Nevermind that market and neoliberalism, as the latter is understood today, can be quite different things. In fact, one could argue that the original idea of neoliberalism, as developed from late 1930s onwards, is almost the opposite of that neoliberalism which, today, is being accused, often with good reason, as the cause of all economic evil. Neoliberalism came to life in the late 1930s as an attempt to find a Third Way between the conflicting philosophies of classical liberalism (complete laissez-faire) and socialism. In the decades that followed, the term neoliberal tended to object to the complete laissez-faire doctrine of classical liberalism, and promoted instead a market economy under the guidance and rules of a strong state, a model which came to be known as the social market economy (Ludwig Erhard).As regards the market, Mr. Tsipras should be happy for it. Politically, if there hadn’t been a free market for votes in Greece, Tsipras might never have become Prime Minister (on the other hand, the Castro’s might not have remained in power if there had been a free market for votes in Cuba). Economically, the market begins with the street markets in Greece. There is no better way of seeing how a market works than spending a couple of hours at a Greek Λαϊκή. A wonderful experience of observing supply and demand in action. The more the forces of supply and demand, the forces of reasonable competition, are restrained, the more one becomes subject to arbitrary (and perhaps unfair) judgments of others (or, as one of the founders of the original neoliberalism would have said: subject to the coercion of others).
Having said all that, my point is still a different one here. Mr. Tsipras has been touring the capitals to persuade foreigners that Greece is a wonderful place to do business, a great place for foreign investors, perhaps even a nirwana for private enterprise. And here is my question:
Will denouncing the inhuman logic of the market be conducive to accomplishing this objective? Or perhaps not?