A Museum of Neoliberalism is opening in London next week

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/10/no-alternative.html


If we don’t see real change in the next year or so, I can see such a museum being a permanent installation in the future. If it does, I hope that it will serve as a warning about repeating the mistakes of the past rather than as a tribute erected by the 1% who rule over the other 99% of humanity from their climate-controlled fortress enclaves.


I don’t want to give them any ideas - but they better be putting some hydroponic gardens in those bunkers.


Hydroponic gardens tended by robots. Maybe they’ll call them “Galt’s Gardens”. Or maybe not.


That tin can will get opened up to a bunch of corpses because they all fought each other over who’s the boss of the bunker.


That’s the plot of one of the stories in Cory’s most recent collection.


I tried to read Atlas Shrugged once upon a time, and found that the more I read, the more I couldn’t stand it. I think I made it about halfway through before I said to myself, “Fuck this shit.” I’m surprised I made it that far.


For the Cyberpunk version try “Corp.S.E” by Mick Farren.
Worth ordering on Amazon just for the invoice that said Contents: Corpse, one…


Did you get to the railroad tunnel scene, where Rand takes her “free”-market fundamentalism into eliminationist wet-dream territory? As awful as Galt’s 50-page “radio address” is in part III, that scene in part II really puts the vicious misanthropy underlying it into perspective.


I don’t think I made it that far… I don’t recall a tunnel.


Very short version (at least compared to Rand’s turgid prose): she sets up a situation where a bunch of straw-man liberal baddies (a politician, a journalist, an academic, an actor, etc. – the usual suspects with the usual sins) she thinks are against capitalism are on a train with a bunch of other men, women and children.

The diesel locomotive breaks down, but there are no spares available to replace it. The politician uses his clout to demand that the train’s journey is continued so he can make his campaign rally. Over the objections of a brave engineer, a steam locomotive is used. The train continues on its way, eventually entering a long tunnel through the Rockies. Everyone on board is asphyxiated (yes, including the innocents, and yes, including the children), and Rand makes it clear they all got what they deserved.

This is the book that GOP politicians demand their staffers read and that they hand out to promote neoliberalism. A first edition open to that chapter should be displayed in a glass case in this museum.


Since unregulated capitalism and democracy are not compatible, they’ve been quietly and slowly getting rid of democracy (or preventing it in the first place, depending on the country!).


Yeesh. I have no regrets about setting that book down and never returning.


I remember finding it rather inspiring as a teenager, but then after a couple of days I snapped out of it and recognized it for what it was, a tendentious paean to selfishness.


This is an excellent point. I highly recommend the book “Democracy in Chains,” by Nancy MacLean. Although Friedman is the evil piece of filth who usually gets the credit for NeoLiberalism, MacLean focuses on a very similar pseudo-economist named James Buchanan, who even won a Nobel Prize for Economics in 1986. Buchanan (as well as Friedman) advised the Chilean coup on how to warp that country’s constitution to hobble possible future resurgence of democracy. Buchanan also wrote what was effectively a NeoLiberal guerilla guide to impose anti-democratic systems on the U.S, step by step, lie by lie, impoverishment by impoverishment. Much of what he outlined has become talking points of both parties in the U.S., though of course the Republicans treat it as fundamental driving dogma.


I dunno…gardens sound vaguely socialist. Maybe Galt’s Glebe. /s


In the '80’s in my “democratic” country TPTB either discarded democratic principles outright (e.g. selling public assets despite 96% disapproval) or just paid lip-service (asking for submissions, ignoring them, then rushing neoliberal legislation through anyway).

Anyone interested in neoliberal case-studies outside of the usual suspects could explore Alister Barry’s NZ documentaries, particularly this one…

why do you call him a pseudo-economist?

So, let me understand this… A museum satirizing neoliberalism in London IS publishing material for BB. On the other hand, the sotry of the brutal collapse of every neoliberal’s favourite grotesque socio-economic-political experiment, the posterchild of “what the model can acchieve”, the “neoliberal wonder”, “the beacon of Latin America”, in Chile hasn’t even earned a filthy tweet from you guys.

