by Aaqib Mushtaq 27 October 2019
Neoliberalism is the resurgence of ideas associated with economic liberalism beginning in 1970s and 1980s, whose advocates support extensive economic liberalization, free trade and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of private sector in the economy. Today the term Neoliberalism is mostly used pejoratively as a general condemnation of economic liberalization policies such as privatization, open markets and deregulation. Almost all the financial crises including one in 2007-08 have been associated with neoliberal policies. The American scholar and co-editor of the Socialist magazine Monthly Review Robert W McChesney defines Neoliberalism as “Capitalism with gloves off”
Neoliberalism seeks to transfer and the control of the economy from Public to Private sector, under the belief that it will improve economic health of nation. This concept does actually work and has certainly given the world a new look with a lot of development in every arena but even has created a gap between the poor, marginalized nad the upper class; the corporate world. Therefore, if we talk of the good it has done to the poor, this concept fails miserably. The so called “trickle down” has remained intact in the academic discussions and has never been in application or has ever been the prerogative of the State led developmental policies. Developing and Developed countries have been the most affected nations of Neoliberal policies.
Neoliberalism has affected every aspect of human life be Economy, Environment, Culture, language or Religion. Climate change is the latest outcome of Neoliberal thinking for which no nation, be it developed or developing, takes responsibility. One after the other Earth summits has pathetically failed to come out with a consensus on Climate Change. Environmental concerns are at the bay due to proliferation of nuclear technology and weapons.
Nature had maintained a balance in everything, be that resources, rights of human being, etc. “Nature”, as a word in itself means to bring about a thump to disorder. It also means governance, that is, to govern the things and give them a right direction. Moreover, a proportionate order perpetuates in our society culminated by nature. Supposedly, therefore no one can blame nature for disorder because the word disorder and the consequences are associated with Homo sapiens. It is they who create a mess of everything, counting from the simplest and going to complexions.
People in power had always, it can be said from pre-modern era, tried to bring a stop to the genuine demands of people who are not having enough say in a world of inequality. They have been left dumb struck by the macabre power of “haves”. They created two things in the downward spiral because of their motivation and desire for power and money. Firstly, our cities and forests, our fields and villages will burn for days. Rivers will turn to poison. The air will become fire. The wind will spread the flames. When everything there is to burn has burned and the fire die, smoke will rise and shut out the sun. The Earth will be enveloped in darkness. There will be no day. Only interminable night. Temperatures will drop to far below freezing and nuclear winter will set in. Water will turn into toxic ice. Radioactive fallout will seep through the earth and contaminate ground water. Most living things, animals and vegetables, fish and fowl, will die. Only rats and cockroaches will bread and multiply and compete with foraging, relict humans for what little food there is. Secondly, a class of people is created who always dpend for even their basic demands of “a good dignified life”. Moreover, when we entangle them in the cloak of 21st century and in the advancements of science and technology (nuclear world as I refer to), they get a different name—- Maoists, fundamentalists, and other likes. However, we all know that these types of groups, with different names in different regions are produced by the ill-designs of the people in power, by taking away from them their land, resources, wealth, by the process of deculturalisation and by many other trends that always groom in the minds of powerful. Thus, de-rooting them from their own lands and maintaining a policy of creating derailed and marginalized groups.
Hence, will this creation of Apartheid be ever stopped or not, is a matter of grave concern and it would prevail till ever until a balance is created in our society. However, to their respite come the intellectuals and great authors who take a plight to flight in their cause. As Marx says that, “The character of social and cultural forms is influenced by the economic base of society specifically by the mode of production that is used by relationship that exists between those who own and those who do not own the means of production. History is the story of conflict between the exploiting and the exploited classes. This conflict repeats itself again and again until Capitalism is overthrown by the workers and a Socialist State is created. Socialism is the fore-runner to the ultimate social form of Communism.”
This is what then Arundhati Roy says:
“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.”