Beloved mainly for its violence, the movie Purge describes the US in the near future. Its plot revolves around a key concept, a law: once a year people are free to commit all types of crimes. Although the movie series is not very successful (because of really poor plot development and nothing to offer except for gore), the key idea offers some food for thought concerning modern society. At a certain perspective, the purge law resembles a lot an ideology of neoliberalism.

But what does this fancy word stand for anyway? In its essence is the belief in a free market. Neoliberalists argue that neither government nor society should interfere in the processes of capitalist markets. It stems from the neoclassical economy proposed by Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations which introduces the idea of balance of supply and demand. Consequently, the prices will balance themselves according to demands, supply will be performed in a just way for everyone, and the ones working the hardest will be the ones to earn more. Seems good, except for that it is not. First, the model fails to account for those who inherit wealth. Thus, the rich will get richer and establish monopolies, while the working class will hit a dead end. Second, the neoliberal belief opposes support programs for the unemployed, justifying it with a statement that “poor people are just lazy.” Paraphrasing the second issue, one can surely see that neoliberalism prioritizes economy over human lives.

The Purge has a very interesting way to deal with the growing number of people living under the standard: the upper class, NFFA just lets them kill each other. When watching the movie, the viewer would agree that this method is gruesome and would never happen in the real world. Sadly, it is happening. The logic behind ending quarantine is the same as the one behind neoliberal principles. The governments ended the lockdown because large businesses, such as airlines or hotels, were at a loss. But the pandemic is still there. The working class is therefore exposed to the deadly disease in order to sustain businesses owned by the upper class who do not put themselves at risk. It is exactly what putting the economy over lives and “let poor people kill each other” looks like. Let the purge begin…

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