neoliberalism and free market: the new faith in the meritocracy and the “sacred” free market

Fukuyama: End of history, the utopia of a meritocracy and the sacred belief in market forces.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in the late 80s, according to Fukuyama was one dominant ideology: the belief in the free market, the belief in the power of the individual and the belief that all individuals can achieve and what it wants. The possibilities are endless as you want. And the individual’s life is doable if you want. Not god determine your life path, but you yourself determine your own life. If it does not, then it is of course entirely your own fault, because yes, you had more but you have to do your best. You are obliged to believe with the meritocracy. Do not you join in this faith then you can expect hefty penalties. You will be deducted from your payment or you have to hand your livelihood. The government has become the ultimate distrustful against people who do not go along with the belief of getting the best out of yourself. You need to give yourself the best possible sales in the market, 4x per week apply for jobs that are not there, participate in all kinds of training that lead nowhere and participate in everything the government tells you to do but to get that one job.

If that fails then you are a loser, sidetracked and then you really owe it to yourself. Already we see that certain municipalities (Apeldoorn) with nota bene a Labour councilor under the motto reintegration assistance recipients humiliate as many unnecessarily packing and tinkering. You do not work with than you have to figure it yourself. Then you can forget a payment and you are dependent on food banks or the street. You dont know why indeed is input to your basic and forced labor in the Netherlands.

With reintegration does this policy has long nothing more. The irony is that it does it in a very anti-liberal with a tremendous waste of resources (control, civil service, labor consultants, policy makers, WMO consultants). Money that is discarded to all but a very small part of the benign group (which otherwise would probably even come to work) to get the job. Money that you can invest much more in innovation, sustainability, education and technology. Money stop patronizing in the worst investment you can ever do. Yet we are currently doing it on a large scale. You might be money better flush the toilet. Then you do not have the negative effects anyway. At most, a clogged toilet. In addition, pack your citizens to do everything in a weak position to sit down by the choice nonsensical work required. Let elect citizens who want to participate himself in which almost all that is. Many citizens are without fault of their own home because of the crisis (dismissal or bankruptcy). Citizens who would love to do something for the society, but almost no legitimate activities of government. It should deliver a clear economic value immediately, otherwise there’s no point (at least that is the dogma). The mistrust of the government leads to bizarre situations when it can no longer care for your grandchildren (mother Lange Frans, broadcast monitor) or be careful with providing care to your fellow man (because yes it can also be paid). It is a very one-sided myopic view of value and dignity of human beings. You’re basically sidelined or put under pressure if you can not produce enough economic value. While in another way for the company can create value (care, groceries, knowledge, make someone happy, buddy programs, serve coffee, offering a listening ear, someone to help with arranging financial matters or the computer, etc.). Indeed the creation of economic value quickly in the short term perhaps creates more for the breakdown of social values. The banking sector is a good example. But most people who want to become rich very quickly wear often the least in the society itself. The question is whether the government side at will.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor bankiers maatschappelijke waarde

De overheid pakt eigenlijk al je keuzemogelijkheden af. Verplicht dom werk doen of je bestaansmiddelen inleveren lijkt mij dan ook geen keuze. Het is moderne slavernij, levert vooral heel veel stress op en is enorm paternalistisch. Je werkt niet meer voor loon, maar voor je bestaansmiddelen.

The government actually picks up on all your choices. Required doing dumb things or you surrender livelihood therefore seems to me no choice. It’s modern slavery, mainly provides a lot of stress and is extremely paternalistic. You no longer work for wages, but for your livelihood.

With re-integration and self-fulfillment has to do at least nothing. It will rather increase the resistance on labor. Certainly among secondary and higher education. You will have achieved your diploma or certificate and then be directly required to pack paper clips. What do you do for signal about the labor market and the government? Is it a society where we want to go? We harness a very expensive, but controlling system to meet the neoliberal paradigm (dogma) that we all have to perform and direct economic value should deliver to society. You are soon profiteer or a loser if you do not provide economic value.

