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Introduction To Neoliberalism

Powerful Essays
When the Great Depression hit the industrialized world in the 1930s, many economists and theorists began to speculate how and why this nearly catastrophic economic downturn came to fruition. The theories proposed and policies implemented began to lay down the groundwork for neoliberalism to become materialized and globalized. Neoliberal policies were debated and facilitated by a group of liberal economists who continuously questioned the role of the state within the market. Of these economists, three major theorists have largely influenced liberalism; Friedrich A. Hayek, John Maynard Keynes, and Milton Friedman. In Road to Serfdom, Friedrich A. Hayek advocates for individual freedoms through the rejection of collectivism. He argues that…show more content…
The neoliberal project, in its most basic form, is to disembed capital from these constraints, through the mass exodus of regulations and public, state-led programs. Throughout A Brief Introduction to Neoliberalism, David Harvey provides a cutting and, at times, loose critique of neoliberalism and its effect on the modern world. He argues that through the construction of consent, neoliberals are able to increase the power of the wealthy, especially in democratic societies. This occurs when political questions are made to equal cultural questions through persuasion and co-optation. Directly put, politicians and state actors use the meaning behind ‘freedom’ as a way to justify and construct consent to dissolve market regulations and privatize formerly public institutions. Harvey’s stance on neoliberalism is greatly influenced by his Marxist ideologies. While he provides a handful of sound arguments against these practically globalized policies, there are still gaps of reason and logical throughout his assessment of neoliberalism. By using the arguments presented by Hayek, Keynes, and Friedman, Harvey’s account of neoliberalism will be critiqued and challenged, supporting the notion that as a whole, neoliberalism is frequently…show more content…
He presents neoliberalism as a concrete and stagnate, arguing that there is no room for evolution and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are just ciphers for these theories onto the rest of the developing world. Harvey presents neoliberal as having the presumption of perfect information and a level playing field, a utopian-esque view that results in the concentration of wealth and restoration of class power. A contradicting binary between possessive individualism and the desire to live a collective life is born from neoliberal policies. He argues that although individuals are free to choose what they want, they are only able to choose what the state has put forth as the neoliberal substitute. Simply put, neoliberalism uniformly promotes the pursuit of individual freedoms through the shift of power from the state to unaccountable institutions. These freedoms are constructed through coercion in the form of
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