Neoliberal Choice

Another reason why neoliberalism is so seductive is that it feeds into the basic human love of choosing, exercising free will in even the most trivial matters.

If I tell Klara, “Put on the pants, please,” what are the chances she’ll put them on? Zero. The guaranteed response is, “No pants, Mommy. I hate pants!”

So I don’t ask this question because I don’t want the morning routine to exhaust me before I get anything done. Instead I say, “Do you want to put on the Japanese pants or the Chloe pants today?” She chooses and puts them on happily. And it’s like that all day long. “Do you want the bomber jacket or the plaid? Do you want the Mickey Mouse toothbrush or the Elmo toothbrush?”

Of course, what neoliberalism hides behind this plethora of choices in trivial issues is the complete absence of choice in the big issues.

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