Prediction of alternates is always difficult, but the short answer is “almost certainly”

Neoliberalism in practice

Neoliberalism is a word usually used to describe policies which support corporate dominance while pretending to support free markets and individual liberty.

Neoliberalism aims to protect corporations from political influence and regulation while increasing political control by corporations.

It implies that wealth has no power to control markets or to allow people to buy political power, so it effectively promotes the power of wealth elites at the expense of ordinary people.

Although it allows corporations to control government, it pretends that government is independent of those corporations and is to blame for everything that goes wrong. This enables them to further render government useless for people, and increase corporate power.

It posits all human relationships as primarily being individually oriented, competitive and economically oriented (thus accidentally harming families and communities). The primary aim of this claim is to allow them to deny that wealth elites will ever team up for their own advantage – which is otherwise observable fact. Strangely they do recognise that workers can team up for their own advantage, making unions, and they argue this is bad.

The only class war they recognise, is when people team up to take on the wealth elites in general (not just part of the wealth elites such as Soros or Gates). The wealth elites suppressing people is just normal business practice.

Neoliberalism tends to be opposed to government handouts to unemployed or unfortunate people, but usually remains silent when there are government hand outs to the wealthy. Hence wealth and power inequalities continually increase, and people get left out of their own governance.

There are people who argue that all this is in the tradition of classical liberalism, but I doubt that is the case entirely; few classical liberals would argue that capitalist economics is the only driving force in human psychology, and neoliberals tend to demand extensive authority to protect existing corporate privilege. This is why neoliberalism can easily tilt into fascism, or authoritarian hierarchy, polarisation, nationalism etc.

It can be suggested that nearly everything bad today has come about through neoliberalism.

Costs of neoliberalism and benefits of no neoliberalism

Wages have stagnated because neoliberals dislike costs to business, lowering the amount of income you receive is important to them. They call this market discipline, or worker competition and flexibility.

Without neoliberalism, unions would have retained their place and would not be pushed out. Workers would have a collective power to be able to increase their wages, improve conditions of labour, and lower working hours without loosing money – as was the case in the 50s or 60s.

Because neoliberalism involves government by the wealth elite, it has an interest in preventing people from participating in government. Without neoliberalism, it might be that their would be more community government, and real public participation in electoral processes – the democratising and civil rights moves of the sixties and seventies might well have continued. If so, then people would be less alienated from the process of government.

Neoliberal corporations control most of the media, hence they can use it to mislead people as to the cause of problems. They often say the problems can be blamed on a non-existent socialism which needs curbing by more neoliberalism and hence more power to the wealthy. They also try to build loyalty through compulsive abuse of ‘alternatives’ rather than encourage discussion, fact finding and building ties between people across groups. This means that many people live in a neoliberal fantasy world, rather than engage with reality. Hence the ease with which real problems are ignored, and people encouraged to vote against their interests. Without neoliberalism, we would have more, smaller, and competing media organisations. There would be more views represented, and better investigations of problems.

Under neoliberalism the problems of climate change and ecological destruction cannot be faced in time, because that might involve restrictions on profit or on corporate privilege to pollute with ease and freedom. Dealing with ecological crisis will possibly curtail some of their liberties, and if the people suffer as a result, neoliberals can live with that. Fifties and Sixties style capitalism might well have easily dealt with climate change and ecological destruction. Indeed some argue neoliberalism was promoted to stop public interest in solving these problems.

Without neoliberalism, people might be more prone to admit humans are co-operative as well as competitive and that everything exists because of everything else, and we depend upon each other and our ecology. With an ecological vision neoliberalism does not make sense.

Likewise neoliberals stop changes to the rules of markets which might protect smaller people, and promote changes to the rules which protect wealthy people and allow them to get more of the general wealth. Neoliberalism tends to imply that all non-economic transactions are zero-sum; that is you gain at the expense of other. If other people are helped this takes money and status from you. Zero sum economic transactions tend to be hidden. This is one reason why neoliberalism is often known as trickle down economics – it pretends that making sure the wealthy get wealthier benefits everyone all the time.

Without neoliberalism corporations would pay more of their share of tax, and there would be more money for public services and general needs.

Without neoliberalism there would be less privatisation of public business, and better and cheaper service with less corruption. There might still be publicly owned businesses which would allow real competition and hinder wealth cartels. All of these factors would have likely kept the continuing rise in living standards for people which was such a factor of post WWII capitalism.


A clear description of neoliberalism demonstrates one reason people do not want to be labeled as neoliberals – its very hard to openly, or awarely campaign for more corporate power and wealth and less power and wealth for everyone else.

Without neoliberalism, we would still have problems, but life would probably be better. It has been one of the great disasters of the last 50 years.