Authorial Note: Pt. 1 can be found here, and Pt. 2 here  

      Visions are possessions of the heart and mind found in the dark streets of where refugees roam. In the hopes and fears of all the years visions are brought forth like a breath of creation upon the murky chaos of the world. The neoliberal vision for society believes in homo economicus– humanity as primarily concerned with attempting “…to maximize their utility for both monetary and non-monetary gains”, and thus that society as a whole, not merely the market, should be structured around human desire in the pursuit of profit- a neo-feudal order. We have seen that this vision for the world is resulting in an apocalypse of the enslavement of entire countries, like Greece. An alternative vision brought forth by the ‘left’wasserman-7-7 in our midst believes in a homo spiritualis of some sort- humanity, and thus corporations, should subordinate our desires for gains to the goal of the improvement of society as a whole according to our ethical responsibilities to each other and the earth- the democratization of the economy. Both of these visions however are primarily economic visions, but what is clear from the Greek debt crisis is that, as we have already said, this is not only a socio-economic crisis but a political apocalypse. We have thus far been viewing neoliberalism as a economic theory that consists of promoting free trade, deregulation of financial markets, fiscal austerity,  privatization, and the supremacy of the market over human society. However, for much of the European hard ‘right’, like The Golden Dawn, neoliberalism is not primarily an economic theory but a political theory. In order to understand this second half of neoliberalism let us again anthropomorphize Greece in a different analogy to elaborate on the political aspects of neoliberalism.

      Greece grows a wonderful garden every year that consists of primarily one plant- olive trees. The olive trees are firm, delicious, and wonderful- Greece has perfected the method of growing them, practically inventing gardening himself even. Greece finds himself in awe of the plants he grows, even having elaborate wine rituals like communion to celebrate the olive trees. Eventually a group of out of town businessmen convince Greece to sell his olives and olive oil around the world to bring out this treasure for everyone’s enjoyment. Not one to withhold blessings from those who clearly recognize it, Greece agrees- loving being a part of a wider community. The out of town businessmen who are reputed by all those they supported (one suspects that they reputed them because they were supported by them, but that’s another matter). However as Greece’s business begins to grow some peculiar problems arise that he did not anticipate, for starters because he has so many people coming in and out of his garden he has difficultly tending to the plants! The crowds for this olive oil are enormous but as a result the soil is trampled on and its no longer good to grow anything there- its like all people want are guided tours of his garden! All these crowds had forgotten that Greece invented gardening in the first place, they should be gardening themselves instead of looking at his old relics! Furthermore, the trees are beginning to look a little differently, because, as Greece found out, these out of town businessmen were secretly cross pollinating their crop seeds with his, thus resulting in a mixed crop of plant. Greece at first could not understand why these out of town business men were ruining his perfect plants, as it would result in the impurity of the crop leading to the downfall of his garden. What Greece did not understand at the time was was that if these out of town businessmen’s crops were cross pollinated with Greece’s crop that legally meant that they were part owners- for instance as in the case of his neighbours Russia and Ukraine…enough said. While the out of town business men really did have a vested interest in Greece’s crops, they were also intent on owning his garden to conform it to the larger project of the town’s farmer’s market.

      The farmer’s market of the town consisted of a great variety of different plants from different gardens all over the neighbourhood- diversity was key as they wanted to appeal to all the neighbours and have them delight in something new! The glory of the farmer’s market was precisely in its ability to encompass all the diversity in its unity! It saw itself primarily as a community building exercise for before they were formed different neighbours held different grudges against one another- even flooding each others lawns! But some of the wealthier neighbours decided to get together to put an end to the feuding and bring everyone in on a common project- to have everyone subordinate a little bit of their own personal desires for a greater good, and naturally they wanted to Greece to join in on this as well. Soon however the farmer’s market realized that in order to be a market they had to hold competitions so that different plants would be evaluated differently and the gardeners who did not do as great a job would be shamed into improving. It was a little harsh but the motive was for everyone to improve (though the main winners of the contest were always those who judged the competitions, but that’s another story). Naturally, this lead to some neighbours feeling, instead of pride in their plants, shame that they weren’t as tender or as ripe or as well loved as someone else’s- it didn’t matter that it was a different plant, all that mattered was that it wasn’t good enough and every year they had to be reminded that what they should be proud of was being a part of the universal project, not their own particular garden.

      For the most part, Greece and others did not mind this too much as long as they were still able to maintain their gardens and support themselves economically through it- but as soon as they weren’t able to any longer, then the protests were provoked. Greece did not understand why he had to help out so many others and yet ignore tending to his own garden. Greece did not understand why, no matter how much he produced, others seemed to reap the reward. Furthermore, because all these out of town businessmen were charging him for shipping, marketing, and packaging, their was so little left that Greece could hardly afford to feed his own family, let alone have a nutritional balance! As the cross pollination and much else continued, Greece gradually lost the ability to govern as to how is own garden would be grown. It was his garden in the first place! Outrageous! It seemed deeply perverted that he had almost no ability of his own to govern what happened in his own garden anymore. He got so caught up in the wider dream of the farmer’s market that he gradually lost sight of the fact that all his needs and abilities got narrower and narrower. If this was the price of having to join a farmer’s market, and having his food enjoined more broadly, forget the farmer’s market- Greece and his family need to eat, forget the pleasures of the wider market.

