Reddit reviews A Brief History of Neoliberalism
We found 39 Reddit comments about A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
We found 39 Reddit comments about A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
It's kind of funny to see conservatives think neoliberalism is some kind of left wing phenomenon.
Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were two of the greatest proponents of Neoliberalism - free movement of capital, people, goods, and services across borders. Everyone should read A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey.
This book explains the history and thinking super concisely. But broadly, GOP needed a voter base that wouldn't question power of the state being handed over to private industry -- thus they won over the devoutly religious who wouldn't question anything beyond simple morality. Then beginning with Carter, and going full steam with Reagan, to escape 70's stagflation (rising inflation causing a stagnant economy) America rejected the economic theories of the preceding 40 years under Keynes and embraced slow but steady deregulation of all markets and public services, or at least everything they could, under the guise of "small government" and an ideal of the individual. Around the time of Clinton's presidency, Democrats could do nothing but sustain the cycle as Reagan had butchered much of what was previously under government ownership -- to turn the tide back would be far too costly and lose the election, as it would be a total U-turn of the country.
God their constant attempts to redefine "neoliberal" are so fucking annoying. Also the "post-ideological" posturing. How do they not realize how transparent this is?
In a fair society, this book would be in their sidebar.
What John is essentially talking about here is Neoliberalism. If anyone is interested in learning more, David Harvey has a fantastic introductory book called A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Our current economic develop trajectory began in the 1970s and is increasingly creating these enticing investment opportunities for corporations at the expense of the masses. Whether you're liberal, conservative, republication etc., your government has been economically neoliberal for the past 45 years.
Hijacking this comment: Every single person in this sub needs to read A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey
It's short and jam packed with great info.
Edited to account for comments
The Guardian had this great overview of the leftist criticism of neoliberalism a few months ago.
If you want something a little longer but also very good, look at David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism. As /u/ThickTurtle rightly points out, Harvey is a Marxist and that's the approach of the book here. Even if you disagree with the methods, the bibliography is a valuable resource.
/u/leehyori suggested that the article is not balanced. That criticism is correct. It is absolutely a criticism of neoliberalism. However, the term "neoliberalism" is used almost exclusively as a term of opprobrium. Advocates of a radically free-market tend to use other terms for their beliefs. I take OP's use of the term "neoliberal" to mean s/he is looking for these criticisms, and if so, the sources listed are a good starting place. One other book that is worth considering is Daniel Jones's Masters of the Universe. It is more properly a history, but it's a history that goes from the early 20th Century roots of neoliberalism through its economic conceptualization in figures like Freedman to its practice in Reagan and Thatcher. The book argues the three stages are not all cut from the same cloth, and it looks at how neoliberalism in practice is not what it was in theory (among other things).
The term neoliberalism is usually heard in the pejorative sense, often coming from Latin American leaders such as Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales. The term refers to an international economic policy that has been predominant in policy-making circles and university economics departments since the 1970's. The four faces on the cover of this book (Reagan, Deng, Pinochet, and Thatcher) are considered by David Harvey the primemovers of this economic philosophy. Reagnomics, Thatcherism, Deng's capitalism with Chinese characteristics, and Pinochet's free market policies marked the beginning of new era of global capitalism.
Neoliberlism as a philosophy holds that free markets, free trade, and the free flow of capital is the most efficient way to produce the greatest social, political, and economic good. It argues for reduced taxation, reduced regulation, and minimal government involvement in the economy. This includes the privitization of health and retirement benefits, the dismantling of trade unions, and the general opening up of the economy to foreign competition. Supporters of neoliberlism present this as an ideal system. Detractors, such as Harvey, see it as a power grab by economic elites and a race to the bottom for the rest.
