Tuesday, December 8, 2020

888: What is the Neoliberal Dream.....?

Locke's greatest strength lies in thinking through the relations between citizens and government, breaking with the hitherto current train of thought of royal absolutism. 


If citizens come to the conclusion that their administration no longer serves the public interest, they may send it home. 


Smith's attention shifts to the economic business, where he views government or politics with a critical eye. 


Friedman is extending this shift even further in the sense that he wants to solve all social problems via the market, whereby the state and politics must be fully at the service of that market. 


In this way, the initial primacy of political action on economic processes is turned upside down, with the result that politics today is mainly seen as a function of the economy.


What do we hear in election campaigns? A song of praise for economic growth, for the number of jobs that can be created, for the increase in production and consumption, for the growth of exports, etc.


These days almost everything is related to the question of whether it is beneficial or bad for the economy. Sometimes I am inclined to think, that economics has become our new religion and economic growth our god.


Another shift with respect to classical liberalism is the relationship between market and morality. Locke repeatedly invokes Christian notions and norms. 


He makes frequent references to the Bible and has little effort to unify natural law, human reason, and the will of God. 


These references are lacking in Smith's ideas, although you can maintain that Christian virtues are the tacit basis of social practices for him. 


It is not difficult to assume, that his "invisible hand", which guides everything in the right direction, can be interpreted as the hand of God. 


Friedman, on the other hand, does not allow moral considerations. He recognizes that every society needs certain values, but they should not play a role in the market. 


This leads him to his infamous statement that corporate social responsibility is all about one thing: making maximum profit.


This has led to the famous words "Greed is good".  It is good because it motivates the businessman to do his utmost to increase the profits of his company regardless of moral standards.


While thinking about market dynamics initially took place in a moral framework, we are now faced with the opposite situation, 


in the sense that moral values seem completely irrelevant when thinking about the current market economy.


A final shift is that liberalism was initially a critical or oppositional movement, for example against an absolutist monarch or government, 


while in the nineteenth century and certainly after the Second World War it became dominant and is almost seen as the only correct view of society now.


There is no other conclusion possible other than that politics has become a function of economics. That means, that the political debate has become dependent on the space provided by the economy.


Just think of the huge amounts of lobbyists populating our political centers, or a multinational which threatens to move its factories or the main office to another country, if not........or......


Economics has become our ideology and economic growth the dot on the horizon.


Thank you for your attention......


MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Gabriel van den Brink:"Ruw Ontwaken uit een Neoliberale Droom",, 2020

The Discusssion

[13:17] CB Axel: So. How do we bring morality back?

[13:18] herman Bergson: Indeed CB...that is the question.....

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm Seems Friedman was a real mess-maker

[13:18] herman Bergson: Maybe starting with accepting economic growth is not our goal in life

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and me T following right in his footsteps

[13:19] herman Bergson: Yes he was quite influential in the 80s Bejiita

[13:19] CB Axel: How do we convince people that there's more to life than money?

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess he is behind many companies including here in Sweden moving abouT leaving a horde of unemployed behind

[13:20] herman Bergson: We were able to convince them that money it THE thing in life.....:-)

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not giving a shit bout them

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:21] herman Bergson: There must be a way back, I guess.....

[13:21] Somedirtycat Saule: Technically it is difference between money and money. One is the usual magic that we can buy stuff and services for. The other is more abstract and have to do with the 'living blood' of a company.

[13:21] herman Bergson: Maybe  by creating more equality....more redistribution of wealth...

[13:22] herman Bergson: Learning people to share again

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it seems however many companies now finally start to realize that low profit to be able for the boss to take out max profit is not the solution but instead skilled work ad better quality products

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): plus no one trust China now also anyway

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but as i read recently we might be going finally in right direction

[13:23] Laila Schuman: i wonder if more women in "high places" could soften the rush for money.... as they are more child and future oriented rather than money and future...

[13:23] herman Bergson: We are dealing here with the social morality and ethics of companies, Bejiita

[13:24] CB Axel: I wonder if that is why Biden has chosen so many women to help him run things.

[13:24] herman Bergson: Would women make a difference?

[13:24] CB Axel: Yes

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they might do

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i think so

[13:25] herman Bergson: Angela Merkel makes a difference in Europe indeed

[13:25] CB Axel: It's been shown that when women are involved in decision making there is more compromise and cooperation.

