ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Neoliberalism and the New World Order

Updated on May 22, 2018
CJStone profile image

CJ Stone is an author and columnist, with seven books to his credit. He lives in Whitstable and currently writes for the Whitstable Gazette.

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 neoliberalism.

Everybody knows

Everybody 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, 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.

£50,000 used to buy you a decent house not all that long ago. These days it doesn't even buy you an education, something we once got for free.

Everyone is blaming everyone else. The Tories blame Labour. Labour blames the Tories. Britain First blames the immigrants. The English Defence League blames the Muslims. The bosses blame the Trade Unions. The people blame the politicians. The politicians blame the economy.

No one knows what to do.

Meanwhile the rich are getting richer and we’re involved in our sixth war since 1991.

Just to list them for you, in case you've forgotten:-

  1. In 1991 we invaded Iraq. On false pretences, it was later revealed, as Saddam was suing for peace and had agreed to leave Kuwait. That part of the story never gets repeated in the mainstream media for some reason. Prior to that Saddam had been our ally. It was George H. W. Bush who first used the term "The New World Order" in the run up to the first Gulf War.
  2. In 1998 we intervened in the War in Kosovo. That was the first of the wars of “Humanitarian Intervention” which meant, basically, that there was no Security Council resolution backing our action, which meant that it was against international law and strictly illegal; we intervened anyway, in defiance of international law. This was the New World Order showing its face.
  3. Also in 1998 we bombed Iraq again, on the basis of those Weapons of Mass Destruction which later turned out not to exist.
  4. In 2001 we invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on New York. This was despite the fact that not one of the 9/11 attackers was from Afghanistan, or that anyone living in Afghanistan was ever shown to have had any part in the attacks. This included Osama bin Laden, who always denied having had anything to do with 9/11. He was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List for many years, but they never claimed that he was involved in the 9/11 atrocity.
  5. In 2003, of course, we were part of that clinically insane “Coalition of the Willing” which invaded Iraq: probably one of the most disastrous military interventions in the whole of human history. The only other countries involved in it were the United States, Australia and Poland. There was never any Security Council resolution for this war so, once more, it was illegal. It was also, according to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) “a strategic failure” and was directly responsible for the increase of radicalism of young Muslims in the UK. In other words, we illegally invaded another country in order to counteract the threat of international terrorism and, in the process, greatly increased international terrorism. We used the excuse of a threat to our national security which didn't exist, and by this act created a threat to our national security which is now all too real. If this isn't "clinically insane” then I don't know what is.
  6. We were also involved in the war in Sierra Leone between 1991 and 2002 and, as well as the latest war in Iraq, we have cheered on or supported conflicts in Darfur, Somalia, Gaza, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan and Syria.

There’s always enough money for war it seems, but never enough for a decent standard of living for the population.

 John Heartfield: 'The Meaning of the Hitler Salute. The Little Man Asks for Big Gifts. Millions Stand Behind Me' 1932
John Heartfield: 'The Meaning of the Hitler Salute. The Little Man Asks for Big Gifts. Millions Stand Behind Me' 1932

Back to the 30s

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. Bretton Woods was also at one time referred to as "the New World Order". It's been a common phrase down the years.

In place of the free-for-all of the 1920s, we had an international economic framework which oversaw the market, controlling it by various legally enforceable means. Together with the so-called “post-war consensus”, which saw the creation of the National Health Service, the welfare state and the nationalisation of key strategic industries, this lead to more than 30 years of stability in the economy and an unprecedented rise in living standards for the majority of people in this country.

As Harold Macmillan famously remarked, we’d “never had it so good”.

Unfortunately, it also lead to a limit to the amount of profits the corporations could make, so 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. In the United States it was known as “Reaganomics”.

It has gone by many names over the years. Monetarism. Free-market economics. Supply-side economics.

George Bush senior, in a rare lucid moment, referred to it as “Voodoo Economics”.

The current preferred term is “neoliberalism”.

It is the idea that if we privatise everything everyone will be better off.

The basis of the argument is that when we hand over our public services to private contractors, those private contractors are more efficient. And that is true of course. In order to make a profit private industry drives down costs. It does this by driving down wages and conditions, by making less people do more work. Ultimately, then, it impoverishes the vast majority of people in an industry in order to make money for the people who own it. Fewer people are better off, while more people are worse off, and in the end, the whole of society is impoverished by this process.

All the major parties subscribe to the neoliberal agenda, 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 neoliberalism.

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 have no choice. You can’t vote for anything else.

© 2014 Christopher James Stone

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)