[bestbits] [governance] Re: NMI and the Brazilian CGI.br

Barry Shein bzs at world.std.com
Wed Dec 3 16:29:18 EST 2014

Neo-Liberal is basically a broader term for what, politically, is
often referred to as "libertarianism" or various other terms,
minarchist and so forth.

I don't think it's derogatory any more (or less) than in the US the
labels "republican" or "democrat" are derogatory except perhaps as
used in some context.

I generally associate neo-liberal with the "Austrian School", Hayek
(Friedrich, not Selma), President Reagan's aspirations, Margaret
Thatcher, and Milton Friedman, and of course libertarianism.

I don't know if labelling something as such, whether it's
multi-stakeholderism or mobile phone networks, is generally useful.

At best it's a big spectrum from just reducing regulation and taxation
a little, or even just slowing its growtn, to actual anarchist,
no-government philosophies.

I find the libertarian platforms very troubling and speaking to
libertarians which I've done at length even more troubling.

For example many consider anti-discriminatory laws (race, gender) to
be unbearable government intrusion into the marketplace. And similar
for environmental regulation, food and drug safety laws, worker
protection laws such as minimum wage or occupational exposures, etc.

They tend to propose vast civil judiciary process and private process
to resolve almost all such matters. If an employer injures you or
discriminates against you sue them (under what law can be a mystery.)
If you want to know if a drug is safe then subscribe to a drug safety
service instead of relying on your govt to regulate such things.

The problem it introduces into a discussion is its large spectrum.

A person can say they're only promoting neo-liberal ideas and when
pressed spout off a few innocent ideas such as lower taxes or the
success of mobile phone technology as the sort of thing they are

Examples of supposed "successes" strike me as generally cherry-picked
since no country of any significance has actually ever operated under
broad neo-liberal principles, only tendencies.

There really is little to grasp onto when a person or proposal is
described as "neo-liberal".

I think it's better to review the actual proposal -- the term itself
approaches ad hominem, i.e., some attempt to infer the motivations of
the author no different in value really than describing a proposal as
socialistic or totalitarian, etc.

        -Barry Shein

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