Neoliberal Madness

I thought it wasn’t possible to exaggerate the leftist derangement over “neoliberalism” that I mentioned yesterday in “The Perils of Neoliberalism.” Little did I know.

This requires a brief preface. Of all the academic departments that are lost in the madness of ideological leftism, what you may not know is that one of the very worst of them is . . . geography. “Geography?? Isn’t that, like, the study of maps and topography and such?” You’d think that even in the age of GPS, geography could still have a vibrant life with GIS (geographical information systems) creation, remote sensing applications, etc. But no: it is now a fever swamp of crazy. I don’t know how it happened, but somehow the left long ago figured out that geography departments were a soft target for a takeover. The most typical academic geography class or article will be something along the lines of “The Geography of Racism.” I think most professors of geography these days are probably people who couldn’t cut it in cultural studies, or mispronounced “Foucault” in their oral exams or something.

A sharp-eyed reader sent a link to the following article in ACME: The International Journal for Critical Geography, which I thought at first had to be a hoax. But no—it is real, as is the author. So here goes [LANGUAGE WARNING]:

Now there’s some finely reasoned scholarship. Want more from the full text?

Fuck Neoliberalism. That’s my blunt message. I could probably end my discussion at this point and it wouldn’t really matter. My position is clear and you likely already get the gist of what I want to say. I have nothing positive to add to the discussion about neoliberalism, and to be perfectly honest, I’m quite sick of having to think about it. I’ve simply had enough. For a time I had considered calling this paper ‘Forget Neoliberalism’ instead, as in some ways that’s exactly what I wanted to do. I’ve been writing on the subject for many years (Springer 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015; Springer et al. 2016) and I came to a point where I just didn’t want to commit any more energy to this endeavor for fear that continuing to work around this idea was functioning to perpetuate its hold. On further reflection I also recognize that as a political maneuver it is potentially quite dangerous to simply stick our heads in the sand and collectively ignore a phenomenon that has had such devastating and debilitating effects on our shared world. There is an ongoing power to neoliberalism that is difficult to deny and I’m not convinced that a strategy of ignorance is actually the right approach (Springer 2016a).

Well I dunno—looks like ignorance has served this author pretty well so far. But let’s keep going:

There is nothing about neoliberalism that is deserving of our respect, and so in concert with a prefigurative politics of creation, my message is quite simply ‘fuck it’. Fuck the hold that it has on our political imaginations. Fuck the violence it engenders. Fuck the inequality it extols as a virtue. Fuck the way it has ravaged the environment. Fuck the endless cycle of accumulation and the cult of growth. Fuck the Mont Pelerin society and all the think tanks that continue to prop it up and promote it. Fuck Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman for saddling us with their ideas. Fuck the Thatchers, the Reagans, and all the cowardly, self-interested politicians who seek only to scratch the back of avarice. Fuck the fear-mongering exclusion that sees ‘others’ as worthy of cleaning our toilets and mopping our floors, but not as members of our communities. Fuck the ever-intensifying move towards metrics and the failure to appreciate that not everything that counts can be counted. Fuck the desire for profit over the needs of community. Fuck absolutely everything neoliberalism stands for, and fuck the Trojan horse that it rode in on!

Well, okay then. I think we’ve got it that we’re in the presence of a truly eloquent and original (and peer reviewed!) thinker. (And by the way, isn’t “Trojan Horse” a grievous offense of some kind among the enlightened who have moved so far beyond the western tradition?)

I wondered if the author, Simon Springer, really existed. That’s the kind of name you’d make up for a comic novel. But yes, he’s real, and he’s spectacular:

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