The Third International after Lenin

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The N Word

Neoliberalism: origins, theory, definition.


Summarising neoliberalism

To conclude, here are summaries of neoliberalism in two forms. First a list of key points in neoliberalism:

· transaction maximalisation

· maximalisation of volume of transactions ('global flows')

· contract maximalisation

· supplier/contractor maximalisation

· conversion of most social acts into market transactions

· artificial maximalisation of competition and stress

· creation of quasi-markets

· reduction of inter-transaction interval

· maximalisation of parties to each transaction

· maximalisation of reach and effect of each transaction

· maximalisation of hire/fire transactions in the labour market (nominal turnover)

· maximalisation of assessment factors, by which compliance with a contract is measured

· reduction of the inter-assessment interval

· creation of exaggerated or artificial assessment norms ('audit society')

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.

NOTE: The summary deffinition of neoliberal philosophy is quoted by David Harvey in his excellent book A Brief History of Neoliberalism.

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