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A short introduction to neoliberalism

globinfo freexchange

There is frequently a confusion over the term “neoliberal” and “neoliberalism”. It appears that especially in the US political field, the terms liberal/neoliberal have different meaning, which often brings misunderstanding between people from different countries who discuss political issues on the internet.

Here is some basic information about neoliberalism from Wikipedia:

Neoliberalism is a term whose usage and definition have changed over time. Since the 1980s, the term has been used by scholars in a wide variety of social sciences and critics primarily in reference to the resurgence of 19th century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism. Beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, its advocates supported extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy. Neoliberalism is famously associated with the economic policies introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom and Ronald Reagan in the United States. The transition of consensus towards neoliberal policies and the acceptance of neoliberal economic theories in the 1970s are seen by some academics as the root of financialization, with the financial crisis of 2007–08 one of the ultimate results.

Neoliberalism was originally an economic philosophy that emerged among European liberal scholars in the 1930s in an attempt to trace a so-called ‘Third’ or ‘Middle Way’ between the conflicting philosophies of classical liberalism and socialist planning. The impetus for this development arose from a desire to avoid repeating the economic failures of the early 1930s, which were mostly blamed on the economic policy of classical liberalism. In the decades that followed, the use of the term neoliberal tended to refer to theories at variance with the more laissez-faire doctrine of classical liberalism, and promoted instead a market economy under the guidance and rules of a strong state, a model which came to be known as the social market economy.

In the 1960s, usage of the term "neoliberal" heavily declined. When the term was reintroduced in the 1980s in connection with Augusto Pinochet’s economic reforms in Chile, the usage of the term had shifted. It had not only become a term with negative connotations employed principally by critics of market reform, but it also had shifted in meaning from a moderate form of liberalism to a more radical and laissez-faire capitalist set of ideas. Scholars now tended to associate it with the theories of economists Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. Once the new meaning of neoliberalism was established as a common usage among Spanish-speaking scholars, it diffused directly into the English-language study of political economy. Scholarship on the phenomenon of neoliberalism has been growing. The impact of the global 2008-09 crisis has also given rise to new scholarship that critiques neoliberalism and seeks developmental alternatives.

Also, the great documentary "The Shock Doctrine" based on the corresponding book by Naomi Klein, is a good start on the neoliberal doctrine:


In 1971, Nixon ended the direct convertibility of the US dollar to gold, and as dollar became the global reserve currency, the absolute dominance of the banksters became definite.

Banks and big corporations couldn't wait. Just two years later (September 1973), they proceed to another big experiment, so big that it's still running. Through the U.S.-backed military coup in Chile that ousted the democratically-elected President Salvador Allende, they establish a 17-year dictatorship led by Augusto Pinochet. Chile became the first lab-rat of neoliberalism. Milton Friedman and the Chicago boys advise dictator Pinochet to kill the state and privatize everything. Chile was occupied by big cartels, US interests companies, people suffered from poverty and from Pinochet's cruel regime.

IMF, World Bank and other institutions, were the basic tools for the invation to other countries during the next decades, and the result was always mass destruction for the economies. Today, for the first time, a Western developed area, called eurozone, is being tested.

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