Neoliberalism – A Definition In Under 2,000 Words


It would seem to be stating the obvious to suggest that words are important to a writer. They are the means of clarifying, understanding, and communicating thoughts and ideas both to ourselves, within the mind, and hopefully to others, also. Although English is the most commonly used language in the Western world, there are certain words that, when written or spoken, not only fail to clarify, but can be downright fog-inducing to those encountering them – even writers!

One such word, is ‘Neoliberalism’. It’s meaning is vague and difficult to grasp, and for many a trigger to that shutter of the mind that will reject something for which a meaning isn’t immediately clear. The reason for this is simply that the word doesn’t have one clear definition at all. It’s one of those ‘scholarly’, made-up, euphemistic words that mean different things to different people, while also managing to cover-up the truth of the doctrine it purports to represent.

While many of the pseudo-intellectuals who inhabit the political think-tanks of society – a vision of fat, odorous, toads crowded into slimy, stagnant, pools comes to mind – would vehemently deny this definition, put simply, ‘Neoliberalism’ means the transfer of power from government to the private sector. It’s the ultimate capitalism of society.

Neoliberalism didn’t originate in the U.S. – it was the German scholar, Alexander Rüstow, who is first credited with coining the term at a conference of ‘intellectuals’ in Paris in 1938 – but it was the economist Milton Friedman and that nondescript peddler of strange anti-social ideals, Ayn Rand, who took up the idea in America and ran with it. By so doing, they and their protegees, who included Alan Greenspan (Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve 1987 – 2006), Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher, are responsible for many of the ills facing the Western world today.

It didn’t stop there, though. Neoliberalism has formed the political backbone of every U.S. President since Reagan, and every British Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher.

Let’s be clear, the transference of power from a democratically elected government to a collaboration of corporate business executives bent solely on multiplying profits, is not a good idea for 99% of the human race.

Those 99% have been hoodwinked into believing the most important aspect of the society we live in is its economic status. While a healthy economy is a necessary evil in today’s world, even a healthy economy can act negatively against the vast majority if they’re denied access to the wealth it creates.

This is exactly the situation prevailing today throughout most of the world we all inhabit. And make no mistake, it is going to get worse.

One of the great, modern-day, proponents of Neoliberalism is the current U.S. President, Barack Obama. For much of his eight-year tenancy he’s been rushing around the world converting governments to his – or his backers – ideals. The end result is the Trans Pacific Trade Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Both documents are top secret. Both are destined to become law unless we, the People, stop them.

In May this year, Time Magazine published an article by Simon Shuster on the TTIP, quoting the Dutch arm of Greenpeace, which had obtained 250 pages of a leaked copy:

…the shroud of secrecy around the deal has not only strained transatlantic relations and provoked a massive popular backlash; it has also been embarrassingly ineffective at keeping the agreement under wraps.

On May 1, the Dutch arm of Greenpeace published nearly 250-pages of confidential TTIP documents, a leak that would seem to include most of what Kipping and other German lawmakers were ordered never to divulge. “Our impression is that this is indeed, as we had feared, a document that puts large corporations, corporate power at the center of policy making,” Daniel Mittler, the political director at Greenpeace International, told me after presenting the leaked files at a press conference in Berlin on May 2. He added: “It is not a treaty that is designed to help small business or, indeed, people and the public good.”

…For Merkel and other TTIP supporters, it has been difficult to dispel the misperceptions around the deal when they are not allowed to publish its actual contents. “I think it’s crazy,” says Sigmar Gabriel, the economy minister in Merkel’s government and the deputy chancellor in her ruling coalition. “It’s not only the Americans. It’s also the Europeans,” he told me on the sidelines of the Hannover Messe during Obama’s visit. “We ask if it’s possible to publish what we have agreed, and they say, ‘No!’”[1]

The Americans are dictating terms to European leaders who, it seems, are not inclined to disobey Obama and his lackeys. Why are these deals so secret? Into which closet has democracy been shuttered until these deals are finalised and it’s too late to do anything to stop it?

Try as you might to find a good reason why the public is not allowed to know the contents of these documents, and you won’t find one. There is, however, one very bad reason. At least, it’s bad for society, but good for those who will benefit enormously from the inception of these supposed ‘Trade Deals’.

The TPTP and TTIP are major factors in the transfer of power from governments to an unelected corporate conglomerate which will use politicians as front-men to pursue the steady increase of their wealth and power.

‘Democracy’ will continue but will have had all its teeth pulled. The politician you vote for will have been carefully chosen to ensure he/she supports the corporate masters. Otherwise, funding will be withdrawn, and as we all know, funding is the means by which politicians get elected.

