Neoliberalism  

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"It is clear that many hippie leaders became in the 1980s perfect yuppies, including the great leader Jerry Rubin, turned Reagan activist and neo-liberal convinced Republican. In France, Michel Clouscard was the main thinker to have predicted this transformation, seeing in the hippie movement a simple internal crisis of American capitalism, which far from being threatened was to emerge only stronger from these events. He crystallized this idea in his concept of "liberal-libertarian"." --Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Neoliberalism or neo-liberalism is the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism and free market capitalism, which constituted a paradigm shift away from the post-war Keynesian consensus that had lasted from 1945 to 1980. Neoliberalism is generally associated with policies of economic liberalization, including privatization, deregulation, free trade, austerity, and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society. However, the defining features of neoliberalism in both thought and practice have been the subject of substantial scholarly debate.

English-speakers have used the term "neoliberalism" since the start of the 20th century with different meanings, but it became more prevalent in its current meaning in the 1970s and 1980s, used by scholars in a wide variety of social sciences as well as by critics. The term is rarely used by proponents of free market policies.

Some scholars have described the term as meaning different things to different people as neoliberalism has "mutated" into geopolitically distinct hybrids as it travelled around the world. As such, neoliberalism shares many attributes with other concepts that have contested meanings, including democracy.

The definition and usage of the term have changed over time. As an economic philosophy, neoliberalism emerged among European liberal scholars in the 1930s as they attempted to revive and renew central ideas from classical liberalism as they saw these ideas diminish in popularity, overtaken by recognition of the need to control markets, following the great depression and manifested in policies designed to counter the volatility of free markets, and mitigate their negative social consequences. The impetus for this development arose from a desire to avoid repeating the economic failures of the early 1930s, which was identified to be created by the economic policy of classical liberalism.

When the term entered into common use in the 1980s in connection with Augusto Pinochet's economic reforms in Chile, it quickly took on negative connotations and was employed principally by critics of market reform and laissez-faire capitalism. Scholars tended to associate it with the theories of Mont Pelerin Society economists Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and James M. Buchanan, along with politicians and policy-makers such as Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan. Once the new meaning of neoliberalism became established as a common usage among Spanish-speaking scholars, it diffused into the English-language study of political economy. By 1994, with the passage of NAFTA and with the Zapatistas' reaction to this development in Chiapas, the term entered global circulation. Scholarship on the phenomenon of neoliberalism has been growing over the last few decades.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Neoliberalism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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