Major Tenets Of Neoliberalism

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Originated during the late 19th and early 20th century, neoliberalism has witnessed a worldwide adoption, and became a dominant economic policy during the 1970s and 1980s. The major tenets of neoliberalism are “laissez faire”, free market economy, and “minimal state”, minimal governmental intervention (Hartwick & Peet, 2009). Leading figures of this economic philosophy, Ludwig von Mises (188-1973), Friedrich von Hayek (1899-1992) and Milton Friedman (1912-2006), believed in the power of free market to maintain economic and social equilibrium. As Von Mises theorized, in a free market, which allows ingenuous pursuit of self-interest and free interaction, individuals would rightly understand each other’s interest and spontaneously come to obey …show more content…
The neoliberal ideas also got spread internationally and took on instrumental consensus such as: reducing public expenditure, lifting import barriers, allowing foreign direct investment, privatization, fair competition among public and private sectors, decreasing state control etc. (Hartwick & Peet, 2009, pp. 84-86). However, this school of thoughts is never free from criticism. Peet and Hartwick (2009) outlined the major counter arguments in their work. First, free market is nothing spontaneous but constant social and institutional constructions. In another word, free market is never free from government intervention. Second, neoliberalism has been idealistic in human voluntary observance of social laws, as competition may drive individuals to evil extremes for self-interest. Third, price system hides more content of commodity production rather than reveal its true worth, e.g. the labor and capital investment, social and environmental cost, and long-term consequences. Fourth, the free market competition benefits the rich/the elite while put the poor into dire conditions. Last but not least, the unified neoliberalism propaganda serves for the capitalist system and neglect other

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