We get a lot of comments blaming neoliberalism for the world’s ills. Europe has endured years of austerity and crisis, with policymakers lurching from one emergency to the next, and seemingly with only sluggish growth and stubbornly high unemployment rates to show for it. With the recent election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in the UK, along with the re-election of Alexis Tsipras and the radical left SYRIZA party in Greece, are voters across Europe rejecting the neoliberal agenda?

But first, what exactly is neoliberalism? To get an idea we spoke to Mark Pennington, Professor of Public Policy and Political Economy at King’s College London, and an expert on classical liberalism and the Austrian school of economics. Here’s the definition he gave:

penningtonWell, I think there are probably three different elements to it. As a general principal, it’s based on the idea of reducing the role of the state in the economy, relying more on private enterprise rather than publicly-owned industries, and in particular fostering the creation of competitive markets.

Alongside reducing the role of the state in terms of ownership of industry, a thoroughgoing neoliberal perspective would also be committed to reducing the role of government in terms of financial expenditure. So, a neoliberal policy would be associated with a declining share of GDP being spent by the state, and a greater share being dedicated to private individuals and companies.

The final element would be, I suggest, a commitement to a low-regulation environment. So, the idea is that competitive markets rely on low regulation. The higher levels of regulation you have, the less competition you have, because regulation acts as a barrier to entry into markets and makes them less competitive than they otherwise would be.

To get another perspective, we also spoke to Thomas Biebricher, Associate Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at Goethe University Frankfurt, and author of the book Neoliberalismus zur Einführung (Introduction to Neoliberalism). He agreed with Professor Pennington’s broad definition, but added that neoliberalism was a project that grew out of the perceived failures of liberalism during the Great Depression, and that it was not aiming for the complete abolition of the state:

BiebricherWell, to me, as a political theorist, it is a phenonenon that I trace back to the 1930s and 1940s, and it was a political and intellectual project that aimed at a revitalisation of liberal ideas, and at the same time that was based on a revision of the classical liberal agenda.

Now, neoliberalism is often understood as a synonym of the doctrine of self-regulating markets, but I don’t think that’s really appropriate. I think neoliberals are quite clear that states have certain functions to fulfill in order to make markets function. But they should only engage in certain kinds of actions, and these are particularly market-enabling actions.

So, neoliberalism is not the same thing as libertarianism or anarcho-capitalism. Nevertheless, it is all about markets.

Was the global economic crisis a sign that the neoliberal project has failed? And does the rise of populist parties on both the Left and the Right advocating more protectionist policies and greater state intervention pose a fatal challenge? We had a comment sent in by Yannick, asking if “post-neoliberalism” was finally at our door, and whether it would be a good thing if it was.

We put this question to Bastiaan Van Apeldoorn, Reader in International Relations at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of VU University, Amsterdam, and editor of the book Neoliberalism in Crisis.

vanapeldoornWell, that’s a very difficult question that is not easy to answer. I would say I hope it is finally on our doorstep, but I’m not sure yet. I think neoliberalism is in a crisis; there is much less consent, there is more dissent and resistance. But, at the same time, there is also not an alternative project yet, and so neoliberalism as a policy regime goes on unabated. So, neoliberalism is not dead yet, and I don’t think we have entirely entered into the post-neoliberal phase, though it might be just around the corner.

Has neoliberalism failed? Was the global economic crisis the death knell of neoliberalism? Does the rise of populist parties advocating greater state intervention post a fatal challenge to the neoliberal project? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Lorenzo Gaudenzi

240 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Stelios Koulouris

    Yes it does. Neoliberalism drived many people to poverty and at the same time it failed to strengthen the economy or to make Europe a safer and more stable place.

  2. avatar
    Bart Van Damme

    I think people are fed up with the way governments run things in general. In many countries we’ve seen a move from the left to the right in recent years as well. The problem is not that this or that specific ideology is failing, the problem is that no ideology is capable of dealing with the complexities and all the nuances in today’s society. The problem is that we need a little bit of each ideology, but we are getting too much of one specific ideology at a time. Which is why we need real people-run democracy instead of the politician-run particracy we have now.

    • avatar
      Dianne Cobb

      We tread a difficult line, and yet neoliberalism is not the right tract to be on. If it were, Americans would see better paying jobs and the promise of a future. It is more the perception of the ideal which reality trashes. Instead we have capitalization overtaking governments worldwide. especially now when it is clearly shown in some societies. No matter how well big business and corporations thrive, it certainly does not translate back to the people. Instead, other sectors thrive more so such as advertising, lobbying etc. In USA, a dangerous supreme court decision in 2010 was passed giving corporations the power of the vote. This is why one hears of superpacs. If you buck the system (corporate power) you cannot do anything effective as corporate power has Washington in their pockets. Now EU is found to be complicit of the same behaviours. I follow Monsanto and research everything I can find about this USA company. This past year revealed a lot about the workings behind the scenes.

  3. avatar
    Oli Lau

    More taxes, more spending, more bureaucracy (ie technocrates), more debts, more and more rules, no bankruptcy is the definition of (neo/ultra/whatever) liberalism?

    Looks like the complete opposite to me.

    The real question is what is your definition of neoliberalism?

  4. avatar
    Toni Muñiz

    No, just tired of the EU’s BS, and local political corruption. And most voters of these parties are uninformed.

  5. avatar
    Ramu stephane

    I believe that it has failed. Economy needs strong regulations. Take the example of Volkswagen cheating! Self regulation does not work

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Correction please: if ethics & morals fail- everything will fail!

      Published “technical specifications” are as good as “self imposed regulations”- or a “delivery promise” to us buyers! Such gross “technical deviation”, breach, or transgression was not by accident, but planed. It is common dishonesty, WHITE collar cheating by the highest echelon of power. Founded on greed to advance one’s product, sales- “enlargements” & more money! If that person or persons understand “honor”- he/they should have resigned already!