[13:25] Laila Schuman: especially mothers

[13:25] Somedirtycat Saule: The more important thing is about power. Liberalism(economic) is a mess and ahuge self contradiction

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the money bin is not everything for them

[13:26] herman Bergson: There have been experiments  with this matter indeed...

[13:26] herman Bergson: groups of decision makers... only men...only women....and a mixed group

[13:26] herman Bergson: There are studies about this

[13:27] Somedirtycat Saule: Best decision maker is one person

[13:27] Laila Schuman: like trump/

[13:27] herman Bergson: Power is another hot item here indeed , Some

[13:27] herman Bergson: In what way the best, Some?

[13:28] Somedirtycat Saule: Power over others is what make a society. Like it or not.

[13:28] herman Bergson: There we come to Locke again......

[13:28] Laila Schuman: depends upon WHO is the Power

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and one big issue is that they think money = power

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and so gets even greedier

[13:29] Laila Schuman: trump

[13:29] Somedirtycat Saule: Two persons have to agree before they decide. The more the slower and bureaucratic

[13:29] herman Bergson: How to define power....as an absolutist king or a as group of intelligent people

[13:29] herman Bergson: But two know more than one, Some....?

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in this case sadly something like trump i think, think u can trample down on others because u have money

[13:30] Somedirtycat Saule: One person can ask the other for advice.

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no good sense of what power is or actually should be

[13:30] Somedirtycat Saule: Trump is strange. I beter not bring him into discussion

[13:30] herman Bergson: But is political decisions there are always interests involved......

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just think u stand over everyone cause ur rich

[13:31] Laila Schuman: power is responsibilty

[13:31] herman Bergson: democracy is a way to balance the outcome regarding the different interests....

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm thats true

[13:31] herman Bergson: You can not leave it to only one person

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nope, then its dictatorship

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not a democracy

[13:32] Somedirtycat Saule: If you are rich people tend to give you power. Perhaps they wish for some money?

[13:32] Laila Schuman: agree

[13:32] herman Bergson: sure...even when that one person asks for advice form others

[13:32] Somedirtycat Saule: Democracy is not good IMO.

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hm i don't know how it works really

[13:32] Ludo (quippe.wylder): So when the people making the decisions agree on their standards for making decisions, decisions get made faster. But the standard these days seems to be money and the power associated with money

[13:33] Laila Schuman: yes

[13:33] CB Axel: Maybe one person needs to be the ultimate decision maker, but there have to be checks and balances on that person.

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed Ludo

[13:33] Laila Schuman: yes

[13:33] herman Bergson: Well...Ludo....you come close the the question how to get morality back into the decision making

[13:34] Ludo (quippe.wylder): The checks and balances here seem to have kept Trump from totally ruining the country.

[13:34] CB Axel: Unfortunately, in the US all branches of the government have been bought and paid for by business interests and not by the people.

[13:35] herman Bergson: I yesterday figured out what PACs an SuperPACs were.....

[13:35] herman Bergson: Comes close to what you say CB

[13:35] CB Axel nods

[13:35] Somedirtycat Saule: What I think is that the good things about democracy(always a not ideal one usually some kind of representastive kind) is that it is easy corrupted. And weak against foreign contesters.

[13:35] herman Bergson: Is forbidden in the Netherlands....

[13:36] Ludo (quippe.wylder): Wasn't pacs forbidden in the US once?

[13:37] Laila Schuman: yes

[13:37] Laila Schuman: and that is why Obama railed against it when they passed the ok on having them

[13:37] Somedirtycat Saule: I wrote that wrong disregard...

[13:38] Laila Schuman whispers: he said it would mess thing up terribly...

[13:38] Laila Schuman: a legal way to bribe.. .frankly

[13:38] herman Bergson: I am flabbergasted by that money circus....

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm bribing is bad for sure

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that we should not have

[13:39] herman Bergson: The Koch brothers can buy the country for instance

[13:39] CB Axel: Elections cost too much.

[13:39] Laila Schuman: ahhh but trump will pardon them

[13:39] Laila Schuman: money for pardons

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmmmp

[13:39] CB Axel: There should be laws about how long campaigns can last, imo.

[13:39] Ludo (quippe.wylder): And how much money can be spent on them and how much who can give

[13:39] CB Axel: As soon as a politician takes office, they start campaigning for their reelection.