And let’s be clear here. Not only are we closing in to a full month of uniterrupted MASSIVE protests highly focused on the core issues of neoliberalism, where the people have been calling it out by name, but we’ve been enduring the full backlash of the entitled vampires that profit from tis putrid system. The very president of the republic first called this a “war against a powerfull enemy”, basically declaring war on almost every citizen of Chile, then twisted and abused his authority (derived from the Constitution the dictator Pinochet installed, which is still standing) to put us under a state of constitutional exeption, send out the armed forces to repress the people (ilegally, by the way, as many courts have established afterwards). Even after the state of exeption is over, the curfews are lifted, police keep on brutalizing the people, the governing right decides to pretend it’s not an issue and side with the ones abusing their power, criminalizing the whole movement based on acts of vandalism (many were there’s plenty of evidence pointing towards them being montages by the very state agents themsleves). Right now, due to police brutality, Chile has become the place with the highest rates of eye mutilation IN THE WORLD, even considering active war zones and friggin Israel-Palestine. Add to that multiple assaults against human rights, including sexual abuse towards minors at the hands of police and armed forces, the abuse of teargas, usage of buckshoot at close range, illegal detentions, torture, even shooting highschool students INSIDE their schools from two meters away or shooting and gasing hospitals, and the list goes on. All of this while the president anounces new bills in order to support the police, criminalize the movement further, while also pretending to patch the economic rift natural to neoliberalism, not by touching the 1% (where our billionaire president belongs to, by the way), but by taking public money to “help balance” things like income or our privatized pension system (efectively giving public money to private enterprises). Oh, and did I mention, their closed-ranks defense of their precious model goes as far as deniyng the Interamerican Comission for Human Rigths (an arm of the Organizacion of American States) to enter the country to gather infromation on HR violations? Even Pinochet allowed them into the country, may I mention.

Well, Boing Boing, that’s how the collapsing neoliberal wonder fights back. That’s it’s true face, and that of those who profit from it. And don’t be fooled, this isn’t some romantic red revolution, but a popular backlash 30 years in the making. Even after Chile got back it’s democracy in the 90’s, all the center-left govermnents that came afterwards didn’t change anything substantially. We’re still the only country in the world where the ownership of WATER is privatized (how much more neoliberal does it get?).

We’re being mutilated, shot, beaten and tortured in the shadow of a rabid dying beast called neoliberalism, but Boing Boing seems to prefer to see how mischievous it is to have a museum satirizing it in London. Remember, Thatcher admired Pinochet for a reason; she kept him happy while he was under house arrest in London because they were grotesque minds alike, but one was way darker, and it wasn’t the one with the “iron” nickname.

Oh, oh… and if all of that hasn’t at least moved you to go look for some more info (or motivated BB to write even an aknowlegment of Chile’s struggle), maybe you’ll be interested in knowing that the good ol’ USofA sent us one of it’s finest to spice up the mix. Yeah, today a ultra-religious, anti-communist, ultra-rightwing, white supremacist, US citizen pulled out a gun on the street and shot at protestors injuring one. He was arrested, but I guess he’s high-class enough that the police gave him time to upload a video to youtube explaining his “struggle” before taking him in. Did that piece of “weird-world” news at least spark your interest?

Oh, and before someone inevitably tells me “instead of complaining about BB not picking the story up, why don’t you use the submit button”… it’s not working since… years? I’ve tried to bring the issue up in threads that are thematically close and tried tagging BB on twitter a couple of times too, but I guess Latin America is just not that interesting for BB unless it’s some random crap about El Chapo or a Caravan that your idiot-in-chief tries to criminalize. (Sorry for the bitter tone, but… did I mention we already have over 20 dead people so far, at least 3 killed by agents of the state directly? We’re not playing arround here… sadly).


Some usefull reading:
The Guardian: Democracy doesn’t matter to the defenders of “economic freedom”