The economic situation of a country (crisis) plays no role in it. You’ll have to work and deliver all the unemployment is so high and the crisis is so deep. Or a job fits a little bit at a person does not matter. We got a huge obsession with the dogma ‘hard’ work. What this has further significance for further does not really matter. As long as you ‘hard’ work can not be that someone just but receives a benefit. We have not so well that at times with a limited number of jobs of hard work will only lead to more unemployment. You make namely the total number of jobs with harder and work longer. Within the neo-liberal dogma is thought that there are more jobs if they work hard enough. We need the cake “just” make bigger and bigger cake delivers more jobs.

In the neoliberal paradigm apparently other rules apply. Neoliberalism is therefore a belief, perhaps a utopia, a dream world where the maximum prosperity is achieved when everyone ‘hard’ work. We are more than happy in a world of unlimited growth, materialism and opportunities for all as you want. A world where hard work is the morality. A utopia where burnout and depression does not exist. Or where you as an individual are responsible for it. A utopia where private home, car, cell phone determines your status. It is a world in which the negative effects of market forces be solved by market forces (more pills for depression, you buy your cares away). A utopia where you can swing as an individual all yourself. A world where it’s all about efficiency, profit maximization and shareholder value. It is also a world where many people do not feel at home. A hard social-Darwinian world where it is no longer about people, happiness and admiration. A world that is very focused on the protagonist: What’s in it for me? A world where the public interest and higher goals no longer central. A world in which I figure narcissistic traits get to the detriment of society. Tax avoidance by multinationals has become an art and you are a king when you have enriched your years of profiteering policies, unclear financial products or the exploitation of tenants, schools and utilities.

The concept of neoliberalism has different definitions in different periods. Since the 80s the concept is characterized by a high degree of privatization, a strong Western capitalist currents, deregulation, free trade, and increased private sector spending cuts. Between the years 30 and 60 neoliberalism was a philosophical movement which was accompanied by a regulated market in which market forces were combined with government policy. It was much more in between classical liberalism and socialism. The current neo-liberalism since the 80’s has its roots in the Chicago School of economics (Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek), the Keynesian model was rejected for the neoclassical model in favor of monetarism and symbolizes the policies of Thatcher, Reagan and Pinochet. In addition, individualism plays a strong role in this movement. Competition between individual workers, individual businesses to get the best out of you. In that respect it has a strong social Darwinist perspective. The law of the strongest (most suitable). In the 90’s neo-liberalism and individualism much more increased. By deregulation and expansion of lending each individual could achieve his or her dream. The trees seemed to grow up in the sky. There was a big growing economy. Everyone was happy, everyone had prosperity. It was only prosperity based on debt and credit. Caused by bankers, bonuses, unrestricted lending and the belief in the sacred market.

They never learned how the real world works and never learned how to deal with adversity, authority, authority, loss and other values. Within their egocentric world they were themselves in the first place. In the real world is very different. The egocentric values ​​are broken and can hit hard. High expectations then collide with the reality of the real world. This can lead to depression and burnout. Especially when you hear that everywhere you as an individual can only ever make as you want or if you work hard enough.

In the 60s 70s and 80s, many people have said goodbye to the Christian faith and belief in the literal truth of the Christian god. The literal truth of the Bible had a different meaning. In Europe, more and more people accept the theory of evolution and faith in America is increasingly tied to individual development and freedom of choice for a particular Christian faith within a particular community. In America, religion has increasingly become a business or commercial activity, a commercial form of life (television ministers who are millionaires, selling books, CDs, etc.). The 60s and 70s are typical for a transition from modernism to postmodernism where the ultimate truth no longer exists. From science was criticized religion and increasingly seen as the ultimate truth (Sartre). Existentialism (individualism, responsibility and subjectivity) came on. Not the group, religion, the state was central (along the country back on construction after the war), but the individual. The individual had also increasingly expanded into self-critically thinking person (responsible citizens) and the increasing wealth of the baby boomers include one could focus more on individual freedoms, recreation, arts and culture. With technological advances (TV, radio, cars, mopeds), the baby boom was no longer dependent on the group in its own column. Baby boomers were increasingly disconnected from the upper column and found the involvement of father state patronizing. The engineered society from the state and the top down planning (the state knows what is good for you) turned into a feasible individual. Through self-critical thinking to get to the highest level of individual prosperity and freedom, regardless of church, state and society.

