petej + individualism   129

How Thatcherism produced Corbynism - UnHerd
In Britain, as elsewhere, the Thatcherite project was self-undermining. While the country Thatcher brought into being was very different from the one she inherited, it was nothing like the country she intended to fashion. Insofar as it ever existed, her Britain was a country of dutiful middle-class families prudently saving for the future. But rather than consolidating and expanding this middle class, she consigned it to the memory hole. More individualist, post-Thatcher Britain is also less bourgeois.

Aside from their homes, few middle-class people have assets of any importance. Beyond the public sector, pensions are dependent on the vagaries of the market. Without job security, much of the middle class lives only months from penury. Incomes have increased for many, but so has debt. While distancing Labour from its past and turning it into an overwhelmingly middle-class party, Tony Blair continued the hollowing out of middle-class life that Thatcher began.

A type of capitalism emerged in which the practices that shaped bourgeois life as it had been known in the past – saving for the future, pursuing a lifelong career, self-sacrifice for the sake of family stability – became redundant or dysfunctional. Adapting to ceaseless change came to be regarded as the primary virtue. Accelerating and accentuating processes that globalisation was driving anyway, Thatcher created a society she could not have imagined.
UK  politics  academia  tenure  Thatcher  Thatcherism  JosephKeith  Keynesianism  state  welfare  employment  individualism  neoliberalism  precarity  insecurity  post-industrialism  middleClass  Corbynism  TheLeft  globalisation  Brexit  referendum  PeoplesVote  farRight  dctagged  dc:creator=GrayJohn 
january 2019 by petej
Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Unsheltered’ Is Liberal Pabulum - The Atlantic
She shares this sensibility with Kingsolver, who is often described as a “political novelist” but who has only the shallowest understanding of political reality. Her novels specialize in self-congratulatory gestures of empathy: the clumsy representation of characters whom she finds obviously distasteful but wants to redeem, modeling the respect and understanding that she believes can open our hearts and minds and subdue our partisan acrimony. The result is not a bad novel—it is perfectly competent at the level of the sentence—but a novel that fails so dramatically to capture the corrosive realities of liberal capitalism that it just might deflate, once and for all, the middlebrow fantasy that stories can help us get through these dark times.
USA  politics  environment  inequality  TrumpDonald  liberalism  literature  change  neoliberalism  individualism  personalResponsibility  fiction  KingsolverBarbara 
october 2018 by petej
Interview for Sunday Times | Margaret Thatcher Foundation
What's irritated me about the whole direction of politics in the last 30 years is that it's always been towards the collectivist society. People have forgotten about the personal society. And they say: do I count, do I matter? To which the short answer is, yes. And therefore, it isn't that I set out on economic policies; it's that I set out really to change the approach, and changing the economics is the means of changing that approach. If you change the approach you really are after the heart and soul of the nation. Economics are the method; the object is to change the heart and soul.
neoliberalism  politics  economics  individualism  collectivism  ThatcherMargaret  Thatcherism 
july 2017 by petej
Anxiety Dream | Miya Tokumitsu
We may scream at each other over the “correct” way to sleep, but the truth is that where we come down on these questions—and, indeed, whether we even have a choice at all—is largely a matter of our financial resources and anxieties. As with parenting, there are multitudinous dictums competing over how to do sleep right, but few resources to actually achieve our cultural ideals. For well-to-do families, whether to co-sleep with babies may be a considered choice. No such luck for households that cannot afford a bassinet or crib. Coffee-fuelled all-nighters are technically a choice, but usually one coerced by negative economic consequences for missing a deadline. And what can Huffington say to readers who don’t have a bathtub or even a private bedroom from which to banish their phone?
sleep  lateCapitalism  markets  work  anxiety  individualism  dctagged  dc:creator=TokumitsuMiya 
june 2017 by petej
Driverless Ed-Tech: The History of the Future of Automation in Education
We hear it all the time. To be fair, of course, we have heard it, with varying frequency and urgency, for about 100 years now. “Robots are coming for your job.” And this time – this time – it’s for real.
I want to suggest – and not just because there are flaws with Uber’s autonomous vehicles (and there was just a crash of a test vehicle in Arizona last Friday) – that this is not entirely a technological proclamation. Robots don’t do anything they’re not programmed to do. They don’t have autonomy or agency or aspirations. Robots don’t just roll into the human resources department on their own accord, ready to outperform others. Robots don’t apply for jobs. Robots don’t “come for jobs.” Rather, business owners opt to automate rather than employ people. In other words, this refrain that “robots are coming for your job” is not so much a reflection of some tremendous breakthrough (or potential breakthrough) in automation, let alone artificial intelligence. Rather, it’s a proclamation about profits and politics. It’s a proclamation about labor and capital.
technology  automation  education  edtech  ThrunSebastian  SiliconValley  Uber  UAV  driverlessCars  autonomousVehicles  robots  jobs  employment  capitalism  politics  regulation  deregulation  disruption  libertarianism  RandAyn  individualism  cars  driving  publicTransport  personalisation  control  precarity  surveillance  algorithms  dctagged  dc:creator=WattersAudrey 
april 2017 by petej
The way to a better work-life balance? Unions, not self-help | Guardian Careers | The Guardian
"The trick is to see the ritual of overwork as a societal pressure, not an individual fault. And much of this pressure stems from the disempowerment of the workforce that has occurred over the last 20 years. Insecurity – real or imagined – naturally makes it more likely that people will sacrifice everything for their job. That’s why confronting work-mania as an individual is pointless. We need to come together as a group to voice these concerns if progressive policy and legislation are to be forged. Otherwise little will change."
work  labour  overwork  postFordism  self-employment  flexbility  ideology  culture  self-help  individualism  work-life-balance 
october 2016 by petej
Why revolution is no longer possible | openDemocracy
"Today, no collaborative, networked multitude exists that might rise up in a global mass of protest and revolution. Instead, the prevailing mode of production is based on lonesome and isolated self-entrepreneurs, who are also estranged from themselves. Companies used to compete with each other. Within each enterprise, however, solidarity could occur. Today, everyone is competing against everyone else — and within the same enterprise, too. Even though such competition heightens productivity by leaps and bounds, it destroys solidarity and communal spirit. No revolutionary mass can arise from exhausted, depressive, and isolated individuals.

