Monday, June 27, 2016

British austerity, neoliberalism really behind Brexit.

While British voters are desperately trying to reverse their protest vote to leave the EU, the media is not quite explaining what was really behind Brexit; neoliberalism, which means a transfer of control of economic factors to the private sector from the public sector. 

Voters essentially voted against themselves and the politically conservative austere system that brought them to this point. That's not to say the detached and brutal way the EU handles economic policy isn't a problem too, but that's a whole different blog post. offered this greatly expanded definition, filled with examples:
Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that “the market” delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.

Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised, public services should be privatised. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions, that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counter-productive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.
All in with Chris Hayes has so far had the best discussion on the real reasons for Brexit:

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