the Slavery Model and neoliberalism

Neoliberalism is based on the Slavery Model of society, in which high inequality gives rise to poor social relations, including low social capital (low involvement in community life and low levels of trust), inegalitaritarian and antidemocratic values, high levels of hostility and high rates of homocide, high levels of status competition and stress, and high mortality.

While this social-psychological result is examined intensively in Richard Wilkinson’s The Impact of Inequality (2005), I term this political-economic regime the Slavery Model because in the US we find its most ideal form represented in all the former slave states, as well as the states of New York, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, and Michigan. A graph of the relationship between inequality and poor social relations, transposed from figure 92 in Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone (2000), can be found in Wilkinson’s The Impact of Inequality, P. 45.


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