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Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste

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Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste

How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown

Verso Books,

15 mins. de lectura
10 ideas fundamentales
Audio y Texto

¿De qué se trata?

The cult of free markets has brainwashed you; read this to get deprogrammed.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Markets aren’t just for stocks and bonds; it seems every problem facing society calls for a market solution. For many people, that seems logical. But economics philosopher Philip Mirowski believes that’s because the neoliberals have brainwashed the public. He plumbs neoliberalism – an overarching faith in free markets’ ability to ensure optimal human well-being – to reveal how it shapes finance, economics, governments, science and society, and seldom for the better. Mirowski attributes the 2008 financial crisis to neoliberalism run amok, and laments that the response to the crisis continues to draw from “the neoliberal playbook.” This sharp, witty and revealing work is not always accessible reading, but it’s worth the effort. Mirowski will lead you to question everything you take for granted about economics and its societal implications. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends this wide-ranging, philosophically based, reality-driven analysis to anyone who wants a cogent take on how the world got into such a mess.


The Song Remains the Same

Judging by the response of governments, economists, politicians and pundits, the 2008 financial crisis didn’t teach the world very much. You might think the greatest economic disaster since the 1930s Great Depression would spur experts and policy makers to reach new conclusions and draw innovative lessons about what led up to the crisis and how to redress its effects. You might expect these thought leaders to collaborate on mechanisms and policies to ensure that a similar economic and financial disruption would never happen again. But you’d be wrong.

Neoliberal philosophy – “the belief in the sufficiency of markets to secure human welfare” – keeps society chained to belief systems and economic theories that have reigned since the 1980s. This despite the fact that the dislocations caused by the 2008 crisis should disavow those systems and theories. Free-market proponents have taken advantage of – and, in many cases, created – confusion surrounding the causes of the crisis to reassert their political and economic worldview.

Conservative economists Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises and others formed The Neoliberal Thought Collective (NTC...

About the Author

Philip Mirowski is an economics philosopher and a historian at the University of Notre Dame. He also wrote Machine Dreams.

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