The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

I think what we’ve learned in Britain is that we’ve gradually, over the last certainly 12 or 13 years, with perhaps a little interruption, gone slowly further and further away from the free society towards something else…. At the same time we’ve found—I don’t find it strange, but some other people do —that we have stopped creating wealth. We’ve had a large number of increasing restrictions. And you’ve been finding two things: First, that we are more and more concentrating on redistributing the wealth we’ve got, rather than creating any more. To create more, you need a slightly freer society, and you need an incentive society. Naturally when I see that happening, I look with very great alarm to societies which have gone even further left. That is, they’ve tried to redistribute even more and haven’t had the incentives for people working hard on their own account, doing well for their families and often then being able to create jobs for others, they’ve produced a much more prosperous society than we have. But by and large you’ve got the two broad, different economic and political approaches.

Margaret Thatcher on Firing Line with William F. Buckley in 1977. (HT: Althouse)


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  1. The history of neoliberalism points to a restriction of personal freedoms of the people. This includes today’s England as well as Chile and Argentina in the ’70s and Russia in the ’90s. There are plenty of other examples that can be listed. The “freedoms” that proponents of neoliberalism point to are not freedoms but privileges. For liberty – equality = privilege. And what neoliberalism brought was loosening of the chains of social and environmental responsibilities for those with wealth and either a silencing or disregard of the voice of the people. Note that Thatcher’s introduction of neoliberalism in the England did not occur until after the war in the Falkland Islands.

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