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Posts Tagged ‘delusions’

Use of Adblock Blockers by Print Media is Speeding their Final Demise

October 11, 2018 3 comments

This is one of those posts that I started writing a couple of years ago, but didn’t get around to finishing till today. While it is almost certain that most of you know what I am talking about, let me write-up a quick introduction. It is common knowledge that print media, especially in USA, is on its last legs. Sure.. the election of Trump in 2016 has resulted in some improvement in profit margin for a few major quasi-national outlets such as the NYT and WP- for reasons that are all too obvious. Yet it is painfully obvious that most traditional outlets for print journalism are on the path of terminal decline. But why is that so, given their long history?

While there are many who blame technological “disruption” the real reasons are far more prosaic. To be clear, I am not saying that technological disruption had no role in ongoing demise of print media. It is, however, more like the 2nd or 3rd last nail in its coffin than what put it in there in the first place. Confused? Allow me to explain.. Print media has been on a downward slope since widespread introduction of Television in the 1950s. But why then, did it appear to be doing OK until the early 2000s, or at least the late 1990s? Two words.. Advertising Revenue. For many decades, the business model of print media has centered around advertising revenue.

Why then did TV or Radio not affect their revenue model as seriously as the Internet? Well.. both legacy media formats did hurt print advertising revenues but neither one could really replace it for certain classes of advertisements. You could not (for example) put personal advertisements, flyers, catalogs or advertise the detailed technical specifications of a product on TV or Radio. But the more important point is that most print media outlets stopped caring about real journalism a long time ago. If you don’t believe me, just Google/Bing/Duckduckgo a scanned newspaper from the 1990s. It is pretty easy to see that most “news” was wire service reprints, syndicated content from larger outlets and what is euphemistically described as paid journalism.

But how is any of this linked to the ongoing demise of print media? For starters, people are still interested in good journalism, opinion pieces, gossip and even activism. Have a look at Twitter (and its alternatives), YouTube channels devoted to opinionated commentary, Reddit (or any its alternatives) and you will see that people today are just as interested in what print journalism was supposed to be about. OK.. let’s cut to the chase- print journalism (especially in USA) lost its soul a long time because it embraced deference to elites, pretense of objectivity, tone policing and other advertiser and corporate friendly policies for decades.

Print media, you see, has been living for borrowed time for decades. The internet merely knocked away the crutches of guaranteed local advertising revenues which had allowed it to forestall its inevitable and terminal decline. This does not mean that it will disappear for ever, as some parts such as large quasi-national newspapers are likely to survive- at least in a recognizable form for the near future. But what does any of this have to do with the topic of this post? As it turns out, a lot more than you think. Regular readers might remember that more than a few of my previous posts say something to the effect of “large institutions in terminal decline often speed up that process by making increasingly disastrous decisions”. And this is not a new idea either.

We have all seen the USA make increasingly disastrous foreign and domestic decisions since the early 1990s. Whether it was extending NATO into Eastern Europe, de-industrialization of flyover country, involvement in disastrous (and highly expensive) wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, using the dollar payment system as a weapon of war, ignoring domestic problems such as increasingly decrepit infrastructure, rising costs of what passes for ‘healthcare’ and higher education etc. In a similar manner, print media has made a series of increasingly disastrous mistakes which have accelerated the speed of its demise rather than stabilizing the situation.

We have all seen those auto-playing videos, increasingly buggy and atrocious user interfaces, click-bait which masquerades as journalism and publishing barely concealed press releases as news items. I could go about their obsession with website views, metric of engagement and anything else that allows them to not fix their core problem, which is the lack of high quality, controversial and adversarial journalism. Now let us turn to their latest fuckup. As many of you might have noticed the proliferation of disruptive and malware ridden ads since 2012-2014 created a huge market for adblocking extensions for web browsers.

Long story short, the poor quality control of ads by Google and other ad-serving networks makes its mandatory for any non-retarded person to use adblocking software. But how has the print media responded to this apparent reduction in revenue from serving horrible auto-playing ads and malware? As it turns out, they decided to the most ‘logical’ thing and alienate their viewers even further. You must have seen popups on many print media that either try nagging you to turn your adblocker off, whitelist them or buy a subscription. But does it really work, especially in the medium to long-term? Of course not!

