A gob-smacking website on neoliberalism, from an IT guy: Softpanorama
The majority of content is about IT; but after 20 years, the political/economic corpus of the site is very large.
This is a "slightly skeptical" self-education oriented site that contains resources for university students and the independently minded IT folks, critical of mainstream fads. Most material is related to programming, especially scripting (shell, Perl, pipes, Unix tools) and Unix system administration. But there are also some pages devoted on neoliberalism, toxic managers, energy and some other more peripheral topics. The site is oriented on people and organization with limited resources It might be useful as a self-education tool for those "over 50" IT folk who recently found themselves excluded and marginalized: "without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape." (Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism). See Over 50 and unemployed.
In the neoliberal society we now live you no longer can be purely technical specialist, you need to understand social context of your life as well. Or you will be squeezed mercilessly. Students who are brainwashed by neoliberal propaganda have high chances to become debt slaves after graduation. Debt peonage is not a new normal and universities became basically real estate hoarders and debtor magnets for the banks. Unless you learn the difference between education and indoctrination you have a chance to became " a debt slave" for banks. What used to be applauded as "the middle class" turns out to be simply an indebted working class.
As I said, the sections on neoliberalism, neoclassical economics, and libertarianism are large and devastating. Here are the first two paragraphs of the Introduction to the Neoliberalism section - which has 70 sub-topics:
Neoliberalism is a very interesting social system which by-and-large defeated and replaced both New Deal capitalism and socialism (and facilitated the dissolution of the USSR by buying out Soviet nomenklatura, including KGB brass). It is the only social system in which the name of the system is somehow is prohibited by MSM to mention. In this system, like under socialism, the state play the leading role in enforcing the social system upon the people, brainwashing them with wall-to-wall 24 x 7 USSR-style propaganda and, if necessary, by state violence. So instead of regulating predatory tendencies of capitalism like under New Deal, state became just a corrupt policeman that serve large corporations and against the people. In this sense any neoliberal country is to certain extent is an "occupied country" and the neoliberal regime is occupying regime, much like Bolsheviks were in USSR space. Much like during Robber barons era, when the state helped to squash West Virginia miner upraising in 1912-21.
Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, who exercise they political power mainly buying and selling, the process which supposedly rewards merit (producing market winners) and punishes inefficiency. It postulates that “the market” delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning. In a way "market" is a all powerful deity under neoliberal which makes its a secular religion. As such it is very hostile to Christianity. Among other things it denigrates the power of human compassion.
I have been clicking around the site for hours. It will take days to figure out where the best stuff is. I do have to say, the site is sorta disorganized. Interesting sub-topics pop up in unexpected major topics/sections. But, for me, scanning the site has been like opening presents under the Xmas tree.
You may ask, "who runs this site". That takes a little bit of scrolling. Eventually, you find:
Copyright © 1996-2016 by Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov. www.softpanorama.org was created as a service to the UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) in the author free time.
This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected.
No biographical info is provided. So, a Google search turns up:
Since 1998 he became an albeit controversial, critic of simplistic, pseudoreligious views on the possibilities of open source and the dangers of its commercialization. In 1999 he introduced the highly controversial term "Vulgar Raymondism" and in 2005 coined the names of two philosophical schools on writing open source software: "Software Realism" and "Software Idealism". In 1999 he published two influential papers devoted to analyses and critique of Eric Raymond's views on the development of open source software: "Critique of vulgar Raymondism" and "A second look at the Cathedral and the Bazaar". These papers discuss the similarities between open source software development and academic research. The first paper produced a sharp response from Eric Raymond.
I found the site accidentally. Because I'm on a 1950s kick, I was looking up C. Wright Mills "The Power Elite". That led me to something I had never heard of: The Iron Law of Oligarchy (ILO). Clicking on links about that led me to the Softpanorama article on ILO:
In essence, Iron law of oligarchy postulate that any complex organization self-generate its own elite, an oligarchy that has a disproportional influence on the decisions made in the organization. Such an elite is pretty autonomous from "rank-and-file" members and is little affected by elections. As such Iron law of oligarchy stands in stark opposition to pluralism and suggests that "participatory democracy" is a utopian ideal and that democracy is always limited to very narrow strata of existing oligarchy (top 0.01% in the USA). It also stands in opposition to state autonomy theory.
Notice that this topic is under the "Political Skeptic" section of the website. As I said, navigation of the site is tricky.
If anyone is already aware of the website, please share your knowledge and opinions. I also encourage folks who went there based on this OP to share links to interesting parts of the site.