George Monbiot recently came to Scotland to speak in Govan and Edinburgh to promote his new book ‘Out of the Wreckage’.

For Monbiot this is about ‘stories’ and the book is about how to replace the neoliberalism story with a new ‘restoration’ story and a ‘politics of belonging’:

“For George Monbiot, neoliberalism should best be understood as a “story”, one that was conveniently on offer at precisely the moment when the previous “story” – namely Keynesianism – fell to pieces in the mid-1970s. The power of stories is overwhelming, as they are “the means by which we navigate the world. They allow us to interpret its complex and contradictory signals”. The particular story of neoliberalism “defines us as competitors, guided above all other impulses by the urge to get ahead of our fellows”.

This story may not have been all that attractive, but it provided meaning and clarity. It offered a guide on what to do and how to live. With the rise of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, neoliberalism came to govern how policies were designed and institutions constructed. More diffusely, it came to shape how we understand ourselves, leading us to take on ever more responsibility for our own needs, economic security and wellbeing, devaluing social bonds and dependency in the process.”

Liz Murray from Global Justice Now interviewed him here:

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