Understanding Neoliberalism: Course Starts March 22

What is the world view that connects the dots of the escalating crises that plague our planet? Why does the astronomical wealth gap between the super-rich and the rest of us continue to grow, and how is that linked to climate change, immigration, mass incarceration, the decline of the labor movement and the seemingly endless wars that rage on, no matter who is in the White House?

Why has the Democratic Party been unable or unwilling to mobilize the clear majority of voters who agree with progressive policy initiatives into a force that could have prevented the almost complete Republican takeover of the levers of power nationwide and the ascent of an unhinged authoritarian to the presidency? What are the hidden assumptions that underpin a rigged and unjust global economy and political system that leave both left and right frustrated, infuriated and feeling powerless to achieve change?

Join us, three members of Philadelphia Be the Change, to explore these questions and their link to the origins and and growth of the political and economic philosophy known as “neoliberalism.”

Susan Saxe is a longtime activist involved with many local political organizations.

Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg is a spiritual director, meditation teacher and the author of the forthcoming book, “God Loves the Stranger.”

Maynard Seider is a sociologist and writer/director of the documentary “Farewell to Factory Towns?”

In this free, four-session study group (with optional followup), we will trace how neoliberalism achieved dominance over other economic and political systems and how it has so saturated the “background noise” of our civilization that policies systematically created by the ultra-rich and their intellectual and technocrat enablers have come to be seen as natural, inevitable and even moral when in fact they are anything but.

We will pull away the veils of illusion to show how neoliberalism, like the “divine right of kings” and other narratives of power, does not descend from “on high” or derive from natural law but is simply a story designed to justify the unchecked depredations of the ruling class. As such it is not inevitable or immutable but can be named, understood and, yes, dismantled.

The group will meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on four consecutive Wednesdays, beginning March 22, at 555 Carpenter Lane. Registration is requested; visit the Weavers Way Online Calendar under March 22 for a link and more information, including a reading list.