An ideological position can never be really successful until it is naturalized, and it cannot be naturalized while it is still thought of as a value rather than a fact. In the case of the lecturers I was talking to, it seems that Capitalist Realism has been so successful in installing Business Ontology that there is no longer any question of evaluating it at all. Business assumptions are now transcendental presuppositions, defining the horizons of the thinkable. It is simply obvious that everything in society, including education, should be run as a business. It is simply obvious that no other criteria can come into play. Hence the reason that my flailing attempts to raise issues of 'justice' were not so much rebuffed as greeted with blank incomprehension.Mark is talking about a union battle at his school and the incursion into academia of the "Reality of Business", but the same notion applies generally, as I was in part trying to get at below, in my muddled manner. The intellectual colonization of the business mindset is near-total. People look at you as if you're daft for suggesting perhaps capitalism doesn't work.
It's looking more and more like I'm going to have to read David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism, from which Mark supplies a quote at the top of the post:
Neoliberalism ... has pervasive effects on ways of thought to the point where it has become incorporated into the common-sense way many of us interpret, live in, and understand the world.This is the third or fourth reference I've seen to it in the past two weeks.