem like a shortcut to try and change the Democratic Party but every movement that has tries has found themselves changed and weakened while being absorbed into the Democratic Party, which has always been a party of big business. There is no shortcut — the movement must have its own party so its interests are represented. As this article says “November’s election is a powerful reminder that the Clinton establishment’s mix of socially inclusive rhetoric and neoliberal economics is a weak response to xenophobic populism.:
By Dylan Charles for Activist Post – More destructive than bombs, money has become the weapon of choice for the global elite, for the hidden hand of finance can plunder and conquer entire nations, assimilate whole cultures, exploit resources and rape the earth while forcing billions into poverty, all with the surprising stealth of pen-strokes and business contracts. Neoliberalism is the economic and political philosophic driving force in the world today. It suggests that human progress is the result of competition, best expressed by an extremist version of unfettered capitalism, where privatization of profits and socialization of losses are acceptable ethics, regardless of human and environmental costs incurred along the way.
By Staff of Waging Nonviolence – Donald Trump didn’t so much win the election as Hillary Clinton lost it. Clinton’s failure to turn out the Democrats’ traditional base on election day should be understood as a catastrophic failure of the Democratic Party establishment to fire up their base by responding to the growing public opposition to neoliberalism. This, in effect, was the key difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries: Sanders named the enemy — increasing concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few under deregulated capitalism — and vowed to confront that power. Hillary Clinton preached a “realism” that simply accepted the ground rules of neoliberalism unchallenged. Compared to Trump’s repeated focus on how the country’s leaders had failed the working class
By Cornel West for The Guardian – Trump’s election was enabled by the policies that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. We gird ourselves for a frightening future. The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians.
By Russell Rickford for The Atlantic – I’m delighted that you are mobilizing. Your demonstration reflects your recognition that the escalating crisis of racial terrorism requires a firm and uncompromising response. Your protest in the face of daily atrocities is a sign of your humanity and your determination to live in peace, freedom, and dignity. But as we demonstrate, we must take pains to avoid certain tactical and programmatic errors that often plague progressive protest in a neoliberal age.
By Martin Jacques for The Guardian – The western financial crisis of 2007-8 was the worst since 1931, yet its immediate repercussions were surprisingly modest. The crisis challenged the foundation stones of the long-dominant neoliberal ideology but it seemed to emerge largely unscathed. The banks were bailed out; hardly any bankers on either side of the Atlantic were prosecuted for their crimes; and the price of their behaviour was duly paid by the taxpayer. Subsequent economic policy, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, has relied overwhelmingly on monetary policy, especially quantitative easing.
By Will Martin for Business Insider. Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist and former adviser to US President Bill Clinton, says the consensus surrounding neoliberal economic thought has come to an end. Since the late 1980s and the so-called Washington Consensus, neoliberalism — essentially the idea that free trade, open markets, privatisation, deregulation, and reductions in government spending designed to increase the role of the private sector are the best ways to boost growth — has dominated the thinking of the world’s biggest economies and international organisations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Since the 2008 financial crisis, however, there has been a groundswell of opinion in both economic and political circles to suggest that the neoliberal consensus may not be the right way forward for the world.
By Staff of Tele Sur – Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa rejected the notion that the leftist and revolutionary governments in Latin America have failed and instead posited that the real failure in the region has been the neoliberal economic model. “Inequality in a poor country means misery, generalized misery. We must seek out other forms of developing ourselves that are distinct from those fantasies of trickle-down theories,” said President Correa in an interview Sunday.
By Daniel Byrd for Tele Sur – Donald Trump’s dominance in the 2016 presidential race sent shockwaves through the Republican Party. The Republican leadership fought in vain to deny Trump the nomination, and it is no surprise why. Donald Trump is everything the Republican Party doesn’t want in a figurehead. He openly opposes free trade policies,opposes cuts to social security and makes explicit appeals to working-class voters (i.e., class warfare). As reported by Politico, when speaking to workers at Alumisource, a raw materials plant in Pittsburgh, Trump stated, “This wave of globalization has wiped out totally, totally our middle class.”
By Catarina Principe for The Real News Network – What started off as a financial crisis in Europe has now turned and become a crisis of the eurozone. There has been unprecedented wave of mass strikes, signifying the discontent of the working classes. In Greece, for example, people elected the leftist SYRIZA Party and voted no to austerity debt deal offered to them by the Troika. In France, there has been consistent strikes against efforts to reverse labor rights by the so-called socialist government.
By Laurie Wdowiak for LSE – Since March, France has known a wave of opposition against a labour law reform. The reform plans to further deregulate labour and decentralize bargaining, among other things; it will dispose of decades of social gains. 74% of French people oppose it. It has brought more than a million people on the street for the last 2 months, and led to heated confrontations between the police and participants. Public squares have been occupied under the name Nuit Debout (meaning “standing up night” or “awoken night”).