Image catalog.

coption neoliberal (1754x2480 8-bit)

Co-option / Neoliberal Elite

Inspired by reading about
  • Anarchist architect John F.C Turner's ideas of self-help and mutual aid finding favour at the World Bank and being used to justify Structural Adjustment Programs that closed 'ineffecient' publicly owned industries who employed large percentages of the population, and cut public services & public housing.
  • Mike Davis - Planet of Slums - book containing chapter 'The Illusions of Self-Help
  • Elite computer game - idea of a global mission, a game
To try to get across idea that the current situation in UK is also a situation of Structural Adjustment - it is part of set of decisions to impose the ideas of neoliberalism (increasing privatisation of public services, more competitive and simultaneously insecure job market, individuals under more pressure to be 'flexible', less public spending, more insecurity in housing, rising costs and increasing inequality.)

By talking of transition without acknowledging these sorts of attacks, groups may end up fufilling the role of John FC Turner by advocating mutual aid and self-help local community/food schemes, which could end up being used by local councils as places in which to drop ASBO youths, long term unemployed and other people who need to 'pay their debt to society' - whilst taxes that could have provided decent paid work are diverted to private interests like pension speculation, subsidies for big business and increased military spending.

  • Dumbocracy - The New Scotland : Varient magazine article examining poverty and new labour
  • Neoliberalising Values? New Labour's Construction of Social Inclusion in Local Governance: Study of Welfare state restructuring
  • Fish farms and preparing troublesome youth for future employment
  • Libcom list of welfare articles
  • Mute magazine's articles aboutWelfare reforms and ecological regeneration at Thames Gateway
  • divide ecological (1718x2480 8-bit)

    Could there be a divide between the ecological haves and have-nots?

    The idea that whilst there is a movement making the transition away from oil maybe that if it doesn't try to address other and very real concerns of w/class (the existing social conditions) alongside ecological concerns, there is a danger of a 'them and u's situation developing

    For example

    • how do i get involved in making transition if i am stuck in crappy precarious work, not got time,too knackered, getting hassle from benefits , debt. etc?
    • how do i make my house green if i live in poor quality housing, renting, or have no money to invest?
    • 'Ecological justice' - Environmentalism which analyses how environmental degradation also is situated and impact the poor dispropotionaltely.For example the location of heavy industries - can Transition support ordinary people who live near heavy industries to help them fight environmental degradation? Or can they support people who work in heavy industries to be included in the transition by for example supporting demands for retraining and compensation? see 'Just Transition' from USA for practical examples
    • Stuff that sounds ecologically progressive on the surface - i.e the Bin Tax in Dublin - but was revealed as a situation where the council was implimenting un-progressive flatrate taxes for collecting the recycling and rubbish, privatising and all sorts of not-good-stuff. Some sections of the Greens movement used it as a way to portray people as being uncaring about the environment if they resisted paying this tax..possibly counter productive.
    • This divide could be symbolised by 'It's Not Easy Being Green' tv show which was basically "how do i make a bunker" (a nice ecological bunker with nice people - but a bunker nevertheless, out of reach for most)
    • Some things are inherently linked - i.e energy and housing. Community based energy systems, like combined heat and power work, best at community scale. So as well as a a roll out of renewable energy a strengthening of public housing goes hand in hand.
    • The same for stuff like transport - what came first ? people in cars or the systematic destruction of public transport networks? Knowing these histories can inform the present. So in this case rather than seeing people in cars as being somehow right selfish bastards and want to punish them with stuff like congestion charges (the implication being - if you can afford it then you can drive) it might be interesting to demand cheap , or free public transport.
    • Ready meals are linked to working patterns. Increasingly as people are working wierder hours they have less time to get in food and prepare it.
    heirachy flat (1754x2480 1961kb)


    "a strong conclusion drawn from activity surveys in the UK is that LA21 has primarily been seen as a delivery mechanism for environmental policy and has tackled relatively few socio- economic problems. The positioning of LA21 within local authority structures has often been cited as the main reason for this shortfall (Morpeth, 2000; Morris, 1999). Historically, local authorities have operated under highly departmentalised and hierarchical structures organised by sector, largely mirroring those of central government. "

    "This has led to a perception that, in the UK at least, LA21 is largely promoting a white, middle-class agenda and has nothing to offer disadvantaged and marginalised groups and communities. It has also served to fuel the widely held belief that poorer communities are not interested in the environment, a myth firmly dispelled in a recent study by Burningham and Thrush (2001)."

    "What’s in a name? - Local Agenda 21, community planning and neighbourhood renewal" Karen Lucas, Andrew Ross and Sara Fuller

    The experience of the German Green Party getting absorbed into local government is also relevent here

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