Only the old or naive are usually trusting enough to fall for such bullshit, and even they stop doing that after being burned out by one too many autoplaying ads and malware infestations. Most other people either apply counter-counter measures or simply stop visiting that site. There are many other places on the Internet where they can get news from Twitter and FakeBook feeds, certain YouTube channels, newsgroups and forums including Reddit, Podcasts etc. The use of measures to counter adblocking software ends up reducing the number of repeat viewers who will keep visiting their site. Sure.. it might appear to increase their profitability for a couple of quarters, but after that it is an even steeper fall.

But the most bizarre part of these corporate policies involves the remarkable lack of thought behind their implementation. Think about it.. would you keep going to restaurants or bars which served very mediocre food and drink but were constantly trying to upsell, even to the point of not letting you enjoy your stay there? Would you keep going to a restaurant where the furniture was full of bedbugs and fleas? Would you go to a restaurant which required an annual membership fee to even look at their menu? Would you go to a restaurant which sold your contact information to telemarketers? So why would you return to print media websites that served autoplaying ads, sold your contact information to spammers and infected your computer with malware- especially if there were other safer and better options to get news, opinions and adversarial journalism?

What do you think? Comments?

Why Trump Supporters Want to Believe Fanciful Bullshit such as QAnon

August 4, 2018 6 comments

In the previous few weeks, I am sure that those of you who spend too much time on the internet might have come across something known as QAnon. To make a long story short, QAnon is a collection of conspiracy theories named after the eponymous online handle first associated with it, which claims to have internal knowledge of an ongoing counter-coup lead by “true patriots” against the “deep state” and “liberal” Hollywood and corporate media types. In other words, they are just spewing the same bullshit that alt-right types such as Mike Cernovich aka Sterno and Alex Jones have been tweeting and shouting in online video clips for the last two years.

So why did I decide to write a post about QAnon today even though I first came across it a few months ago. For starters, it is a remarkably unoriginal and comically tragic conspiracy theory- for reasons that I will soon describe in more detail. But secondly, and more importantly, it is of little consequence other than its entertainment value- like watching a mentally retarded guy trying to pick up some hot girl. One should not really enjoy watching such stuff because of principles concerning basic human decency, but it is just so damn entertaining. So, that is why I have kept an eye on the latest twists and turns in this tragically comic farce.

Now, let us talk about why I described this farce as a ‘remarkably unoriginal and comically tragic conspiracy theory’. And Yes.. I decided to write about it today since I was too bored to finish an intellectually stimulating article. Having said that, let me ask you a simple question: What does the type of belief displayed by believers in QAnon remind you of? Where else have you come across a bunch of gullible losers believing that a top-secret bunch of benevolent and powerful beings secretly planning to overthrow the current ‘unjust’ system and expose ‘morally’ corrupt elite which will result in a new reign of the ‘righteous’? What does it remind you of?

What about any religion based in Apocalypticism.. you know, like Christianity? If you replace “true patriots” with”god and angels”, “unjust current system run by morally corrupt elite” with “corrupt global system run by Antichrist”, “exposure and arrest” with “the final battle” and “new reign of the true patriots”with “kingdom of heaven”.. you get a pretty familiar narrative. That is also why the almost exclusively white CONservative losers who support Trump are so willing to believe in this tragically comic bullshit which has the same overall narrative as the other big crap they believe in.. or claim to believe. I hope you are starting to see what I am talking about.

So what kind of person believes in Apocalypticism? The simple, but unpleasant, answer is a loser.. in more ways than one. And do not, for a moment, think that I have a better opinion of secular apocalyptic cults such as global warming- now been rebranded as anthropogenic climate change. People who believe in apocalypticism are, almost exclusively, either currently without control over their future or have no agency in their own lives or are rapidly losing whatever control and personal agency they once used to have. Now think of the type of people who are most enthusiastic about Trump becoming president. Does any of this ring a bell?

Long story short, the most ardent Trump supporters are socially CONservative whites of mediocre intellectual capacity who once had stable and well-paying blue-collar livelihoods but are now either already living the precarious existence which was once restricted to non-whites or are well on that path. You might have heard terms such as “economic anxiety” and “economic populism” thrown around my corporate media types during and after the 2016 election. And yes, the more ardent Trump voters and supporters are losers- in more ways than one. And you know what.. I would be sympathetic, if so many weren’t also full of beliefs such as white supremacy.

