Sunday, October 19, 2014

Has Neoliberalism Turned Us All Into Psychopaths?

From the Guardian via AlterNet:

We tend to perceive our identities as stable and largely separate from outside forces. But over decades of research and therapeutic practice, I have become convinced that economic change is having a profound effect not only on our values but also on our personalities. Thirty years of neoliberalism, free-market forces and privatization have taken their toll, as relentless pressure to achieve has become normative. If you’re skeptical, I put this simple statement to you: meritocratic neoliberalism favors certain personality traits and penalizes others.

More here.

Even if there weren't any issues concerning fairness or wealth inequality with capitalism at all, I would still be deeply disturbed by the economic system's absolute dominance of our culture's imagination and moment-to-moment functioning. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins for a very good reason: it makes cannibals of us all. As Chris Hedges has said, "Commerce cannot be society's sole concern." But in all the most important ways, it is. And we are now a very sick people because of it.