Sunday, January 5, 2014

What is Neoliberalism?

Neoliberalism is one of the most popular terms in sociology these days. Most people probably have never heard of it. Others likely have found it a confusing and useless concept. Recently, I wrote a short two-page article on neoliberalism for a popular sociological magazine, explaining the basics about neoliberalism.

I then received an email out of the blue from a sociology grad student in Iran, who told me that he had translated my article into Persian/Farsi and published it in a reformist newspaper called ETEMAD (Trust). He added his own introduction arguing that neoliberal policies were also being implemented in Iran, so, in his letter to me he wrote, "the content [of the article] was very enlightening and I found it very important [regarding the] sociological features in Iran's context." I must say that this publication in a newspaper has probably made my work more well known in Iran than it is in the US, etc. The beginning of the article in Persian/Farsi: 

So, does DC have neoliberal policies? 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the link to the article.

    I have a different, more holistic vision of Neoliberalism that looks past the rhetoric and to the reality of it. Neoliberalism is merely Liberalism without its "communistic fiction," i.e., the notion that capitalism must further the common good. Thus, where Liberal governments strove to balance the needs of the market with the needs of its citizenry, Neoliberal governments serve only the "market." I believe Gunnar Myrdal was the first to identify this aspect of Liberalism in his book The Political Element in the Development of Economic Theory, but Walter Lippmann certainly understood this fiction and lamented it in The Good Society. NOTE: Myrdal was co-recipient of the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economics with Hayek, and I believe Myrdal was given this "honor" because his identification of the communistic fiction enabled people like Hayek to distill away such impurities in his formulation of Neoliberalism.

    I've written about this elsewhere, and you might find something of interest:


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