Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Breaking Bad and neoliberalism

A FB IPS thread has been started on this theme, which linked to this article. As to the meaning of the term neoliberalism this one from Wikipedia is my meaning:

"Neoliberalism (neo-liberalism) refers primarily to the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism. These include extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society."

Setting aside the article on neoliberalism, it is definitely one of the show's major themes. The origin of the entire plot is Walter getting cancer and not having the healthcare he should have to pay for it. Hence he's left with no better choice then to do what he did. It's an obvious statement on a system that is so broken that it could care less for some of its best citizens, dedicated teachers.
Neoliberalism then continues to drive the story in that slowly Walter can not only pay for his treatment and take care of his family, but has a lot of surplus. But the big business of drug production and distribution, like legal big business, creates a sense of never enough, of needing more and more money and power in a never-ending, destructive cycle. That process also excludes care and concern for the other, in this case those addicts of the product. That is neoliberalism in a nutshell. Walter becomes the very thing that fucked him over in the first place.

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