Neoliberalism is dying; labour must help shape what comes next

At NUPGE's 2016 Convention author Paul Mason told delegates that “Neoliberalism’s 35-year cycle is coming to an end, but we might also be at the end of a much longer cycle,” he said. “This new cycle might be as revolutionary as the rise of the printing press.” 

Ottawa (28 June 2016) — Britain’s exit from the European Union is clear evidence that neoliberalism is collapsing author Paul Mason told delegates at the National Union of Public and General Employee's 2016 Convention. 

Serious crack in the institutional order

Mason spoke to delegates on the morning after the historic vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

“What happened last night is that a piece of the neoliberal system just broke right off and is just lying right there on the sidewalk,” Mason told delegates. “It’s the first serious crack in the institutional order put in place in the early 80s and there will be more.”

Concerned about the future

Few in the trade union movement will be sad to see the waning of neoliberalism and its push for low wages and precarious work. But as Donald Trump’s rise in the U.S. shows, what follows in its heels might not be much better.

However, Mason said that he remains optimistic about the future, provided labour and other progressive forces seize the opportunity.

A route out of capitalism

“There could be a route out of capitalism that combines the best of what the public sector does, a controlled and regulated private sector, and a much more robust non-commercial co-operative sector.

The key, he says, is recognizing that computers and artificial intelligence and automation have fundamentally reshaped the world and that there’s no going back.

“Neoliberalism’s 35-year cycle is coming to end, but we might also be at the end of a much longer cycle,” he said. “This new cycle might be as revolutionary as the rise of the printing press.”

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

Issues and Campaigns: