I was telling some friends that I thought the biggest un-talked-about story in Unitarianland is the discussion of Neoliberalism that came up during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches early in Holy Week — not the best time for ministers overseas to take note, to be sure.
Andrew Brown, the minister to the Cambridge church, wrote about this at the time (“Neoliberalism’s Destructive Influence Both Inside and Outside the Modern Unitarian Movement, ” April 13, Caute) and so I would recommend you read that; I’m running down the links he suggests and going to find that George Monbiot book I bought and never got around to reading. (We’ve all done that, right?)
What made me think this was important was the how sungly most of us are within a Neoliberal worldview and how that undercuts our faithfulness; limits our ability to use it effectively where appropriate; and (getting back to the issues that were captivating American Unitarian Universalists this Holy Week) distorts the ways we speak with one another.
I was going to write up this beautiful analysis, but by the time I did that (if I ever did that) the moment would be lost. Instead, I recommend the above article — and that we keep it on our radar.
3 Replies to “Reflecting on Neoliberalism”
Thank you for alerting folk to the issue I raised at this year’s UK Unitarian & Free Christian GA because (to my mind anyway) it’s the central, problematic issue of our own times (not least of all because neoliberalism is what is relentlessly driving us into the ecological catastrophe we are facing). A radical, liberal religious tradition such as our own must surely be addressing this with the greatest urgency and insurrectionary energy.
Warmest wishes as always,
I would be most interested to hear if your recommendation of Andrew Brown’s words on neoliberalism has stirred any debate within your circles. I have been seeking to inform and educate friends within the British Quakers of precisely this issue, and I found Andrew’s piece a timely and powerful call upon our attention. I am much encouraged by the fact that neoliberalism is becoming a theme for analysis and discussion within the Unitarian and Free Christian Churches both here in the UK and over there in the States, and wish you every success in promoting its analysis and (hopefully) resistance.
Yours in friendship
No stirrings of note.