#StopAusterity Radar Nr. 2


Brexit, Neoliberalism and Austerity

The decision of the UK to leave the European Union has left many in shock. The fear of far-reaching political, social and economic consequences of the successful racist Brexit campaign is widespread. But why did it happen and what can we expect from the future?

Frank Ey wrote a good analysis (in German) of the links between neoliberal reforms in Europe, more specifically in the UK and the Brexit. He asks for clear policy actions from the EU for a more social Europe, because otherwise Europe is at risk of falling apart.

Owen Jones argues that the Brexit was a “working-class revolt” by an increasingly socially and economically marginalized and ignored working class who felt that they would be heard and listened to again by voting for Brexit, a working class whose anger was successfully channelled towards migrants. Thus he argues that there are challenges ahead for the left to provide positive perspectives. Leadbeater published a list of suggestions for the left on how to do that.

Similarly, Servaas Strom (in German) points to the neoliberal policies in the UK having caused the frustration and anger of Brexit voters. Strom calls for more critical economists who highlight the dangerous social and political outcomes of Austerity and other neoliberal politics to ease the tensions in Europe.

Laura Cartwright convincingly argues for a bigger debate on neoliberalism as a result of the Brexit. She criticizes the ignorance of what she calls “the elephant in the room” from both ‘Remain’ and ‘Brexit’ side, which have been caused by Neoliberalisms tendency to individualize social problems and to make the social as a whole “un-narratable”. She emphasizes the urgent need to ‘join the dots’ and to demand a change in politics which actually offers people perspectives, especially for the young.

Alternatives to Austerity, Multiculturalism and more

The London School of Economics organized a panel debate (find the Podcast here) titled “Exploring Alternatives to Austerity” with four anthropologists, Dr Laura Bear, Anna Coote, Dr Andrea Mühlebach and Dr Carly Schuster. They discuss options to reduce inequality produced by Austerity, how to undo financialization, how to support communities in setting up alternatives and what utopian alternatives to neoliberalism look like. 1 Hour 30 min worth listening!

Alana Lentin wrote an article exploring how austerity, sexism, multiculturalism and racism become intertwined discourses. This is also very interesting in the light of the racist Brexit campaign.

Finally, we found a great video interview where Anti-Austerity-star Mark Blyth talks about his book “Austerity, the history of a dangerous idea”, its relevance today, the Brexit and much more. Length: 23 minutes.