> Anyone recommend some useful books that can help me
This can be explained in another way without resorting to the crude personification of cultural movements (like the hippies were lazy and spoiled, wtf?). The concept you're looking for is Neoliberalism. They key thinker of this concept is the geographer [David Harvey] (http://www.amazon.com/Brief-History-Neoliberalism-David-Harvey/dp/0199283273). The basic idea is that during the 70s, labor and capital reached an impasse in which the power of labor (its ability to maintain high wages and good benefits) was getting in the way of capital accumulation, which hadn't been a problem during the post war boom, but became one as western europe recovered and access to oil became problematic. As a result a massive political effort was undertaken, especially during the Reagan and Thatcher years, that involved the dismantling of labor unions and state programs, and deregulation that allowed capital to move east and begin production in asia, a geographical region in which labor can be purchased for far less, with far fewer labor laws. This is also how the process of deindustrialization occurred. The steel belt didn't become the rust belt because American workers were just lazy, it's because it became more profitable to invest in (or to exploit) foreign workers.
tl;dr It's not quite accurate to say that our parents did this to us. Rather it is the result of specific historical period of capitalism in America.
It's not just an insult. They really are neoliberal. They want market solutions to all the things. They will fund the NHS but they want to privatise it. Healthcare is inelastic. It's a service in which the market fails. To try and apply market solutions is just an excuse to extract profit for shareholders.
Liberalism doesn't really say anything about how economic systems or even political systems should work. It's just philosophy about how people should interact with each other. Neoliberalism is an obsessive fact ignoring ideological drive to turn everything in the world in to markets so they can be exploited.
Go and read a brief history of neoliberalsim.
Yeah, semantics aside, I would agree with you that China dodged much of the pitfalls primarily due to not liberalizing their capital account too quickly. Not relying on hot money like Mexico, Thailand, ID, etc likely helped dodge the bullet of the financial crises of the 90's.
SOEs still represent about 30% of Chinese GDP, though most are owned locally rather than nationally and of the latter more than half are publically traded.
However, if China hopes to transition out of the middle income trap, I would argue they need more reforms for underperforming SOE's, domestic consumption, and more liquid and transparent financial markets.
P.S. I said "poster boy" simply because Deng Xiaoping is literally on the cover of Harvey's textbook on Neoliberalism, not because China embodies every facet perfectly.
I'm gonna go against the tide here and recommend that you don't read the older books written by Marx, Engels, etc., and find books that discuss socialism today. Here are some I would recommend:
No no I will not. Your sub could be called John Maynard Keynes for all I care, but if that sub is advocating austerity during a recession it is does not fit the definition Keynesian economics. Your sub and people of your following who identify as "neo-liberals" have co-opted an economic term. That is why the books written on the subject feature such famous political figures as Ronald Reagan and Margret Thatcher.
Seeing Like a State by James C Scott
A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey
I'm surprised at the outrage. Do people not understand that this is how our economy works? Large industries are given all kinds of incentives, whether that's cash, tax breaks and deductions, interest free loans, capital cost allowance acceleration, exemptions from carbon pricing, etc.
Take a look at the effective tax rate paid by corporations, and you'll find that it's much lower than whatever the rate announced by the government is. A lot of companies are paying taxes in the range of 0-10%. This is neoliberalism, our economic philosophy for the last 30+ years. Maybe you need an introduction?
Here you go, educate yourself:
Just sayin... I suspect the wholesale adoption of neoliberal economic policy from the mid 70s onwards might be somewhat more responsible for the erosion of the western middle class than television.
A couple of books give pretty compelling evidence of this:
How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States
In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century’s most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress.
A Brief History of Neoliberalism
Neoliberalism--the doctrine that market exchange is an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide for all human action--has become dominant in both thought and practice throughout much of the world since 1970 or so. Writing for a wide audience, David Harvey, author of The New Imperialism and The Condition of Postmodernity, here tells the political-economic story of where neoliberalization came from and how it proliferated on the world stage.
Anyone with a serious interest in what neoliberalism is would benefit by reading David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism.
Neoliberal policies favor markets and capital, gut social programs, and privatize EVERYTHING.
> From the wikipedia article
To someone who likes to say what others do and do not understand: you don't understand what constitutes a reliable source. Even Investopedia would have provided a more concise, accurate definition: "Neoliberalism is a policy model of social studies and economics that transfers control of economic factors to the private sector from the public sector."
