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The Dark Night of Neoliberalism

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Headlined to H2 3/10/14

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For more than twenty centuries humanity has inched forward before sliding back. The great thoughts, ideas and actions of a William Shakespeare, Nicola Tesla or Mark Twain, versus a Pol Pot a Joseph Stalin or a Friedrich Hayek. It is not the guns themselves which kill, but the ideas of men which prompt them to pick up the guns and kill, as essential as bullets or bombs is the destruction of our common humanity to enable us to kill.

The world well knows of the megalomania of an Adolph Hitler, weaving oratory into a tapestry of nationalism, militarism and corporatism, giving birth to modern Fascism -- attempting to right the wrongs of the Treaty of Versailles, by infecting the human soul with vengeance as a proper remedy for a political wrong. This is the germ to be captured and contained. This is the source of our perpetual suffering and the reduction of our common humanity into intellectually false arguments. All arguments which are not based in our common humanity are false. Compare:

"So, let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal." ~ John F. Kennedy

"The case for individual freedom rests chiefly on the recognition of the inevitable and universal ignorance of all of us concerning a great many of the factors on which the achievement of our ends and welfare depend. It is because every individual knows so little and, in particular, because we rarely know which of us knows best that we trust the independent and competitive efforts of many to induce the emergence of what we shall want when we see it. Humiliating to human pride as it may be, we must recognize that the advance and even the preservation of civilization are dependent upon a maximum of opportunity for accidents to happen." ~ Friedrich Hayek

Quotes such as the one above are the reason I would include Hayek's ideas among the most destructive of the 20th Century. His ideas are repugnant -- chance and accident are the leaders of humanity? Humans are generally ignorant and only through individual freedom can we thrive? What an arrogant and repulsive idea, but even more than just a basic belief in an intelligentsia and an untermunchin class are Hayek's ideas of what freedom means.

"While an equality of rights under a limited government is possible and an essential condition of individual freedom, a claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers." ~ Friedrich Hayek

This is the central tenet of neoliberalism: money is freedom, where money is all-powerful, where money rules. If a hurricane drowns your city, destroys your home and kills your entire family, it is only a maximum of opportunity. Human life means nothing under a limited government. Limited government should only concern itself with whether the traffic lights work, but if capitalists wish to work people to death in sweatshops it is just a case for individual freedom. If the workers don't like the conditions they can pack up their bags and move to somewhere else where conditions are better.

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that I (more...)
 
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You are hacking at the root of the neoliberal ide... by Derryl Hermanutz on Monday, Mar 10, 2014 at 7:42:03 PM
Capitalism is an illness, the more you have the si... by David Glenn Cox on Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 5:05:26 AM
Good article. But I'd have chosen Ayn Rand rather ... by Adam Heilbrun on Monday, Mar 10, 2014 at 11:35:26 PM
Ayn Rand is their Pied Piper, a second rate banal ... by David Glenn Cox on Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 5:16:21 AM
You're certainly right in treating Hayek as more ... by Patrick Walker on Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 6:51:18 AM