When you consider the concept of neoliberalism, it’s important to understand that politically, this is a movement that is still very recent in terms of the length of time it’s existed. Whereas things such as neoconservatism and others are relatively new in their own right, people are just starting to wake up to the fact that there are other forms of liberalism and conservatism, but neoliberalism is especially new. While it is constantly promoted and criticized at the same time, it’s important to understand it conceptually from top to bottom to really get a good idea of what the philosophy means politically speaking, and what we can do to ensure we have a complete idea of the positive and benefits of it.
Advantages of Neoliberalism
1. The Philosophy
For one, it’s important to understand that any philosophy that has the word “neo” in it implies that it is new. When it comes to neoliberalism, this is a brand-new ideology that has never before been seen. This means that unlike philosophies of old, there are actually new concepts and ideas being espoused. This is a great thing about it. This means that rather than having a smaller government, there will be much more in terms of new ideas that ceom from it. Rather than relying on old or outdated concepts, a lot more people are willing to open their mind to it.
2. Increased Governmental Influence
Also, neoliberalism features bigger governmental influence, which ensures that if a president or politician actually wants to get something done, they can use neoliberalism to their advantage and actually advocate for some progressive change. This is in stark contrast to a lot of other ideologies where the only thing promoted is a foundation of consistency and normalcy. To really get progressive change, it demands that someone open their mind, and that is precisely where neoliberalism comes into play.
Disadvantages of Neoliberalism
1. Smaller Government
Classical liberals are supposed to be in favor of smaller government, and that is ironically one of the biggest disadvantages of neoliberalism. Rather than ensuring that government doesn’t become too oppressive, instead, it can actually become bigger and stronger. This can be a bad thing because if you’re worried about unchecked governmental influence, it won’t be able to be stopped under a neoliberalistic banner of sorts.
Overall, while it is a good political philosophy, people should be aware that at times it can simply be way too powerful for its own good.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.