You cant buck the market

One is the shift rightward in economic ideology. There was a political struggle to identify the main cause of the various economic problems of the period, but the version that won was best exemplified by Thatcherism and Reaganomics, usually referred to by academics as 'neoliberalism'. This was promoted by a group of economists at the University of Chicago (the 'Chicago boys') who went on to hold influential positions in governments and international institutions where they enthusiastically sought to experiment with the free-market proscriptions advocated by their professors including the father of the 'Chicago school', Milton Friedman.14

This approach argued that the crisis in this period occurred because the state had become too involved in the detail of economic management, and the 'natural' effects of markets had thus been distorted. The solutions proposed included an emphasis on free markets, 'rolling back the state', privatisation of publicly owned industries and the retrenchment of the welfare state.

This sort of economic management started with the experiment in Chile in 1973, when General Pinochet overthrew the elected president Salvador Allende in a violent and bloody coup, and brought in the Chicago boys to overhaul the economy and rebuild it along neoliberal lines. But it then took off in the USA and the UK, and afterwards has progressively become the norm across the world. It did so in part because of the dominance of those two countries in global financial markets, but also because of their use of the IMF and the World Bank whose mandate was to promote neoliberal reform agendas in countries from the South (and in the former Soviet bloc after 1989). This

14 See for example, D. Harvey, A Brief History of NeoLiberalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005); or N. Klein, The Shock Doctrine: the rise of disaster capitalism (Toronto: Vintage Books, 2007).

ideological preference for markets over state-led economic planning has fundamentally shaped the sorts of climate change policies that have become more or less taken for granted.

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