Ralston Saul: Neo-Liberalism / Neo-Conservatism a Low-Level Form of God-Worship

Pulitzer-winning journalist Chris Hedges interviews John Ralston Saul, an ‘award-winning philosopher, novelist and essayist’ who is considered ‘Canada’s leading public intellectual’.

Some points detailed in the discussion:

-Neo-liberalism / neo-conservatism relate to neither ‘liberalism’ or ‘conservatism’.  They are an ideology and form of religion and god-worship, based on self-interest and the whitewashing of memory.  ‘At the end of the day, it’s about power and money.’

-Declarations of ‘truth’ and ‘inevitability’ are two aspects of ideology highly prevalent in neo-liberalism/conservatism.

-Neos claiming Edmund Burke as their ‘godfather’ indicates lunacy and denial of history; like other lunatics claiming Christ or Muhammad to justify other unacceptable things.

-Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ is a low-level image of the hand of god.  But when one talks to the neos about Adam Smith, one discovers they haven’t read him.  He isn’t taught.  People only know quotes.  They don’t know Smith was actually ‘incredibly distrustful’ of powerful businessmen and said things like ‘never allow them to be alone in a room together; they’ll combine and falsify the market’, etc.

-At this point, [for example, as illustrated by latest Oxfam report], all of the promises made by neo-liberal globalization [summarized in discussion, 13:30] have collapsed.  None of them happened; it’s the exact opposite.  We are now in the most nationalist period we’ve seen since the 1930s, with all the dangers that go along with it.

-There isn’t a single neo-liberal/conservative who would deny that Athens is the beginning of what we call ‘Western democracy’, and yet they don’t even know that the way Athens got going was by destroying all the debt to re-launch citizenship and justice systems.

-While people at the bottom largely still believe they are in a ‘democratic’ society, what we have going today is a Mussolinian-corporatist authoritarian state.

-People have clearly lost faith in the ‘mafia, oligarchic elite’, which is currently using the pick-pocket’s tactic of saying ‘look over there’ at those ‘terrorists’, while robbing everyone.

-[Interesting discussion about how to move forward, largely pertaining to language and memory, presented starting at 22:30:]

Most of the writers killed globally are not killed by ‘religious’ fanatics, but by governments linked with the West, Mexico being a good example.

Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published author who focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry.  Updates on Twitter.  Author’s review of the historical background to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

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  • margsview

    Would not following the Icelandic approach reduce the arrogance demonstrated by these banks currently? Seems are elected government official are setting the whole thing up —similar to their roles in these secret trade agreements…see bilaterals.org

  • Don Robertson

    Bubbles of pseudo-knowledge, just like bubbles in the credit economy, deflate very quickly. It is nothing more than a hocus pocus alternative media parlor trick to say we are entering a period of not knowing what the future will bring, as does John Saul in this video. No one knows what the future will bring. It’s an old parlor trick too. It is the conjurer’s trick of someone peddling more pragmatic witchcraft. John Saul wants his hand on the joystick, or on the shoulders of the nasty nest of gathering participants in the latest incarnation of 1789 France.

    The Renaissance mentioned by John Saul, is a faulty view of history that proclaims man to be omniscient and progressively headed toward a more benevolent future. This Renaissance view is based on this sort of soothsayer’s parlor trick, e.g., finding out that the future that was previously unpredicted has delivered mankind into the next stage of some presupposed predestined development into the Utopian future of some supposed collective omniscience, the catechism-ization of this sort of faulty historical view.

    John Saul is merely crisis peddling, just like everyone else in the alternative media, and populist authorship, if at an eloquent level. John Saul is the Jesuit he decries.

    Ah yes, “Where are we going?”, is asked by Chris Hedges. John Saul lays out his soiled and tattered bedclothes speaking of “Belief in the citizens […]” (1789 again?) “We know where we have come from […]” (1789 again?)


    The martyrdom of crisis-peddling pseudo-intellectuals is no justification for yet another pseudo-knowledge bubble, which is clearly John Saul’s soothsayer game.

    Double bullshit. Stoning this man would be too kind. I say, wall him up in his academic cloister and let him starve to death.

    Not once does this book-peddling alternative media “philosopher” speak of the a priori knowledge that must be the inviolate foundation of any logical argument. John Saul is thus arguing, we should abandon logic and morality in our personal understanding and limited comprehension, and throw it all over to those who speak the populist jargon of the crisis-peddling alternative media hipsters.

    Democracy is not a morally sustainable argument, John Saul. It is just populist poop. It is just begging for another Napoleon writ large again. Democracy is just the petrified crisis peddling of the immeasurably immoral pragmatic and pugnacious hooligans that want to continue to throw the dice on some wildly imagined soothsayer’s future, like Marx and like John Saul.

    Don’t tell me you can predict the future, John Saul, not until you can relate the past and present in a cogent manner. Tell us instead how to address the present calamity of all the commonly endless demands for the death of all tradition. And I include in those well-worn traditions our modern feudalism that is the direct descendant of the Greek and Roman empires.

    These empires never really collapsed. All empires merely evolve to adjust to circumstances brought on by self-promoting soothsayers that all too infamously claimed they could predict the future. It’s just like what economists laughably call “inflation expectations.”

    Triple bullshit.

    • Don Robertson

      Here’s John Saul’s “philosophy” as sung by Elvis in black leather. LoL John Saul, you crackpot academic bullshitter.


    • J

      Awful wordy for so little to say Don

  • dogbite186

    Ralston-Saul has made it up as he goes along for decades now. Without ink from Louis Lapham during the deconstruction of Harper’s – his BS machine would never have gotten off the ground. He is however, easily one of Canada’s greatest intellectuals. The other one is Margaret Trudeau.