Monday, March 10, 2008

Neoliberalism and the disappearance of the"public"

The extent to which neoliberal ideology penetrate our society has a direct and linear relationship with the disappearance of noncommodified or un-marketable spheres of life. As the logic of neoliberalism dictates efficiency, maximum profits and capital accumulation, maximum production and consumption, public spheres and public enterprises are increasingly either commodified (privatized) or abandoned (liquidated). It's just a question of time before we say goodbye to nearly all form of public spheres and enterprises ; educational sector will gradually become an open sector for profit-seeking investment, institutions such as public schools and universities will be pushed into service industry. The same is also true for broadcasting sector. Non-commercials public or community broadcasting stations, will be considered as unproductive spheres, and hence their airspace frequencies should be reallocated for profit-seeking broadcasting companies. In a parallel move, the State, on one hand, increasingly abandons its social investment in health, and social welfare, but, on the other hand, increasingly strengthening its policing function, to control and to punish rather than to serve the poor, intensifying the use of repressive state apparatuses to clean up streets from beggars, vendors, and other "penyakit masyarakat" (a term uses by bureaucrats for "society's diseases", such as street prostitutes, petty criminals, etc.)
Such phenomena also applies in political spheres as votes and political authorities can be bought and sold in the market, and as the State becomes more closely aligned with capital, as a new "mode of power production" (that include the circuit of money - power - more money - more power) becomes more common. Gone are the years when public could control political processes on issues affecting their life. Soros says, democracy will not survive neoliberal free market.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's what happens today.... everything is controlled by competitive and free market. The State's responsibility to protect and serve is public has been replaced to the neoliberalism. Do you think universal access or universal service still exist in neoliberalism? What policy (gov't intervention in free market) can be made then?