Milton Friedman on the import of crises

Milton Friedman – one of the scholastic protagonists and machinists of Neoliberalism – wrote in the preface to the 1982 edition of Capitalism and Freedom, tutoring his disciples:

“There is enormous inertia — a tyranny of the status quo — in private and especially governmental arrangements. Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.” (Friedman 1982: xiii-xiv).

To learn in-depth about the powerful role of crises — actual or perceived — in promoting and applying neoliberal policies read Naomi Klein’s classic and superb The Shock Doctrine (2007).

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  1. Isidor Wallimann, Ph.D
    OPEN SOURCE BOOKS and FREE DOWNLOADS Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development: The Social Economy Basel example 2. The Great Sustainability Challenge 3. Urban Agriculture as Embedded in the Social and Solidarity Economy Basel: Developing Sustainable Communities 4. Can the World Industrialization Project Be Sustained? 5. On the Edge of Scarcity: Environment, Resources, Population, Sustainability, and Conflict

  2. A final and fitting tribute to Friedman are the skinheads at Trump rallies wearing T-shirts saying “Pinochet did nothing wrong”.

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