Benjamin Barber: ‘The Lost Art of Cooperation’

Benjamin Barber has written a very good piece on how the free-market ideologies of neoliberalism have weakened original democratic values, such as common goals, a civic space for debate, and cooperation. He argues that while America has always been individualistic, since the Second World War the fear of socialist (both Communist and National) despotism has implanted in people a tendency to equate competition with freedom. This is not so, Barber argues, because “Democratic societies do not secure cooperation by sacrificing freedom, they create conditions for freedom by associating us in cooperative ­communities.”

Barber manages to do a fine job summarizing some of the most common critiques of modern neoliberalism into a single argument. Whether you agree or not, it’s a good read.


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