  6. avatar
    Marijus Stasiulis

    Neoliberalism is good for those who own companies or have their own businesses.
    It is worse for those, who are regular people or have small businesses.
    Politics were about power, but now everything is about money, well because, money is power..

  7. avatar
    Ferenc Lázár

    Definitely they do reject neoliberalism, even more that these issue shows! Being an independent journalist, who writes to many independent papers, i get feedbacks from all over the globe..

  8. avatar
    Marijus Stasiulis

    This is problem only for working class.
    Why they did not invested their millions?
    Soon half of workforce will be automatized.
    BTW have you ever noticed, that after such big technological progress our work-week is still 40 hours.
    Can you afford to have 4 or even more children like back then?

    • avatar
      George Bekatoros

      Interesting. However that is no neoliberalism. Instead this is corporatism.

  9. avatar
    Ulf Skey

    Maybe. The problem appears to involve arriving at The appropriate level of intervention. One should hope to on the one hand protecting civil society – and indeed business itself – from the hands of raw and utter greed, while on the other not to strangle free enterprise in forms necessary for all of us to prosper. This is in no way a trivial matter we have before us, and I hope a few of our bright minds might get the ball rolling in the best direction.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @David Wiktor
      Your statement is AMBIGUOUS. Are you for or against neoliberalism?

  10. avatar
    Jason Picci

    Proclaims referendum to exit nEuro.
    Stays in nEuro at worse conditionds than before.
    Resigns.Wins elections again.

  11. avatar
    Gerry Mavrie-Yanaki

    Only 19% of the electorate voted for Tsipras and SYRIZA . While its coalition partner got 1.5% of the electorate vote with a massive 45% of the electorate abstaining from the vote

  12. avatar
    Stella Kontogianni

    Probably we are not in condition to have neoliberal goverments. We have huge numbers of unemployed people, a lot of people under severe trouble to meet their needs. Neoliberal parties have a few followers because those who can dream are few

  13. avatar
    Curro Fbm

    No, it means socialism has spread since 2004, from Germany and France to the rest of Europe.
    Deadly, for the European Project of equality and freedom.

    Neoliberal, being originally equal to “third way”, has become an empty term to mean “enemy”.

  14. avatar
    Duncan Melville

    I really hope so. Neo-liberalism was always a con and a way of lowering salaries, taking away our rights and the rich benefiting.

  15. avatar
    Yordan Vasilev

    The left and the right radicals won and they will win votes in the weak economics. Europe is divided on poor South and rich North. The radicals in Spain, Greece and Italy can destroy market economy and democracy in their countries, but in the rich communities such surprises are no danger themselves.

  16. avatar
    Giulio Bianco

    Europeans don’t like neoliberalism and capitalism, but there’s a problem; they’re in fact the most successful economical and political system we know. Michael Novak noticed that capitalism improved enormously the life of the worker in long term, and he’s right ( see the workers of 19th century) . So why we should damn it? If a neoliberalism policy requires some difficult decision, the Story teaches that is the best long-term political way we know for now.

  17. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    I do hope so. Just let see what have been the development rates of most European countries. And the unemployment rates?

  18. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    The END for EU . Angela Merkel is going to bring millions of radical Islamists to the EU . The best option for other countries is to cance EU membership and fight for national interests . We can’t have union if one country can decide to import problem for all of us . If we have many Muslims we are going to have war with them and that is we don’t need . I don’t want to have WWIII because of some German Housewives desperation : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVWAIKoatWM

  19. avatar
    Nelson GI

    I think we need a mix between neoliberalism and socialism! We must help small business and entrepreneurs as well as the low class and the low-medium class! Europeans must understand that voting extreme right or extreme left creates an unbalanced society among everyone! We must take into account the really importance of the economy, which are the medium class, workers, entrepreneurs, self employers and the Small and medium-sized enterprises! Centrism is the solution!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Nelson GI
      GOOD post!

  20. avatar
    Paul Elenis

    Liberalism for ever! For the king and Queen! Lets fight for our rights United liberals!

  21. avatar
    Rick Wilmot

    It’s the NWO which began with George Bush Snr. It will die a natural death but not in my lifetime!

  22. avatar
    Rui Duarte

    Neo-liberalism has failed by 1981, when Margaret Thatcher drove britain to 12% unemployment. The difference, by now, is that people are people are coming to terms with it.

  23. avatar
    Diana Rodrigues

    perhaps it just means we’ve realized ‘this’ isn’t working and please let’s try something else.

  24. avatar
    André Alves Figueiredo

    Far left and far right party’s/ideologies will never be the solution as they both have always failed, and failed miserably. History tells you that much. Good, stable and realistic politics is always made at the center of the political spectrum…that should be a no-brainer by now, but apparently it still is. The Greek government led by Mr. Tsipras is completely and utterly incompetent, as all far political ideology party’s are, so their reelection was more like a shock, instead of a sign o change. The rest of Europe is going to be smart enough not to elect far left or far right incompetent governments

  25. avatar
    Chris Panayis

    Voters reject austerity. If Tsipras fails to stop austerity, voters will move to the next political party.

  26. avatar
    Nikos Trikilis

    Tsipras is pro-austerity in actions if not always in words. A rose by any other name is still a rose as the saying goes. Or more appropriately a turd.

  27. avatar
    Christos Pavlides

    Left, right, all have the same face. Alexis comfirms that. He is smiling radiantly – no shame – the moment he prepare to give the kiss of death to a society in comma. Concering neo etc my commnent to the heads of EU is that the best results come from happy-fulfilled, educated, balanced people. This is the T account of real life.

  28. avatar

    Has neoliberalism failed?


  29. avatar
    Adrian Limbidis

    The EU is looking at the small picture. The bigger picture is made of little pictures.