But let us not get carried away by the idea that only Trump supporters are gullible idiots. I am sure more than a few of you remember Louise Mensch. Remember how her hilariously nutty claims about double-secret investigations against the Trump administration were catnip to the ‘I’m With Her’ types. Remember how she peddled her bullshit in allegedly “respectable” national newspapers and talk shows? But why go that far back? Just have a look at the late-night TV talk show hosts such as Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Trevor Noah etc. When was the last time they did not devote at least 15 minutes of every show talking about the “Mueller Investigation”, “Russia”, “Putin”, “Collusion” etc?

I mean.. can you say (with a straight face) that people who believe that “QAnon is real” are bigger dumbfucks than those who endlessly prattle about “Putin”, “Russia”, “Collusion” and the “Mueller Investigation”? How is belief in one delusion superior to belief in another? At this stage, I am willing to say that people who believe in grey aliens performing rectal probes of random people in flyover country sound more sane than those who support QAnon or the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy. Seriously, why have so many people taken crazy pills? This is nuts..

What do you think? Comments?

USA Lacks Realistic Strategy Towards DPRKs Nuclear ICBM Program: 3

September 28, 2017 8 comments

In the previous post of this series, I talked about the ludicrous levels of racially motivated underestimation of DPRK’s nuclear and missile building capabilities among “credentialed” elite in USA. My point was that the course of events has exposed that these sinecured non-proliferation and arms-control “experts” hailing from “ivy-league” universities and working at “world renowned” think-tanks are.. for the lack of a better expression.. fucking clueless. Then again, such jobs have always been about providing clever soundbites and writing scholarly-sounding articles to satisfy the psychological needs of jingoistic white retards in USA and the west.

But a bigger problem is that the american establishment wants to believe different, but equally delusional, stuff about DPRK. For example, many west-point idiots seem to be operating under the belief that DPRK will not use nukes even if attacked with them.They also seem to believe that it is possible to overcome what is likely a fairly decentralized system for DPRK using nukes when push comes to shove. I see these and other popular delusions of the military planner class as examples of wishful thinking because of a lack of feasible options.

But let us now talk about the other american allies involved in this shitshow.. specifically South Korea and Japan. Are they equally delusional? Do they have strategies for dealing with this situation which do not involve believing in the magical efficacy of american boondoggles such as anti-ballistic missiles? Do the “leaders” and major political parties in both countries lack the proverbial balls to stand up to USA? Do they fully grasp that their major cities and tens of millions of their citizens will be dead or dying within a few minutes of an all out nuclear exchange between DPRK and USA?

Since South Korea is the geographically closest american “ally” to DPRK, let us start with that country. As many of you know, South Korea started out as an american puppet state meant to halt the global spread of communism in the aftermath of WW2. This is not meant to demean the its many impressive achievements since that time, but it sadly relevant to the subject of this post. The point I am trying to make is the foreign and defense policy of South Korea has been largely dictated by USA. In other words, South Korea is a dependent vassal of USA.

Now, we can certainly argue if being a defendant vassal of USA has been a good or bad for South Korea. Clearly, this arrangement has been very economically favorable for South Korea- specifically since the 1970s. However, a consequence of this arrangement has been that South Korean foreign and defense policy (specifically towards DPRK) is largely rooted in supporting whatever the establishment in USA demands of them. While this was not a liability during the cold war era or even the first decade following it, that is no longer the case.

I would go so far as to say that it became actively counterproductive after the second nuclear test by DPRK in 2009. The thing is.. the entire defense posture of South Korea (and USA) towards DPRK was always based in any potential conflict being fought with conventional (and maybe, some chemical) weapons. They thought that a rapid destruction of DPRK’s old-fashioned air-force plus intense bombardment of artillery positions could keep South Korean casualties under a couple of hundred thousand.

Nuclear weapons, especially H-bombs, change that picture completely. As few as 5 or 6 H-bombs would kill millions in the Seoul metropolitan area in less than a couple of minutes and render it uninhabitable for a few years. Given the concentration of population and infrastructure in South Korea, that would translate in an unrecoverable blow to the South Korean state. Furthermore, even the best missile defense would be useless against a barrage of missile in only a few actually carry nuclear warheads.

Almost every single South Korean government has, historically, taken a hard-line stance against DPRK. It is however telling that those stances have not changed much in response to DPRK successfully developing nuclear weapons within the previous decade. It is as if their political leaders and military planners are deliberately operating under the assumption that nothing as changed since 2009. More worryingly, many public predictions made by South Korean “experts” about an imminent collapse of DPRK after Kim Jong-un took over in 2011 have turned out to be wishful thinking.

