Thursday, 1 September 2016

The myth of neoliberalism

Colin Talbot writes on The Myth of Neoliberalism. Not everyone will agree with Talbot but his piece is worth talking a few minutes to read. And think about.

First he makes the point that,
Neoliberalism is a myth. It’s a pervasive myth on one side of politics – the left. But it is nevertheless a myth.
and he adds
Let’s start with one simple and obvious fact – no-one claims to be a neoliberal.
Which, as he says, is rather odd. I know libertarians and I know classical liberals but I'm not sure I know anyone who does claim to be a "neoliberal". I know people who have been called "neoliberal" by others but they themselves don't use the term.

Talbot goes on to note
‘Neoliberalism’ has become a term of abuse and an obstacle to serious thinking about what is, and is not, happening in politics and public policy.
and he ends by saying,
Neoliberalism is a convenient myth invented by opponents of any type of pro-market reform or political position that recognizes markets may – in the right circumstances – be a good thing. Everyone from moderate social democrats to the most lurid free-marketeers gets lumped together under a convenient ‘neoliberal’ label. I suppose it saves the bother of actually thinking, but otherwise it is not helpful.
After reading much stuff written by those who oppose "neoliberalism", I still don't know what those who use the term actually mean by it. It seems to mean different things to each user of the term. It would be better if someone could come up with a discussion of just what its characteristics are and how it differs from ideas like libertarianism and classical liberalism.

1 comment:

Mark Hubbard said...

Totally agree with this, other than there's a bit of a wiffy smell coming from Talbot's, quote: 'markets ... in the right circumstances ...'