Praying to ‘Gote’ at a time of coronavirus
An enduring book about Australian bastardry

The fallacies at the heart of neo-liberalism


ADELAIDE – In the extract from his book, ‘You’ll Never Work Again – The Great Safety Charade’, Bernard Corden has given us a great example of where letting the market rip, unfettered by effective regulation, combined with blindingly obvious conflicts of interest, leads to disaster in the service of accumulating vast profits.

And, once again, "the weak suffer what they must".

An effective, efficient and honest public service can be a bulwark against the worst excesses of capitalism yet is now regarded by far too many of the political class across the globe as an obstacle to a thriving economy.

This is a fallacy relentlessly promoted by the promoters of the neo-liberal experiment.

Even in the face of utter disaster, promoters of this fallacy like Donald Trump propose giving huge sums to corporate America while simultaneously implying that it is better for millions of Americans to die from COVID 19 than allow the economy (i.e. the rich and powerful) to take a hit.

It is time for us all to wake up to this and other fallacies lying at the heart of neo-liberalism.

For example, the notion that there is equal opportunity in our society is complete bullshit.

One glance at the socio-demographic statistics tells you otherwise.

The wealthier always do better and tend to preserve or even extend their advantage across the generations. Donald J Trump is a prize example of this.

Another fallacy is that it is by individual effort alone that we succeed or fail in life.

This is true to a point but ignores the blindingly obvious. If parents can afford to send their child to Geelong Grammar and then Melbourne University to do medicine or an MBA, that child is hugely more likely to do well in life than a child coming from Redfern or Salisbury North or some other highly disadvantageous post code.

In the context of Papua New Guinea, if you are sent to Australia for your secondary and tertiary education, your life chances are hugely better than someone from your home village who goes through the PNG education system.

All this is blindingly obvious and even given lip service by our political class, but nothing really changes anyway.

This is because the notion that a properly organised and funded array of critical public services such as education, health care and housing can produce a better overall outcome for all citizens is utterly subordinated to the user pays, every man for himself philosophy that under pins neo-liberalism.

Capitalism doesn't have to take the form of a winner take all contest in which the weak and the poor are left to endure miserable lives while the wealthy and influential have their yachts moored at Monaco.

It is not socialism to say this, let alone communism.

It is a question of fairness and equity. It is a moral and political question to which we have yet to formulate a sustainable solution.


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Lindsay F Bond

Dear Bernard, only takes a determined mind at the tiller (and till.)

Middle of the blight advances seize, by other presumed gripper.


"The top Democrat on the Senate intelligence panel, Virginia senator Mark Warner, said it was "unconscionable" that Mr Trump would fire Mr Atkinson in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic."

No need there any 'Commission Executive Board'.

Meanwhile for Australia's COVID-19 Commission Executive Board, some pace at the course put Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan ahead at the straight.

Bernard Corden

Dear William,

I am sure Arthur Williams will agree that Nye Bevan was the best. His own experiences ensured that no amount of cajolery could eradicate from his heart a deep burning hatred of the Tory party...…... "So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin"

William Dunlop

Bernard - Not forgetting Clive 'Baba' Palmer. He has the Queenslander attributes in gerrymandering well in hand,
not unlike the old Torys.

Mind you, Lloyd George was a pretty sharp orator.

Bernard Corden

The National COVID-19 Commission Executive Board includes leaders across the private and not-for-profit sectors: Mr Greg Combet AM, Ms Jane Halton AO, Mr Paul Little AO, Ms Catherine Tanna and Mr David Thodey AO (Deputy Chair).

Mr Neville Power has been appointed Chairman and brings both high level business expertise and a strong commitment to social issues. The only corporate social responsibility of any socially autistic martinet is to ensure his company makes a profit...…..There is no such thing as society.

War is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength - George Orwell

Greg Combet is somewhat outnumbered, what about providing some balance and including Gillian Triggs, Allan Fels and Tim Costello?

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