Neoliberal Vocabulary

When you see the word “choice” used 3 times in 2 sentences, you should know that you are reading neoliberal propaganda. The whole purpose of this text – and so many similar ones – is to steal policing as a service from us and give the money, instead, to the people who can afford castles and private armies.

Another dead giveaway is the word “imagine” or its variant “re-imagine.” “Harm” and “harmful” is another pair.

20 thoughts on “Neoliberal Vocabulary

  1. “When you see the word “choice” used 3 times ”

    Does this author actually ever enumerate any of these ‘choices’ for dealing with theft or domestic abuse?
    Cause the traditional pre- or non- police way of dealing with them make police look very tame…. (see what happens to thieves caught on the street in Latin America).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The traditional way to deal with domestic abuse is for wife’s brothers to drag the delinquent husband from his bed at night and beat him up. Is our current system an improvement?


      1. “Is our current system an improvement?”

        It’s flawed but it is an improvement in that a woman doesn’t need family members around… neoliberals get a lot of mileage out of glorifying old family systems which leave those without accessible family members out in the cold – the great achievement of civil society is freeing the individual from the family (which is what many people need).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a great culture in which this is traditional way. In my culture, the wife’s brothers would treat the wife-beater to drinks. Then they would all get very inebriated and beat their wives together.


  2. Interesting, esp. on “reimagine.”

    You do realize, though, that many/most violent criminals do NOT go to jail? You have to be found, prosecuted, and actually sentenced; many of those who are doing time were part of a group and they are the one who, for reasons like not having a lawyer, or not being attractive to the jury, and also often not being smart enough to figure out a good strategy, does the time. They aren’t necessarily the actually dangerous member of the group.


    1. ” many/most violent criminals do NOT go to jail? ”

      It’s my understanding that gangs in Sweden delegate the most violent acts (like murder) to minors since the Swedish justice system treats them very gently… they spend a short period of time in the local equivalent of juvie and are set with the gang when they get out.

      “aren’t necessarily the actually dangerous member of the group”

      Unfortunately police, courts are bound by a much stricter system than the criminals…


      1. In US though, I have been a crime victim many times. Reported to police every time. Only one person was ever caught. And I don’t know what ever happened, they were just arrested.

        One of the more notorious minor criminals I know currently is a neighbor. Keeps getting caught. Family has cash and keeps getting him out of it. I don’t think the guy is safe to have around but at the same time I want to say: give him the drugs he wants so he stops trying to force himself into my house and steal my stuff. I mean, poor kid really, mine have had their problems but did not do this kind of thing, I fantasize I could have given him a less chaotic environment so he did not end up like this but who knows? Anyway I think this person is majorly dangerous and will kill someone if not stopped and also that in the current situation jail is the best option but also: s***, he just wants to drug himself, that is his objective, and in another configuration of society he would have some other options.


        1. “he just wants to drug himself”

          My take (just based on what you wrote) is that the drugs are a symptom and not the disease. Let him drug himself up and he’ll find some other way to endanger himself and others.

          “in another configuration of society”

          Too late for that, he has to be dealt with in the currently existing reality.


          1. …another configuration. Well, there are cultures where there are no police or jails. In those cultures, people who are violent, larcenous f*ckups die pretty quickly. Is that the system we should be trying? I’m pretty sure it only works on a small-tribe level.


            1. ” cultures where there are no police or jails.”

              Or completely dysfunctional and useless police… as in a lot of Latin America or Africa. When thieves are caught in the act crowds turn vigilante in a hurry and it’s not pretty….


          2. He does have to be dealt with in the currently existing reality and it is why I think the family should stop trying to get him out of criminal charges, stop bailing him out, stop giving him rides, stop giving him access to things he can pawn, stop employing him so that later he collects stimulus checks and unemployment, or at least stop supporting him so he has to use that money for rent and does not have it for drugs (or if he chooses the drugs, don’t therefore pay his rent for him).

            But I’d actually not be opposed to some sort of un-sober living house, get him on something along the lines of a methadone program, etc. Or legalize certain drugs, or get him on a methadone-like program, or something. These things are done elsewhere. What’s done here isn’t working well.


            1. “the family should stop trying to get him out of criminal charges”

              From your description my assumption is that his family desperately wants/needs him to be a violent drug addict and is pursuing that goal with a single-minded determination that might be admirable if it weren’t so evil.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. We did used to make a different choice for quite a lot of people who currently end up getting arrested repeatedly: we locked them up for life in the state insane asylum. I agree we should bring this option back!


    1. We have strict habitual offender laws that do get people locked up for life, but in prison. These of course get applied to people who aren’t actually habitual offenders, etc., and those with money evade them. It sure does seem we should bring back the state hospitals, though, and other kinds of living for the somehow-impaired. Not the horror houses of the past, but something more sustainable than rehab or whatever, the things there are now.


      1. My sister got KOed at work (hospital security) by a completely insane dude three times her size. No warning at all. Just went from zero to face punch with no provocation. And then started kicking the crap out of her after she hit the floor. She still has jaw pain and hip problems three years later. This was after the same guy had similarly assaulted his own mother, with whom he lived (she declined to press charges), and another person (who also declined to press charges, because the prosecutor’s office talked them out of it on account of the guy was mentally ill and “needed help”). The prosecutor’s office also tried to talk my sister out of pressing charges, but she doesn’t give a crap about the delicate social and mental-health needs of the loony who assaulted her: he’s clearly a public menace, and she knows that if he’s not locked up he’s going to kill someone, eventually. He was locked up in a psych facility for a while, but I think he’s out again now. It’s a repeating pattern: he stays in for a while, they medicate him, he gets a bit better on the meds, then they release him because he’s “better”… and then he stops taking his meds and vents his sudden and unpredictable psychotic rage on yet another innocent bystander. How many people does this dude have to pulverize before they keep him locked up for good? I don’t give a rat’s arse whether he goes to jail or the state asylum, or an early grave: he’s dangerous, and it’s the state’s job to secure him. And they’re failing at it.


        1. That is terrible about your sister! This is how I feel about this neighbor kid, who I really do think is going to kill someone sometime. He’d be locked up already if the family hadn’t spent hundreds of thousands doing everything under the sun to keep him out. He’s already beaten up his mom and granddad more times than they admit, and I really wonder how the mom got this apparently permanent back injury she has, that she says comes from tripping while hiking but I don’t see how.

          We also have a former student who needs to be in permanent care. He’s survived one suicide attempt and I think he’s vulnerable to murder, he’s on the streets now. I don’t necessarily vouch for his character, it’s hard to tell who/what he is, but he’s a very talented person despite being damaged and I would imagine that, under the right care, could have some sort of a life / create interesting art / etc. It’s a real gap: he goes into the hospital and they release him, sometimes in as little as 2-3 hours.


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