What is the difference between 'New’ liberalism an Essay

This essay has a total of 1510 words and 10 pages.

What is the difference between 'New’ liberalism and 'Neo-‘liberalism, and which is the
more defensible form of liberalism?



Liberalism is an enormously influential western political theory that underpins modern
democracy and more. It structures political systems, bureaucracies, notions of
citizenship, and self, and is often (though not always) conjoint to capitalism.
“Liberalism is usually called a protean political theory because its emphasis has changed
over the centuries and in different places.” (Human Dictionary of Geography 1999)



The liberal school of economics became famous in Europe when Adam Smith, an English
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 wished.



Economic liberalism prevailed in the ‘west’ through the 1800s and early 1900s. The belief
that government should advance the common good became widely accepted. governments started
to intervene significantly in the economy; this trend gathered momentum after World War I,
and became dominant after the Great Depression of the 1930s. People like L.T. Hobhouse
theorized why and how a government could intervene in the economy without the country
becoming a socialist planned economy. They took the name of new liberals, to signify how
they endorsed the evolving tradition of political liberalism, while rejecting the radical
element from the classical liberal school of economic thought as well as the
then-revolutionary elements from the socialist school.The great depression of the 1930’s
also 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.



New liberals believe that while individual freedom should be guaranteed, classical
free-market liberalism had failed to protect the basic rights of citizens, and that
responsible government is the solution to many social and societal problems. New liberals
think of their stance as a pragmatic midway between socialism and classical liberalism.



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



As the dominant discourse would have it, the economic world is a pure and perfect order,
implacably unrolling the logic of its predictable consequences, and prompt to repress all
violations by the sanctions that it inflicts, either automatically or —more unusually —
through the intermediary of its armed extensions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the policies they
impose: reducing labour costs, reducing public expenditures and making work more flexible.
Is the dominant discourse right? What if, in reality, this economic order were no more
than the implementation of a utopia - the utopia of neoliberalism



A general characteristic of neoliberalism is the desire to intensify and expand the
market, by increasing the number, frequency, repeatability, and formalisation of
transactions. The ultimate goal of neoliberalism is a world where every action of every
person is a market transaction, conducted in competition with others and influencing every
other transaction, with transactions occurring in an infinitely short time, and repeated
at an infinitely fast rate.



Some specific aspects of neoliberalism are:


A new expansion in time and space of the market: although there has been a global-scale
market economy for centuries, neoliberals find new areas of marketisation. This
illustrates how neoliberalism differs from classic market liberalism. Expansion of trading
hours is a typically neoliberal policy. For neoliberals a 23-hours economy is already
unjustifiable: nothing less than 24-hours economy will do. They continually expand the
market at its margins.



The emphasis on property, in classic and market liberalism, has been replaced by an
emphasis on contract. Pre neoliberalism property conferred status in itself which is no
longer the case. This leads to entrepreneurs sometimes owning no fixed assets, and leasing
the means of production.



Contract maximalisation is typically neoliberal: the privatisation of the British railway
network, formerly run by one state-owned company, led to 30 000 new contracts. Most of
these were probably generated by splitting services, which could have been included in
block contracts.



The contract period is reduced, especially on the labour market, and so the frequency of
contract is increased. A service contract, for instance for call centre agents as is seen
in Dundee, might be reduced from a one-year to a three-month contract, then to a one-month
contract. Contracts of employment are shorter and shorter, in effect forcing the employee
to re-apply for the job and to hit performance targets on a regular basis. This
flexibilisation means a qualitatively different working life: many more job applications
spread throughout the working life. This was historically the norm in agriculture - day
labour - but long-term labour contracts became standard after industrialisation.



Continues for 5 more pages >>




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