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The current neoliberal mutation of capitalism has evolved beyond the days when the wholesale exploitation of labor underwrote the world system’s expansion. While “normal” business profits plummet and theft-by-finance rises, capitalism now shifts into a mode of elimination that targets most of us—along with our environment—as waste products awaiting managed disposal. The education system is caught in the throes of this eliminationism across a number of fronts: crushing student debt, impatience with student expression, the looting of vestigial public institutions and, finally, as coup de grâce, an abandonment of the historic ideal of universal education. “Education reform” is powerless against eliminationism and is at best a mirage that diverts oppositional energies. The very idea of education activism becomes a comforting fiction. Educational institutions are strapped into the eliminationist project—the neoliberal endgame—in a way that admits no escape, even despite the heroic gestures of a few. The school systems that capitalism has built and directed over the last two centuries are fated to go down with the ship. It is rational therefore for educators to cultivate a certain pessimism. Should we despair? Why, yes, we should—but cheerfully, as confronting elimination, mortality, is after all our common fate. There is nothing and everything to do in order to prepare.
Our education system is chained to the hold of a sinking capitalist ship. Is there any escape?
At the onset of the Great Recession, as house prices sank and joblessness soared, many commentators concluded that the economic convictions behind the disaster would now be consigned to history. And yet, in the harsh light of a new day, we've awoken to a second nightmare more ghastly than the first- a political class still blaming government intervention, a global drive for austerity, stagflation, and an international sovereign debt crisis. Philip Mirowski finds an apt comparison to this situation in classic studies of cognitive dissonance. He concludes that neoliberal thought has become so pervasive that any countervailing evidence serves only to further convince disciples of its ultimate truth. Once neoliberalism became a Theory of Everything, providing a revolutionary account of self, knowledge, information, markets, and government, it could no longer be falsified by anything as trifling as data from the 'real' economy.
It seems like pretty much everybody – homeowners, students, those who are ill and without health insurance, and, of course, credit card holders – is up to their neck in debt that can never be repaid. 77% of US households are seriously indebted and one in seven Americans has been pursued by debt collectors. The major banks are bigger and more profitable than before the 2008 crash, and legislators are all but powerless to bring them to heel. In this forceful, eye-opening survey, Andrew Ross contends that we are in the cruel grip of a creditocracy – where the finance industry commandeers our elected governments and where the citizenry have to take out loans to meet their basic needs. The implications of mass indebtedness for any democracy are profound, and history shows that whenever a creditor class becomes as powerful as Wall Street, the result has been debt bondage for the bulk of the population. Following in the ancient tradition of the jubilee, activists have had some success in repudiating the debts of developing countries. The time is ripe, Ross argues, for a debtors’ movement to use the same kinds of moral and legal arguments to bring relief to household debtors in the North. After examining the varieties of lending that have contributed to the crisis, Ross suggests ways of lifting the burden of illegitimate debts from our backs. Just as important, Creditocracy outlines the kind of alternative economy we need to replace a predatory debt-money system that only benefits the 1%.
Thriller.
A number of people have claimed that the ongoing financial crisis has revealed the problems with neoliberal thought and neoliberal policies in the 'Atlantic Heartland'. However, if we look at the history of the 'Heartland' economies then it becomes evident that they were never neoliberal in the first place - that is, the economic policies and discourses in these countries did not follow neoliberal prescriptions. /We Have Never Been Neoliberal/ explores this divergence between neoliberal theory and 'neoliberal' practice by focusing on the underlying contradictions in monetarism, private monopolies, and financialization. The book finishes by proposing a 'manifesto for a doomed youth' in which it argues that younger generations should refuse to pay interest on anything in order to avoid the trap of debt-driven living.
Negative Capitalism: Cynicism in the Neoliberal Era offers a new conceptual framework for understanding the current economic crisis. Through a ranging series of analyses and perspectives, it argues that cynicism has become culturally embedded in the UK and US as an effect of disempowerment by neoliberal capitalism. Yet despite the deprivation and collapse of key social infrastructure like representative democracy, welfare, workers' rights and equal access to resources, there has so far been no collective, effective and sustained overthrow of capitalism. Why is this? The book's central call is for new strategies that unravel this narcissistic cynicism, embracing social democracy, constitutional rights, mass bankruptcies and animate sabotage. Kafka, Foucault, Ballard and de Sade are clashed with the X-Factor, ruinporn, London, and the artwork of Laura Oldfield Ford. Negative Capitalism's polemic is written to incite responses against the cynical malaise of the neoliberal era.

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