Boyd Kellner, Newrybar
‘The Old is Dying, and the New Cannot be Born’ – Antonio Gramsci, Italian Philosopher
Helena Norberg-Hodge, (October 1), writes ‘There is a clear cultural turning, visible now even in the mainstream’. To imply that the mainstream is now cognisant of the malaise of Neoliberalism is simplistic and dangerously naïve. To conflate individual personal freedoms with the current pandemic and global economic crisis is lacking any understanding of ‘power’ in the economic/political context of how and why humanity has reached this critical juncture.
To speak of crises, Ms Norberg-Hodge risks being dismissed as a bloviator, given the term’s banalisation through endless loose talk. Maybe, Ms Norberg-Hodge still believes that ‘localisation’ offers a solution to these global crises, and that the hollowed out middle classes will provide the agency for change?
Unsurprisingly, Ms Norberg -Hodge has been banging on about this for years, providing no realistic alternative, other than fanciful middleclass Utopian nonsense.
Since the early 1970s, Neoliberal capitalism placed the ‘market’ on the altar of economic orthodoxy above all, by providing mechanisms for economic prosperity. ‘Individual’ freedoms have been a demonstrated unequivocal failure for the majority and the global ecology – socialism for the rich, austerity for the rest.
Decades later this global politicoeconomic hegemony has spawned ugly populist and nationalist [far right] racial politics, resulting in societal divisions with increasing social inequalities and alienation, and the further commodification of life. Then, to cite 5G, social media and the ‘big picture’, which are all manifestations of the Neoliberalist global agenda – without acknowledging the structural forces that underpin these phenomena speaks volumes of the remiss and foolhardy nature of Ms Norberg-Hodge’s attempted critique.
Political agency remains crucial to replacing Neoliberalism, providing a realistic alternative based on inclusive, self-managed from ‘below’ democracy that is transparent and accountable, with an ecologically centred economy.
To achieve this objective is to wrest power, non-violently, from the few who own and surreptitiously control the majority. This multifaceted task remains the overriding challenge for us, to justly transform societies towards a better future for all and restore ecological integrity.