Social Theory & Health

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 434–436 | Cite as

Birch, Kean, We Have Never Been Neoliberal: A Manifesto for a doomed Youth

Zero Books, Winchester UK, 2015, Paperback £11:95/$19.95, doi: 978-1-78099-534-2; e-book £6:95/$9.95, doi: 978-1-78099-535-9
  • John GardnerEmail author
Book Review

Neoliberalism is an unjust system, but the system in which we actually find ourselves is much worse. This is the premise of Kean Birch’s important book, We Have Never Been Neoliberal: A Manifesto for a doomed Youth. The rhetoric of neoliberalism, Birch argues, has been enthusiastically peddled by politicians, economists and industrialists, and while it has been used to justify severe cuts to public services and to demolish labour protections, the fiscally prudent small State has been a myth. In reality, state spending has been redirected (rather than reduced) to finance ballooning debt, and as states have become beholden to international finance, their potential potency at managing their economies has been thwarted. This, Birch argues, has resulted in a situation whereby many of us are indeed subject to the brutality of free market forces, but in which the big, important transactions and decisions that may impact many millions of lives take place outside of the market (and beyond...


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social SciencesMonash UniversityMelbourneUSA

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