What does it mean to be a liberal? A conservative? A libertarian?
We can argue about the definitions. At the end of the day, however, it is the ideas and principles - and their worth - that matter.
A book about "neoliberals." Read the whole review to get a sense of what that is.
Neoliberalism originated in Austria. As governments fattened in Britain and America in the 1940s, three men started a lonely battle against the new collective politics. Karl Popper, a philosopher and ex-communist, criticised thinkers from Plato to Marx who valued the collective over the individual. Ludwig von Mises, an economist and former left-winger, said no bureaucracy had the means to restrain itself. Friedrich Hayek said central planning was impossible, because no person, however clever, knew what people wanted.
Milton Friedman, a Chicago economist who headed the second wave of state-bashers, preferred the word “neoliberal” in a 1951 essay entitled, “Neoliberalism and Its Prospects”. He argued for a “middle way” between the enemy of collectivism and the excesses of 19th-century liberalism. Victorian liberals failed to grasp that laissez-faire could produce over-mighty individuals, Friedman thought. The goal should not be laissez-faire, but market competition: this, he said, would protect men from each other.
Neoliberals like Friedman saw economic liberty as the safeguard of all freedoms; a swelling state was the road to tyranny.