After World War II wore America’s wars in Korea and Vietnam to the transition from modernism to postmodernism. The belief in bipolar relations between the West (capitalism) and east (Communism) disappeared with a large group of mainly “left” young people. The 70s can be seen as the end of American hegemony. Economic collapsed the Bretton Wood system (Nixon), the American military lost containment war with North Korea and Vietnam. In the Middle East, America had become dependent and addicted to oil. OPEC now determined the supply of oil, and thus energy in the world. America as a world power and global police force crumbled. The world view of America and Israel well and Iran, Iraq, Korea badly was something less clear. In the 60s and 70s was a pacifist hippie culture that is very strongly against what resisted any form of military intervention.

In America, formed the majority of common Caucasian middle families still have the Christian moral majority. In America, most people still believe in creationism, evolution is far from being accepted and plays faith in society have an important role. An atheist president is unthinkable. That is because faith in America has always been a grassroots movement. It’s not like the Catholic faith transmitted from above, but it is transferred within small communities. The more puritanical Republicans have traditionally therefore more supporters in villages and small towns than the Democrats. The more liberal Democrats believe in God does, but usually slightly less orthodox views and are more represented in major cities. Villages harboring average anyway more religiously oriented people than the cities. The traditional supporters of the CDA is located in the countryside. This has more to do farmers feel dependent on the will of God about weather, climate and land. Stewardship is also ‘real’ CDA part in the party (but when it comes down to in practice it is not so bad how the CDA treats nature, climate and environment, paradox between economic gain and farmers keeping nature). The decrease in the number of farmers and the migration from rural to urban areas is one of the causes of secularisation. The smaller Christian parties were to merge themselves forced to CDA. In America, the country is still very important. There is indeed migrate to the large cities, but the influence and the American electoral system still causes influential villages and religious beliefs in political decision making. Al Gore had during the 2000 elections in total have more votes but lost the election by the electoral system still George W. Bush. The winner takes it all. The State (constituency) with the most votes wins the total number of electoral votes. In Great Britain (the Anglo-Saxon culture) works exactly the same. Cameron won more seats than absolute vote.

America is the country where it is believed more than anywhere else in the meritocracy: The American Dream. It is also the country where the American Dream more than anywhere else is not true. In developing countries, most people believe that you are not a dime a quarter may be as long as you “hard” work enough. In America, almost everyone believes that by using ‘hard’ work can reach the very top. There is a very positive feeling about working hard and reach the top. If you’ve dragged inside at all costs billions when they will come through hard work. Protrude above ground level is seen in America as a virtue, it is a real status symbol (is abated somewhat after the 2008 crisis). In the Netherlands, you live in a culture of ‘just act normal, that’s crazy enough to do. ” The Netherlands has more of a Calvinist slant. America is the land of unlimited possibilities with a pioneering spirit and settlers background: the land of the free. Believe therefore plays a role not only in the religious life of Americans, but is also very present in the economy and feel that you can really make it in America, if you want. The belief that America is the best state and nation of the world, is therefore very strong. This belief is reinforced by the patriotic character of America. America is a relatively young state (250 years), with a short cultural history. For nation bond the American state can only subsist on the American Flag, Independence Day (July 4), the dollar (as the world currency and symbol of hegemony), wild west (symbol of the free pioneer spirit) and the military in World War II (veterans , liberating the free Western world). Freedom of speech, individual responsibility are therefore important American / Western values. There, the Western world blood to flow (veterans World War, Revolutionary War, Civil War) and these values ​​are also internationally enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, during the General Assembly of the United Nations (1948) under the influence of American hegemony. In addition to religious and family values, patriotism, individual values ​​in America and the rest of the Western world has become increasingly important.

