Forum on David McKnight’s “Populism”
Power to the people: the populist revolt and the crisis of neoliberalism
In the past couple of years, I came to the painful realisation that the Australia in which I had grown up was in the process of being torn up and trashed. There were many bad things about this Old Australia -- around expectations of women, for example, and around discrimination based on race. But there were also some good things: a more equal society and one in which we had great public institutions which supported citizens regardless of income.
Today we live in a much more unequal society, a less fair society, a more selfish and competitive society. We live in a society where it doesn’t matter what the question is, the answer is always the market and the solution is always more privatisation and more deregulation.
In my book In Populism Now! I investigate the results of 30 years of neoliberalism: they include growth of inequality, the many failures of privatisation; the growth and power of predatory banks; the widespread avoidance of corporate tax; the erosion of wages and conditions for workers; the destruction of many of the good things about old Australia.