Study Group: Understanding Neoliberalism

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Is there a singular world-view that connects all the crises currently plaguing our planet? How is the climate crisis linked to the global refugee crisis and to the seemingly endless wars in which we find ourselves, no matter who is in the White House? How are trade and labor policies linked to our perceived immigration problems? And, how is all this linked to the inability of the Democratic Party to mobilize a majority of voters who agree with the most progressive policy initiatives? Why have the Democrats failed to stop Republicans from assuming nearly total control of the government, allowing the likes of Donald Trump a path to the Presidency?

How are these issues linked to the growing gap between the super-rich and the rest of us? What are the hidden assumptions that underpin an unjust global economy and a global political system that leaves people on both left and right ends of the spectrum outraged, infuriated and powerless?

Here is a four-session course of study designed to explore the origins and growth of a political and economic philosophy known as “neoliberalism.” Over the course of four consecutive Wednesday evenings, Weavers Way members Susan Saxe, Maynard Seider and Sheila Weinberg will trace how neoliberalism managed to completely dominate other economic and political ideologies, and how it has so saturated the “background noise” of our civilization that policies systematically created by a small class of ultra-rich and their intellectual and technocrat enablers have come to be seen as natural, inevitable and even moral- when in fact they are anything but.

March 22, Session 1: What is Neoliberalism?
March 29, Session 2: How does neoliberalism play out in our two party system? or Why is it so hard to get Democrats to do the right thing?
April 5, Session 3: Neoliberalism and Globalization vs. Democracy and Human Rights
April 12, Session 4: Now what are we going to do about it?

The Course is being offered by and for the benefit of Weavers Way Members.
Participation is free, but space is limited to 20 attendees for each session. Please Register HERE. Kindly register for all four dates, or as many as you can commit to attending.

Susan Saxe is a longtime activist involved with many local organizations including Green Justice Philly, Neighborhood Networks, and Interfaith Power and Light. Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg is a spiritual director, meditation teacher and the author of the forthcoming book, "God Loves the Stranger," stories, poems and prayers on spirituality and social justice. Maynard Seider is a sociologist and writer/director of the documentary "Farewell to Factory Towns?" All three are members of Philadelphia Be the Change, affiliated with the Pachamama Alliance.

The first session will include a definition of Neoliberalism and brief outline of its history. Learn why, despite being sometimes associated with true liberalism on social issues, it is indistinguishable from “neo-conservatism” on economic issues, on the surveillance state and on matters of war and peace. We will look at how this philosophy pervades all aspects of society today, and how it's trajectory has propelled the massive disparities and instability we are witnessing today, both within the United States and around the world.

For more information, contact The Membership Dept.

Reading and reference materials for this 4-part course of study include:

Naomi Klein, "The Shock Doctrine"

John Perkins, "New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man"

David Harvey, "A Brief History of Neoliberalism"

Organizer Name: 
The Weavers Way Membership Dept.
Organizer Phone: 
215-843-2350, ext. 118
Organizer Email: 

The Weavers Way Community Room

Location Address: 

555 Carpenter Ln Philadelphia, PA 19119