Everyone knows there’s something wrong with the world but nobody can say what it is.
We’ve got people going hungry in the UK for the first time in nearly a century; wages are falling and living standards are in decline; our schools are failing and our National Health Service is being privatised; the retirement age is rising, child benefit is means tested and large numbers of our young people are finishing their education massively in debt.
Meanwhile the rich are getting richer and we’re involved in our sixth war since 1990.
There’s always enough money for wars it seems, but never enough for a decent standard of living.
Sometimes it feels like we’re back in the 30s. Same economic depression. Same crazy fanaticism. Same thunder of war echoing on the horizon. But whereas in the 30s it was the Nazis invading other people’s countries, these days it’s us.
I remember reading in the history books that it was the Second World War that got us out of the Great Depression. Actually that’s only partly true. What also got us out of the Great Depression was legislation to curb the excesses of capitalism which had lead us into the Great Depression in the first place.
The post-war boom was built on the financial architecture of the Bretton Woods Agreement, which, amongst other things, regulated the flow of speculative capital.
In the late 1970s a new economic philosophy was unveiled. It effectively ripped up the post-war consensus and unleashed financial speculation on the world again.
We called it “Thatcherism” here in the UK. The current term is “neo-liberalism”.
It is the idea that if we privatise everything everyone will be better off. All the major parties subscribe to it, including Ukip.
Remember those old communist countries, where you could vote for anything you liked, as long as it was communist? Here in Britain we can vote for anything we like as long as it’s neo-liberalism.
So what’s that thing that’s wrong with the world that nobody can put a name to?
I’ll give you a clue. You can’t vote for anything else.
For a longer version of this article please go to: http://cjstone.hubpages.com/hub/neo-liberalism