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This chapter reviews the key concepts of neoliberalism, especially the universal neoliberal principle that purports to achieve a kind of utopian self-regulating market that in practice requires concrete forms of state intervention in accordance with varying and specific historic and geographic conditions. We then explain how the concept of rationalization and George Ritzer’s ‘McDonaldization of society’ thesis potentially shed light on the processes of manufacturing popular consent to the implementation of neoliberal reforms. In Okinawa, the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) construction plan is integrated in the Okinawan version of neoliberalization, which can be understood more clearly through the lens of McDonaldization.
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These processes stand in contrast to the retreating shopping-mall culture in big cities within the United States today. See, for example, “Is American Retail at a Historical Tipping Point?” New York Times (April 15, 2017).
Carolyn Handa. Visual Rhetoric in a Digital World. (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004), 246.
There is a growing perception that new (digital) media are supplanting traditional forms of mass media and putting greater power in the hands of private citizens, but Sheldon Rampton points out that “One reason things have not changed as much as the techno-utopians imagine is that the traditional broadcast media remain the dominant media today. Television is still the main medium through which Americans get their information about the world. Much of the ferment that I have been describing on the blogosphere actually consists of people discussing what they have seen on TV, read in newspapers or heard on the radio. New media such as the Internet will undoubtedly continue to grow in importance as time progresses, but their actual impact to date is still limited” (2007).
Peter McLaverty, “Class” in Georgina Blakeley and Valerie Bryson (eds.) Marx and Other Four-Letter Words (London and Ann Arbor: Pluto Press, 2005), 46.
Daniel Cahill, The end of Laissez-Faire? On the Durability of Embedded Neoliberalism (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2014), 65–66.
Ben Fine and Alfredo Saad-Filho, “Thirteen Things You Need to Know about Neoliberalism”, Critical Sociology (August 16, 2016). https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920516655387.
David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 2.
Neoliberalism inherits the intellectual tradition of neoclassical economics, “above all the marginalist reaction against both the classical political economy of [Adam] Smith and the Marxist critique which sought to build on what he had accomplished …. dating back at least to the 1830s …. most important thinkers have been those of the Australian School,” such as Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich von Hayak. [David Nicholson, “What was Neoliberalism?” in Neoliberal Scotland: class and society in a stateless nation, edited by Neil Davidson, Patricia McCafferty, and David Miller (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2010, pp. 1–89)], 5. Building on this neoclassical tradition, intellectuals of the Mont Pelerin Society, established in 1947, and the Institute of Economic Affairs developed the idea of neoliberalism and further publicized it; Hayak and Milton Friedman were especially influential.
David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 2.
Fred Block. 2003. “Karl Polanyi and the writing of The Great Transformation.” Theory and Society 32:275.
The observation is hardly fanciful as debate has been unfolding for years over whether teachers ought to be armed with weapons in the classroom. More recently, in a May 2016 interview, Donald Trump observed that, “I’m not advocating guns in classrooms, … but remember in some cases … trained teachers should be able to have guns in classrooms.”
Perhaps the most articulate claim about the benevolence of corporate power appeared in the public discourse in 1980 in a PBS series, Free to Choose. In it, Milton Friedmen directly addresses the camera, holds a pencil in his hand, and uses it to illustrate the wonder and magic of the free market: “There’s not a single person in the world who can make this pencil. Remarkable statement? Not at all. The wood from which it’s made, for all I know, came from a tree … cut down in the state of Washington … to cut down that tree, it took a saw, to make the steel, it took iron ore. This black center … graphite … comes from some mines in South America. … thousands of people cooperated to make this pencil—people who don’t speak the same language, … who might hate one another if they ever met…. What brought them together and induced them to cooperate and make this pencil? … It was the magic of the price system, the impersonal operation of prices that brought them together and got them to cooperate …. This is why the operation of the free market is so essential—not only to promote productive efficiency, but even more to foster harmony and peace of among the peoples of the world.”
Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time (Boston, MA: Beacon Press 2001), 3.
Margaret Thatcher. http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/106689.
Milton Friedman. “Neo-liberalism and its Prospects,” Farmand, February 17, 1951, pp. 89–93.
Op. cit., Harvey, 31.
Cahill, The end of Laissez-Faire? 66.
On the comprehensive examination of the durability of the idea-centric understanding of neoliberalism after the global financial crisis in 2007–2008, see Cahill, ibid.
Polanyi, The Great Transformation, 265.
Neil Davidson, “What was Neoliberalism?” in Neoliberal Scotland: Class and Society in a Stateless Nation, edited by Neil Davidson, Patricia McCafferty and David Miller (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010), 31.
Cahill, The end of Laissez-Faire? 67.
James O’Connor, The Fiscal Crisis of the State (Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick, NJ, 2002), 6.
Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 7.
Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 7.
Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 33.
Antonio Gramsci, Selection from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci , ed. and translated by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (New York: International Publishers,  1992), 262–3.
Gramsci defined civil society as, “the ensemble of organisms commonly called ‘private’.” Ibid., 12.
