Neoliberalism Is Violence

As austerity measures intensify in the wake of the most recent global financial crisis, it is becoming ever more clear that neoliberalization exhibits a distinct relational connection with violence. This is not an admonishment of the protests that continue to swell, but rather a recognition that these movements are in fact pushing back against the violent measures that have frustrated and demoralized everyday existence under neoliberalism. There is now considerable room for scepticism with regard to the ‘rising tides lifts all boats’ discourse that is perpetuated by proponents of neoliberal ideology, as the free market has categorically failed at producing a harmonious global village. Promises of utopia are confronted with the stark dystopian realities that exist in a growing number of countries where neoliberalization has not resulted in greater peace and prosperity, but in a profound and unmistakable encounter with violence. This talk questions how neoliberalizing processes often comes suffused with processes of Othering that result in conflict, arguing that neoliberalism itself might be productively understood as a particular form of violence.

Source: School of Social Science – The University of Queensland, Australia

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