From the ’80s is the pursuit of their own individual self skyrocketed. In the big cities (London, New York) could more than ever before ‘it’. Status and materialism became increasingly hand in hand. Urban city states represent the trappings of power, culture, status and possessions. From the 80s one office after the other office was constructed in the center. The financial sector in the center of the city is central to the power of the city. The spot where the big money is.

City marketing has become increasingly important for cities. Where previously the family and the suburbs were still major American and Western status symbols, revived the influence of the city and the center as an expression of power and success. New offices, cafés, bars, pubs, dance halls, cinemas settled in the cities (gentrifications). The interest and the revaluation of the city was given a new impetus of the often rich Yuppies or students studying near or in the center or work. In the US, this development was somewhat out by the massive impoverishment of the inner cities (cities donut), large shopping malls outside the city, the car as a status symbol and important family values ​​in the suburban districts or suburbs. In addition, the US government is investing less in the center, making the center consists mainly of a central business district where little else is experiencing. In London you see this somewhat. Amsterdam and Utrecht, but also Groningen are examples of successful city-states. These cities attract the surrounding villages empty (Groningen) or draw even students and Yuppies to the rest of the Netherlands (Amsterdam and Utrecht). The vibrancy of the city, the facilities attract mainly highly educated people. All over the world you see also that land prices in major cities increased enormously. Owner-occupied and rental rates continue to rise in major cities. This creates a class society. Only higher and secondary education with high incomes have access to housing. This effect is enhanced by the sale of social housing. With the sale of these rentals, municipalities can again create more facilities for the often highly educated (art, culture, hospitality, tourism).

In addition, the rise of the city-state reinforces the elitist idea that you can get everything as long as you pull into the elitist city. As long as you can pay the rent and the amenities you have access to everything. So you can buy your own class as long as you are financially wealthy or have wealthy parents. This also creates a conflict between the Metropolis (Randstad) and countryside. You also see this somewhat back in football. Twente fans have a dire hate the arrogant Ajax in the Amsterdam metropolis. Almelo fans have sometimes hated the urban Twente fans. PSV fans identify with farmers and have hated the urban Ajax. Ajax and Feyenoord fight over who is the most urban. Ajax is the elitist self-centered culture city focused on the individual and Feyenoord reinforces the ‘we’ feeling and connects itself as a city of hard workers (dockworkers). Heerenveen and Groningen are fighting a battle to see who is the most rural. Heerenveen and Cambuur fight a fight between the Frisian farmers (Heerenveen) and not the Frisian identity with the city Cambuur if not typical Frisian town.

Collective social values ​​in rural areas (our culture) fights a battle with the neoliberal individual values ​​in the city-states (I am the best). In the country’s social cohesion among themselves much stronger than in the city. The city is a lot more of the sum of individuals (atomistic level city). While rural areas often characterized by the totality of social interaction between residents, volunteers, football clubs, convenience stores, community center, village pub and other social services (versus gemeinschaft gesellschaft, Tonnies). These facilities stand by the migration to the cities and villages of shrinking under pressure. This makes the entire neo-liberal character of individual activities and individual self-amplified. The individual entrepreneur has more prestige than the farmer who takes care of our food supply. The country as a whole also loses respect. The highly qualified people are leaving to cities (brain drain) and the people who are unable to leave behind. The shrinking villages are losing the competition with the cities where the facilities close by, and more are available. In Groningen camps residents in the villages of earthquakes caused by gas production. The residents have for years been misled by the government about the true cause. They are not taken seriously because they are still just dumb farmers. And how much are these earthquakes in a sparsely populated area. If these earthquakes in the Randstad had taken place had been a national disaster. Now it’s dismissed as a regional problem. The Groningen region must make itself but subordinate to the major national importance: the fill government coffers and shareholder Shell. The villages are saddled with problems: shrinkage, depart facilities, nuisance multinationals and the cities get the benefits: highly educated people, facilities, the lusts of the natural gas revenues (national provisions). It is therefore not surprising that naturally very reluctant Groningen villages now massively oppose more gas on the NAM (Shell / State).

