Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 19, Issue 11/12, 2009

Towards Universal Civilizations

Charles Brown
Pages 81-97

Solidarity and Universalism as Premises of Overcoming the Perils of Liberal Globalisation

Many scholars have argued that neoliberal economic theory articulates the justifying ideology for contemporary globalization. This ideology claims that “free market” solutions are always the best mechanisms for not only promoting economic growth but for all human problems. This first part of this paper provides a conceptual and historical overview of neoliberal economic theory with critical commentary on two key neoliberal dogma, viz., the idea that markets know best and that privatization and deregulation are inevitable. The second part of the paper discusses the impact of neoliberal policies on the environment and on indigenous peoples around the world. The paper concludes by arguing that neoliberal ideology differs from classical liberalism by privileging the Hobbesian theory of human nature and human rationality over the Kantian understanding of human nature and human rationality. The result is the ascendancy of economic liberty over political liberty.

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