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Old January 18th, 2013, 12:24 PM   #21

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I suspect capitalism existed long before friedman. Am making reference to neoliberalism which came to life in Pinochet 's Chile and which was adopted by the Us And UK by Ronny and Maggie after the Chicago school economists successfully experimented on Chile's. population as if they were bunch of human labrats or Guinea pigs.

And as far as I am aware neoliberalism results more or less in the emiseration of the vast majority of societies that fall victim to it.
Firstly, I believe no such scheme existed when the autocratic ruler in question came to power. The first years of military rule in Chile and Argentina saw strong government action eventually surpassed by economic liberal doctrines, which in my opinion did much to undermine the strength of the juntas. A tyrant who don't mind his purse is obviously doomed. Castro has known better.

As for Friedman, why are you trying to drag us into discussing this? He was not the Minister of Finance of Chile, and publicly stated he did not condone dictatorship, though he believed his policies would lead to their downfall. You might as well, with insufficiently higher credibility, blame Keynes for the crimes of Nazi Germany.

As for "victim"... I can hardly think of any Latin American country with a better standard of living than Chile.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 12:38 PM   #22

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The idea that the freedoms of neoliberalism led to the fall of Pinochet is as valid as the idea that the freedoms of Soviet Union socialism led to its collapse. It makes no sense.

And to compare Chile to the rest of Latin America is weird. Considering the fact that Latin American economies until recently were defined more or less by similar neoliberal ideas which you and other supporters claim are responsible for the success of Chile. Most socialist or Leftist regime in S America was ousted by US influence and had their economies dominated by the same doctrines especially during the 1980s.

Comparing one victim of neoliberslism to other victims of neoliberalism to prove the superiority of neoliberalism seems strange.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 12:56 PM   #23

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The idea that the freedoms of neoliberalism led to the fall of Pinochet is as valid as the idea that the freedoms of Soviet Union socialism led to its collapse. It makes no sense.
First, I believe it disgraceful to call a military dictatorship subject to the school of "liberalism". And no, I am not claiming there is any freedom to it, "merely" that, as the Kirkpatrick doctrine suggested, authoritarian regimes with non-complete control over economy, culture and social life would inevietably be less stable and more prone to change, even against its will, as has proven by the collapse of every regime on the American mainland. If you want to build a thousand-year Reich, learn to control the economy or you will end up the sucker.

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you and other supporters claim are responsible for the success of Chile.
Well, Chile is placed at the very top in terms of economic freedom and has the third highest Human Development Index in the Western Hemisphere after the US and Canada. Somehow I do not attribute this coincidence to pure chance.

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Comparing one victim of neoliberslism to other victims of neoliberalism to prove the superiority of neoliberalism seems strange.
I am not claiming the "superiority" of any doctrine, and I do not ascribe myself to "neoliberalism", whatever that is. People who are oppressed are oppressed, whatever you call the label of oppression. If one set of policies ruins the country and forces its non-elected government to resign to be turned over to justice while another makes it "too successful" and leads to demands for democratic reforms and reestablished civil liberties then I can only applaud the end result.

What you decry as neoliberalism does not appear to be the best friend of any dictator. Perhaps you could join each other in decrying it.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 02:00 PM   #24

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Hayek was a lot less strongly a partisan man in his time than you probably think he was. He had more or less come around to the desirability, if not the necessity, of the welfare state in some form by his death. In fact, there is a lot of reason to like the elder Hayek significantly more than the younger man (although the younger Hayek was surely a beast of an economist).
I see. Very interesting, I was indeed not aware of that, neither it seems, is the majority of libertarians.

Anyway I think that the quotation I responded to was attributed to "The Road to Serfdom", which I am quite sure is an early work of his.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 02:12 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by mansamusa View Post
The idea that the freedoms of neoliberalism led to the fall of Pinochet is as valid as the idea that the freedoms of Soviet Union socialism led to its collapse. It makes no sense.

And to compare Chile to the rest of Latin America is weird. Considering the fact that Latin American economies until recently were defined more or less by similar neoliberal ideas which you and other supporters claim are responsible for the success of Chile. Most socialist or Leftist regime in S America was ousted by US influence and had their economies dominated by the same doctrines especially during the 1980s.

Comparing one victim of neoliberslism to other victims of neoliberalism to prove the superiority of neoliberalism seems strange.
It did make the transition to democracy easier. Liberalism also lead to a more long term stable society/economy in Chile. Im not sure quite how liberal other South American regimes were. Whilst not hard left they were still a far cry from being liberal or free-market.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 02:33 PM   #26

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My republican side does not fully agree with Friedman's full scale liberalism but he was surely the greatest economist of the 20th century. I think he was right in most of what he said/wrote despite if we consider some of his ideas desirable or not. He was not a libertarian of the Ayn Rand type by the way, he made that clear, he saw himself as a pragmatic libertarian. He was a critic of the gold standard, he understood education had to be provided by the state in some degree.