In a North American context, the nomenclature is somewhat difficult to reconcile with the rest of the world. Neoliberalism is more closely associated what is referred to as "neoconservativism" as in the "neocons" of George W. Bush's presidency. We're probably going to see it again under Trump.
Here is a book that will get you started on what neoliberalism means inside and outside of North America. However, familiarizing yourself with the Washington Consenus will give an idea of what mainstream American economists have advocated domestically and globally for the last half-century. The associated "Structural Adjustment Programs" (SAPs) have been implemented more easily outside North America, as they were conditions attached to IMF and World Bank loans (the conditions have since been largely abandoned because they've been empirically shown to not work). But there has also been less resistance since political masters in developing countries have been more easily bought (or supported by the UK and the US in other ways).
EDIT: including sources.
I'd personally start with a few videos, then work your way into literature. The literature I suggest below is intentionally easy to read.
Literature by Marx and Engels:
I guess somewhere around here you can start reading Marx and Engel's other works, with Capital being your priority. Where you go after that is up to you.
Some interesting literature:
There is so much more that I could get into with all of this, but I have work in 2 hours and this has already gone on far too long. If you somehow made it all the way through this and are still not convinced that the original post is a massive misrepresentation of what is actually going on in Venezuela right now, the only thing I can do is point you to some of my sources so that you can hopefully get a more articulate deconstruction of what's going on in a less-clunky format.
The main sources I cribbed from with this post are:
I highly recommend anyone who's interested in the history of Venezuela to read the literature. The history of the people there is not only fascinating but deeply profound, in my opinion. If anyone has more specific questions I'm not against answering them here, but I you'd be much better off just looking into it yourself. Understanding what's happening in Latin America is key to understanding the flow of capital worldwide and you can't be an informed political actor without educating yourself on the dynamics of modern capitalism.
Love & Solidarity.
the danger is that the dude isn't accessible to rational argument. you could give him some homework, and if he does his readings in good faith maybe he'll change his mind. chances are your buddy doesn't think of himself as a racist, so maybe some basic understanding of history will help him out.
but again, probably he's going to feel very skeptical about this whole thing, so he's not really going to engage with the arguments properly. and the problem with wanting to attack things that are systemic is that sometimes you need to look at a large amount of evidence before you start thinking that there's a system pulling the strings.
i think the way people change their minds is by surrounding themselves with folks that have a certain viewpoint -- over time you begin to understand it much better than just by swallowing a bunch of books. essentially if all your friends think that X is a given, you're much more likely to believe X than if half your friends are desperately trying to convince you.
if he's starting to hate his job, and if he's starting to hate capitalism, then that's something that's directly accessible to him, that's something you can work with. stupid example: get him into street fight. they mostly talk about the pains of working minimum wage but it's from a clear left perspective, so they point out the way the system fucks black people whenever the subject does come up. more robustly, try getting him into left spaces (as long as he's not going to be a dick to others there). over time, he'll get to interact with racial minorities on the receiving end of this fuckery, and begin to understand that "hey, if all these folks agree with me that my boss is a dick they're probably on my side, so maybe i should listen to them about black people".
I think r/socialism got a lot of newbies today from the r/bestof link.
I'm highly critical of capitalism, and as far as that goes I was very interested in this sub. Now that I see people will be downvoted and condescended to for offering an opposing viewpoint, I can't say I really plan on spending more time here. Shame on you, r/socialism.
u/todoloco16 gave a pretty good response. My only addition to his comment is a little more subjective. I'm of the opinion that there are many forms of poverty. Determining human happiness based on GDP or GNP is an enormous oversimplification. That viewpoint certainly would assume a poor quality of life in many places where ethnographic accounts show us quite the opposite. I'm not sure if that was the case for China, but honestly I would be surprised if the average rural villager (excluding factors such as war) was happier than her grandfather. If someone is more informed than myself on early 20th century China, please jump in.
I base some of these opinions on Harvey's Brief History of Neoliberalism, where one chapter specifically covers the last 50 years of Chinese economics. In his view, people are suffering much greater abuses (such as working repeated short term jobs with excruciating work weeks, being promised pay, and never receiving it before a factory closes) now than when people collectively owned land and capital (which did have it's own problems, but again, they weren't pseudo slaves as in the current system).