[13:40] Ludo (quippe.wylder): What's so great about being a politician anyway. I wouldn't want to be one.

[13:40] CB Axel: Al Franken has complained about how on his first day in office he was told to start making phone calls to find donors for his reelection campaign.

[13:40] herman Bergson: Not a single Dutch politician is campaigning for reelection....

[13:41] CB Axel: We need to start electing statesmen and not politicians.

[13:41] Laila Schuman: YES

[13:41] CB Axel: People who are in it to help others and not just to help themselves.

[13:41] Ludo (quippe.wylder): Is Biden a statesman?

[13:41] CB Axel: He's closer to statesman that politician.

[13:41] herman Bergson: Money shouldn't be the main interest with respect to an election campaign

[13:42] CB Axel: At least, closer than we've become accustomed to.

[13:42] CB Axel: But, Herman, campaigns cost money.

[13:42] Ludo (quippe.wylder): Is Obama a statesman?

[13:42] Laila Schuman: yes

[13:42] CB Axel: Travel, staff, advertising...

[13:42] herman Bergson: Dutch politicians hardly campaign for reelection....

[13:43] Ludo (quippe.wylder): What is the Nederlands doing right?

[13:43] herman Bergson: The massive way you have it, we don't....never been necessary

[13:43] herman Bergson: Well....

[13:43] herman Bergson: to begin with....

[13:43] CB Axel: Obama is a politically savvy statesman. :)

[13:43] Laila Schuman: yes

[13:44] herman Bergson: all political parties in parlement are to some extend funded by the government for election expenses....

[13:44] Laila Schuman: he cared about the people

[13:44] CB Axel: Herman, part of the problem is that the US is a far larger and far more diverse country than any in Europe.

[13:44] herman Bergson: that crossed my mind indeed CB

[13:44] CB Axel: Ah, yes. I would like to see publicly funded campaigns.

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah well that is true I guess

[13:44] Somedirtycat Saule: So what about globalism that is what we suffer from now. Did these early liberals thought about that?

[13:44] herman Bergson: We are hardly 17 million citizens :-))

[13:45] herman Bergson: No Some :-)

[13:45] CB Axel: We probably have close to that many people in the 4 largest cities in the US.

[13:45] herman Bergson: That is a problem that emerged in the 70s and 80s

[13:45] Somedirtycat Saule: It was liberalism in a national context then.

[13:46] Somedirtycat Saule: Hard to understand today. Worse than boomer

[13:46] herman Bergson: I guess you now can speak of a global liberalism shaped by the multinationals

[13:46] herman Bergson: Not the governments

[13:46] Ludo (quippe.wylder): What is globalism? It certainly isn't a global government or any agreement on how to govern. It seems to be a bunch of disagreeing nations bound by economic ties.

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:46] Somedirtycat Saule: Imperialism was probably fine

[13:47] herman Bergson: Yes Ludo.....I guess it is what they call the financial markets.....

[13:47] herman Bergson: the manipulation of huge amounts of money around the world

[13:48] Somedirtycat Saule: Sent your trach to a poor country for profit.

[13:48] Ludo (quippe.wylder): Got to go, sorry

[13:48] CB Axel: Trach?

[13:48] CB Axel: Trachea? or Trash?

[13:48] Somedirtycat Saule: Trash, waste.

[13:48] herman Bergson: yes...or take OPEC....one weird move with oil prices and they can wreck the world

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:49] herman Bergson: it doent happen because they wreck themselves too in the process

[13:49] Laila Schuman: they are in the crosshairs..

[13:49] herman Bergson: I guess globalism is this balance of power on the financial markets

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa indeed this trash handling is awful. little kids walking in sulphuric acid extracting electronic junk from us :(

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): awful

[13:50] Laila Schuman: environmentalists are pushing harder and harder for action now

[13:50] CB Axel: I thought globalism was about trade.

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and then everything is dumped into the sea

[13:50] CB Axel: Buying and selling goods.

[13:50] herman Bergson: And trade is about making money

[13:50] herman Bergson: But I guess you are right CB

[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): needs to be done in a responsible way however

[13:51] herman Bergson: I am no expert on this...all is so much intertwined

[13:51] Somedirtycat Saule: Globalism is trade without borders or regulation.

[13:52] herman Bergson: But it is all about money, it seems to me

[13:52] CB Axel: Yeah.

