Overcoming Neoliberalism

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Psychology may have to get seriously political as human aims in living and selfhood itself are increasingly influenced in a deleterious manner by the vicissitudes of living in a neoliberal political economy and 1-sided “enterprise culture” (Martin & McLellan, 2013; Sugarman, 2015). This article reviews recent writings of several social critics, including Jackson Lears (2015), Sebastion Junger (2015), Philip Blond (2010), and Christopher Lasch (1995), who richly flesh out the picture of this detrimental state of affairs. We note that many of these critics have little to say about credible alternatives to neoliberalism. The article then seeks to identify resources within theoretical and philosophical psychology, including hermeneutic philosophy and interpretive social science, for helping to overcome neoliberalism. They might help clarify and nurture a renewed democratic populism or engaged democratic politics and contribute to gaining what Lasch termed a much-needed “wisdom of limits” in today’s society.

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