WhatisNeoliberalism?

ABriefDefinitionforActivists

byElizabethMartinezandArnoldoGarcia,NationalNetworkforImmigrantandRefugeeRights

Neo-liberalismisasetofeconomicpoliciesthathavebecomewidespreadduringthelast25yearsorso。

AlthoughthewordisrarelyheardintheUnitedStates,youcanclearlyseetheeffectsofneo-liberalismhereastherichgrowricherandthepoorgrowpoorer。

Liberalismcanrefertopolitical,economic,orevenreligiousideas。

IntheU。

S。

politicalliberalismhasbeenastrategytopreventsocialconflict。

ItispresentedtopoorandworkingpeopleasprogressivecomparedtoconservativeorRightwing。

Economicliberalismisdifferent。

Conservativepoliticianswhosaytheyhateliberalsmeaningthepoliticaltypehavenorealproblemwitheconomicliberalism,includingneoliberalism。

Neomeanswearetalkingaboutanewkindofliberalism。

Sowhatwastheoldkind?

TheliberalschoolofeconomicsbecamefamousinEuropewhenAdamSmith,anScottisheconomist,publishedabookin1776calledTHEWEALTHOFNATIONS。

Heandothersadvocatedtheabolitionofgovernmentinterventionineconomicmatters。

Norestrictionsonmanufacturing,nobarrierstocommerce,notariffs,hesaid;freetradewasthebestwayforanationseconomytodevelop。

Suchideaswereliberalinthesenseofnocontrols。

Thisapplicationofindividualismencouragedfreeenterprise,freecompetitionwhichcametomean,freeforthecapitaliststomakehugeprofitsastheywished。

EconomicliberalismprevailedintheUnitedStatesthroughthe1800sandearly1900s。

ThentheGreatDepressionofthe1930sledaneconomistnamedJohnMaynardKeynestoatheorythatchallengedliberalismasthebestpolicyforcapitalists。

Hesaid,inessence,thatfullemploymentisnecessaryforcapitalismtogrowanditcanbeachievedonlyifgovernmentsandcentralbanksintervenetoincreaseemployment。

TheseideashadmuchinfluenceonPresidentRooseveltsNewDealwhichdidimprovelifeformanypeople。

Thebeliefthatgovernmentshouldadvancethecommongoodbecamewidelyaccepted。

Butthecapitalistcrisisoverthelast25years,withitsshrinkingprofitrates,inspiredthecorporateelitetoreviveeconomicliberalism。

Thatswhatmakesitneoornew。

Now,withtherapidglobalizationofthecapitalisteconomy,weareseeingneo-liberalismonaglobalscale。

AmemorabledefinitionofthisprocesscamefromSubcomandanteMarcosattheZapatista-sponsoredEncuentroIntercontinentalporlaHumanidadycontraelNeo-liberalismo(Inter-continentalEncounterforHumanityandAgainstNeo-liberalism)ofAugust1996inChiapaswhenhesaid:whattheRightoffersistoturntheworldintoonebigmallwheretheycanbuyIndianshere,womenthere。

andhemighthaveadded,children,immigrants,workersorevenawholecountrylikeMexico。

ThisentrypassedthroughtheFull-TextRSSserviceifthisisyourcontentandyourereadingitonsomeoneelsessite,pleasereadtheFAQatfivefilters。

org/content-only/faq。

php#publishers。