Blind Spot

A gigantic blind spot of about 99% of academics, thinkers, and theorists is their incapacity to see that leftism has been completely absorbed by neoliberalism. There is no leftism, absolutely none at all, that doesn’t aggressively battle on the side of neoliberalism.

Their mistake comes from a very primitive way of thinking. They have memorized that “the Left = good” and “neoliberalism = bad.”. So the two have to be on opposite sides. All evidence to the contrary – which is pretty much all evidence, period – is dismissed.

There are some rare exceptions – Patrick Deneen, for instance – but they are rare.

Another funny thing is how people use “neoliberal” as a stand in for “anything that I vaguely dislike.” Academics, for instance, are seriously arguing that opposing the transformation of colleges into online diploma mills is “neoliberal.” They want to stay at home and not to have to go to work – which is totally understandable – but that doesn’t sound too noble. Instead they declare that they will proudly veg out on the sofa as a hugely subversive act of their anti-neoliberal struggle.

15 thoughts on “Blind Spot”

  1. “Academics…. want to stay at home and not to have to go to work – which is totally understandable”

    How is that totally understandable? I hate staying home and doing remote work. I wouldn’t want to have to be at the university 5 days a week but going in every week has improved my mood a lot.
    Yesterday I saw five different people who happened to be in at the same time and it was very pleasant (and three of us went for lunch together, two of us hate the remote thing and the third didn’t mind that much but had far fewer students and did a lot of skype type things which isn’t feasible for us).
    I realize there are those that there are academics who don’t care about teaching or who hate their colleagues on principle – but why do sane people listen to freaks like that?


    1. I’m with you. I signed up for in-person teaching in the Fall. But it’s impossible to convince people. A popular argument is that it’s a lie that students prefer in-person teaching. Even though every survey of student opinion shows students detest online teaching.

      What’s even more ridiculous, most people didn’t even sign up for synchronous online teaching (e.g. Zoom). Most chose asynchronous which consists of dumping a bunch of powerpoints online and not doing much else.


      1. I’m teaching two sections this fall (one huge class is split into three, one online section with an immunocompromised instructor, and two in-person with me). I will die on the hill that there is a strong emotional component to teaching and that in-person interactions with the teacher are absolutely essential to acquiring and retaining knowledge.

        I find it hilarious that the super progressive flipped classroom (which I abhor) must move completely online because students working in small groups (which usually amounts to the blind leading the blind, or everyone copying off and/or wasting the time of the one competent student) is impossible amid social distancing.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. In foreign languages, this in-person interaction is absolutely key. If it weren’t, there would be an effective online system for language learning, and there isn’t. So I’m with you.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m requesting synchronous online teaching for the fall. I won’t like it, though, because it’s definitely more work than face-to-face. I think that most of my colleagues understand that students actually prefer in-person instruction, but overall, they are more alarmist about covid-19 than I thought. I would have chosen face-to-face, but my partner has diabetes and he is currently recovering from pneumonia. So I don’t want to risk contracting the virus and then transmitting it to him.


        1. I totally understand!

          I tried talking myself into Zoom teaching but I can’t see it. When I can’t imagine something, it always means it’s not going to happen so I gave up.


  2. You are right. But I would say: Neoliberalism used to be the target of scorn, but then it became right-wing populism and Brexit. The UE became the left-wing dream, even though it is clearly Neo-liberal. The neoliberalism and liberalism itself can be united in denouncing racism and nationalism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you mean left, or liberal-centrist? You sound like you’re describing the mainstream Democratic Party, not the left.


      1. Honestly, the myth of “a good left” that exists somewhere but nobody has seen it yet has got to go.

        Here’s a detailed example of neoliberal leftism:

        View at

        Curiously, these leftists only persecute small businesses, clearing the path for big business to sweep in and take over. They also raze poor neighborhoods, preparing them for gentrification.


        1. BLM is progressive in some ways but it’s not clear to me how it’s a “leftist” organization, really — there’s no critique of capitalism that I’ve seen in its materials, for instance


          1. That’s exactly what I’m saying. The only left that actually exists has abandoned all critique of capitalism and now serves as a wrecking ball for neoliberalism.


            1. One wonders how marginalized you can be, if you have Target, Disney, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, and every other giant megacorporation, vocally on your side.


              1. And not only on your side but give you tons of money and destroy anybody who disagrees with you.

                Ooh, I’m such a great revolutionary. The entirety of big business is on my side. These people are idiots and hypocrites.


          2. “BLM is progressive in some ways”

            How can “race” nationalists – either “white” nationalists or “black” nationalists – ever be considered “progressive” in any way?


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