    The refugee crisis, the economic crisis, the euro crisis all of it. They are interlinked.

    Capitalism is what causes them. Don’t sugarcoat it by using “neoliberalism” as an excuse. It is capitalism.

    It always was !
    Why do poorer countries in the east refuse refugees?
    While some of them are bothered by religion the vast majority worry even more pressure on jobs and wages for said jobs.
    ECONOMIC reasons.

    Greece is being destroyed to prove a dogmatic point. That austerity works.
    This has been already proven false throughout history and yet no one seems to learn from it.
    It is like the EU is operating a patient whose life signs are weakening and the EU keeps chopping off more organs as if that will help.

    You want equality in Europe?
    You want a high standard of life and a technology powered continent?
    You want the ability to house these refugees, educate them and train them to integrate not become MORE trouble than they already are?

    Capitalism in its entirety must go.

    Capitalism does not allow for COMPASSION.
    Compassion means someone else takes your food and you starve.

    We’ve created such a sick world where:
    people wake up in the early morning – despite scientists’ warning this is not healthy
    work themselves to death ( because 8 hours wages are not enough to live with )
    work in menial – useless jobs as paper pushing drones in soulless cubicles, endlessly seeing their dreams and aspirations crushed by MONEY.

    What is this?
    There is enough technology in the world and a lot of it in Europe to automate 70% of jobs, starting TOMORROW.

    And yet the EU’s leading body still keeps talking about “revigorating the private sector” and “jobs”.

    o hell with the private sector.
    They haven’t given anything useful anyway.
    All they did was ride on the back of PUBLIC research and then privatized the profits.

    And what about pollution?
    We are still using coal and other toxic power plants because the companies that have them refuse to change. And why would they ? They make a killing !

    And what about cars?
    VW was caught a few days ago pulling crap.
    Why do you think?
    Because they are ‘evil” ?
    No, because the SYSTEM forces them to be EVIL or DIE as a company.

    Capitalism exposes the worst in all of us, selfishness, greed, sociopathy and even worse things like murder, theft, extortion, slavery.
    ALL are done for economic reasons.

    Enjoy your “new” Europe, where European kids starve, people are dirt poor and refugees are fighting with the natives for the last scraps of food whilst a tiny minority lives so high up in the ivory tower they cannot even fathom this.

    Throwing money at the problem will not work either.
    We need to CHANGE the way things are owned, the way things are seen as.
    Set a maximum for the amount of property one can have.
    Restrict individual access to wealth producing industries or companies.
    Ditch this “boss” mentality who tells you what to do. Let the workers run the company.
    Boost social services.
    Automate factories so people don’t sit like slaves in front of an automation line.
    Implement an UBI system EQUAL across the EU space – not different between countries.
    Limit the level of wage difference between countries to x1-x3 maximum.
    Limit the limit between lowest and highest wage within a country to x3

    There is soooo much to be said, sooo much to be done.
    But yes, ditching or at least SERIOUSLY questioning capitalism is the first step.

    A pity this question will remain in this board and not even be debated in the real upper echelons of the EU.

    And about the EU.
    We need more democracy.
    Allow us to vote for everyone. The commission, its president, EVERYONE.

    The moment there is some guy there that you don’t remember checking the box for that’s the moment you feel disconnected, not in tone with him and begin to resent him.

    Don’t force “majority” on important issues ( hello, refugee crisis ), work a CONSENSUS.
    You won’t keep Europe too much together if you keep doing this.

    ALREADY a few eastern European states are questioning_ some REALLY vocal in the press – if their place is in the EU at all and that if the EU isn’t just one big scam where the old rich colonial power still make the rules and the small poor ones just obey.

  30. avatar
    catherine benning

    It was always a non starter because neoliberalism, as a premise, was based on a lie. It had to fail.

    And for the idiots who comment here that, Jeremy Corbyn, UK opposition leader and socialist, is not the future of UK leadership, must do a fast rethink. Corbyn and his people are tomorrow. It’s a European ‘etude sociologique’ unstoppable. The single idea the Corbyn crowd have utterly wrong is the way they continue to embrace mass immigration into our separate States along with their wrong footed reasoning on European leadership. That is the single mistake of policy keeping them out of office. It is the will of the people that, at last, is being taken notice of. And it is exciting. Democracy in the UK has finally hit the ground running. And remarkably, in our upper chamber.

    Tsipras has begun wonderfully with his repeated calls for referendum. Always a good sign. However, he needs to have the balls for a harder line on the banking bingers. Call their bluff and trust in the people.

    In the UK our old establishment is trying to back US anger at a left wing prospect by threatening a military coup should Corbyn win. They have some hopes of going against the will of the people with that policy in the UK. We are not the Ukraine.


    And Germany has given in to US hegemony and its pretense of NATO by agreeing to expand its nuclear bases on German soil. Are they mad? How will the German people put up with making themselves a target akin to the Japanese in WW11? If the yanks want that kind of warfare, then let them put it on their own States. Georgetown is a good place for a nuclear base.


    Then, there is the strange refusal of the USA to allow Holland and Germany to take their gold out of the New York vaults it is lodged in. Why is that I wonder? Not until 2020 we are told. The Nederlands,Germans and any others who lodge gold on US soil should have a rethink. Fast.


    • avatar
      catherine benning

      A joke doesn’t win twice.

      However, he did not live up to his socialist expectations and he better start explaining his true motives otherwise, he is finished. .

  31. avatar
    Simon Borg

    Hate the union – it’s been nothing but problems – why can’t we go back to having our our currency and identity and trade freely between countries civilly with respect ?

  32. avatar

    it looks like it does, but it doesn’t. Tsipras and his custody are not radicals at all. They have embraced almost all of the neoliberal agenda. I think that in times of extreme capitalist crisis, the system can only survive with people’s anger reduced. That is the macro-political scope of these political agents like left or socialist parties. To tell lies to people and pass the neoliberal agenda with less objects than right parties can do.