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Old January 18th, 2013, 03:05 PM   #27

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Naomi Klein challenges Milton Friedman on his own turf, economics and the concept of disaster capitalism.

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Old January 18th, 2013, 03:41 PM   #28

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First, I believe it disgraceful to call a military dictatorship subject to the school of "liberalism". And no, I am not claiming there is any freedom to it, "merely" that, as the Kirkpatrick doctrine suggested, authoritarian regimes with non-complete control over economy, culture and social life would inevietably be less stable and more prone to change, even against its will, as has proven by the collapse of every regime on the American mainland. If you want to build a thousand-year Reich, learn to control the economy or you will end up the sucker.
Well, Chile is placed at the very top in terms of economic freedom and has the third highest Human Development Index in the Western Hemisphere after the US and Canada. Somehow I do not attribute this coincidence to pure chance.

What you decry as neoliberalism does not appear to be the best friend of any dictator. Perhaps you could join each other in decrying it.
Pinochet was a fascist regime. His success was no different from Hitler or Mussolini who achieved phenomenal economic progress inspite of being beastly regimes. Pinochet's success in political economy should not be hijacked and stolen by the Chicago school of economics. These fascist regimes are well known for their economic pragmatism.

Japan during and just before world war 2 is also an example of a similar regime. Pinochet and his generals followed only partially the advice of the Chicago school economists. Many of Chile's generals were known to view these neoliberal economists as crazy.

Chile is praised by that economic school because of his destruction of trade unions and deregulation of labour through fascism was one of their fantasies. Friedman and Hayek saw trade unions as a kind of existential evil.

However the economic success of Chile was strongly related to mining which remained a nationalized industry, inspite of this so called influence of this rabid free market extremism.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 03:54 PM   #29

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And thank god. How many BILLIONS of people have been lifted out of poverty in the last thirty years? What astounding advances in technology have come to pass? Capitalism may be a noxious ideology to True Believers like you, but for people who are actually out there in the world suffering it represents the first real hope many have ever seen.

I'm by no means a full believer in the modern 'take' on political economy, but the system has enjoyed an immense amount of success for all its flaws.
Capitalism and Friedmanic neoliberalism are not synonyms. The latter is the extreme, with no restraints, application of the former. In a sense, it is an ideological obsession detached from social realities and given a religious quality by its advocates and the handful of people that gain from it.

The ideas of Friedman are a true danger to Capitalism, because they create a nightmarish world where a financial oligarchy rules everything, and in the end, even democracy is substituted by plutocracy. Such a system is not sustainable and is bound to be overthrown by popular revolts, or consumed by its own excesses. Capitalism needs rules to function in a reasonable manner and protection of the weak to curb its excesses; absolute freedom is no freedom at all, but, ultimately,enslavement to the stronger. 'Free market' is one of the greatest myths of the past century.

Because of the obnoxious results that Friedman's ideas carried for the lives of the majority, no society ever accepted them through a peaceful, democratic procedure. And I don't mean partial measures belonging to his agenda, but the whole menu, like privatisation of everything with the exception of the military, including healthcare, pension system, education, every means of production, complete abolishment of labour legislation, complete withdrawal of the state and its laws from the economy and the labour market. These things could only be applied by dictators (like Pinochet) and by countries kept hostages by the IMF (countless examples). Friedman theories could only be applied to countries in a state of shock: a war, a bankruptcy, a dictatorship, when extreme situations could justify extreme measures and bypass public resistance.

If billions of people have been lifted out of poverty because of Capitalism, as you say, billions of people have been plunged to unparalleled poverty and misery because of neoliberalism and the spread of this form of extreme capitalism.

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Sweden is not a case of state socialism; rather a mixed economy.
If by 'state socialism' Hayek meant the economic model of the Soviet Union, no, of course it isn't. It is a mixed economy, as most countries in the world, but it is a very, very different state from what Friedman would advocate. The Nordic model is the closest thing to democratic socialism one can get, a viable marriage between Capitalism and Marxism.

Why are the Scandinavian countries, and not more neoliberal (or less socialist) ones, some of the happiest in the world?
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Old January 18th, 2013, 04:21 PM   #30

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@Solidaire
Hayek 's economic philosophy was a direct reaction against the kind of mixed economy of Norway or Sweden.
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