To everything turn, turn, turn, There is a season
Turn, turn, turn,
And a time to every purpose under heaven
For over two hundred years Capitalism has been a pretty robust system, but once the Neoliberalism virus took hold it sowed the seeds of the destruction of the entire system. From its beginnings at the end of the 18th Century in Britain the development of Capitalism was dependent on a strong legal and administrative framework . Some of the earliest legislation curbing ( not preventing ) the use of child labour in the 1830’s and 1840’s was opposed by factory and mine owners, but without these laws over time the very labour force upon which the capitalists depended would have been destroyed because these children would not have grown to adulthood in any fit condition to perform the tasks that only adults could perform in those factories and mines. During the remainder of the nineteenth century and for the first seventy years of the twentieth century a tacit agreement prevailed between capitalists and workers that such laws were necessary. That was until the Neoliberalism virus seeded itself in the 1980’s and began to attack the institutional framework of societies across the world . The virus mutated to adapt itself to different cultures , so the American version is different to the Chinese , or the Australian . But whatever the differences one common thread runs through them all and that is that societies can be reorganised around some form of ‘ market’ . So if we think about an everyday sort of street market with stalls selling all sorts of goods and then try to imagine that operating on a vast scale that has been the Neoliberalism’s great achievement . In order to succeed though it needed to breakdown most of the institutions that had developed over time to protect it including the political institutions that enacted the legislation that gave that protection.
In the old saying the success of the Neoliberalism virus became ‘ too much of a good thing ‘ , so when the new Coronavirus struck it had no means of rising to the challenge the new virus posed . So what did it do ? It pleaded to those same legislators all around the world to put it on life support. And just as with the Coronavirus there are fatalities to be contended with so with the Neoliberalism virus there will be fatalities .