  33. avatar
    Darin Attard

    I think we all want peace, work, decent pay, a common European minimum wage and a true involvement of everyone on the planet instead of competing with each other.

  34. avatar
    Daniele Laganà

    The left-index of Debating Europe with this question has reached the stars! :(
    Tsipras has been forced to betray his left-wing ideas and the winning of Corbyn has given to Cameron the certainty to win the next elections. Do you consider this a fault of neolibealism? O.o

  35. avatar
    Kostas Kopelos

    Yes it has failed , and YES we will continue fighting and opposing neoliberalism as the main danger of humanity !!!!

  36. avatar
    Paula Castilho Borges

    In Europe we have social liberalism .. There is no neoliberalism since the providence state is maintained everywhere.

  37. avatar
    Iris Papadopoulo

    SIRIZA is not NEO -anything… It is made up of old politicians from PASOK and ND…
    So the whole article is rubbish.

  38. avatar
    Derme Apostolos Dermentzopoulos

    Ηave you found any differences during the governance of Syriza in Greece with any other neoliberal system? Economic scandals, safeguarding of economic interests and taxiation of the lower social levels. Let’s finish with this fake “left” veil of Tsipras.

  39. avatar
    Gregorio Boretti

    Yes, it definitely does. We are sick and tired of neoliberalism as well as the lack of democracy in the EU.

  40. avatar
    Valter Amaral

    As we have seen recently principles such as “low regulation” or “self-regulation”, so dear to neoliberalism, have been synonims of savagery, predatory behaviour, criminal acts, fraud, and so on. Am i wrong? So the answer to the question are the results for the majority of the world. Is the world better for most of us? Europe certainly not!

  41. avatar
    Miguel Queiroz Martinho

    as any political system it is doomed to fail. European neo-liberalism is starting to stink and so voters will trow them to the pits as they did with monarchies, republics, dictatorships.. there is no perfect system and thous we will forever change.

  42. avatar
    Teena Ramos

    Tsipras can not only save Greece but the whole of Europe.he is our only hope.!

  43. avatar
    Teena Ramos

    Return to drachma and use internal resources and make use of our ports is the only way out.

  44. avatar
    Mike Oxlittle

    By neoliberralism I assume you mean capitalism,in which case it has certainly failed in Europe.However take a look at the U.S.A,China and Japan now I would class all three of them as capitalist nations and they are the three largest economies in the world.So the question should be why has capitalism failed in some parts of Europe?.And don’t keep using Greece has an example of failed capitalism,Greece is bankrupt today because of a succession of corrupt governments borrowing money they couldn’t repay, and a lazy disinterested population that let them get away with it.

  45. avatar
    Stella Kontogianni

    I don’t think that Tsipras or other left leaders can really change something. They just try but they are still weak and they face the worse kind of confronting from all neoliberal parties. They play their role but not effectively. Although I voted him, I feel that we need more wide support to change the route of Europe

  46. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    The best (unbiased) answer is no answer.

    Trying to discuss or judge the immense complexities contained in the many economic philosophies evolved over the decades (which nobody is sure about)- be it: controlled, free & extreme market dogma, classical & neoclassical economics, classical- anti- neo & normal liberalism, Marxism & central planning, socialism, capitalism, anarcho-capitalism, heterodox theories, monetary, fiscal & austerity policy, central banking, free banking, fractional reserve banking, Islamic banking, community banking, expanding & shrinking the money supply, legalized state embezzlement, too big to fail & God only knows what else- being experimented by politicians all the time- falling in & out of fashion like “fashion” does, to achieve WHAT?

    However- never trust politicians & the many think tanks sponsored by the “evil Koch empire”= NWO, explained in one (of many) webpages:


    Can the EU be saved or is it eventually check mate? Rather listen to opinions from “down under”- and form your own: http://oliverhartwich.com/

  47. avatar
    Vangelis Goranitis

    Alexis Tsipras is forced (or not…) to exercise the european version of neoliberalism – let’s call it ”germanism” – by his left hand…

  48. avatar
    Vangelis Goranitis

    Alexis Tsipras is forced (or not…) to exercise the european version of neoliberalism – let’s call it ”germanism” – by his left hand…

  49. avatar
    Gerry Mavrie-Yanaki

    Tsipras got only 19% of the electorates vote, while his coalition partner only got 1.5 % of the electorates votes, in a first past the post ballot- hardly democratic. His numbers will disappear into oblivion with implementation of the 3rd memorandum.

  50. avatar
    Iannis Boun

    We hope he will succeed and more countries to join against neoliberalism austerity measures

  51. avatar
    Teena Ramos

    Dimtra Theofani I am what I want ….I am a politics graduate from Victoria university Australia so I don’t need to be high..Internal resources use of ports and drachma.tsipras knows they don’t care about money but they want the islands.we are living in times where big country eats little country..Tsipras is the only one that can save not only Greece but Europe if they let him

  52. avatar
    Joel Emerole

    Neo liberalism is Capitalism disguised in sheep’s skin! Plunder is its basis and profiteering its goal , so the victims are not only the African and Asian former colonies but also European working people. Rejecting it means awakening to the lies with which its mainstream media lends it a lease on life.

  53. avatar
    Teresa Maria Caridi

    I don’t know a thing about Corbyn, as for Tsipras and Iglesias they are rejecting nothing. If voters think so they are fools.

  54. avatar
    Teresa Maria Caridi

    I don’t know a thing about Corbyn, as for Tsipras and Iglesias they are rejecting nothing. If voters think so they are fools.

