This article is a part of the room: First Aid Kit against Neoliberalism

Neoliberalism isn’t an economic program – it’s a political program designed to produce hopelessness and kill any future alternatives.

David Graeber

The Arendal week

First Aid Tent Against Neoliberalism

Briefly about The Arendal Week 2023

Arendalsuka is the largest political gathering in Norway held annually since 2012.

At our stand, we presented an updated version of “First aid kit against neoliberalism”, which for the occasion had been upgraded with four new objects: Repair Kit for Tax Loopholes, The Labour for Inheritance Tie, Welfare State Cut Cutter, Housing Tick Remover.

In addition to exhibiting the first aid kit, we also held various practical workshops in the stand tent – including a button workshop and a gingerbread-voodoo workshop. As with the stand in general, the workshops appealed to both adults and children, and formed the basis for good conversations across values and party affiliation.

Full-page advertisement in Klassekampen 12 and 14 August in Klassekampen.

The PhD Disputation

Election Vigil Cabaret at Galleri Sagene Kunstsmie 11.09.23

The PhD disputation of the “First aid kit against neoliberalism” was arranged at Cabaret Standard’s Election Vigil Cabaret at Galleri Sagene Kunstsmie, 2023. The kit communicated via a tin can transmitter and defended its research and findings against criticism from professional opponents within biology, psychology, housing policy and literature.

Background for the project

The ideology of neoliberalism has played a leading role in a number of crises, including the financial crisis of 2008, the slow collapse of public welfare services such as education and health, it has caused the return of child poverty, led to epidemics of loneliness and a complete breakdown of our ecosystems.The most serious impact of neoliberalism is not the economic crisis it causes, but the political and the ecological.Those who are considered the architects behind neoliberalism are the economists Hayek, Buchanan and Friedman, who in 1947 established the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) in the village of Vevey in Switzerland. Their stated goals were, among other things, to dismantle the state, crush trade unions and spread contempt towards politicians. Today, MPS is part of the Atlas Network, a worldwide network of approx. 500 conservative think tanks.

Many of these think tanks are sponsored by some of the world’s richest and most influential people in economics, politics and academia. Against the background of this sad story, which is unfortunately taken from reality, we have created this first aid kit as a tool that we hope will help against the disempowerment caused by neoliberalism’s consequences for society and nature, with a mixture of things for comfort and countermeasures.

The project is run by Maria Vagle, Stein Holte, Harald Lange, Hege Vadstein and Paul Brady.

Further reading – Norwegian only

The Know your enemy seminar

Report from the seminar

Torggata Blad’s neoliberalism issue