This chapter considers the development and extent of the neoliberal life support system that any new or alternative ideas will be required to either negate or bypass. It traces the means by which the pre-neoliberal "Keynesian" synthesis – the earlier equally dominant conventional wisdom – was displaced. The chapter then examines the state of play in the other factors likely to catalyse a shift in the insecurity cycle – including crises, democratic movements and political representation and support – before speculating on the most likely developments ahead. Since the nineteenth century, the inequality, poverty and inadequate public services that have typically accompanied economic liberalism have long provided a basis for the chronic crisis experienced by an ever-increasing number of people. The "New Labour" government which took office in 1997 could have taken steps to restore collective wage determination and revive the contributory principle as the basis of social security.