  55. avatar
    Michales Loukovikas

    How comes that you group together TSIPRAS, who represents the VICTORY of neoliberalism over democracy, with CORBYN & IGLESIAS, who have not capitulated [yet]??? There’s NO other Europe with Tsipras: it’s the same old shit!!!

  56. avatar
    Abraham Amiolemhen

    Tsipras, your good vision is not for Greek only, but also for Europe there is some good legacies you pass into the memory of many.

  57. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    Since the DE poses this question- it sounds like that the EU policy follows this economic model called “neoliberalism” strictly- or?

    Did any caring politician ever explain to voters the in & out, pro & con of it? Ever discussed or asked if that is the only way forward- or did/do they assume they are the sole judge & decision makers? Must everyone study economics and law from now on, to become aware to (better) advice our political parties & politicians?

  58. avatar

    What’s certainly failing is being liberal in economics and Marxist in everything else, which is what EU is trying to be, lead by cultural Marxists.

  59. avatar
    catherine benning

    Neoliberalism is what we see today on our news regarding the so called refugees. These refugees we see in news bulletins from Scotland are from Ehiopia.

    The have been taken to Scotland where the social housing for people in that part of the UK is akin to the conditions of the Victorian workhouse. Yet, these men have been given given places in expensive bed and breakfast hotels, and the chance to play football on local tqeams. The Scottish men would love this opportunity to be taken off the streets, fed and housed in such a way. But now, they are cast aside with the rubbish collection they do once a fortnight. Yet their families and friends pay the taxes that keep the traitors in power in Westminster.

    However this guy who has just been elected to his party leadership recently has a different point of view. Yet, he stays strangely quiet on who and what happens to our poor when he has to take in the world’s millions to house and feed.


    • avatar
      catherine benning

      What I forgot to write in the above post was, one of the Labour women given a seat in this new shadow cabinet blirted out on the news yesterday that this new socialist party, the one that has ‘quite rightly’ gone back to the politics of it’s origin for the genuine working man, the premise it began with, will have to get approval from the ‘Globalists’ before they will be able to act on their democratic policies offered to their party members. This woman was a speak your weight person, there because of gender and ethnicity and not for her ability to discuss and debate. She was a politically correct shove in. Forced on us all by the ‘globalists’ she was referring to. It was a bad slip up. All flummoxed and childlike she was when questioned by the interviewer on who these globalists were. What a disaster for our country to have to cringe this way as we watch ourselves being made to look ridiculous as a once great nation of the world stage.

      So, there you have it. It doesn’t matter who you vote for, or, what line they are selling about their policies, they ‘will have to’ be approved by these unknown ‘Globalists’ before any elected government can put their ideas into action, after having been approved by the electorate.

      So, now tell me, who elected these invisable Globalists? Where do they live and what is their agenda? Did we pass a vote for it? What plans do they have for government and why are they hiding their existence from us all, along with the particular route they are planning us to ride on.

  60. avatar

    Thatcherite Reaganesque trickle down economics has been a catastrophe. Since 35 years executive pay has ballooned but worker wages have barely moved in real terms.

    As the Volkswagen case prove we need lots more regulation and enforcement, not less. Self regulation has clearly been exposed as failure.

    Corporations only have one reponsibility, which is profits for shareholders. It is in corporate interests to have lower wages and easier to fire people, after all this cuts costs. Good for corporations = bad for eorkers, consumers and environment. Hopefully the VW case will help sink TTIP. TTIP will only benefit the rich, the lying propaganda must be exposed. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at stake.

    We need fair trade, not free trade.

  61. avatar

    Its not failed yet, but its about to fail if not change dramatically while providing for the update doctrine. EU as the economy grew at much higher rate during so-called Golden Age in 1950-1970, when the state intervention into the economy has been higher in number of member states, as well as Japanese economy grew after the WWII based on state intervention into defining the core competitive industries and channelling the investments. Its nothing bad about targeting the state intervention, or making the markets competitive, reducing the barriers, the worst is the fiscal fundamentalism, financialization of the economy, since it also belongs somehow to the neoliberalism at least in US, as well as political an economical corruption, formation of the oligarchies around the globe affecting the governmental decisions in a biased manner, bringing uncompleted peoples through so called networking and recommendations to the Governments , etc. and of course also the poverty and inequity as the result of this. Just to take lobbying practice in EU, since some lobbyists build houses in Luxembourg quite quickly.
    Recently, the neoliberal economists, seeing possible end of theirs doctrine, what is not good for oligarchies, thus, financed by it, became quite active, while approaching decision makers, closing doors an silencing the different opinion. Thus, there is the urgent need not jus be critical towards them on the chart room, but to join the forces while providing for strong feed back to theirs efforts, and calling for the Breton Woods 2, to define the factors of economic growth after the crisis, different ones from neoliberals, and labelling the new economic doctrine. We do not have it yet, so we see entire chaos.

  62. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    It failed in the hearts of the citizens…. And that says something… Reform it, changed it or scrap it and find another model…

  63. avatar
    Alex Bell

    It didnt fail, the politicians failed when they supported banks communistically by bailing them out, they didn’t follow through

  64. avatar
    Jaime Martins

    If you have saved people, economy now was growing, banks are not real economy, but you continue giving money for bankers.

  65. avatar
    Dalibor Medvedović

    How could something egsist as etiquete? If it has carte de identite, somebody must be quilt for some crime, or responsible for the failed… Its not just it. Normaly neoliberalism is some kind of right to changing even in ideal conditions, paradise on earth… So it means the downsizing, or optimalisation etc. how to aliberate new potential?

  66. avatar
    Davide Maramotti

    Absolutely not, socialism and statalism have failed. Please, stop saying bullshit about neoliberalism. Please, study.

  67. avatar
    Stelios Peppas

    The apology of its failure as economical and political thesis has been spoken since 2006 in academic and scientific scale. I think that 10 years later should be the right time to admit its failure also in practical matter.

