First Aid Kit against Neoliberalism

Curated by Brady & Vadstein

Neoliberalism strikes when you least expect it. It is therefore important to have a first aid kit with a little more content than just plasters for the wound. First aid kit against neoliberalism v. 2.0 is amply supplied with everything you need when neoliberalism strikes. The box has newly upgraded contents that are packed functionally equipped with self-explanatory instructions.

Although a lot of people have heard of the term neoliberalism they will have trouble defining it. This obscurity is due, among other things, to the fact that the followers of the ideology eagerly deny its existence.

Neoliberalism’s anonymity is both a symptom of, and the reason for, it has such a great influence on the society.

This is a smart strategy, because how can one rebel against ideas that constantly appear under different names and thus avoid the possibility of being debated? What lies behind concepts such as ordoliberalism, market fundamentalism or paleo-liberal politics?

The followers of these ideologies make themselves unassailable by using many names. Instead of discussing politics, you end up discussing the various terms and what they contain or try to describe. In this way, neoliberalists create a perfect and impenetrable fog around what they are really doing.

The consequences of neoliberalism, on the other hand, are visible everywhere. We have set out to take a closer look at this phenomenon and, if possible, bring it to light.

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.