> So what you've stated there again sounds different to the "real" neoliberalism I've had explained to me by others who claim to be neoliberals. This probably because a lot of different things could be seen as "the new liberalism".
Indeed, but how did those you talked to differ from what I said? The views I espoused are pretty consistent with other self-identifiers; see the Adam Smith Institute and Charles Peters.
> Where is it written down what a "real neoliberal" is?
There is no "written" definition because it's not an academic term. As your observing, it means different things to different people, and as with an analysis on "Marxists" you're going have to decide who to listen to. But in none of your character portrayals did you study someone who identified as a Neoliberal or advocated for the ideology.
> As I understand it, the founding text is Road to Serfdom - which reads as pretty libertarian to me.
Neoliberalism goes back to the 1930s and predates Hayek, but he's not a bad place to start. Other good historical texts:
Unlike some other ideologies, Neoliberalism changes because we try to stay up to date with both social justice and economics, which means admitting some of our past beliefs were wrong. This is why conflating us with libertarians is unfair: we don't hold the same beliefs in market divinity as they do.
>The label neoliberal itself, in its modern meaning at least, I understand appeared in the 80s as a means to criticise the policies of structural adjustment, but tracing the ideas back to Hayek and similar thinkers. Therefore isn't neoliberalism whatever those scholars were observing (market fundamentalism), as opposed to something else that later decided "hey no, we're neoliberalism!"
The people who employed "neoliberal" had no qualifications to do so. For example, a book that's becoming more common in Critical Theory discourse is David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism, which is similar to your podcast but makes the same mistakes. Harvey is a marxist anthropologist writing a book about economics, political science, and history, none of which he has any formal training in. "Neoliberal" does not appear in economic or polisci literature because it's not an academic term.
A good analogue for this is to consider "capitalism." The term is rarely if ever used in economics because of how bloated, charged, and imprecise it is. An anthropologist may write a book about European colonialism and all of its destructive, racist madness, and then ultimately conclude that "capitalism is bad", when really this had less to do with an economic system and more to with the age-old process of imperial extraction.
> What you describe just sounds like economic liberalism.
It is, but with social liberalism baked in.
> If the term neoliberalism is broadly understood by most to mean market fundamentalism... Well isn't that it's definition then?
> Again I sympathise that the "real neoliberalism" for one set of supposed neoliberals has been warped by another bunch of supposed neoliberals (see also - the various groups who claim to be the "real Marxists"). The debate could go on forever.
> If almost all people understand neoliberalism to be market fundamentalism, and those who claim to be neoliberal all seem to disagree on what it is, well I'm inclined to go with the most popular definition.
Who is this "other group" you speak of? I'd be very interested to know who you talked with that self-identified as neoliberal before embarking on your project.
The reason why this is important is because of a fundamental query in your presentation: who is your target audience? People who lobby 'neoliberal' as a pejorative already agree with you. Academics won't take this seriously. Neoliberals of my stripe would be offended. Is your intent just to criticize bad economic policies and ascribe them to an ideology? Even this is bizarre because you posit economic liberalism as inherently bad too. I almost feel like it would be useful to go over your podcast line by line, but that would tax not only your patience but your trust in me.
You just keep clowning yourself https://www.amazon.com/Brief-History-Neoliberalism-David-Harvey/dp/0199283273
A brief history
OP, please don't just try and pick up Shock Doctrine. It's pretty much a 2x4 of Leftist thought to the face. If you're interested in the class and labor perspective start with something by David Harvey. He's much less... strident. I would suggest Neoliberalism
There is nothing I said by which you can infer I was a neoliberal; further, as I pointed out, Bush and Clinton are both neoliberal in governing ideology, so that's really the angle you wanted to hit on how they're the same.
Looking through your post history, it looks like you quite like the term. If that's the case, might I recommend either Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism or Peck's Constructions of Neoliberal Reason. Of the two, I prefer Harvey. You might also look into Foucault's lectures on biopolitics, he traces neoliberal thought back through the ordoliberals in Germany.
