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Neoliberalism vs. Ordoliberalism

“My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest.”- Mahatma Gandhi. In this paper, I will show the differences between two types of liberal thought, Neoliberalism and Ordoliberalism, that have attempted to achieve Gandhi’s notion. Merriam-Webster defines Neo-liberalism as “a liberal who de-emphasizes traditional liberal doctrines in order to seek progress by more pragmatic methods.” Liberalism can refer to any social, economic, or even religious idea, whereas “neo” refers to a new form of an idea. The first type of liberalism gained recognition in Europe in 1776 by Adam Smith when he published his classic novel, The Wealth of Nations. Smith, along with others, advocated for the abolition of government intervention in economic matters. These included no restrictions on manufacturing, no barriers to commerce, no tariffs, but instead free trade and open competition. These economic ideas were considered “liberal” since no controls and individualism was encouraged. This however, only led to capitalists making huge profits. Until the Great Depression in 1929, economic liberalism prevailed in the United States. Using the Great Depression as his stepping-stone, John Maynard Keynes challenged liberalism as the best policy for capitalism. He stated that for capitalism to grow, full employment must be achieved. The only way to attain that is for governments and central banks to intervene. The belief that government should intercede became widely accepted as President’s Roosevelt’s New Deal improved the quality of life for many. In the past 25 years, economic liberalism has been revived by the corporate elite. This neo-liberalism is a set of new economic policies that have become widespread with the globalization of the capitalist economy. In January of 1997, Elizabeth Martinez and Arnoldo Garcia of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights published these m...

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Neoliberalism vs. Ordoliberalism. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 05:04, September 02, 2014, from