Fighting like Confucius
It is of course a question whether and how Confucius was in the habit of fighting (if he ever did), but Bertolt Brecht was (obviously) so impressed by Confucius’ intelligence that he wrote a number of small pieces in which he ascribed to him some good ideas which he wanted to see spread.
In one such piece he describes how Confucius brings about political change by taking a widely read text and changing a few terms in it (e.g. changing the term ”execution” to ”murder”), by that changing the reader’s view of the event and of those participating in it. It is a method which we occasionally find also in our media …
Somewhat ”dirty” as the method may seem, there can be situations where it may be better to play (in this sense) ”dirty” than to simply give up and submit. And I think that in our fight against neoliberalism we may well be in such a situation. Because: neoliberalism promotes (blindly) the accumulation of money in ever fewer hands (justifying this development with the claim that the money will ”trickle down” to even the poorer layers of society to the benefit of all), wrecking the planet in the process (which the few rich ones do not mind very much as they imagine that they will always be able to reserve some piece of paradise for themselves – as may even be true). The huge riches in the hands of the few are then (among others) used to promote the interests of the rich ones also in politics, resulting in the continuation of this (for the globe and the majority of mankind disastrous) state of affairs. And the chances to change this situation by means which the rich ones would accept as being ”legal” or ”fair” are VERY slim. But if one has some idea how PERHAPS to achieve some progress by ”dirty” means, one could at least think more about it, even try it.
One idea would be to speak/write about neoliberalism publicly and consistenly as a ”religion”. Up to now it is taken as a theory (by that taken as serious as theories are generally taken in the public discussion), but of theories one tends also to demand some evidence to support it (at least once one begins to think about it). But the justification for neoliberalsim was the claim that the riches would ”trickle down”, while a closer look at reality reveals that this hardly happens. Thus, neoliberalism is a ”teaching” which promises a good life to everybody in some future (under precondition that one remain faithful to the teaching), which, though, does not keep up under a closer look at reality, but is spread nevertheless by select groups of ”experts” (and their employers) for whom this teaching is flattering (and easily also profitable). Thus, neoliberalism shows all the properties of an established religion (including the fact that central claims of it are proven nonsense) and can accordingly also called just that, i.e. a religion. And in the usual political discussion there is, so far, some agreement that a reasonable policy cannot be based on religion. So that, altogether, there is SOME hope that something might be achieved by referring in the future publicly and consistently to that ”neoliberal religion”.