Neoliberalism and the Mail

The conservative / neoliberal attack on public sector enterprises, namely the United States Postal Service, has worked so well that now I, a leftie, am hating the US Postal Service.  They are clearly understaffed and so I see mail carriers trying to deliver the goods as late as 8 p.m.  God bless them. But when I want a package delivered on time — or delivered at all  (first world problem) — they are no where to be found  And if during a lull time I get through to customer service in under 20 minutes, I get a non-answer.  And so, personally, I’ll go with a privatized mail service (FedEx or UPS) but they, UPS at least, are notorious for treating their workers horribly.  My US postal worker gets treated well, but if Congress won’t back this public service then we all fail. Quandary.

By Noelle McAfee

I am professor of philosophy at Emory University and editor of the Kettering Review. My latest book, Fear of Breakdown: Politics and Psychoanalysis, explores what is behind the upsurge of virulent nationalism and intransigent politics across the world today. My other writings include Democracy and the Political Unconscious; Habermas, Kristeva, and Citizenship; Julia Kristeva; and numerous articles and book chapters. Edited volumes include Standing with the Public: the Humanities and Democratic Practice and a special issue of the philosophy journal Hypatia on feminist engagements in democratic theory. I am also the author of the entry on feminist political philosophy in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and well into my next book project on democratic public life.