At another level, you will see a battle between large retailers and small sole traders and digital stores on the Internet versus physical stores in the city. In rural areas, almost all shops have disappeared (at most a few convenience stores or srv cars). Not only in retail you can see the struggle between neo-liberalism and small businesses. In agriculture disappear more and more small farmers because they can not compete against the big factory farming industry (mega farms and large agricultural concerns). In the 80s, the financial sector was the deregulation increasing. Bankers and financial services increased enormously in prestige. You could earn a lot of money in the commercial and financial services sector. Power and prestige became increasingly important and directly linked to materialism, money, expensive houses and residences. The lower paid jobs in the real economy declined in prestige. You must have done something very wrong if you have become garbage. While a garbage cleaner or a greater social benefit than a self enriching banker, broker or risk managers with its opaque financial products and profiteering policies merely parasitic on society. The uniqueness (unique talent) and the potential merits of a job largely determines your economic value. Bankers could get away with huge bonuses because they represent a certain unique talent. Footballers, actors, singers, writers in the highest segment represent a certain uniqueness. To this unique talent is a huge salary / bonus. A certain X-factor largely determines your market value. Distinguish yourself and your unique first-person plays a major role. What is your added value compared to others. How do you sell yourself?

From the 80s and 90s, the entertainment industry has continued to grow on commercial television (RTL 4, RTL 5, Veronica, SBS6, NET5, FOX). In the Netherlands, first began with talk shows, soap operas (Medical Center West, GTST, Gold Coast, the way to tomorrow), cooking programs and often many American series (A-Team, Al Bundy, Baywatch, Miami Vice, Night Rider, Mcgiver, etc.). From America we have the American culture imported to the Netherlands. An American culture where materialism, fast cars, beautiful women (appearance), fast food, quantity is central. It must be much, fast and cheap. For the Dutchman did all these luxury consumer reach. Could you do not then you could pay with credit (credit cards) or on the value of the house still pay the consumer. So too could the Dutchman participate in the American Dream. Many expenditures were also good for the economy. As long as you had a good selling product and continued to perform very little could go wrong. People bought your product does. The economy was in the 90s also in full swing. Borrowing money was no problem. After the 90s, the focus was on the entertainment industry increasingly individualism and competition. Big Brother began a reality series in which individuals were singled out and had to compete with each other to remain in the house. Eventually there was one winner over. After Big Brother took many many many talent shows (American Idol, Popstars, X-Factor, Holland got talent, Voice of Holland, So you think you can dance, etc. etc.). Almost every series or TV show got a competitive factor or was the story behind the individual or the struggle between individuals featured. Expedition Robinson, Expedition Circle, The Great British Bake Off, many cooking programs were a competitive element: the cook, top chef, hell’s kitchen, ready steady cook masterchef etc. Successful programs are increasingly given a spin-off. Apparently it’s cheap and still be profitable to copy a format as often and to milk until people really finished with them. As long as the viewing figures and advertising revenues are high, we continue to make these programs. The much selling and displaying their products (marketing) plays an important role in our Western society. The question is whether much stuff now sell for profit has become our core Western value?

Let us hijack by profit maximization and our Western society focuses on selling as many items or services and competition? Or we give direction to another utopia. A society that focuses on coexistence, sharing certain values ​​and the creation of basic services for all: a harmonious society where healthy living and basic needs for everyone are guaranteed.