Thursday, June 28, 2012

Who created the ideology of a 'natural' market?


The ideology of a 'natural' market within large modern industrial 'economies' was the central project of the Neoliberal movement.  

Neoliberalism (according to one economic historian, at least) was launched in Paris in August 1938.  At a colloquium to discuss the work of Walter Lippmann.  "It was a movement against planning as a method of concentrating and deploying expert knowledge. neoliberalism proposed an alternative ordering of knowledge, expertise, and political technology that it named “the market.”... Its political challenge to the Keynesian consensus got underway … with the founding of a think tank called the Institute of Economic Affairs in London in 1955..."

See:  http://cmes.hmdc.harvard.edu/files/Mitchell%20Paper.pdf

3 comments:

Roger Burgess said...

I just got into a conversation with a guy who insisted that markets were a natural law just like physics.

"The market is a product of nature. Like the law of physics. We don't use the market, what we produce and the trading that occurs because of our abundance is the market." is a direct quote.

Is there any intellectual substance or backing to such a view?

mischy said...

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Neoliberalism is an ideology based on the advocacy of economic liberalizations, free trade, and open markets. Neoliberalism supports privatization of state-owned enterprises, deregulation of markets, and promotion of the private sector's role in society.

Brenda Rosser said...

In answer to: "The market is a product of nature. Like the law of physics. We don't use the market, what we produce and the trading that occurs because of our abundance is the market." is a direct quote. Is there any intellectual substance or backing to such a view?"

Ask this guy what "The Market" actually is. It's a question that challenges the most able economists.

"The Market" is a process. "The Market" is human behaviour.

Is it 'natural' human behaviour to spend most of our waking hours participating in "The Market" by selling our labour to capitalists 5 days a week and then spending the weekend buying consumer items in shops and garages sales?

My answer to that question is 'no'! This is where economic history is of immense value as a way of understanding just how artificial such a life-style paradigm is and how it came about that whole nations of people were turned into 'consumers' in the first instance.

Some of this history has been posted on Econospeak over the years. Check the archives, if you're interested.

In response to 'Mischy'. Neoliberalism's promotion of the private sector's role in society. It's clear that those who supported this ideology don't object to immense government bailouts when their projects fail.

Neoliberalism is a project launched by empire. The goals of big centralised and economically-concentrated corporations are not very different from those who aspire to spread Anglo-American economic hegemony around the world.