In the article On Neoliberalism: An Interview with David Harvey by Sasha Lille, the concept of neoliberalism has been discussed in detail through an interview with David Harvey. The latter is an eminent Marxist geographer. Although the theory behind neoliberaism is perceived to be new, it is in fact a revival of the 18th century liberalism ideals. Nonetheless, the most important point to note here is that liberalism sought to fight for the rights of “individual liberty and freedom” (Lilley, n.d). These rights were to be based on the freedom of an individual to think and act independently without being coerced.
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One outstanding aspect that the 18th century liberal theorists did not know is that the concept would later find its way into political realms. From the interview, David Harvey is insinuating that the modern trends in global politics have consumed the original ideals of liberalism. If this is the case, can it be argued that neoliberalism is a modern creation of political institutions? Needles to say, the civil rights groups seem to champion the rights of people more vehemently than the ideals put forward by the theory of neoliberalism.
In the second article entitled Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction by David Harvey, the author is quite categorical that neoliberalism “is a theory of political economic practices” (Harvey 2007, p. 22). It has come of age to an extent that it has already overtaken the social and democratic ideals. Does the author imply that neoliberalism is indeed a destructive theory that should be done away with? Perhaps, this may be true especially if we explore the economic and political perspectives that have been adopted by the ideals of neoliberalism. It is also vital to note that the discourse on economic liberalization came at a time when the desire to globalize the world market was being pushed forward by different western governments.
We can assert that neoliberalism and free trade or liberalization of markets are part and parcel of the same scheme to override the interests of poor nations. The long term and negative economic impacts that have been brought about by neoliberalism within the context of globalization have down-trodden the economic well being of poor countries. In any case, David Harvey points out that both economic greed and search for political might have been duly pronounced in what is being referred to as neoliberalism. Sincerely speaking, if politics and economic empowerment have taken center stage in the neoliberalism debate, then it is obvious that the intended gains of the 18th century neoliberalism ideals are no longer into focus.
In the last article, Global Media, Neoliberalism, and imperialism by Robert W. McChesney, there are three key and broad areas of controversy that have been brought out by the author. These are democratization, technological revolution and globalization. It is necessary to have an incisive look at each of these attributes that shape our modern era history.
To begin with, it is apparent that the media has been used as a viable tool of marketing neoliberalism. Both the local and international media have been instrumental in propagating ideas emanating from strong economic powerhouses of the western world. For instance, democratic governments have been embraced by most of the countries across the world as a result of the power of the media in broadcasting latest developments from different parts of the globe. The author notes that “media and communication play a…defining role” (McChesney 2001, p. 1). On the same note, democratization is definitely the highest level of neoliberalism in the 21st century. Nonetheless, there are some governments in the developing world that have been quite suspicious of this form of governance citing it to be imperialistic or some form of neocolonialism. Better still, it is also apparent that real sovereignty has been lost especially among weak and emerging economies because they have to forcibly fit within the ideals of neoliberalism.
Harvey, D. (2007). Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 610(21), 22-44.
Lilley, S. (n.d). On Neoliberalism: An Interview with David Harvey. Web.
McChesney, W.R. (2001). Global Media, Neoliberalism and Imperialism. Monthly Review 52(10), 1-18.