Inequality is not an aberration that comes with neoliberalism. It is the foundation of neoliberalism, along with its partners in social crime: patriarchy and colonisation. As Sharan Burrow, the Australian General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), puts it so poignantly: “We live in a fragmented world.” The excluded form the majority across the globe.
We must move beyond the false divide between the exploited and the excluded. Whether someone is locked out of paid work or income adequacy, or locked in to insecure, precarious, poorly paid work or some form of modern slavery or servitude; whether someone has lost their job, or is at risk of losing their job, we are all in some degree of danger — some much more than others.
But we are kidding ourselves if we think that the edge is far away, in a different world. Or that any of us can enjoy the privileges that come with being beneficiaries of the sufferings of others, without one day paying the social price.