I'm beginning to think there's a purposeful campaign fueled by anti-capitalist sentiment that strikes out wildly to conflate "neo-liberalism" with libertarianism and free market principles in an attempt to marginalize the idea of a true free market . The narrative which frames neo-liberal economic policy as corporate control over policy makers, both domestic and international through the IMF, World Bank and WTO, has not fairly distinguished libertarianism from neo-liberalism, thus, we get the Koch brothers meme which has them pulling government strings like puppet masters.
Even when it's explained that libertarians propose a true free market, and that neo-liberalism is anything but representative of a free market, the response is that a truly free market is impossible. But, this is a dodge. The problem with neo-liberalism is the relationship between government and corporations. Especially American neo-liberalism has set up a special relationship with IMF, the World Bank and WTO to support an elite of powerful multi-national corporations. Libertarians would abolish all special relationships which entail government coercion and financial manipulation which in effect creates coercion against third world countries.
The attacks against neo-liberalism, however, speak loosely about "free market" philosophy, therefore their criticisms give the impression that libertarians are pushing for special corporate deals to empower the business elite over the State. A true libertarian, though, will condemn the rent-seeking corporation as vehemently as an over-reaching government and all-powerful State machine.
This has become a complicated issue, and even when intellectuals describe the difference between neo-liberalism and true free market principles, libertarians have been relegated to the fringe bin. The power elite among the IMF, World Bank, WTO and advanced States vying for a seat at the table of global governance are living in a combination of raw power-hunger and academic wonder-land as real economies suffer real consequences from the violation or real economic laws under the domination of these economic tyrants.
I will be using Richard Peet's book, Unholy Trinity, to answer some of the unfair criticisms that have placed neo-liberalism and libertarianism in the same boat. The basics of classical liberalism are fundamentally different from neo-liberalism, so much so that the word "liberal" has been terribly misused for decades. But it will be after the weekend -- I'm gone for a few days,