One thing that I always wondered about in regards to our neoliberal administrators is why they are so mean. How hard would it be to say, “Look, I know this sucks. It’s very hard, I completely understand but it has to be done”? You’d think it’s the easiest thing to say, and then people don’t hate you.
On Tuesday we had an administrator speak to us, a group of almost 40 people. I know him well from before he went into admin. This is a guy who has no difficulty with turning up the charm, being sweet. Students always adored him because he could be very personable. It must have been hard to stand in front of a group where everybody hates you. But instead of trying to show (or fake, whatever) kindness and understanding, he kept attacking people in very nasty ways. It was completely unnecessary because the decisions he was defending in this way aren’t his own.
But I finally figured it out. They are so nasty because they are terrified. Not of the higher-ups but of the neoliberal worldview they have espoused. They are lashing out not for any utilitarian reasons but because they can’t deal with the fear and loneliness of living within the mentality where everything is always your own fault. Seeing yourself as an entrepreneur of your self is scary. They are terrified of finding out that bad things can happen to people who didn’t mismanage themselves, who didn’t do anything wrong. That would undermine their entire, utterly commercialized mindset.
The poor buggers have painted themselves into this corner and can’t see a way out.
2 thoughts on “Neoliberal Fear”
“Seeing yourself as an entrepreneur of your self is scary. They are terrified of finding out that bad things can happen to people who didn’t mismanage themselves, who didn’t do anything wrong. That would undermine their entire, utterly commercialized mindset.”
— Liberty is the freedom to be accountable for the consequences of your decisions.
— it’s scary; very few people truly wish to be free.
This is also where good parenting and sound family structure can make the biggest impact on a person’s life: developing the confidence to be responsible for the consequence of your own decisions. Not a cure all, but it helps.
“Seeing yourself as an entrepreneur of your self is scary”
When you spend a very big chunk of your life telling people that they’re not needed, you’re going to internalize that about yourself as well.
“Nobody is indispensible” also applies to the self and so they’re desperate for people to notice that they themselves are just as dispensible as the people whose jobs they’re cancelling to save a few cents (while losing far more elsewhere).
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