Race and the Origins of American Neoliberalism
Why did the United States forsake its support for public works projects, public schools, public spaces, and high corporate taxes for the neoliberal project that uses the state to benefit businesses at the expense of citizens? The short answer to this question is race. This book argues that the white response to the black civil rights movement in the 1950s, '60s, and early '70s inadvertently created the conditions for emergence of American neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is the result of an unlikely alliance of an elite liberal business class and local segregationists that sought to preserve white privilege in the civil rights era. The white response drew from a language of neoliberalism, as they turned inward to redefine what it meant to be a good white citizen. The language of neoliberalism depoliticized class tensions by getting whites to identify as white first, and as part of a social class second. This book explores the four pillars of neoliberal policy, austerity, privatization, deregulation, and tax cuts, and explains how race created the pretext for the activation of neoliberal policy. Neoliberalism is not about free markets. It is about controlling the state to protect elite white economic privileges.
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1964 Civil Rights agrarians Alabama American argued Atlanta austerity BAWI Big Mules Birmingham black civil rights black-public Boston Brown decision Buffalo busing central business district Citizens Civil Rights Act civil rights movement Cobb Council Forum Films County created cultural debt deregulation desegregation Detroit economic development elites Engelhardt federal funds federal government folder forced busing gas tax Georgia Governor Highway Ibid increased industrial issue labor language of neoliberalism legislature liberal business class magnet schools MDAH middle class neighborhoods neoliberal project northern organized Patterson Permaloff and Grafton political power Power in Alabama private schools property taxes public schools race racial integration racial segregation Reel regressive taxation regulations revenue roads rural sales tax school system schools segregated sector segregation academies segregationists social southern spending tax credits tax revolt tion University Press urban Wallace welfare white flight white workers white-private white-public YMBC