Neoliberal Mentality

The funniest tweet in the world I found on Mike’s blog is also the perfect encapsulation of what I mean by neoliberal mentality.

I have no doubt that the author is a passionate progressive.

If the link doesn’t open, here’s the tweet on Mike’s blog.

8 thoughts on “Neoliberal Mentality”

  1. Like

  2. On the one hand, boundaries are important. On the other hand, the whole thread is like exchanging messages with an HR department.

    And I don’t understand the comments on Twitter who defend this level of formality in interacting with one’s friends. Are there no people who are socially adjusted anymore? People who can relate to other humans with empathy and sometimes put their own needs aside for a millisecond and hear a friend out? So many people talk about people with depression, anxiety, etc. as if they’re the norm — are they the norm now? No reasonably mentally healthy individuals around?

    I hate social media. It makes the world seem so much more fucked up than it is.


    1. ” defend this level of formality in interacting with one’s friends”

      It’s not formality, it’s infantile role-playing (like deciding who’s going to be the cops and who’s going to be the robbers this go round or disciplining a teddy bear for spilling imaginary tea).

      It’s fine and necessary (and often charming) in small developing children – it’s repulsive in adults (and the neoliberal mindset ultimately infantilizes those who embrace it).


      1. A template. People need a template to respond to a friend who wants to vent. I highly doubt they have any friends because nobody is that desperate but the author of the template is posting this publicly. She’s actually proud of this thing. It’s beyond pathetic.

        I’m not big on interpersonal skills but this is beyond out there even for me.


        1. ” People need a template to respond to a friend who wants to vent”

          Someone with more time and graphic skills than me should create a Permission to Vent form 1262aB to be signed and stamped by three bureaucrats before said venting can take place (To be followed by another form Venting Report 381S2X in which the ventee reports on the content of said vent and the consequences (including future possible consequences) and both parties should absolutely have to sign diversity statements before and after each venting event.


      2. “It’s not formality, it’s infantile role-playing…”

        Framing one’s opinion as a god-given fact is really annoying. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I’m saying you are rude.

        (A bunch of my colleagues are like this; I can’t fucking say my name without someone telling me I’m wrong and my name is something else.)


  3. I have just finished reading “The Capital” by Robert Menasse and recommend you to try it too. The Amazon review describes the novel as presenting an “omniscient, almost Balzac-ian panorama of splintered Europe”, and it won several prizes. I absolutely loved the writing style and think all characters were presented as real people and not merely as targets of satire. The novel is described as ‘brutally funny’ , ‘witty’ and ‘comic’ , yet my emotional reaction was of sadness. The characters bring to mind Bauman’s descriptions of loneliness and atomization in today’s world. Quite a few are decent likable people who do sincerely try to emulate their ancestors’ heroism and fight for what is right (not in ‘I am woke’ way but in a real one), yet it seems today’s world leaves no place for this. I am still a bit confused regarding the central idea, though I have some thoughts, and would love to read your take on the novel. It’s not coming of age novel, it’s well-written and it well may be a modern classic. I am sure you would’ve seen more in it than I have so far.

    Also recommend this to cliff since he seems to be a person who may enjoy it too.

    Below are reviews FROM Amazon:

    “Drolly comic… I enjoyed The Capital so much…A major book about coincidences, of linked and overlapping meanings…This is a deeply humane novel, a novel for adults. It carries the wisdom and weight and weariness of late middle age. Menasse writes not about the way things should be but about the way things are, rare enough these days. The translation, by Jamie Bulloch, is adroit. Yet The Capital made me want to learn to read in German, where it is surely even better.”
    – Dwight Garner, New York Times

    One of Time’s “Must-Read Books of 2019”
    One of Vanity Fair’s Best Books of the Year, So Far
    A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection

    Winner of the German Book Prize, The Capital is an “omniscient, almost Balzac-ian” (Steven Erlanger, New York Times) panorama of splintered Europe.

    A highly inventive novel of ideas written in the rich European tradition, The Capital transports readers to the cobblestoned streets of twenty-first-century Brussels. Chosen as the European Union’s symbolic capital in 1958, this elusive setting has never been examined so intricately in literature. Translated with “zest, pace and wit” (Spectator) by Jamie Bulloch, Robert Menasse’s The Capital plays out the effects of a fiercely nationalistic “union.”

    Recalling the Balzacian conceit of assembling a vast parade of characters whose lives conspire to form a driving central plot, Menasse adapts this technique with modern sensibility to reveal the hastily assembled capital in all of its eccentricities. We meet, among others, Fenia Xenopoulou, a Greek Cypriot recently “promoted” to the Directorate-General for Culture. When tasked with revamping the boring image of the European Commission with the Big Jubilee Project, she endorses her Austrian assistant Martin Sussman’s idea to proclaim Auschwitz as its birthplace―of course, to the horror of the other nation states. Meanwhile, Inspector Émile Brunfaut attempts to solve a gritty murder being suppressed at the highest level; Matek, a Polish hitman who regrets having never become a priest, scrambles after taking out the wrong man; and outraged pig farmers protest trade restrictions as a brave escapee squeals through the streets.

    These narratives and more are masterfully woven, revealing the absurdities―and real dangers―of a fracturing Europe. A tour de force from one of Austria’s most esteemed novelists, The Capital is a mordantly funny and piercingly urgent saga of the European Union, and an aerial feat of sublime world literature.


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