In other words, a significant percentage of the establishment in South Korea seems to be as willing oblivious to reality as their counterparts in USA. To make matters worse, even the recently elected moderate South Korean leader (or his advisers) appear to believe that they have to keep playing the discredited old game and align themselves even more closely with delusions of american establishment. It is especially troubling to watch the South Korean establishment believe that more american anti-ballistic missiles (perhaps imbued with ‘white’ magic in their minds) will somehow magically protect them from DPRK nukes if the proverbial shit hits the fan.

It is clear that South Korea requires an alternative and realistic policy to deal with DPRK. While such a policy does not preclude continued military co-operation between South Korea and USA, they may have to do something about those biannual military exercises aimed at DPRK. Perhaps they might want to develop and deploy their own nuclear weapons as a deterrent against DPRK. The ‘Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’ has proven to be a worthless piece of paper which has done nothing except try to perpetuate nuclear apartheid and disadvantage who have signed it in good faith. Did I mention that at least four countries have developed and deployed nuclear weapon arsenals since 1968?

In an upcoming post of this series, I will talk about how the current policies of Japan towards DPRK are based in equally bizarre (but different) combination of delusion and make-believe.

What do you think? Comments?

USA Lacks Realistic Strategy Towards DPRKs Nuclear ICBM Program: 2

September 26, 2017 3 comments

In the previous post of this series, I had made the point that DPRK’s desire to obtain a nuclear deterrent capability against civilian targets on mainland USA is highly rational and an inevitable consequence of the behavior of american establishment towards that country. I also pointed out the massive speedup of both nuclear weapon and ICBM program under Kim Jong-un is largely a consequence of how someone from his generation sees the world. While he may be ruthless, it hard to deny (except if you a “ivy-league educated” think-tankist) that he is highly pragmatic.

With that in mind, let us talk about the “strategy” or what passes for strategy of USA towards these more recent developments. We can begin by dissecting Barack Obama’s hilariously delusional strategy of “strategic patience” towards DPRK. OK.. to be fair, it was a bit less dangerous than whatever cockamamie “options” Trump and his generals are busy deluding themselves with. But nonetheless, there were enough idiots.. I mean “ivy-league educated” think tank critters who believed that DPRK would come apart because Kim would not be able to establish his leadership.

But it gets better.. many of the comfortably sinecured DPRK “experts” in USA believed that a plot as ludicrous as that depicted in a CIA-funded movie known as “The Interview” would bring down Kim Jong-un. Yes, you read that right.. there are people who have made many millions by posing as DPRK “experts” in USA promoting the idea that Kim Jong-un’s regime would magically collapse and North Korean people would welcome USA with open arms as liberators. Wonder what they were smoking.. but more importantly- who pays them to push that crap? and why?

Let me also point you to a think-tank funded site called ‘38North‘ which pretends to be informed, competent and objective. Peopled by a mixture of american and south-korean academics, arms control-types, proliferation “experts” and assorted think-tank critters, its articles on DPRK borrow the linguistic tricks of NYT and the Economist to make educated-sounding assertions which have a habit of being almost totally untrue or severe underestimates. As late as the beginning of 2017 “experts” at that site maintained that the KN-14 ICBM would fail. About two years ago, “experts” at the same site were confident that developing a H-bomb was out of DPRKs technological abilities.

The point I am trying to make is that american analysis of DPRK’s abilities, capabilities and strategy is driven by a peculiar mixture of racism, orientalism, wishful thinking, ivy-league credentialism and other factors which have little (if any) connection with objective reality. To further complicate matters, the way Kim Jong-un sees the world is sufficiently different from his predecessors that what “worked” in the past is largely irrelevant.

And this brings me to part where I have to restate the obvious, which is that any significant attack by USA on DPRK will almost certainly result in the later use nukes (including H-bombs) against large population centers in South Korea and Japan- and that is the ‘best case’ scenario. The simple fact is that there is no viable defense against an intense barrage of short to medium range ballistic missiles, especially if only a few of them contain nuclear warheads. And 10-20 nukes is all that it will take to kill many tens of millions in the Seoul and Tokyo metropolitan areas. Never mind subsequent massive socio-economic costs and an intense backlash in both countries against USA for creating that outcome.