  68. avatar

    Well, is neoliberalism failing in which sense?
    If it were intended to solve economic crisis and to build a stronger europe (or its nations), it is definitely failing. Everything is getting worse for the european citizens (greeks and german as well) than it was before neoliberalism was adopted as the ‘political standard’. However for the lobbies and companies interested on it, it is working like a charm. Benefits are raising, salaries are dropping, and political influence is reaching its limits, while setting economical powers above politics.
    If we talk about it to disappear from politics: not at all. Neoliberalism is stronger than it has ever been in almost every country of the EU, and it is being converted as the european comission dogma, as if it were the european values. No matter if it “doesn’t work” as it is intented, and unemployment and debt problems are rising: and any single promise is broken. TTIP and others will make future generations to be under its rule with no or very little chance to change anything, as it is becoming the core of the national and european institutions political system.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      ………..well said!

    • avatar

      Greece is one of the biggest, most expensive states in the EU. What’s more, its cost as a percentage of the GDP has risen in the years of the crisis!
      Hardly neoliberalist…

      There is failure, all right, because of statism and clientelism, not because of any form of liberalism :(

  69. avatar
    Nikos Themelis

    The failure is all over the place.But politicians can’t admit it because by doing so they would admit their abysmal failure and the destruction of lives.

  70. avatar
    Marco Peel

    1. Less regulation is always good if it makes life easier and better. The EU is basically run by bureaucrats with little democratic oversight, so despite good intentions, has not managed to simplify anything except cross-border movement of goods and people.
    2. Open markets are only truly accessible to all if everyone plays by the same rules. Local companies cannot compete against multinationals who produce goods abroad under laxer labour and environmental laws, and pay only token taxes in fiscal havens.
    3. Fair competition only works in flexible markets with many small players, where the best ideas, products and services can freely develop. Diversity is important for evolution, development and inclusion, and a key European Ideal. Current market tendencies however favour monopolisation in all sectors of the economy, a sure recipe for stagnation and domination.
    4. There is no such thing as freedom without fairness. What fails in Europe is not the ideas, it is the practice. The EU should be about people, not money. Hypocrisy always fails.

  71. avatar

    Nature of humanity is such that they yearn for a change. Even if everything is hunky-dory, there is a tendency to change just for its sake out of curiosity or out of the all pervading sameness. Remeber the grass is always greener on the other side. The secret is to brace for the change and enjoy the ride as much as possible in your short life on this planet.We’ve seen so much turmoil and flux in the economic/political/social spheres this fact is as clear as daylight.

  72. avatar

    It depends what you mean by failed. If the aim was enrich the rich further, undermine democracy and rewrite history then it has succeeded in the short term.

    As for the rest of it? It’s Doctor Pangloss thinking mingling with the ideological free-market dogma of zealots. History shows one thing and one thing only. Everything changes especially ideas.

  73. avatar
    Bence Szilágyi

    Neolibralisim does not tolerate racisim,religion,mother language,even countries are not really welcome.It want you to think that were are Europeans(not germans,swedes ,poles etc).This is so stupid.It also bashing the religions.But is there real power under the liberalisim mask?Not really.Battling against nationalisim,and religions which are simple ideologies whereas liberalisim?It badly relys on the strength of the economy,and welfare.After the economic crisis people do not believe it anymore,just like communisim.

  74. avatar
    Hugo Veloso

    What failed is that we have globalized world that believes that an invisible hand solves crisis when we compete against each other.
    Humanity inevitably needs to reach information age, where every human is informed about what is what, and truly questions and reaches rational conclusions about collective life, and how he wants to act on his social environment.
    Right now, we have the opposite of this. Religion based culture believes too much in dogmas and hierarchies.
    It’s nothing to do with neoliberalism, it’s all the dogmas that human collective experience brought together, from the concept of money, countries, religion, Corporations, , etc… World populations believe this stuff, even when it’s just human creation, that had no long term planning behind it… So we should and need to question these things… We can’t expect to live in a globalized world competing against each other on growth, it’s just not viable…
    If we don’t make internet a human necessity, it is impossible to reach any rational collective system, making all revolutions pointless as they will tend to competition, hierarchies and oppression.
    So my answer would be that, what failed along the way and impeded progress are our information systems, that are conditioned automatically by formalities and economic interest disguised as good professionalism. It also can’t explain structural problems, or allow people to organize themselves.
    Internet cooperative system seems like the only solution. It’s viable and sustainable on the long term. It creates human benefit, it can evolve democratically, no hierarchies. No concept of money, but just rational allocation of resources. Arts and culture would not be corrupted by money, people could understand collective life unlike they do now…

  75. avatar
    Massimo Ortale

    In my view neo-liberalism to work well, it needs to be helped by a solid and efficient welfare state. The two have to work togheter to fill the gap of both.

  76. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    Neoliberalism is almost as unrealistic and unreasonable as any old religion.
    2000 years ago the political ideology (and “revolution”) appeared in a religion and its origins were personified (>God) to make it understandable.
    Today’s political ideology (neoliberalism) lacks pragmatism and aims to oppress (mocks) those who think otherwise. The “source” is no longer personified, it’s not antropomorphic, instead a reference point is used as “values”.

  77. avatar
    Kovács János

    It’s not a question, it’s a fact. Both in theory and in practise, neoliberalism has failed.

  78. avatar
    Borislav Valkov

    I can think several problems:
    – Liberalism is not accepted by some minorities and there are not penalties.
    – Liberalism is lefties idea as well but still they divide the population by everything they can imagine(wealth,sex, religion, ethnic and etc,) evectively dividing us rather than living as same beings in in a same world.
    -liberalism is righties idea as well but they are focused on corporate aid and destroy the one world by spreading nationalism to a degree.(Mrs Merkel saved Greece but actually saved the germans pensions in greek debt)
    – It is not easy to apply it to nations that have weak economy and wellfare system.
    – Liberalism and multiculturism are linked but the last one failed with bombs and deaths.
    – Liberalism needs to be based upon moral values but not one political force would not apply them because every society has build their own values. Being more socialists or more capitalists.

