From The Conversation: Neoliberal policies and conditions may be at least partly responsible for the growing mental health crisis and decline in collective well-being in the West.
“In particular, there is growing concern that the conditions and effects of neoliberalism – the enervating whirl of relentless privatisation, spiralling inequality, withdrawal of basic state support and benefits, ever-increasing and pointless work demands, fake news, unemployment and precarious work – is partly to blame. Perhaps most wearying are the invasive yet distant commands from media, state institutions, advertisements, friends or employers to self-maximise, persevere, grab your slice of the diminishing pie, ‘because you are worth it’ – although you must constantly prove it, every day.
In our work and leisure we are urged to feign permanent enthusiasm amid radically lowered expectations. Neoliberal newspeak hollows out the terminology of achievement, mandating boasts about personal ‘excellence’ and ‘dedication’ as actual possibilities for achievement diminish and work becomes stripped of meaning. At my institution, the cleaners’ uniforms are emblazoned with inscriptions announcing that they deliver their work with ‘passion, professionalism and pride’ – as if it were reasonable to demand ‘passion’ from a cleaner on minimum wage whose workload has doubled since 2012.”