But why would that occur? Why would DPRK use nuclear weapons if attacked first? Well.. firstly, because that is what deterrence is about. Secondly, the regime in DPRK would assume that its main members have no real future and therefore decide to take out as many of those it holds responsible for that outcome aka ‘scorched earth’. And this brings me another popular delusion of the american establishment concerning DPRK.

Almost every single strategy of establishment in USA is centered around the childish assumption that DPRK would not use nuclear weapons even if they were attacked using nuclear weapons. Alternatively they believe that the totally hyped anti-ballistic missile defense systems could work with 100% success rates against intense barrage of missiles with many dummy warheads and other simple but effective countermeasures. In other words, the american establishment actually believe that DPRK does not have the balls or brains to use nuclear weapons under any set of conditions. Alternatively, they don’t care if large cities in South Korea and Japan are ruined for decades.

The other implicit, if rarely stated, assumption of “intellectuals” in american establishment is that the chain of command for use of DPRK’s nuclear weapons will crumble if the orders to use them are actually given. I think otherwise, and here is why. You can bet a lot of money that Kim and his associates have gamed that scenario to the point where every single person in command of those weapons is a loyalist with no future in an alternative government of any kind. To put it another way, the chain of command to use DPRK’s nuclear weapons is very likely full of hard-core loyalists with sufficient autonomy to use them without approval from above if they are credibly attacked by nukes.

To make a long story short, there are really no circumstances under which an american attack on DPRK does not turn into a nukefest in South Korea and Japan. Similarly, there are no real circumstances where DPRK is going to give up its nukes or ICBMS- as they are now absolutely essential for regime survival. Furthermore, any serious economic blockade against DPRK will escalate into them threatening South Korean and Japanese cities. Those who wish to compare this situation to the oil embargo by USA against Japan in 1941 should remember that WW2-era Japan did not have nuclear-tipped ICBMs capable of incinerating tens of millions in mainland USA and surrounding hostile countries.

In an upcoming post of this series, I will talk about how the policies of Japan and South Korea towards DPRK are also based in a strange combination of delusion and make-believe.

What do you think? Comments?

On the Rise of NeoLiberalism in West During the 1968-2008 Era: Part 1

August 31, 2017 10 comments

One of the more interesting questions about neoliberalism concerns its apparent popularity among the general population in western countries during the 1968-2008 era. I mean.. why did so many average people in western countries willingly support neoliberal ideas and policies during that era? Some of might say that a similar percentage of the population in 1930-era Germany also supported Nazism- and therefore most people are easily misled idiots. Except that is not really true..

The rise of public support for Nazism in 1930-era Germany was the culmination of widespread disgust with repeated catastrophic failures of mainstream political parties in governing the country. To put it another way, the supposedly “normal” political parties of that era had shown themselves to be incapable of maintaining a general acceptable level of governance- on more than one occasion. Things reached a climax in the early 1930s when global economic depression and ‘austerity’ driven economic policies cause mass unemployment and misery among the general population.

At that stage, the only two remaining alternatives were the Nazis or some coalition of communist parties. After the 1932 elections, the rich and petite bourgeoisie in Germany supported the “business friendly” Nazis over the communist parties. Hitler took full advantage of the situation and the rest, as they say, is history. In other words, the rise of popular support for the Nazi party in 1930-era era Germany looks far more rational once you consider the environment in which it occurred. They did also implement some fairly populist polices (at least for the majority) in the first few years of their rule.

The point I am trying to make is that public popularity of repugnant ideologies in certain historical eras should not be seen as evidence that people are stupid or easily misled. Instead, such popularity should be understood, if not celebrated, through the lens of prevailing socio-economic conditions and cultural mores. That is also why people like Mussolini, Stalin, Franco came into power and were able to hold onto it for so long. That is also how so many ‘muricans still see their country as one of good law and order when it was always about enslaving, exploiting and murdering black and other non-white people.

And this brings me to the main questions posed in the current post, which are as follows: Why did so many average people in western countries support neoliberal ideas and policies during the 1968-2008 era? Why did so many non-rich people cheer on an ideology which made their lives poorer, more precarious and generally more shittier than before? Was it just good propaganda or were the reasons for the public support for neoliberalism during that era more systemic than most critics are willing to admit? And why might the critics of neoliberalism not want to consider systemic factors behind its rise during that era?

