The propaganda of ‘the economy’


This is the lie the neoliberals want us to believe:

Schools and workplaces must remain open for the well-being of all. Schools and workplaces are essential for the economy. A healthy economy such as the one we had before the pandemic was good for everyone. Humans who can’t attend school or work will suffer mental health problems. Without school, children will become lazy, undisciplined and dumb, without jobs adults will become lazy, unproductive and dependent on government welfare.

Here are some truths:

Schools and universities have been slowly but surely evolving into training institutions to produce workers that are useful for the economy. Workplaces have slowly but surely been de-unionised for the sole purpose of profit which is not shared with the workers. The economy we had before the pandemic gushed money to the top, the trickle down only kept workers one or two paydays away from defaulting on mortgage payments to the banks or rent payments to landlords. The fear of losing the roof over your head is the main cause of mental health issues arising from lockdowns. Children are naturally curious learning machines and for eons, long before the invention of ‘the economy’, humans have cooperatively worked together to efficiently and creatively meet their needs and wants and solve the problems of surviving and thriving.

Don’t be fooled by the propaganda.

8 thoughts on “The propaganda of ‘the economy’

  1. Thanks for yet another insightful and wise post Sean 🙂 I so agree about children. My sister’s kids are so happy with lockdown because they get to simply spend time with their mother. It’s just beautiful and simple for them, they just like to be around their parents – that’s all. Parents just need to stop feeling guilty about not having them in school, they will be fine. I would add to this a few of my thoughts on neoliberalism, the relentless pursuit for more-more-more has a lot in common with the self-improvement movement of endless positivity, endless growth, evolution. It’s all just BS really, we are all destined to be (at best) modestly successful people who just live on the planet, we are not destined to become famous or powerful and that’s OK we should just accept that. Our ancient forebears knew that all the world was cyclical and seasonal with good and bad times. It seems that neoliberalism forgets this. It wants to encourage us to endlessly self-improve, grow and become bigger and better. Endless growth is a cancer in biological organisms after all. I read an amazing book about all of this and more recently, I think you will like it by a pscyhologst Svend Brinkmann. A review on my blog is to come. Take care xx

  2. Hello Sean. Thank you for visiting my site.

    I worked in a University for almost 30 years and watched it gradually change from a “school” to a “business.” But to some extent this was necessitated by a slow (but accelerating) withdrawal of government funding which required the universities to look elsewhere for income to support the services they were providing. Over that time, education itself became a business, as evidenced by an increasing propensity to hire managers from the corporate sector. And now, with border closures due to Covid, universities are having to lay off hundreds of staff (each) because of the shortfall in revenue from the lucrative full-fee paying overseas student market.

    But on a different issue, I think that the Covid lockdowns affect different people in different ways and the more gregarious an individual is by nature, the harder it must be for them to not have that face-to-face contact they need. Unfortunately, in the midst of this crisis, governments do not have the opportunity to tailor solutions specifically for individuals or even cohorts, so they look for strategies that will benefit the largest number of people first and then (hopefully) try to deal with the exceptions as they arise. I’m not saying any one government has got it absolutely right. But you only have to watch the daily news to realise that some governments have got it horribly wrong; especially those whose primary focus has been on saving themselves first.

    Cheers, Keith

    • Hi Scott,
      The university issue certainly has been going on for a long time now. Perhaps one day governments will rediscover the great investment returns that education delivers. And hopefully COVID will force governments to re-assess their policies and focus more on the well-being of all and less on the economy.

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