In the Ruins of Neoliberalism

In short, the role of the elite in America is to preserve the status quo and to protect “special interests” to the fullest extent. But what is the primary aim of these “special interests” and of the status quo? As one Western author wrote: “These special interests influence the government through various means to extract, protect, and maximize monopolistic type ‘rent,’ benefitting a few at the expense of the many.” He added: “This is in essence the opposite of both capitalism’s and socialism’s tenets, for it is simultaneously an abuse of free markets and a confiscation of resources from the many by a few or for the few.” 

Thus, government plays a singular function and role in America, namely, to extract, exploit, and maximize the amount of wealth and resources derived from the many and posit all of it into the hands of the few. “Everything goes to the top.” But one might be curious to know who the few are at the top who rack up everything from everyone else. The theory or the belief is that they amount to about fifty or sixty individuals or households who are rooted in dynastic and aristocratic bloodlines which originate in Medieval Europe. Some have originated from England, others from France and Germany, and some from other parts of Western Europe. 

In a nutshell, what we seek to legitimize and solidify in both our social structures and in our minds is inequality, inegalitarianism, as well as rigid and stubborn social stratification. As one author wrote: 

“Wealth-determined stratification of access and provision is hardly new under the sun. But neoliberal privatization and legitimation of inequality make it more intense, more widely disseminated, and more deeply penetrated into everyday life than at any time since feudalism. The tiered pricing of service, access, and treatment for everything everywhere accustoms all to inegalitarianism and makes us more feudal than democratic in subjectivity and ethos.” 

In turn, the rigidity and stubbornness of inequality, inegalitarianism, and social stratification based on dynastic and aristocratic wealth gives rise to the discontent, nihilism, and resentment which underpins nativist and populist movements in the West. But on a deeper level, the discontent, nihilism, and resentment are symptoms of a crisis which is brewing underneath the surface and is bound to occur at any given point in time. As one author wrote: 

“The wave of popular dissent, apparent from Brexit to Trump to new populist governments across the Western world, has already had major consequences. Yet it has been all but denied, dismissed and disregarded by the well-to-do and an arrogant intellectual elite. It is pictured as an irrational tantrum bound to self-correct, an abhorrent aberration, as if ignoring and disparaging an inconvenient outcome would make it go away.”

He added:

“But seldom has a disease been cured, a problem resolved, by ignoring the symptoms. Indeed, more often, the symptoms are part of an unpleasant reaction triggered to defend a besieged system, restore a natural balance, as a necessary fever would render bedridden an infected body so that it could better kill off the harmful virus. But such an immune system reaction can all too easily slip into hyperdrive and kill the host together with the disease.” 

In sum, the system is dysfunctional, sick, and out of whack, but in more ways than just one. In turn: “Here we stand, confused and unprepared, as the next crisis looms.” 

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