One of the biggest contemporary myth about the rise of neoliberalism is that it was centrally planned by cabals of rich businessmen behind closed doors in smoke-filled rooms. While I do not doubt that many such meetings occurred, it can (at best) explain changes in some government policy changes in a few countries such as USA and UK. However as anybody who has lived during that era will remember, the public was also very enthusiastic about a number of neoliberal policies from cutting the social welfare net, privatization of public goods and services, financialization of the economy, increasing corporate profits and many other ridiculous ideas.

So how do you explain public enthusiasm during that era for so many neoliberal policies? What were they thinking, or not thinking, when supporting those ideas and policies? What drove them to support policies that were against their best long-term self interests?

Here is my theory..

1] General prosperity and economic growth in the west after WW2, coupled with the residual effects of pre-WW2 colonialism resulted in what is probably the largest gap in living standards between the west and the rest of the world during the 1950s-1980s. Of course, that gap in living standards has decreased ever since those years and could likely go in the other direction in the future. Nevertheless, your average white person who grew up in that era almost certainly saw this as “proof” of their inherent racial superiority. They interpreted something which occurred through a combination of circumstances and luck as the natural order of things.

It is therefore not surprising that con-artists such as Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman etc started gaining an ever larger popular audience. While support by the scheming rich certainly helped these con-artists attain social respectability, it was the general environment of western society during those three decades which made neoliberalism seem ‘right’ in the first place. Most contemporary critics of neoliberalism would prefer to believe it was clever propaganda and sinister brain-washing, rather than inherent racism and other popular delusions of white people in western countries, which made neoliberalism the default ideology of the 1968-2008 era.

2] Some of you might have noticed that I consider 1968, and not the early 1980s, to be the beginning of neoliberal era. But why 1968? Didn’t neoliberalism start in the early 1980s under Reagan and Thatcher? While it is true that overt policy implementation of neoliberalism started in the early 1980s, the ideology itself had been fashionable for over a decade before 1980. While the precise triggering event or events which made neoliberalism fashionable was different in each western country, in the case of USA it came down to passage of civil rights related legislation in the mid-to-late 1960s.

Yes, you heard that right. Neoliberalism, as an ideology, became mainstream in the USA only after it became obvious to the average white person that maintaining their relative superiority over non-whites through overt “legal” racism was no longer possible. It is also therefore not surprising the strongest popular support of neoliberal policies such as shredding the social safety net, job precarization, union busting etc have always been stronger in ex-slave owning southern states and those adjacent to them (Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana) rather than those in the North East or the West Coast.

3] But why would a combination of racism and delusions of inherent superiority specifically enable the dominance of neoliberalism in the west? Why not fascism or some other form of majority totalitarianism? Well.. it comes down to the delusion of inherent racial superiority. In the post-WW2 era, almost nobody wanted to be seen as a fascist, nazi or overt racist. Those were crude and failed ideologies. Neoliberalism, on the other hand, appeared to offer average white people most of the benefits of racism and discrimination while appearing to be liberal and hip. Since even the most average and mediocre white person now saw himself or herself as insurmountably superior to non-whites, they deluded themselves into believing that neoliberalism would only further their dominance.

Of course, it is now obvious that things did not work that way. However, in the late 1980s to mid 1990s, it was very easy for the average white person in USA to believe that the rest of world would never catch up with them. Remember, the USSR had just collapsed and everyone and their dog was proclaiming the end of history. China and other Asian countries had not reached the level of industrialization we see today. It appeared the white americans supporting neoliberalism were set for their own 1000-year Reich. I should also mention that some of the most damaging neoliberal trends like job precarization and high stealth inflation (housing, medical, education) had still not hit white-collar workers.

It is therefore not surprising that many average white americans, blue and white-collar, thought that they would be the winners of a neoliberal order. I mean.. it appeared to work for them for the first 10-15 years. Also, it was far easier to explain away problems caused by neoliberalism when they affected non-whites and poorer white people. Furthermore, the initial large wave of indiscriminate financialization specifically the housing price bubble and easy access to credit allowed the majority to look past ugly emerging problems. All of this meant that average white americans were cheering on neoliberalism until the financial crisis of 2008. Of course, by then it was too late..

In a future post of this series, I will try to explore why neoliberalism became popular in other western countries- specifically those in western Europe. As you will see, american influence was only one of the factors that drove the rise of that ideology in those countries.

What do you think? Comments?