Re: a neoliberal manifesto
Source Ken Hanly
Date 07/06/26/20:12

THERE IS A LINK to a Neoliberal Manifesto at this site
It was written in 1983 but from what I read it is
rather different than what you consider
neo-liberalism. This neoliberalism was simply a
retreat from left liberal values and the adoption of
more free market right wing positions.
I am not sure exactly what the term neoliberalism
means or how it differs from neoconservatism.

Here is a brief definition but obviously not by a

What is "Neo-Liberalism"?

A Brief Definition
by Elizabeth Martinez and Arnoldo García
Updated: February 26th, 2000

"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.

"Liberalism" can refer to political, economic, or even
religious ideas. In the U.S. political liberalism has
been a strategy to prevent social conflict. It is
presented to poor and working people as progressive
compared to conservative or Right-wing. Economic
liberalism is different. Conservative politicians who
say they hate "liberals" -- meaning the political type
-- have no real problem with economic liberalism,
including neo-liberalism.

"Neo" means we are talking about a new kind of
liberalism. So what was the old kind? The liberal
school of economics became famous in Europe when Adam
Smith, a Scottish economist, published a book in 1776
called The Wealth of Nations. He and others advocated
the abolition of government intervention in economic
matters. No restrictions on manufacturing, no barriers
to commerce, no tariffs, he said; free trade was the
best way for a nation's economy to develop. Such ideas
were "liberal" in the sense of no controls. This
application of individualism encouraged "free"
enterprise," "free" competition -- which came to mean,
free for the capitalists to make huge profits as they

Economic liberalism prevailed in the United States
through the 1800s and early 1900s. Then the Great
Depression of the 1930s led an economist named John
Maynard Keynes to a theory that challenged liberalism
as the best policy for capitalists. He said, in
essence, that full employment is necessary for
capitalism to grow and it can be achieved only if
governments and central banks intervene to increase
employment. These ideas had much influence on
President Roosevelt's New Deal -- which did improve
life for many people. The belief that government
should advance the common good became widely accepted.

But 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. Now, with the rapid globalization of
the capitalist economy, we are seeing neo-liberalism
on a global scale.

A memorable definition of this process came from
Subcomandante Marcos at the Zapatista-sponsored
Encuentro Intercontinental por la Humanidad y contra
el Neo-liberalismo (Inter-continental Encounter for
Humanity and Against Neo-liberalism) of August 1996 in
Chiapas when he said: "what the Right offers is to
turn the world into one big mall where they can buy
Indians here, women there ..." and he might have
added, children, immigrants, workers or even a whole
country like Mexico."

The main points of neo-liberalism include:

THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating "free" enterprise
or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the
government (the state) no matter how much social
damage this causes. Greater openness to international
trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by
de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights
that had been won over many years of struggle. No more
price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement
for capital, goods and services. To convince us this
is good for us, they say "an unregulated market is the
best way to increase economic growth, which will
ultimately benefit everyone." It's like Reagan's
"supply-side" and "trickle-down" economics -- but
somehow the wealth didn't trickle down very much.

education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR
THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges,
water supply -- again in the name of reducing
government's role. Of course, they don't oppose
government subsidies and tax benefits for business.

DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of
everything that could diminish profits, including
protecting the environment and safety on the job.

PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and
services to private investors. This includes banks,
key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity,
schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although
usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which
is often needed, privatization has mainly had the
effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few
hands and making the public pay even more for its

"COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual
responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a
society to find solutions to their lack of health
care, education and social security all by themselves
-- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."

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. It is raging all over
Latin America. The first clear example of
neo-liberalism at work came in Chile (with thanks to
University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman),
after the CIA-supported coup against the popularly
elected Allende regime in 1973. Other countries
followed, with some of the worst effects in Mexico
where wages declined 40 to 50% in the first year of
NAFTA while the cost of living rose by 80%. Over
20,000 small and medium businesses have failed and
more than 1,000 state-owned enterprises have been
privatized in Mexico. As one scholar said,
"Neo-liberalism means the neo-colonization of Latin

In the United States neo-liberalism is destroying
welfare programs; attacking the rights of labor
(including all immigrant workers); and cutting back
social programs. The Republican "Contract" on America
is pure neo-liberalism. Its supporters are working
hard to deny protection to children, youth, women, the
planet itself -- and trying to trick us into
acceptance by saying this will "get government off my
back." The beneficiaries of neo-liberalism are a
minority of the world's people. For the vast majority
it brings even more suffering than before: suffering
without the small, hard-won gains of the last 60
years, suffering without end.

Elizabeth Martinez is a longtime civil rights activist
and author of several books, including "500 Years of
Chicano History in Photographs." Arnoldo García is a
member of the Oakland-based Comite Emiliano Zapata,
affiliated to the National Commission for Democracy in
Mexico. Both writers attended the Intercontinental
Encounter for Humanity and against Neo-liberalism,
held July 27 -August 3,1996, in La Realidad, Chiapas.

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