The word neoliberalism describes anything making money from democracy. It is a philosophy in action across the US and around the world right now that is selling off the public good every single day.
In these days of rampant neoliberalism, there is no place safe from the infiltration of capitalism and the marketplace ideology that is decimating the democratic fabric of our society.
I have been committed to the public side of social change since I was a teen. As a student, I have experienced the rise of the privately-funded public university. As a worker, I experienced the continued infusion of right-wing corprocratic methods into all levels of government. As an activist, I have seen allies fall to the gradual reform of public schools as they become propaganda tools for money-making. As a community member, I have been in the fallout from the obliteration of the public commons.
I found those situations more than negotiated – they were tremendously compromised. Seeking a middle ground, I wanted to work for the social good through networked and grassroots teaching opportunities. I started consulting and speaking as a result. As more people sought me out, more people became willing to pay me for my services, and that’s where my business came from. I provide more than 50% of all my income and time to non-profit generating activities; however, billing myself as a speaker/trainer/freelance writer/consultant allows me to do that.
I don’t have a perfect model, and I know there isn’t one. However, as I’ve spent a lifetime living this evolution, I have found that its important to stay sane and solvent, especially in times of struggle. Working the ways I do allows me to continue challenging neoliberalism, or feel as if I am.
Maybe its a myth I tell myself in order to feel better. However, since there isn’t a perfect work, I continue committing myself to imperfection. That’s the nature of this human work, commitment to the unfinished. That’s why I challenge neoliberalism.