Much of the Sturm und Drang over President Trump has got to do with the ongoing crisis in the legitimacy of the neoliberal dispensation. Let’s face it, our elite have made a hash of things and they can’t seem to cope with the cascading failures.
Just to add insult to injury, Hurricane Harvey has submerged their neoliberal ethos under 5 feet of fetid water.
Neoliberal hero Margaret Thatcher righteously proclaimed that– “…there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.” While, Ronald Reagan denounced government in no uncertain terms, saying–“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help …”
If it wasn’t so tragic it would be quite hilarious to point and snicker at their cognitive dissonance as neoliberals attempt to obscure their cold and uncaring world-view behind lofty rhetoric of concern for the survivors of the massive storm.
As always, they will be aided by the corporate media, who will cynically use images of flooding and stories of heroic rescue to sell their favored narrative of disaster capitalism.
The real action will happen in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Neoliberals operate according to the maxim that–“you never let a serious crisis go to waste.” After Hurricane Katrina, neoliberals rushed into New Orleans and began privatizing public schools and constructing new charter schools, while firing unionized teachers. Public housing was bulldozed with new upscale condos springing up in their place as working-class people who’d lived in New Orleans for generations were pushed out to make room for hip new professionals.
Naomi Klein describes this process in her book The Shock Doctrine, calling the erasure of the New Orleans public school system an educational land grab.
“In sharp contrast to the glacial pace with which the levees were repaired and the electricity grid was brought back online, the auctioning off of New Orleans’ school system took place with military speed and precision. Within nineteen months, with most of the city’s poor residents still in exile, New Orleans’ public school system had been almost completely replaced by privately run charter schools.”
I’m certain that neoliberals are already plotting the reforms they’ll make in Houston when the waters recede.