According to Noam Chomsky (1999) Neoliberalism has been the dominant global political economic system starting from the 80s with the Reagan and Thatcher administrations until present times and it has been embraced by both left and right centre parties. Neoliberalism as an economic model is characterized by free market policies that support entrepreneurship and diminish the role of state and governments.
Therefore the consequences of the present economic model based on growth— present in the majority of Western countries, are marked by:
(a) structural inequality—increases in social and economic inequality (Group, 2013) because the capital flows disproportionately: ‘300 top people in Europe and US have more wealth than 4.5 billion people’. (Johar, 2014)
(b) a low interest in global environment policies (Meadows, Randers & Meadows, 2004)—although we have the necessary technology, climate change is a social and systemic problem. (Johar, 2014)
Although Neoliberal’s supporters might argue that there are no other options to the status quo and that humanity has achieved its climax (Friedman), the history proves otherwise and as a living proof stands the increased degree of democracy for women’s right, trade unions and civil rights over time. All this would have been impossible without people who think in terms of developing a political economy system based on cooperation, equality, self-government and individual freedom (Chomsky, 1999).
The challenge raised today by many academics is how do we go from an economy led by the few—top/corporate economy—to an one led by the many—bottom-up economy?
Chomsky, N. (1999) Profit Over People. United Kingdom, Turnaround Publisher Srvices Ltd.
Friedman, M. Milton Friedman On ‘no alternative way to Capitalism’ [Online]. Youtube: Youtube. Available: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=3N24O54LTLA#t=84> [Accessed May 2014.]
Johar, I. Social Renaissance [Online]. Youtube: Youtube. Available: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EkWGkq8PjE> [Accessed July 2014].
Group, T. W. B. (2013) GDP (current US$)
Meadows, D., Randers, J. & Meadows, D. (2004) Limits to Growth : The 30-year update. White River Junction, Vermont, Chelsea Green Publishing Company.