Neoliberalism: The Corruption of Human Nature

By Lester J. Thompson and Jo Coghlan.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 22, 2014 $US5.00

This paper argues that ‘human nature’ is a key factor in understanding the underpinnings of collectivism and proposes that neoliberalism corrupts the innate human need to act socially, ethically, and morally for the benefit of the common good. The evolution of humanity has been grounded in our need to collectivise and act in concert with each other in ways that improve need satisfaction. Evolutionary biology suggests that any economic or philosophical system that fails to conceptualise human systems ―communities, societies, collectives― is flawed and likely to fail in the long term. Adopting this position, this paper argues that neoliberalism, in its all-consuming demand for individualism, rejects the premise and evidence of evolutionary biology. As a result, neoliberalism corrupts human needs and human nature. The lynchpin to a more civilised society rests in economic and social systems that recognise the evolutionary reality that human needs are better satisfied when they act in concert with each other, through activities such as the building of social and economic capital in the welfare sector and through unionisation.

Keywords: Social Policy, Ideology, Governance, Policy Studies, Collectivism

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 8, Issue 2, October 2014, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 22, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 387.545KB)).

Dr. Lester J. Thompson

Senior Lecturer, Social Work and Social Science, School of Arts and Social Science, Southern Cross University, Coolangatta, Australia

Lester Thompson is a Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator at the Southern Cross University (Australia). He currently teaches Social Work students about social policy and community work in the School of Arts and Social Sciences. He has many years experience working as a Social Worker with Australia's Indigenous peoples. He has also worked in social policy administration and then as an academic analysing and writing about Indigenous assistance policy in Australia. His current interests relate to social policy analysis, human social need theory, the political context of practice and motivating factors in the helping professions.

Dr. Jo Coghlan

Lecturer, School of Arts and Social Science, Southern Cross University, Coolangatta, Queensland, Australia

Dr Jo Coghlan is a lecturer in politics at Southern Cross University. Her research interests are in political philosophy from a cultural-rights perspective. She is a regularly contributor to On Line Opinion and publishes extensively on human rights issues as well as the role of the media in shaping views about public policy.