To be clear, I'm not condescending here, if you are actually interested in these ideas, I really do want you to take them up and if you already have, perhaps we could discuss why you think pointing out the previous presidents support Clinton makes one a neoliberal...
When are you going to start discussing the issues? I suspect neoliberalism is out of your league, since you don't know appear to know anything about it.
>And now even more weird is how Reddit is shifting it toward meaning "(((globalists)))" now.
Afaik Neoliberalism has been synonymous with and considered a direct cause of globalism in economic literature since at least 2005 - see books like this and this. It's also been used similarly by activists for at least as long, see this site from circa 2004.
That said, I've been led to understand it has a very different definition in international relations, so it wouldn't surprise me if it was different in other fields as well.
>Okay liar, this is exactly what you said: "Right libertarian, the modern right libertarian movement is about a state that caters to corporations only"
Yeah, right libertarians want government out of everything, bar enforcing property rights and business contracts by force.
Postpone was the word, I suggest you read this.
>Neoliberalism--the doctrine that market exchange is an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide for all human action--has become dominant in both thought and practice throughout much of the world since 1970 or so. Writing for a wide audience, David Harvey, author of The New Imperialism and The Condition of Postmodernity, here tells the political-economic story of where neoliberalization came from and how it proliferated on the world stage. Through critical engagement with this history, he constructs a framework, not only for analyzing the political and economic dangers that now surround us, but also for assessing the prospects for the more socially just alternatives being advocated by many oppositional movements.
So you can leave the pomo world of alt facts where you believe you are in a left wing syetem, when in fact its a right wing system.
Its better than screaming liar everytime you hear facts that contradict your ideology.
Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey. Although it's not specifically about Reagan, the book covers lots of ideas and policies employed since 80s by not only Reagan Administration on large scale. Book was published in 2005 for the first time and it's amazing how almost everything Harvey describes happened during erstwhile macroregional economic crises is again in progress since 2008. Although the late actions were results-wise mushy at best.
David Harvey put a great book out on all aspects of this horrific event, blaming Reagan, Thatcher, Deng and Pinochet. Of course Murdoch was the prime mover of most of it. Called "A Brief History of Neoliberalism". http://www.amazon.com/Brief-History-Neoliberalism-David-Harvey/dp/0199283273#
It was my understanding that neo-liberal economic policies were about dismantling social services, consumer protections, and trade barriers. Thatcher and Reagan led the way in the 80s - the former famously threw down Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty and vowed to break down government services. Clinton continued with NAFTA and welfare reform.
David Harvey wrote a book about it.
Okay, thats the meat of it I suppose. That also answers the other question I was hoping to as vis a vis what is you understanding how dominant political power functions to insulate ideology. All I can say is that in my world you are the dreaded reality of a neo-liberal society. The result of the deconstruction of the individual's democratic influence on politics through their labor or through community solely relying on the spectacle of a sham electoral process, but I don't think you really care what I think.
You may never see it yourself, but I think over the coming years you might get a peak under the curtain of how oppression functions. I guess try talking to people on the otherside? I have witnessed oppression, I've seen state violence with my own eyes so forgive me if I think this way of thinking is not grounded in reality. Here's a parting gift, Some books (and a movie) that will really piss you off.
(I hope this movie doesn't turn you into a monster)
Keep doing you, never want to meet you
Read this book and then get back to me.
Read a brief history of neoliberalism. It's the dogmatic application of liberal ideology to modern economics that denies the existence of market failures and seeks to make a profit by privatising public assets that they then neglect to demand more revenue. Sometimes manipulatively so.
NHS a public asset? Let's cut it's funding? NHS failing? It needs privatising so it can be managed better. NHS still failing? Let's restore funding to historic levels. Now the billionaires paid in taxes to provide healthcare is now funnelled back to them via their ownership of privatised NHS assets.
No, Ideology. The U.S. holds and exercises imperialist power and does more harm through means that aren't religious than any fundamentalist country can even hope to do. Isolating religious ideology is very, very ignorant of the terrible things that the West does. Please read something, may I recommend this.