2011년 1월 1일 토요일

Neoliberalism(s) explained: some readings


자료 1: Neoliberalism: origins, theory, definition by Paul Treanor
(…) A widely quoted example of those 'usual definitions' is What is "Neo-Liberalism"? by Elizabeth Martinez and Arnoldo García:
  • 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....Around the world, neo-liberalism has been imposed by powerful financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Inter- American Development Bank....the capitalist crisis over the last 25 years, with its shrinking profit rates, inspired the corporate elite to revive economic liberalism. That's what makes it 'neo' or new.
This sense of the word 'neoliberalism' is widely used in Latin America. However, neoliberalism is more a phenomenon of the rich western market democracies, than of poor regions. That is why I emphasise the historical development of liberalism, in those western market democracies. The IMF and the World Bank are not the right places to look, to see the essence of neoliberalism. And the WTO ideology - free trade and 'competitive advantage' - is 200 years old. There is nothing 'neo' in their liberalism. (...)
It is possible for 'the state' to suppress 'the market', but also to promote it. In fact, the free market emerged in Europe under the protection of the state, and the market needs the state, more than the other way around. The market needs internal regulation, in order to function: the state, in the form of the legal system, ensures contracts are enforced. In the form of the police, it prevents theft and fraud. It establishes uniform systems of weights and measures, and a uniform currency. Without these things there would be no free market, no market forces, and no resulting market society. (...)

The free market is itself a form of social organisation: it is neither spontaneous nor endemic to humans. If no-one ever promoted or enforced it, there would be no free market on this planet. For thousands of years, there was none. The modern free market came into existence primarily because liberalism demanded its existence. This demand was a political demand, and it was enforced through the state. (...)
Neoliberalism is not simply an economic structure, it is a philosophy. This is most visible in attitudes to society, the individual and employment. Neo-liberals tend to see the world in term of market metaphors. Referring to nations as companies is typically neoliberal, rather than liberal. In such a view Deutschland GmbH competes with Great Britain Ltd, BV Nederland, and USA Inc. However, when this is a view of nation states, it is as much a form of neo-nationalism as neoliberalism. It also looks back to the pre-liberal economic theory - mercantilism - which saw the countries of Europe as competing units. The mercantilists treated those kingdoms as large-scale versions of a private household, rather than as firms. Nevertheless, their view of world trade as a competition between nation-sized units, would be acceptable to modern neoliberals. (...)
The market metaphor is not only applied among nations, but among cities and regions as well. In neoliberal regional policy, cities are selling themselves in a national and global marketplace of cities. They are considered equivalent to an entrepreneur selling a product, but the product is the city (or region) as a location for entrepreneurs. The successful 'sale' of the product is the decision of an entrepreneur to locate there, not simply the sale of land or factories. This view of cities as sub-firms within the fictive 'national firm' parallels the creation of sub-markets within real firms. The difference is, that those sub-markets really exist - neoliberal city governments, on the other hand, act primarily on a belief in a metaphor. Again, there is no hard evidence that the global marketplace of cities exists: for most economic sectors complete mobility of plant and labour is an illusion. (...)
As you would expect from a complete philosophy, neoliberalism has answers to stereotypical philosophical questions such as "Why are we here" and "What should I do?". We are here for the market, and you should compete. Neo-liberals tend to believe that humans exist for the market, and not the other way around: certainly in the sense that it is good to participate in the market, and that those who do not participate have failed in some way. In personal ethics, the general neoliberal vision is that every human being is an entrepreneur managing their own life, and should act as such. Moral philosophers call this is a virtue ethic, where human beings compare their actions to the way an ideal type would act - in this case the ideal entrepreneur. Individuals who choose their friends, hobbies, sports, and partners, to maximise their status with future employers, are ethically neoliberal. This attitude - not unusual among ambitious students - is unknown in any pre-existing moral philosophy, and is absent from early liberalism. Such social actions are not necessarily monetarised, but they represent an extension of the market principle into non-economic area of life - again typical for neoliberalism. (...)

A final summary definition of neoliberalism as a philosophy is this:

Neoliberalism is a philosophy in which the existence and operation of a market are valued in themselves, separately from any previous relationship with the production of goods and services, and without any attempt to justify them in terms of their effect on the production of goods and services; and where the operation of a market or market-like structure is seen as an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide for all human action, and substituting for all previously existing ethical beliefs.

A classic market-liberal would not say that a free market is less of a free market, because only 10% of the population are entrepreneurs. For neoliberals it is not sufficient that there is a market: there must be nothing which is not market.

자료 2: What is "Neoliberalism"? - A Brief Definition

자료 3: 지주형, 《한국 신자유주의의 기원과 형성》 (책세상 펴냄, 2011): 알라딘링크

자료 4: A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2005), David Harvey
자료 4-1: A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey, Oxford University Press, 2005
  • 구글도서: (…) In so far as neoliberalism values market exchange as ‘an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide to all human action, and substituting for all previously held ethical beliefs’, it emphasizes the significance of contractual relations in the marketplace.[2] It holds that the social good will be maximized by maximizing the reach and frequency of market transactions, and it seeks to bring all human action into the domain of the market. (…) ─ p.3.
  • Michael J. Thompson의 서평(...) Neoliberalism, as Harvey tells us, quoting Paul Treanor in the process, ‘values market exchange as “an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide to all human action, and substituting for all previously held ethical beliefs,” it emphasises the significance of contractual relations in the marketplace. It holds that the social good will be maximised by maximising the reach and frequency of market transactions, and it seeks to bring all human action into the domain of the market.’(p. 3)


자료 6: Neoliberalism and the Australian Healthcare System (Factory)

자료 7: Neoliberalism-Definition

자료 8: What is Neoliberalism? (Dag Einar Thorsen and Amund Lie, 시기 미상)

자료 9: ‘Neoliberalism’ and ‘Capitalism’ – what’s the difference? (Jeremy Gilbert, Jul 2015)

자료 10: Steve Keen on The Foundations of Neoliberalism (Feb 2016)

자료 11: Neoliberalism Is a Political Project (David Harvey, July 2016)

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