domingo, 10 de enero de 2010


By: Felipe Argote

To begin the description of the neoliberal model I must reiterate that there are so many number of economic trends that is very difficult to establish the boundaries that divide each one. By contrast, many economists are distanced in some subjects and then like asymptotes approach as either passed directly to the same ground in certain topics. It is therefore very likely that some neoliberal be offended by being called as such while others, being neoliberal not even have noticed what they are. Other claim themselves as liberals just because they don’t feel conservatives, while others are liberals by the opposite, because they considered being fairly conservative in their outlook. Everything is a range of colors and flavors. Thus depends on the perspective. It's like the news perspective. I know that in America most consider to CNN as a leftist because FOX is conservative. In Latin America in change most would say that CNN presents the perspective of the empire and therefore their news must pass through the sieve of doubt and is not always objective in their offices to be conservative in view of the large Latin American audience.

It also is the economic outlook. It depends on who does the analysis. From our point of view the genesis of neo-liberalism is written in the book “Principles of Political Economy” of the Austrian Carl Menger who lived from mid-nineteenth century until the beginning of the second decade of the twentieth century. Although genetically Menger was Austrian actually he was born in Poland because Galicia his hometown at the time was part of Austria but it is now Poland. Menger was not an economist but a lawyer. Not to be surprised. In Panama lawyers talk about the economy as if they were experts in that social science with the sole difference that Carl Menger really knew what he was talking about. He graduated in law at the University of Krakow and later turned to writing as a journalist in economic news. In 1871 he published "Principles of Political Economy". His first book was ignored by the critics but the second published in 1883 under the title Investigations into the Method of the Social Sciences with Special Reference to Economics was scorned and their positions were the focus of derision in the intellectual circles of the time. In fact the term "Austrian economic school" was generated in a pejorative way after the battle of Königgrätz, where was faced the two countries of Germanic origin: Germany won against Austria. After this battle fought in what is now territory of the Czech Republic in 1866, Austrian was called a derogatory term in the triumphant Germany. So the Germans, led by Gustav von Schmoller, the founder of modern historicist school, taunted and Menger's writings attributed to him being head of the economic tendency they called "Austrian school". It would be like today call the Galician school as the plural number of jokes against Galicians, giving it a clearly exaggerated stupidity. In the debate between Menger and Schmoller is known as the "Methodenstreit" or discussion among the modern historicist and Austrian schools.

The Austrian school was later developed by the disciple of Menger Eugen Böhm-Bawerk. The main difference between classical and Austrian school is that the latter emphasize the demand rather than supply and the utility instead of production costs.

Perhaps the first to use the term neoliberalism was Ludwig von Mises in his book published in 1927 "Liberalismus" uses the term to refer to a socialist economists that their view not being sufficiently Laiz affaires pose as liberals. But that was two years before the launch of the Great Depression of the global economy and that he carried in his shot the prestige of the liberal model.

Some economists, especially the highly discredited liberal trend after the stock market crash of 1929 recovered some aspects of those proposed by Menger and add some of their own pocket for a current general criticism to Keynes, new bright star of the economic heavenly vault . After the debacle of the New York market, economists of the current against state intervention in the economy for many years it was difficult to took them back together, even just to meet as current. Such was the damage to his concept of the invisible hand that never rebuild the economy. But in 1938 is the meeting in Paris where among others met Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig Von Mises, Alexander Rüstow, Wilhelm Röpke, Detauoff, Condliffe, Polanyi, Lippman and Baudin. Here meet the so-called new liberal and coined the term neoliberalism with a new meaning. Its new meaning is more neo-classical liberalism was coined by differentiating the classical liberalism of Adam Smith and David Ricardo.

This current cannot step away from a conversation between disgraced intellectuals for a long time. After World War II gives the so-called boom of the postwar Keynesian thinking not only settled but strengthened the hand of the great growth of the global economy, the miraculous recovery of Europe and the introduction in tropical version of the Keynesian model in Latin America through the so-called import substitution model.

But neoliberals an heir of the Austrian School does not fainted. In 1947 the majority of liberal economists such as Ludwig Von Mises, Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman, along with some journalists and the philosopher Karl Popper climb all in one car and head towards Mont Pelerin in Switzerland where they gather to reminisce the old days and set a new strategy. This meeting comes as the leading Austrian Friedrich von Hayek who then published the book "The Road to Serfdom" in which she compares to Keynesianism as a route similar to that defeated Hitler's fascism, establishing equality with both Soviet communism drive interventionism state. Hayek Austrian leadership is what leads to the false belief by some that refer to the Austrian school of economics is due to this economist, born in Vienna.

After the crisis of the Keynesian model in the seventies where this is unable to respond to global recession and instead creates the new phenomenon of stagflation and at the inconsistency of the so-called Phillips curve trade-off facing unemployment vs inflation, plus the debt crisis of the eighties also called the lost decade, the logical result of the dance of the millions of the seventies alternative emerges as alternative economic model, neo-liberalism, with the help of international financial institutions. But this new version of the classic and neoclassic old liberalism was reissued without the invisible hand and with state intervention, but only as a guarantor of free supply and demand and to theoretically prevent private monopolies.

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