Privatization gets to the heart of the theft of ’empowerment’ from the left. Alongside the purely economic sense of privatization, there’s a sociopolitical sense of privatization that encourages individuals to focus on their privatized troubles, rather than on public issues, which as Dag Leonardsen explains, “transcend the local environment of the individual and concern the broader society and its structure.” If people experiencing poverty are expected to purchase their own ‘low-cost’ housing, it then becomes a private and individual responsibility on their part, rather than a public obligation. In the examples of empowerment I cited from Microsoft and Pearson, their tools are marketed along the same individualistic lines, and systemic problems are transformed into personal problems of motivation and individual style. Empowerment sounds “activist and conservative at once”.
“As someone who accurately identitied that raging fever I’ll concede that “corporate” reformers may not be the best description. Rather it was the hedge fund plutocrats of the Financial Privatization Cabal who were most responsible for seeking the privatization of public education.”
Why deem the “corporate” reformers the Financial Privatization Cabal? Because most of the money came from hedge fund and other financial services titans. They ardently seek privatization. And as they knew transparency would be the death of their plot, their strategy depended on a secret cabal.