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Against “Market Totalitarianism”,The New McCarthyism

 Prof. Cronin’s Presentation in Opposition to “Market Totalitarianism

“NEW McCARTHYISM”: THE EMERGENCE of new forms of political dissidence, uniting believers and secular critical thinkers and activists, was needed in contemporary Ireland to counter “market totalitarianism”, the Merriman Summer School was told yesterday.

Prof Michael Cronin of Dublin City University’s faculty of humanities and social sciences said the requirement of empathy was a fundamental feature of a successful democratic society.

The challenge for religious believers and progressive political thinkers was to develop and strengthen “the empathetic imagination”, he added.

He said this was particularly the case in times of crisis when everyone from single mothers to public sector health workers were being scapegoated.

Ireland, like many other countries, was subject to “market totalitarianism”, where every area of life, not just the economic, was subject to the logic of the market, he said.

“An Irish version of market totalitarianism is a domestic McCarthyism where every sector of Irish society is subject to the cost-benefit rationale of the market as demonstrated by the recent McCarthy report and the planned deliberations over the sale of State assets,” he said.

“The result is that human beings are seen as purely instrumental means to economic ends and if they are not fit for economic purpose, they are considered valueless,” he said. (more)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public service reforms ‘must not be mixed up with an ideology of privatisation’-NERI

By Stephen Rogers Irish Examiner  Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Irish Examiner Reporter

The trade union movement’s economic think-tank has pointed to a significant drop in the cost of employing public servants and said reform of the sector must not be mixed up with an ideology of privatisation, commercialisation of public goods or the introduction of private sector processes.

The Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI), referenced OECD figures which showed that, in 2010, total compensation — wages plus employer social contributions — of general government employees here came to 12.3% of GDP compared to the OECD average of 11.1%. By 2014, the cost had fallen to 10% compared to the OECD average of 10.6%.

Tom Healy, NERI director, said neither levels of remuneration, nor the size of the workforce explains how efficient a public service is but he said interpreting the figures it could not be concluded that the Irish public service is bloated or over-paid compared to OECD norms.

“In key areas of service delivery including health and education there is scope everywhere and always to continue improvements,” he said.

“Caution, however, is necessary. Too often the term and concept of ‘reform’ may be mixed up with an agenda that is driven by an ideology of privatisation, commercialisation of public goods such as education and health as well as the introduction of norms and processes from the private commercial world that either do not fit at all or are badly matched with the requirements of the public sphere.”

Mr Healy said that such an ideology might seek to transform a particular area of public service into a production line as if the service delivered can be reduced to measureable inputs, outputs and indicators.

 

Alliance of secular and faith thinkers needed’

ÉIBHIR MULQUEEN, Irish Times..

Sat, Aug 21, 2010

“NEW McCARTHYISM”: THE EMERGENCE of new forms of political dissidence, uniting believers and secular critical thinkers and activists, was needed in contemporary Ireland to counter “market totalitarianism”, the Merriman Summer School was told yesterday.

Prof Michael Cronin of Dublin City University’s faculty of humanities and social sciences said the requirement of empathy was a fundamental feature of a successful democratic society.

The challenge for religious believers and progressive political thinkers was to develop and strengthen “the empathetic imagination”, he added.

He said this was particularly the case in times of crisis when everyone from single mothers to public sector health workers were being scapegoated.

Ireland, like many other countries, was subject to “market totalitarianism”, where every area of life, not just the economic, was subject to the logic of the market, he said.

“An Irish version of market totalitarianism is a domestic McCarthyism where every sector of Irish society is subject to the cost-benefit rationale of the market as demonstrated by the recent McCarthy report and the planned deliberations over the sale of State assets,” he said.

“The result is that human beings are seen as purely instrumental means to economic ends and if they are not fit for economic purpose, they are considered valueless,” he said. (more)

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