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Thread: Neoliberalism

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    Neoliberalism

    Would the panel like to provide a current definition of Neoliberalism? The word gets bandied about a lot and I suspect different factions use it to mean very different things, it would be illuminating to find agreement. We could, for example, find pithy examples of its use rather like a dictionary might, and from that set of examples we might then agree either a core meaning common to all or discover there's several distinct contradictory common uses.

    In order to focus on the distinction of the term we might have to also give working definitions for the following words as well. These words are only useful if they reflect different circles on a political Venn diagram. Ideally we ought to be able to construct exactly that diagram by the time we're done, I certainly couldn't do that at the moment.

    Democrat
    Republican
    Liberal
    Socialist
    Conservative
    Radical

    They've all meant different things to different generations. Where do the words stand today?
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    Re: Neoliberalism

    There is, for example, a peculiarity about Radical, in that it has no meaning on its own.

    You can be a radical socialist or a radical conservative. Radical is a modifier, it means "reverting to the roots" of a political philosophy.

    It has been used in the sense of Firebrand in the past, possibly because each generation only applies Radical as shorthand for one group, but Radical Socialism is a very different beast to Radical Conservatism. Describing anyone as a radical fails to indicate where he lies on the political spectrum but I suspect it implies he's further from the center ground than he would be without the label. Maybe that would not in fact be true, perhaps radicals are actually the ones occupying the centre ground.
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    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
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    Re: Neoliberalism

    I take it that Conservative and Liberal are complementary labels, though how they apply to current usage has me very confused. A Conservative wishes to retain existing mechanisms with as few changes as would be practical. Given that the past has frequently been paternalist, antisocial, pyramidal, with a rich powerful elite ruling over a mass of hungry unorganized workers, conserving that system strikes me as being radically conservative.

    I have no idea what conservatism would be like if it rejected its roots. The thread needs dialogue if this notion is to be developed, I can't build it on my own, I'm too ignorant. Does a conservative invariably hanker after the good old days while a socialist is always trying to build a better tomorrow? We need examples to demonstrate the truth.
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    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

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    Re: Neoliberalism

    Then we have Liberal. A Liberal, I take it, would like the minimum degree of government and law that would be consistent with whatever society actually wants to achieve. I'm bringing to mind the two underlying legal frameworks which Western philosophy has so far developed, either "You can do anything you like if it's not forbidden by law" or "you can do nothing unless it's explicitly permitted by law". As far as I can see, the first of those is "Liberal" and the other is - I'm searching for a word but the only one I can think of at the moment is "French". No, I'm not joking, again I'm merely out of my depth.
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    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

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    Re: Neoliberalism

    They also mean different things on either side of the atlantic.

    The word socialist in particular gets used as an insult yet when you ask someone (in the UK that is) condemning socialism why they want to do away with the nhs, the welfare state, free education, social housing workers rights etc etc they seem unaware that those are all socialist policies ad in their day highly radical concepts. Adam Smith was a socialist for all he is regarded as the father of capitalism he also advocated free education,access to tertiary education health care, the education of females A healthy well educated workforce that is capable of progressing is an economic asset spending on education is an investment in the future. mow we have an education secretary that sees the purpose of education as being to prepare people for the workforce while cutting back spending.

    It's the same with liberal. Who in their right minds is against equal rights for all, free speech freedom from religious persecution yet liberal is a swearword used to undermine those very things. The religious right - and right wing is a very european term when the church and deputies supporting the king sat on the right of the french parliament - now argue against those every hard won concepts and liberties be it the catholic church in poland and ireland or the protestant churches in northern ireland or the USA.

    Democrat republican? I'm not an American I can't help you there. Labour are losing it in scotland because they are not socialist any more nor are the lobdems liberal they just tell lies.

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    Re: Neoliberalism

    Quote Originally Posted by gmc View Post
    those are all socialist policies ad in their day highly radical concepts.
    I'd say they were highly innovative concepts when they were begun. I can't think of any previous socialist political movements in Britain before industrialisation - 1750, if we want a starting date. Who was socialist before 1750? A few fringe elements like the Levellers? The men of Kent on the field of Blackheath in 1381 under John Ball and Wat Tyler? I can think of no political group, just those very few momentary glimpses of socialist thought which immediately disappeared.

    Perhaps our use of words differs? I get the feeling you might use radical to mean novel, many people seem to. It may be the current meaning, I'm not sure. If it does mean novel then I don't know how it got there. I thought Socialism back then was a new untested approach to governance but you describe it as highly radical. Do you mean radical as new and untested, or do you mean it was going back to a core principle which existed in the past?
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    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

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    Re: Neoliberalism

    When I refer to neoliberal/neoliberalism, I am referring to Reagan Economics/Reagan Democrats, Clinton Economics/Clintonites. That encompasses the two main US political parties and reveals that there really is no daylight philosophically between them, other than the difference of the industries preferred by each party. For example. Today's Republicans rally around and support fossil fuels, gun manufacturers, ultra-religious Christianity, while Democrats rally around and support The AMA, Insurance, pharma. Both parties support each other's preferred sectors in the background, but they openly promote those sectors that feed them monetarily through political support mainly.

