Interview - On Neoliberalism An Interview with David Harvey by Sasha Lilley A BRIEF HISTORY OF NEOLIBERALISM by David Harvey BUY THIS BOOK

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On Neoliberalism: An Interview with David Harvey by Sasha Lilley A BRIEF HISTORY OF NEOLIBERALISM by David Harvey BUY THIS BOOK Neoliberalism has left an indelible, smoldering mark on our world for the last thirty years. Eminent Marxist geographer David Harvey, author of A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford, 2005), spoke earlier this year to Sasha Lilley, of the radical radio program Against the Grain, about the origins and trajectory of the neoliberal creed. SL: Could you give us a working definition of "neoliberalism" -- a term that's particularly confusing to people in the US who associate liberalism with socially progressive policies? DH: There are two things to be said. One is, if you like, the theory of neoliberalism and the other is its practice. And they are rather different from each other. But the theory takes the view that individual liberty and freedom are the high point of civilization and then goes on to argue that individual liberty and freedom can best be protected and achieved by an institutional structure, made up of strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade: a world in which individual initiative can flourish. The implication of that is that the state should not be involved in the economy too much, but it should use its power to preserve private property rights and the institutions of the market and promote those on the global stage if necessary. SL: Talk about the intellectual origins of neoliberal thought associated with the Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek. DH: Liberal t heory goes back a very long way, of course, to the 18th century: John Locke, Adam Smith, and writers of that sort. Then economics changed quite a bit towards t he end of the 19th century and neoliberalism is a really revival of the 18th century liberal doctrine about freedoms and individual liberties connected to a very specific view of the market. And the leading figures in that ar e Milton Friedman in this country and Friedrich Hayek in Austria. In 1947 they formed a society to promote neoliberal values called the Mont Pelerin Society. It was a minor society but it got a lot of support from wealthy contributors and corporations to polemicize on the ideas it held. SL: Did this group see their role as promoters of these ideas in the political realm?
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DH: They took the view that state interventions and state domination were something to be feared. And they weren't only talking about fascism and communism, but they were also talking about the strong welfare state constructions that were then emerging in Europe in the postwar period and also talking about any kind of government intervention into how the market was working. They saw their role as very political, not only against fascism and communism, but also against the power of the state, and particularly against the power of the social democratic state in Europe. SL: The welfare state was characterized by a compact of sorts between labor and capital, the idea of a
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This note was uploaded on 02/10/2010 for the course ANTH 4310 taught by Professor Alley during the Fall '09 term at Auburn University.

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Interview - On Neoliberalism An Interview with David Harvey by Sasha Lilley A BRIEF HISTORY OF NEOLIBERALISM by David Harvey BUY THIS BOOK

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