Neoliberalism cannot be explained in Marxist terms. The famous “alienation” of labor does not even occur. Today, we dive eagerly into work — until we burn out. The first stage of burnout syndrome, after all, is euphoria. Burnout and revolution are mutually exclusive. Accordingly, it is mistaken to believe that the Multitude will cast off the parasitic Empire to inaugurate a communist society."
neoliberalism  Negri  multitude  individualism  entrepreneurialism  overwork  competition  capitalism  sharingEconomy  commodification  communism  revolution  gigEconomy  community  RifkinJeremy  exploitation  surveillance  disclosure  burnout  mentalHealth 
september 2016 by petej
ROAR Magazine: Spent? Capitalism’s growing problem with anxiety
"Yet it is in these last few years more than most that anxiety, precarity, crisis and burnout have become regular keywords, and where continuous productivity, connectivity and alertness are demanded at all hours. To anyone who values the lives of other human beings over the growth of stocks, shares and tax-free profits, this situation should be appalling. It will also worsen. To continue insisting that the mass breakdown of workers into malfunctioning anxiety machines is down to some failure of the individual is either callous or blind."
neoliberalism  work  labour  overwork  precarity  anxiety  stress  mentalHealth  individualism  competition  politics 
september 2016 by petej
The corruption of happiness | openDemocracy
Political hope must continue to lie in the idea that social and economic conditions are changeable, and, commensurately, that it is not up to us to tailor our minds, moods and bodies to circumstances which dominate us. The problem is that this argument can easily be bracketed as a form of idealism, which—in contrast to the advocates of 'talking cures'—doesn’t take everyday suffering seriously. The critique of positive psychology can end up being dismissed as a nonsensical defence of negativity.

The way to resist this is to insist on a political understanding of happiness and unhappiness, in which people are authorised to articulate and offer explanations for their feelings. This means understanding that some forms of unhappiness - such as a sense of injustice or anger - need hearing, not treating. This in turn requires careful nurturing and development of the institutions which facilitate voices to be heard. Happiness is welcome, but not if it requires people to "radically alter the way they are".
behaviour  happiness  neoliberalism  individualism  choice  management  psychology  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
may 2016 by petej
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