    Both party establishments support and advocate anything the Pentagon/military complex demand of them, and both have unwavering support for American Exceptionalism, Nationalism, Patriotism.

    Donal Trump is as much a Neoliberal as Nancy Pelosi. The difference between them is an illusion created by a mindset that is capitalistic at its core. This mindset is what those who support Trump call The Deep State, though they don't really understand what they mean by the term outside of the intelligence community.

    One site I found is https://corpwatch.org/article/what-neoliberalism
    "Neo-liberalism" is a set of economic policies that have become widespread during the last 25 years or so. Although the word is rarely heard in the United States, you can clearly see the effects of neo-liberalism here as the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer.
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    Re: Neoliberalism

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahso! View Post
    When I refer to neoliberal/neoliberalism, I am referring to Reagan Economics/Reagan Democrats, Clinton Economics/Clintonites. That encompasses the two main US political parties and reveals that there really is no daylight philosophically between them, other than the difference of the industries preferred by each party. For example. Today's Republicans rally around and support fossil fuels, gun manufacturers, ultra-religious Christianity, while Democrats rally around and support The AMA, Insurance, pharma. Both parties support each other's preferred sectors in the background, but they openly promote those sectors that feed them monetarily through political support mainly.

    Both party establishments support and advocate anything the Pentagon/military complex demand of them, and both have unwavering support for American Exceptionalism, Nationalism, Patriotism.

    Donal Trump is as much a Neoliberal as Nancy Pelosi. The difference between them is an illusion created by a mindset that is capitalistic at its core. This mindset is what those who support Trump call The Deep State, though they don't really understand what they mean by the term outside of the intelligence community.

    One site I found is https://corpwatch.org/article/what-neoliberalism
    I agree entirely that you've described the current usage, yes.

    Perhaps I'm trying to establish the reason the word Neoliberal is applied to this way of thinking in America.

    Would you agree there is a common thread between Neoliberal and Liberal, in that both seek to minimise as much legal restraint on individuals and corporations as they can achieve? My contrast is that Socialists attempt to constrain individuals and corporations for the benefit of society as a whole. Do we therefore have two Venn diagram circles using those labels, Neoliberal and Liberal in one circle and Socialist in the other, which choose to overlap as little as possible?

    Underlying Neoliberal and Conservative is the question of whether both hanker after the good old days when individuals and corporations were unrestrained before there was the breakup of monopoly capitalism, the tearing apart of the railroads and phone companies. If both have this same objective, to allow these monopolies (like Facebook and Google and Microsoft, for instance), then I suggest both Neoliberal and Conservative circles on our Venn diagram have a pretty substantial overlap.
    Nullius in verba|||||||||||
    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

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    Re: Neoliberalism

    Quote Originally Posted by gmc View Post
    Who in their right minds is against equal rights for all
    Ah. Well. There you open an extra can of worms. Practically everyone in modern politics is against equal rights for all. I'll take America as my example because it's like knocking over coconuts at the fairground.

    If you live in America but you aren't allowed to register as a citizen, you have no right to participate in the political system at all. There are major disincentives to even participate in the legal economy. This exclusion applies to at least 5% of the entire population and it has an equivalence in Britain.

    If you live in America but you're in jail, or (increasingly) you have previously been convicted of a sufficiently serious crime, you have no right to participate in the political system at all. This exclusion applies to at least another 2% of the entire population and also has an equivalence in Britain.

    The present course of American politics is to exclude groups of people from equal rights. There's talk of requiring an otherwise qualified elector to have accommodation before being allowed to vote, to have an income, to pay taxes, there's quite a list of proposed modifications to the electoral franchise. The accommodation one already applies as far as I know.

    Finally, in both America and Britain if you aren't yet 18 years old you have no right to participate in the political system either. You're treated the same way criminals and unregistered aliens are.

    Equal Rights For All is a mantra which has no meaning unless the exclusions are made very clear while chanting it.
    Nullius in verba|||||||||||
    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

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    Re: Neoliberalism

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    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    Perhaps I'm trying to establish the reason the word Neoliberal is applied to this way of thinking in America.
    Personally, I use the label for purposes of impact. "Liberal" means nothing more than 'left of center' by today's media, and has very little significance. Saying "neoliberal" causes people to say "what's this?". After "neoliberal" has lost its impact, we can change it to something different like, say, "Pissheadliberalism".
    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    Would you agree there is a common thread between Neoliberal and Liberal, in that both seek to minimise as much legal restraint on individuals and corporations as they can achieve?
    I would.
    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    My contrast is that Socialists attempt to constrain individuals and corporations for the benefit of society as a whole.
    I'd agree.
    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    Do we therefore have two Venn diagram circles using those labels, Neoliberal and Liberal in one circle and Socialist in the other, which choose to overlap as little as possible?
    I'd say that's probably accurate.
    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    Underlying Neoliberal and Conservative is the question of whether both hanker after the good old days when individuals and corporations were unrestrained before there was the breakup of monopoly capitalism, the tearing apart of the railroads and phone companies. If both have this same objective, to allow these monopolies (like Facebook and Google and Microsoft, for instance), then I suggest both Neoliberal and Conservative circles on our Venn diagram have a pretty substantial overlap.
    Agreed.
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”
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    I have only one thing to do and that's
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