  79. avatar
    Sakis Pastras

    There is no real bumper sticker to any political movement. Logic should prevail…communism in 2016 is something to consider…No ofcourse, and now follow the questions and move on…of course you will find yourself somewhere in the middle..that is of course no problem, since you represent everybody with a fair share…now…quality of life…should be the basic question…learning from other countries…for example energy should be private of public…you will find the logical answer is public..but should Public Service be big or small…follow logic. Concessions should be taken..if choosing big Public Service then no lifelong sucured public job…too risky being exploited see Greece as best example ever! Logic..building a fair enough Europe is our only hope…logic prevails…always

  80. avatar

    The politics of poverty and homelessness

  81. avatar
    Chris Pavlides

    The political system in total has failed => since it works just as a marketing segmentation tool towards power chair.

  82. avatar
    Gabrielón Lorenzoni

    If the invisible hand could fix the imbalances of the eurozone, he would destroy the fixed exchange rates between eurozone’s countries..

  83. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    I strongly recommend the book “The liberal Hegemony” by Thomas Molnar.

    Another must-read on the economics side of neoliberalism, which is the main driver behind the ideology.
    “Big Business, Poor Peoples: How Transnational Corporations Damage the World’s Poor (Second Edition): The Impact of Transnational Corporations on the World’s Poor”

  84. avatar
    Leo Raffaele

    Yes enough, Europe can go on as a Socialist/Democratic Union/Federation, we are not like USA and capitalism cannot work here, in the USA there are 70 millions of poor people, Europeans have (luckily) a different culture

  85. avatar

    If Britain does not like Europe as it is, why does it not try to change it? But you cannot change Europe if you are not in Europe. Of course you must be capable to reach agreements with the other members. Escaping from Europe is anything but bringing solutions to the problems of Europe.

  86. avatar

    SOME of the issues are about sovereignty, intake of immigrants, fishing, the break from imposed laws and legislation Basically many British people do not agree with the EU agenda, which is set for a united Europe which, in some minds, has a deleterious effect and many want to navigate their own destiny. Some British people do not feel part of Europe and others do not want to. This is not about Europe but about an ideology which is destroying lives.

  87. avatar
    Luke Stenner

    I don’t think the general populations give a toss about all these isms…….it’s what is right or wrong

  88. avatar
    Andras Toth

    Thomas Biebricher, neoliberalism was, principally, aimed to rescue liberalism, classical liberalism from distortions of progressive liberalism, which transformed liberalism, a principally pro-market idea with limited role to the state into a pro-state and anti-market ideology.

  89. avatar
    Franck Néo Legon

    No, it’s a success for a very few, but killing all the rest of us, even our economies and industrial structures on a short run.

  90. avatar
    Alin Marian

    If alternative to neo-liberalism is some sort of socialism, then this may not be such an exciting idea. An economy makes progress by competition. If the state is an important player, then competition is being killed. The state is the killer of competition and in many cases the generator of corruption. Maybe neoliberalism should be adjusted in a way that more funds are allocated to education and health. Not much more. I lived 17 years of my life in communism and I have seen what the state and the “red” ideology can do. No more please. The problem in Western Europe today is that people became too lazy, willing to work less and less and earn lots of money. I think this cannot work and I think the area of future growth in Europe are the Central countries (Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, Poland) where knowledge is developing and the cost of labor is still decent.

  91. avatar
    Erich Scheffl

    When do you realise, that YOU, YOU, EU destroyed so much. The lives of Miilions of people. Because of the greedy Lobbyistic system, which supports only the rich. We need a BSC and have to work for the welfare of the people. http://www.WWSEEP.com .

  92. avatar
    Hr Tom Mosen

    it has allways been a fail – just like the ‘tickle down economics’ theory – it is a scam, a great scam to plunder their cocitizens

  93. avatar

    The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The standard by which societies and their citizens are measured, is money. If you believe this is the way to go, then neoliberalism is the right choice.

  94. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    The EU will truly be great when it drops labels, ideals and party ideals and just creates a simple ethical code of making decisions that do not harm anybody and benefit everybody.

  95. avatar
    Richard Osborne

    Less regulation??? C’mon. We have more and more and more regulation, more red tape, more useless MEPs lining their own pockets with useless mmeetings events and information sharing etc that could easily be done by email but they have to have a ‘meeting’ inclusive of an extensive expense account

  96. avatar

    Everyone is writing as though a choice is available, it isn’t. We are stuck with funny money, systems that are hard to navigate or do not work at all and no-one actually cares. Authorities are set up to serve only vested interests and give a facade of ethical honesty (the ombudsman of hope) when in fact the entire system is corrupt. No justice, no redress, rubbish work conditions robbed of housing, robbed of work and robbed blind by large corporations; two parties who have no vitality and no ideas that work. Anyone with vitality is quickly denigrated and pushed aside; we do not know if we can believe any of the parties. Even Jeremy Corben, the great hope of the left, serves up the same policies. There is no energy. It is sad to see people have not realised that power reigns.

  97. avatar
    João Roque

    Neoliberalism has never been applied, when we bail out banks and big companies we are doing the exact opposite of neoliberalism

  98. avatar
    Theofanis Faid Koulouris

    I guess the biggest failure was that it allowed baffoons like Tsipras and other leftists and right wind populist to be part of the political scheme.

  99. avatar
    Wolfgang Mizelli

    fail or not fail depends who you ask. I say: Yes! if we mean the economical religion of privatizing all services and common goods is a good thing. market rules itself and states and laws are oppressive and paternalistic. and the credo: he (it) who has the money rules! and off course no taxes if you can avoid it.