[13:52] Somedirtycat Saule: And money gives power

[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): MONEY RUUUUULEEEZZZ!

[13:52] CB Axel: Trump wanted regulations on our trading partners with no regulation on US exports.

[13:52] CB Axel: The dumbass

[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmmm indeed

[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): grmpppfff!

[13:52] Somedirtycat Saule: Might gives right?

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems to be so yes

[13:53] herman Bergson: You then take the right, Some :-)

[13:53] CB Axel: He claims to be a great negotiator, but his idea of compromise is the get what he wants and to hell with everybody else.

[13:54] CB Axel: Screw the other guy before he can screw you.

[13:54] herman Bergson: Yes

[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he gets what he wants otherwise "UR FIRED! BUAAAAAHHH!"

[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just about him

[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): egoism in a nutshell

[13:54] herman Bergson: That is what he has tried with his 46 minutes of "fame"

[13:54] Somedirtycat Saule: CB. As a president of the most powerful nation he can do whatever he like. And US citizens voted in him.

[13:54] herman Bergson: Screw democracy before it screws him

[13:55] Somedirtycat Saule: Democracy...

[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm :(

[13:55] CB Axel: No they didn't, Saule. The majority voted for Clinton.

[13:55] herman Bergson: And THAT, Some, is where the founding Fathers disagree with you...

[13:55] herman Bergson: and put all checks and balances in place

[13:55] Somedirtycat Saule: Majority don't matter in US elections.

[13:55] herman Bergson: They got their ideas from John Locke

[13:56] CB Axel: We need to dump the Electoral College and give the vote to the people.

[13:56] CB Axel: And, yes, with unbiased checks and balances.

[13:56] CB Axel: Or at least as unbiased as possible.

[13:56] Somedirtycat Saule: The founding fathers are a interesting concept.

[13:57] herman Bergson: The Electoral College was based on the belief that uneducated peasants couldn't make the right choice.....

[13:57] Laila Schuman: smirk

[13:57] herman Bergson: a totally outdated idea in this information age

[13:57] Somedirtycat Saule: They cant.

[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:58] Laila Schuman: too many still do not get an education that is useful

[13:58] CB Axel: The uneducated are Trump's base.

[13:58] Laila Schuman: yes

[13:58] Somedirtycat Saule: Interestng fact CB

[13:58] herman Bergson: YEs...I found that an interesting observation CB

[13:59] CB Axel: I think that's why the Republican party wants to destroy our educational system.

[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a bit like Kim jong in north Korea, Blocks the entire internet and then brainwash everyone with lies and fairy tales

[13:59] herman Bergson: I guess 57% of his base is without college education

[13:59] Somedirtycat Saule: Thats because of cultural marxism in educational system.

[13:59] CB Axel: There are smart people without a college education, but college does broaden one's mind.

[14:00] Laila Schuman: agree

[14:00] herman Bergson: True :-)

[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaaa

[14:00] CB Axel: On the other hand, most of what has been useful in my life I've learned after I finished college. :)

[14:00] herman Bergson: Then I hope I have broaden yours minds today again too, somewhat :-)

[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): u have

[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as usual

[14:00] CB Axel: Before we go, I have one very important question.

[14:00] Laila Schuman: indeed

[14:01] herman Bergson: Then...let me thank you for the good debate and exchange of thoughts again....

[14:01] CB Axel: How do you like your new cello, Herman?

[14:01] herman Bergson: Ahhh

[14:01] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa

[14:01] Laila Schuman: smiles

[14:01] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that's important indeed CB:)

[14:01] CB Axel: :)

[14:02] herman Bergson: If you give me your cellphone number (in IM) I'll send you my presentation :-)))

[14:02] herman Bergson: The instrument is a beauty......

[14:02] CB Axel: You can't send it via email?

[14:02] herman Bergson: Yes I can

[14:02] Somedirtycat Saule: Thanks for all ideas and thoughts. bye.

[14:02] herman Bergson: Bye Some , thank you

[14:02] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): put some tunes up on soundscloud

[14:02] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[14:03] CB Axel: You can rent a stream for a short time and stream it into SL using Shoutcast or something similar, too.

[14:04] CB Axel: I used to have a stream, but I wasn't using it and quit renewing.

[14:04] herman Bergson: Ok....question answered....Class dismissed :-)

[14:04] CB Axel: :)

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