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Neoliberalism: A Social, Political And Economical Concept That Is Based, Among Others, On Classic Liberalism And The Neoclassical Theory And Its Purpose Is Minimizing The Influences Of The State On Economic Events

3904 words - 16 pages

Neoliberalism

January 2010

Introduction

By neoliberalism we understand a social, political and economical concept that is based, among others, on classic liberalism and the neoclassical theory and its purpose is minimizing the influences of the state on economic events. Unlike the laissez-faire of classic liberalism the intervention of the state for guaranteeing functional markets is considered necessary. The idea of reformulating the concepts of liberalism was first put into practice into schools in Germany ,Austria and the monetarist school of Chicago. In Romania, neoliberalism was explained theoretically by Stefan Zeletin, Vintila Bratianu and Mihail Manoilescu. The base principles of this trend were: developing the industry(this depended on the modernization of society and the consolidation of national integrity); upholding the interests of the middle-class; facilitating the entry of foreign capital and the maintaining the universal vote in the Parliament.

History

Earlier systems

Arguments that stress the economic benefits of unfettered markets, in line with neoliberalism, first began to appear with Adam Smith's (1776) Wealth of Nations and David Hume's writings on commerce, leading to Classical liberal ideology based on Classical economics. These writings were directed quite directly against the Mercantilist ideas that had been dominant during most of the previous centuries, and served to guide the policies of governments throughout much of the 19th century. There were, however, several fundamental differences between classical liberalism/economics and neo-liberalism/neoclassical economics, such as the abandonment of the labor-theory of value by neoclassical theory. Nevertheless, statist ideas slowly began to regain a following amongst the intellectuals that had rejected them during the early Enlightenment. State interventionism increased towards the end of the 19th century; in the United States the Progressive Era saw an accelerated movement to re-institutionalize government controls over the economy. With an intellectual and political foundation in place, the onset of the Great Depression and the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union increased support for government economic control as a means of securing rapid industrialization.

Embedded systems

The term embedded liberalism refers to the economic system which dominated worldwide from the end of World War II to the 1970s. David Harvey argues that at the end of World War II, the primary objective was to develop an economic plan that would not lead to a repeat of the Great Depression during the 1930s. Harvey notes that under this new system free trade was regulated "under a system of fixed exchange rates anchored by the US dollar's convertibility into gold at a fixed price. Fixed exchange rates were incompatible with free flows of capital." Harvey argues that embedded liberalism led to the surge of economic prosperity which came to define the...

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