  100. avatar
    Wolfgang Mizelli

    bailing out banks and companies fits the neoliberal mantra: privatize the profit and socalise the costs!

  101. avatar
    Jeremy Bornstein

    The real question is has Globalism failed,it has. Both the center and extreme left has not realized this

    • avatar

      I agree, the failure is globalism. It’s happening too fast. The poor in rich nations are being pushed down towards the level of poor nations rather than those in poor nations being raised up.

  102. avatar
    Boyko Vesselinov

    Let me put it this way: Recently Merkel appealed to migrants to show understanding to consumption of pork. No one sees anything wrong with this picture?

  103. avatar
    Γεώργιος Δανιηλίδης

    On the contrary succeded to steal and transfer income from low and middle classes-companies to big monopolies and financial sharks and eliminate basic democratic and social achievements of citizens going back to 1914 status.

  104. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    The irony is most pro EU fanatics are left of centre but support the Brussels structure which is ‘neoliberal ‘ to the core.

    To be anti ‘neoliberal ‘ you must also be anti EU, a fact most EU fanatics conveniently ignore.

  105. avatar
    Zoltan Kiss

    YES! On the other hand it has succeeded in making the rich richer and diminishing the middle classes.

  106. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    Neoliberalism is yet another extremist construct: he who has the wealth influences policies. Deregulation/lax rules ensure that his competitive advantage (coming from capital, know-how, connections) is realized in profit-making to the detriment of small local businesses, now on global scale.
    National governments are more expensive and more difficult to control than big federal constructs, so they promote internationalism to the detriment of local national cultures and governing.
    “They” are the oligarchs.
    Most governments make plans for their 4-yr terms, the oligarchs think in terms of dinasty.
    The charities they run are usually involved in education — this way they ensure that the educated layers of society share the same economic and social views.
    Given the extreme (and growing) differences in wealth, neoliberalism paves the way to a modern slaving society under the rule of corporate government with Hollywood movies that tell ppl how free they are >> sci-fi comes true.

  107. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    If Former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso being handed a golden ticket job by the gods of ‘neoliberalism’ Goldman Sachs doesn’t show you how rotten the EU is then you are a lost cause.

  108. avatar
    Giulia Noia Dipresa

    off topic: while we’re daydreaming, NATO troops (1000 just from USA, more from UK, Italy etc..) are being set in East European Countries to defend them against “possible” russian attacks… what?!

  109. avatar
    Gabriele Mogni

    Capitalism could work if it went back to doing what it was originally designed to do: stimulate the growth of the private manufacturing sector and entrepreneurship spirit…..

  110. avatar
    Marco Peel

    What has failed are the lies.
    Less regulation is about cutting red tape, not cutting corners.
    There is no such thing as free trade unless it is also fair.
    Call it what you want, but the EU is currently moving back to feudalism – the strongest and the dirtiest win, by law. The result is economic, social and moral regression, sustained by violence.
    The EU was founded precisely to counter that, so what is really failing is the EU…

  111. avatar
    Duncan Melville

    Of course it has been successful…the gap between the rich and poor has got wider in the last 30 years. That is the main idea in neoliberalism.

  112. avatar
    José Bessa da Silva

    Has it ever worked? Capitalism is self-destructive. It is based upon capital comulation. That means eventually the masses will have no capital to buy what the economical elite sells and so the system crashes. This had been prevented with a wealth redistribution but since this measure has been slowly reversed it is starting to fail. Capitalism is a failed policy.

  113. avatar
    Tony Muñiz

    Yes it has, we should be forced into communism, cause thats proven to work. The problem is not capitalism. The problem is governments not controlling corrupt financial institutions and corrupt politicians. But what has been applied so far is uncontrolled capitalism where profits are private yet losses are socialized. Like EU bank bailouts, forced into accepting bailouts and instead of banks paying for it, or paying it back, it is on taxpayers dime that these banks were bailed out. And due to these bailouts we are forced into budget cuts by the same EU that forced us into bank bailouts.

  114. avatar
    Kate Traditionog

    Due To Racism Treating Black Africans With Extremely Hate Is Dangerous To Life..Communism Is What Will Destroy Europe Allowing Putin To Remain In Power Is Dangerous Get Putin Out He Is The New Global Terrorist Enabler .

  115. avatar
    Petio Peshov

    Time to reform to a new system more direct democracy, referendum systems, political literacy and more engaged citizens. It s on us to bring the change and the politicians just to follow and execute the people’s will properly. Liberalism today is starting to act like totalitarian system.

  116. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto vestias

    European neo-leberalism weaken this they may have learned politics but they never leaned integrity are in counter Gauges on the vision of Europe being discordant with reality The wonderful utopia as real communism can not be applicable in the real Europe

  117. avatar
    Belamie Versco

    promoting competition and growth only means to promote garbage dumps and pollution. politicians are enforcing the wrong values in society.

  118. avatar
    Yanni Sfyrides

    Failed or succeded comparing to which system?? If compared to itself it should be better.If compared to Kommunism then try to call Chinese and Russsians to go back to those days!! Their answer will be THE answer for our debate.

  119. avatar
    Máté János

    No need for question mark, it’s a sad fact: inequalities have grown, virtual economy destroyied the real one and political correctness weakened Europe’s immune system and now the migrants – thanks to Mr. Soros and other – are coming to finish the hostile takeover :-( …

  120. avatar

    Im a classic working class , liveing next to a lovely town called bradford , I find my self being threatened and intimidated by muslims just for being white are makeing a non rascist but flipant comments (engineer) gets better darkest bradford many dont even know english , and when the police need to enforce the law they are blocked by the islamic leaders, last time the police went in to lift a gang of asians that were rapeing white girls it caused a riot.


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