Michael Gurstein on Thu, 28 Apr 2016 18:00:11 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Guardian > Monbiot > Neoliberalism -- the ideology at

To add to these distinguished commentaries...

I think that in examining "neo-liberalism" as an ideology it is
worthwhile to also see it as a political program with quite direct real
world correlates and moreover one which for a significant period of time
was dominant in the World Bank and the IMF through its unconscionable
and now largely discredited imposition of the SAP's (Structural
Adjustment Programs) which laid waste to the social fabric of much of
sub-Saharan Africa and significant parts of Asia.  It also provided the
basis for the very widespread program of privatization of the teleco
services throughout the developing world and as I tried to show in the
blogpost I recently circulated re: the Alliance for Affordable Internet
(A4AI) is the program currently being promoted by the USG and its allies
for the management and regulation of the Internet throughout the
Developing World.

What is rather more insidious and of even greater and longer term (and
historical) consequence is the attempt through more or less direct
intervention by the US State Department and the NTIA and their allies in
the "Technical Community" (the IETF, IANA, ISOC, etc.), the corporate
sector (Google, Facebook, etc.) and civil society (APC, and other of the
"Internet Freedom" partners) to ensure that a neo-liberal regime is
built into the very fabric of the global Internet through the (non)
structuring of global Internet Governance (I've discussed this and
documented this at considerable in my blog (and over the last several
years shared it on this e-list) --search on "Internet Governance" at

Among other things that are noteworthy about these latter initiatives is
the degree to which the Technical Community and virtually all of the
directly involved Civil Society have been either complicit or active
contributors to these efforts. (Also, of course it is of note that these
initiatives have been taking place while the internal "governance" of
the Internet via the FCC has taken a rather more interventionist and
socially aware set of directions.)


-----Original Message-----

From: nettime-l-bounces@mail.kein.org On Behalf Of Brian Holmes
Sent: April 28, 2016 5:12 AM
To: nettime-l@kein.org
Subject: Re: <nettime> Guardian > Monbiot > Neoliberalism -- the ideology at

There have been great points in this debate (notably Allan's and
David's), yet still it leaves me totally unsatisfied. I'm amazed how no
one seems to care about the history of ideas, and with all due respect
there's no way I can accept Florian's claim that ultimately,
neoliberalism is what people think it is -- in other words, it's some
kind of popular meme. No, it has a long and complex history with
diverging and reconnecting strands that can be excavated, reconstructed,
examined and evaluated. History matters and the devil is in the details.


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