      Furthermore even still, these out of town businessmen advocated and imposed all these bizarre gardening practices, like sticking the head of the plant in the ground and having the root exposed, or using a nutrient rich water solution to water the plants. All these bizarre practices were changing what Greece thought plants should ideally be and how they should be organized to produce the best and most sustainable garden- anything else would bring utter organic disaster. The farmer’s market enforced production at any cost to keep demand going, thus resulting in Greece having to invest in heavy earth destroying machinery that would mechanically extract plants at a rapid rate according to time schedules and supply demand. Just to keep up interest in his plants however Greece was inundated by the advice and phone messages of his neighbours as to how he should be keeping his garden. More and more these letters, text messages, emails, and even video messages for Christ sakes were having a greater influence over his employees than he had!  He would advise them to prepare the soil one way but the employees, insisting that they were adopting the newest progressive advice, decided to prepare the soil in another way. How dare Greece be so backward and stick with the native soil techniques? Didn’t Greece know that the farmer’s market was all about moving forward to make a better garden for the competitions? Didn’t Greece know that, if he still wanted to have any stake in his own garden, that he was going to have to compete with his neighbours like Britain or America in these competitions (who seemed to keep winning and winning by the way, probably because they set the rules, but that’s another story)?

      What Greece however missed most of all was how his entire new economic form of gardening seemed to have left Greece empty and void, where all the spiritual peace and comfort was once in his Jesus-vinegardening rituals. He missed his hands in soil, the sun in his face, the prayers recited as nursery rhymes, children playing on the grass, the feeling of cooking with food he had grown, drinking wine as a remembrance instead of as an attempt to forget, and, most of all, witnessing the forces of nature like rain and wind contribute to his garden without fail it seemed. The feeling that something entirely out of his control was blessing him and contributing to his project. Even though Greece himself was Orthodox, he still appreciated and even celebrated some of his more kooky country-side neighbours that had weird naked dancing rituals in their back yard- for while he didn’t exactly embrace all their weirdness, at least they too felt the void that the farmer’s market was creating. Everything in Greece’s life now seemed to belong to someone else that did not give a damn about his or his family’s well being. Whatever the taxonomy of his plants, they were his plants- or at least he thought they should be, and these out of town businessmen, by making it all about the market, had lost sight as to how to govern a garden.

      What we have described in this new anthropomorphized analogy of Greece is the view of the ‘right’ through much of the world which is renewing itself across Europe and in the United States. For this ‘right’, neoliberalism is a political project that consists of internationalism and the loss of sovereignty (think of Greece’s out of town businessmen inviting him to sell in the wider farmer’s market and him losing all the ability to govern his own garden), mass illegal immigration (think of Greece’s plants being fertilized by the out of town businessmen’s seeds and his land being only used for tourism), the shaming of national pride by international law (think of the farmer’s market competitions), the destruction of the family (think of the bizarre and mechanical gardening practices advocated by the out of town businessmen), and the secularization of spiritual realities like nature and ethnicity (think of Greece’s nostalgia for his old private gardening practices and love for country-side people). While there have been many other internationalist like projects throughout the history of every empire from Alexander the Great to the United Nations, the specific feature of the internationalist project of neoliberalism is its push to make the globe not in the image of some other culture, or to have it suppressed under the weight and taxation of some other centralized power base elsewhere in the world- its project is quite literally to reimagine the entire cosmos as a market place. What ever else may be tempting by calls for internationalism, when one remembers that it is supreme internationalist banker David Rockefeller who wrote the following about his family in his Memoirs that should regard calls for unity and internationalism as by no means neutral or benign claims,

 “Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” (pg. 406)

       With the dawn of this political apocalypse however we are also given a vision by the radical ‘right’, who like the radical ‘left’, offer ‘new’ solutions or visions around which we should regather and build once again a society from the ruin of an empire crumbling. Out of this political form of slavery of Greece as an entire nation state, the radical ‘right’ as embodied in the Golden Dawn party in particular, have made three proposals: (i) the use of coercive force to enforce boarders and nationalist law, (ii) reassert the monarchial figure of the father of the household against the foreign oligarchy that threatens to rape the daughters of the nation, and (iii) the reassertion of religious institutions as a preventive measure against the secularizing tendency of the pleasure driven market economy. We have previous looked upon the psalmist who wrote “everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure” (Psalm 39:5) as a source of wisdom to reflect on the reality that even our current neoliberal order will not be eternal and that we should prepare ourselves for its demise. However, unlike the radical ‘left’, the radical ‘right’ believes that old things such patriarchy and religion like the ring of power itself in The Lord of The Rings “…that should not have been forgotten were lost” by the neoliberal order and should ensnare “…a new bearer.” It is for this reason that many on the radical ‘right’ may appear to be like Gollum with a ring that has lasted thousands of years and to whom it has given “…unnatural long life.”

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