1828 and the Adam Smith Institute are proud to present The Neoliberal Manifesto. Edited by Matthew Lesh, Head of Research at the ASI; Jack Powell, Founder and Editor of 1828; and Matt Gillow, Founder of 1828 and Research Associate at the ASI, it is our blueprint for a freer and more prosperous Britain.
At our core, neoliberals are champions of freedom.
We believe that the role of government is to protect and facilitate your liberty to flourish – as long as you do not interfere with others doing the same.
The neoliberal believes that society is built from the individual up and not from the state down. We believe in the power of individuals to voluntarily self-organise, in businesses, charities, and other community groups for their own self-fulfilment.
We believe that all individuals are of equal moral worth, and deserving of dignity and protection of their rights, no matter their immutable characteristics.
We are liberal consequentialists. We ask: does this policy increase an individual’s ability to flourish without restricting their liberty? If so, it is an idea we can support.
The neoliberal supports free markets, which have proven the most effective method to deliver prosperity and safeguard individual liberty. Markets effectively allocate scarce resources and encourage innovation. We support property rights, low taxes, and minimal necessary regulation.
We support limited, effective redistribution to enable the life chances and opportunity for the poorest – but we are wary that even the best-intentioned safety nets can entangle individuals.
We support other necessary market intervention to address externalities, but we reject the arrogant creed of paternalism.
The neoliberal is a rational optimist: we accept the overwhelming evidence that the world is getting better and expect it to get even better in the future. While we support targeted foreign aid, we understand that institutions such as markets, the rule of law, free trade, and property rights are the most effective poverty alleviation tools known to humankind.
The neoliberal is cosmopolitan and outward-looking by nature. We believe that the nation-state serves a useful purpose, but we also care about the welfare of all individuals regardless of nationality. As such, we embrace immigration and the benefits it brings.
In the past, the word “neoliberalism” has been twisted by those seeking to manufacture a strawman on which to blame every societal ill.
It is time for a positive vision – and here it is.