Antonio Gramsci, Selections from Political Writings, 1910–1920, ed. Q. Hoare, trans. J. Matthews, (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1977), 143–4, cited in Adam David Morton, Unravelling Gramsci : Hegemony and Passive Revolution in the Global Political Economy (London : Pluto Press), cited in Adam David Morton, Unravelling Gramsci : Hegemony and Passive Revolution in the Global Political Economy (London : Pluto Press), 162.
Gramsci 1971, 235.
Gramsci 1996: 200–1.
Smedley D. Butler. War is a Racket, (New York: Revisionist Press, 1974 [reprint 1935]), 9.
Morton, Unravelling Gramsci, 94.
For a synopsis of McDonald’s unparalleled effects on global food production systems and the environment, see: https://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/our-food-system.
Thomas Friedman. “A Manifesto for the Fast World,” New York Times Magazine (1999).
In this context, ‘hidden’ can be understood in two ways: To the younger generations who grew up in the post-reversion era, the militarized local economy is not entirely visible to conscious awareness; conversely, to the older generations who lived through the US military occupation, the militarized local economy is visible. It is visible and present in the conscious awareness of those who both benefit materially and those who choose not to benefit. The former gives willing consent to the conditions and the latter reluctantly.
Fred Block, “Introduction” in Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, xxiii.
Karl Polanyi, “The Economy as Instituted Process”, in Karl Polanyi, Conrad Arensberg and Harry Pearson (eds), Trade and Market in Early Empires: Economics in History and Theory, Free Press, Glencoe, pp. 250, cited in Cahill, 63.
Cahill, The End of Laissez-Faire? 63.
Albert Memmi. The Colonizers and the Colonized (Boston: Beacon Press, 1991), 79.
Neil Brenner and Nik Theodore, “Cities and the Geographies of ‘Actually Existing Neoliberalism’” Antipode, Vol. 34, Issue 3 (2002): pp. 349–79.
On the ‘developmental state’, see, in particular, Chalmers Johnson, MITI and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial Policy, 1925–1975 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1982), and “The Developmental State: Odyssey of a Concept” in Meredith Woo-Cummings ed. The Developmental State (Cornell, Cornell University Press, 1999), pp. 32–60.
Meredith Jung-En Woo, “After the Miracle: Neoliberalism and Institutional Reform in East Asia” in Meredith Jung-En Woo ed. Neoliberalism and Institutional Reform in East Asia (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007, pp. 1–31), 2.
Meredith Woo-Cummings, “Developmental State” in Developmental State (Ithaca: Cornell University Press), 1.
The Anti-FRF struggle in Okinawa since the mid-1990s coincides with the onset of political reforms toward neoliberalization in Japan. Since reversion in 1972, Okinawa became locked solidly in Japan’s developmental state. The developmental state is a concept made salient by Chalmers Johnson and others’ work as an alternative model of economic growth to both laissez faire liberalism and communism. However, as explicated in the World Bank report, the developmental state was considered a variant of neoliberal economy: with hyper-exaggerated state orchestration of market-oriented growth, managed by the ‘plan-rational’ state bureaucracy exemplified by MITI. The equivalent bureaucracy that orchestrated economic development in Okinawa was the Okinawa Development Agency and other delegated authorities reporting to the Prime Minister’s Cabinet.
In Japanese, regeneration is shinko, which connotes conjuring up fire. In this context, it is industry, but the fruit of the efforts is often reaped by mainland economic actors as profit.
George Ritzer, The McDonaldization of Society. (Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press, 1993), 31.
Weber, ibid., 956.
Woo-Cummings, “Developmental State”, 1.
Chalmers Johnson (see note 45) based his analysis of the developmental state on his observations of the MITI (now Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry).
In the estimation of Saint Jerome ( circa 350), if you are idle, you are not being productive, or living out your birthright as a human being. Saint Jerome’s original observation expressed as “Fac et aliquid operis, ut semper te diabolus inveniat occupatum” is the contemporary aphorism: “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” The concept colonizes the minds of many.
George Ritzer, interview by One-Off Productions, 1997.
Robert W. McChesney, “Noam Chomsky and the Struggle Against Neoliberalism,” Monthly Review (50)11 (1999): 1, http://dx.doi.org/10.14452/MR-050-11-1999-04_4.
Barry Smart, “Resisting McDonaldization: Theory, Process and Critique,” in Resisting McDonaldization. London: Sage (1999), 4 (1–21).
Michael Parenti, Against Empire. (San Francisco: City Lights Publishers, 1995). Reprint.
‘Private contracting economy’ refers to both local people and American expats who serve the military complex in all areas of life and community, such as in housing, transportation, medical care, catering, family holidays, leisure activities, touring, foreign cultural experiences, sports activities, dating, and socializing. It also refers to the private technical assistance of multinational contractors specializing in war-fighting and logistical support.
Bertram Gross, Friendly Fascism: The New Face of American Power in America, (New York: M. Evans and Co., 1980), 161.
- Why McDonaldization in Okinawa? Social Relations of Production in the Neoliberal Playground
- Springer Singapore
- Chapter 3