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Discussion Guide

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Discussion Guide

Part A

Analytical questions:

  1. In what ways is neoliberalism antidemocratic and authoritarian?
  2. Is neoliberalism as progressive as it is depicted to be?

Comment/reaction: Even though neoliberalism is founded on the premise of free trade and free movement of goods from one region to another, the fact that it is promoted by specific organizations and governments results in its endorsing overbearing regulations that might the level of capitalism that it seeks to endorse.

Current news article: Monbiot, George. Neoliberalism- The Ideology at the Root of All Our Problems. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot. Accessed 14 Mar., 2017.

Which 3 countries and 4 leaders are associated with its global beginnings and when?

Deng Xiaoping is attributed with the role of introducing liberalization to the world in 1978. As a leader of an economy that was ruled by communists and which accounted for a significant portion of the world’s population, Deng used liberalization as a means of converting China from a closed communist economy into a capitalist nation with unmatched economic growth. Paul Volcker and President Ronald Regan are two American leaders that are associated with the propulsion of liberalization in the globe. As the head of the US Federal Reserve, Volker introduced liberalization in 1979 as a way of altering and modifying the existing monetary policy by adopting methods and ways aimed at fighting against inflation in the country irrespective of its consequences. In 1980, President Reagan supported the moves introduced by Volker as a way of revitalizing the American economy. The fourth leader associated with this concept is Margaret Thatcher who in 1979, as the British Prime Minister, was tasked with the role of fending off power accorded to the trade unions and which had resulted in an extensive inflationary inactivity that had affected the United Kingdom throughout the 1970s.

When and where was the “first experiment with neoliberal state formation”?

The first experiment with neoliberal state formation took place in Chile in 1973. On 11 September of that year, Pinochet led a coup against Salvador Allende, the country’s legitimate leader, due to his attempt to drive Chile towards socialism by using violence to curb any political organizations and social movements that supported the inception of socialist economy into the country. The coup was received huge support from international companies in the United States as well as the American Secretary of State.

What 3 international financial institutions are among the main groups spreading neoliberalism?

The three main international financial institutions that are promoting neoliberalism in the world include the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The three organizations are tasked with the role of regulating trade and finance in the world, which has provided them with enough room to promote the adoption of neoliberalism concepts in various parts of the world.

Define neoliberalism

Neoliberalism is a term used to refer to a political-economic theory which stipulates that the most effective method of advancing the wellbeing of the citizens is by providing them with entrepreneurial skills and freedom through a well-defined institutional framework that is comprised of free trade, free markets, and resilient private property rights. For such a framework to exist, it is the duty of the state to establish and maintain appropriate institutional frameworks that would facilitate such an economy.

What are characteristic policies associated with neoliberalism?

The characteristic policies associated with neoliberalism include free trade, free markets, and protection of individual property rights. It is also characterized by a stable currency, military as well as legal defense structures, established markets, and minimum state intervention in its markets.

What are the goals of neoliberalism, explicit and implicit?

Neoliberalism seeks to prevent a catastrophic turn of events that would negatively affect the world’s economy through the collapse of its capitalist order. It is also a means through which inter-state rivalries that could lead to war can be avoided and prevented. Additionally, neoliberalism is fundamental in maintaining a state of peace and serenity within any given state by establishing a state of concession between its capital and labor.

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