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Histories of Neoliberalism?

by Metatone Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 10:08:27 AM EST

Over the years, I've made quite a few references to "The Right Nation" by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge. It wasn't written to be a history of the way the right created what may be called the "neoliberal project" but in the course of the book, that's what it does.

This convinced me, along with the documentaries of Adam Curtis and all the discussions over the years at ET that part of "how we got here" is that the right engaged in a cultural project on whole range of levels, including:

  • Writing a narrative of the 70s that justified their economics
  • Working to undermine collective action as a justified response to anything

and many more.

All this alongside other projects in influencing academics and politics in a more direct fashion.

So anyway, over this time it seems to me that I haven't read a definitive history of all this - so I'm looking for book recommendations:

Googling led me to David Harvey's book - which andrethegiant wrote about here on Eurotrib in 2007:

European Tribune - David Harvey's 'A Brief History of Neoliberalism'

I've just written a summary (for my own work) of David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism.  Having followed all the excellent diaries here recently on various economists (and Jerome's neolib reference today) I thought Harvey's ideas might be of interest to some of us around here.

Because I've summarized Harvey's work in some detail, the post is quite long, so I will be splitting it up over several days.  The first few diaries will be more or less just a plain summary.  When I get to the end, I will try and open up the discussion with some outside sources (by Harvey and others) to put this particular work in context...

Somehow I've never gotten around to reading it - time to fix that.

So that's the first on the list - but I'd welcome more suggestions...

Did you read the history of the NCE hatchet job on Henry George somebody posted here a couple of months ago?


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 03:27:17 PM EST
I can't recall the name, but yes I did skim that one.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 04:40:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bone up on the Mont Pelerins.

Their is a good organizational history from Hartwell.  He is on their side, but it's still a great book. I also think that there is something to be said for actually reading Hayek.  Hayek was the father of all this.  If you read the Road to Serfdom, and his far less conciliatory  Constitution of Liberty, you'll begin to understand some of the assumptions underlying neoliberalism.

The Mont Pelerin Society is where Hayek brought together the key actors in transmitting this ideology globally..... in 1947.  Hayek and von Mises where there as well as the crew behind the Adam Smith Institute in the UK, and all the principals in the University of Chicago department of economics.   They met in Switzerland (at Mont Pelerin) in order to discuss how to rebirth classical liberalism.  I think it's no mistake to call their 35 year fight to power a successful culture war.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 09:23:32 AM EST
I will suggest reading two shorter papers: Strauss's Vision of a Great Anti-modern Tyrant and its Bizarre American Consequences  
and Leo Strauss' Philosophy of Deception

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 14th, 2013 at 01:10:21 AM EST

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