Now time for neoliberalism: resisting Plan B from below

The time is now for mass mobilisation. We see it everywhere across he globe, as Chris Jones and Tony Novak point out. And it is about time. The fact of the matter is that most people would rather not be political, not risk losing what they already have, and not take their chances engaging in direct action. So when they do, we know something has happened to change the normal course of affairs. once people come to see that there is less to lose by acting, they are ready to be mobilised. And that is a good thing since, as Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward once famously said: ‘A placid poor get nothing, but a turbulent poor sometimes get something’ (1971, p 38). Their point is that the historical record is clear that the only proven way to get real change is at those times when the people on the bottom rise up and say they are mad as hell and are not going to take it any more. The global economic meltdown since the onset of the Great Recession in 2008 has created the crucible in which the new uprising has mushroomed. From the occupy Wall Street movement to mass demonstrations in cities across the globe in reaction to inequitable economic policies, those marginalised and left by the wayside by the resultant global economic restructuring are finally fighting back.

And it is not just the poor. As Guy Standing (2011) has noted, there is a new precariat. Actually several. In addition to the poor, whose precarity is persistent, now we see those marginalised by the hollowing-out of the middle class joining forces with those already deemed as disposable populations to rage against the system.

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