Neoliberalism is a means to an end. That end should incorporate a commitment to improving the welfare and quality of life of society in general, but it does not. The ‘end’ is the establishment of the “New World Order”. Simply put, that means the United States of America subjugating every other nation on Earth, by whatever means necessary, and imposing its version of ‘peace in our time’.

Google “New World Order” and most likely you’ll find it linked to the phrase, ‘conspiracy theory’. It’s not a conspiracy theory, the phrase originated with George H.W. Bush in 1990 after the collapse of the U.S.S.R..

In the aftermath of the 1990-91 Gulf War, Bush saw his ‘New World Order’ solely as a means to stabilise the Middle East. By the use of massive military force against Saddam Hussein’s army in Kuwait, and his eviction from that state, Bush figured the Arab countries would think twice before offending U.S. values in the future:

“I think because of what has happened we won’t have to use U.S. forces around the world. I think when we say that something is objectively correct, like don’t take over your neighbour or you’re going to bear some responsibility, people will listen.”[2]

He was, of course, totally wrong.

The next time the phrase cropped up in U.S. official circles was in 1992 following the U.S. military’s abortive attempts to subdue Somalia and provide relief aid for its starving population. It occurred in the U.S. Army’s official history of the events:

Unable to explain to the world why the United States, the ‘sole remaining superpower’ and leader of the ‘new world order’, was not able to stop the starvation, President Bush ordered U.S. forces to deploy to Somalia.”[3]

In his book, “America’s War For The Greater Middle East,”** (from which derives most of the footnotes in this article) Professor Andrew J. Bacevich describes how, while working at the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, he was made aware of a general consensus among, “Washington insiders, both current and former officials, prominent journalists, and policy-orientated academics who passed through the SAIS…”

On particular issues, opinions might differ. Yet such differences mattered less than allegiance to an underlying consensus. Rooted in a conviction that Washington itself defined the center of the universe, that consensus took it for granted that the fate of humankind hinged on decisions made there.
In the short run, all appeared uncertain. Crises abounded. To keep the world from cracking up, it was incumbent upon America to lead. In the long run, the outcome – freedom’s ultimate triumph – was fore-ordained. This prospect imparted to American leadership all the justification it required, regardless of past blunders or any obstacles that lay ahead.”[4]

What are we, the People, to make of all this?

Neoliberalism provides the means to transfer a balance of power from the political elite to the corporate elite. Of course, the political elite will be well rewarded (indeed, already are!) for this. Both the TPTP and the TTIP are devices to ensure that power-transfer is global, given the obvious exclusion of such nations as Russia, China, North Korea, etc., but it goes much further than that.

The last two decades have seen an explosion in U.S. military ‘information dominance’, coupled with huge advances in robotic weaponry, of which the drone is just one example. It’s known as RMA – Revolution in Military Affairs. Huge tax payer sums are dedicated to inventing and improving robotic weaponry, to the point where the U.S. will be able to wage war at a distance, on computer screens, with no American casualties. The worst of science fiction is fast becoming science fact.

One of the major factors affecting public opinion regarding U.S. foreign wars is the casualty rate. Americans don’t like to see their sons and daughters coming home in boxes. Do away with that scenario, and a U.S. administration would have virtual carte blanche to strike militarily anywhere it deemed necessary in the world.

There may appear little correlation between the attainment of a politico/corporate powerbase, the TPTP and TTIP, and the ‘New World Order’ that U.S. Neoliberals are keen to promote. In fact, they’re all essential components of the same ideal.

The clue is in the quote from Bacevich’s book:

In the long run, the outcome – freedom’s ultimate triumph – was fore-ordained.”

Neoliberals believe America has been charged with a Divine responsibility: to lead the world to a peaceful conclusion. They call it, “The End Of History.” Unfortunately, they’re prepared to use the U.S. military to achieve it. The military machine consumes vast sums of money. Corporate America, it’s tentacles spread wide via the global agreements of the TPTP and the TTIP, will provide that funding, and democracy will have been hog-tied and unable to stop it.

So, there you have it – a definition of ‘Neoliberalism’ in under 2,000 words.

**Footnotes 2 & 3 are the original notes as supplied in his book, “America’s War For The Greater Middle East – A Military History,” by Professor Andrew J Bacevich. It’s a book that every responsible citizen should read, whatever their country. RJA.

[1] “A Major Leak Is the Latest Blow to Obama’s Big Trade Deal with Europe” Time, May 2nd 2016

[2] “The President’s News Conference On The Persian Gulf Conflict,” March 1st 1991

[3] “The United States Army In Somalia, 1992-1994 (Washington, D.C. 2002),9., Richard Stewart

[4] “America’s War For The Greater Middle East”, Andrew J Bacevich, 2016, Random House Books

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