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April 25, 2018 / C H Thompson

New Right social theory

In addition to Friedman Peter Bauer advocated additional responsibility’s for government in two areas:

  1. Health and education
  2. The management of monetary and fiscal (tax/spending) system
  • In essence Friedman and Bauer’s free-market economy does not eliminate the need for government it simply ‘rolls it back’ to a minimum
  • this is because the production, distribution and trade of goods and services is best left to private profit making firms rather than public government (state run) organisations – in contrast Corbyn wants to expand the role of the state
  • In other words business should be free of government interference to do as it wishes as ‘exchange can bring about co-ordination without coercion.
  • A working model of a society organised through voluntary exchange is a free enterprise exchange economy’ (Friedman).
  • These principles were famously adopted by Mrs Thatcher who started introducing free market economic policies in education – 1988 Education Reform Act – marketization of education.

Further evaluative points

  • Noam Chomsky’s book ‘Profit Over People’ (1999) adopts a similar position to Corbyn
  • by arguing that neo-liberal economics has reduced the power of ordinary people to influence government policy as it has merely served to increase the wealth and power of unelected executives of corporations
  • Chomsky points out reducing the role of the state (and its size) restricts its capacity to improve or assist vulnerable people in society.
  • Therefore reduced state involvement, reduces the power of the state to shape society according to its wishes (state centred theorists) or the wishes of the people (pluralist state theory).

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