Liberalism: Freedom From

In theory, capitalism allocates a smaller role for government than any system before it. This empowers businesses. Banks are a notable example.

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Although it is true that businesses are very empowered today, the smallness of government is a myth. Lang points out over and over that neoliberal capitalism is only possible under very particular exercises of state power. The freedom from government intervention guaranteed in a neoliberal state is secured only for the consumer and the producer, and the resulting economic activity in turn supports and reinforces the power of the state. This is telling because it reminds us that we cannot understand capitalism on its own theoretical terms. Its implementation not only deviates from classical economics but is constituted in a complex world where any social system seems to necessarily violate and erase others. Marx would argue that the imperial nature of neoliberalism is intrinsic to capitalism.

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