Week 5 Discussion Prompt: Globalization, Neoliberalism, and Tourism

Part I: Provide a brief summary of how David Harvey characterizes neoliberalism. What do you think he means by creative destruction? How can you relate Harvey’s analysis of neoliberalism to Chapter 6 of Origins of the Modern World?

Part II: Connect the articles by Aren Aizura and Stephen Crockett to your description of neoliberalism and globalization in part I. In other words, how do these articles support, extend, or challenge Harvey and Marks?

75 thoughts on “Week 5 Discussion Prompt: Globalization, Neoliberalism, and Tourism”

  1. David Harvey characterizes neoliberalism as an economic system that heavily favors the wealthy, industrialized nations and is often used to forcibly influence other nation’s economic decisions. The richest nations use both the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund to regulate both the exports and the economic practices within each country that enters international trade or applies for a loan to industrialize their country. Generally, neoliberalism began during the Margret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan era in the United Kingdom and the United States respectively. This economic practice tries to emulate the original ideas of Adam Smith by limiting business regulations as much as possible and by privatizing as many government programs as possible. It relies on competition to regulate the market so corporations do not take advantage workers or consumers. Harvey’s term creative destruction refers to the necessary dismantling of current social programs in order to allow a neoliberal economy to exist. Similarly, Marks describes free trade agreements, which are a vital part of international finances for a neoliberal nation, and the power that nations like the United States have over the IMF and the WTO. Marks is also critical of the neoliberal economy and the power that it gave the United States, saying that it governs the world to create policies that best fit the United States, not the world economy.
    Both Aizura and Crockett’s articles connect to globalization and neoliberalism because they both depict some of the issues that globalization and neoliberalism can have on societal interactions that would not be apparent. In Aizura’s article, the doctors in Thailand who perform gender reconstructive surgeries treat foreigner trans women and Thai trans women differently. Doctors will often give foreign trans women a better treatment because they are from wealthier nations and have the stereotype that they are wealthy and willing to pay more. Conversely, Thai trans women have the stereotype that they are poorer, therefore they are deemed less valuable by the doctors. Likewise, Crockett’s article describes gentrification’s impact on poorer communities. In the article, richer families move into the cities, remove the poorer inhabitants (who are predominantly African American), and try to “recreate” the same atmosphere by opening restaurants and stores similar to the ones that they shut down. Both of these articles relate to the central idea of neoliberalism because they both depict an essential problem to neoliberalism that Harvey describes. The rich benefit from neoliberalism while the poor often struggle. In addition, the less wealthy tend to receive negative stereotypes and even are forced away from their homes.

    1. I enjoyed reading your post! I appreciated how you summarized each reading as well as connected them. I really liked how you used specific examples from each reading and used them to connect all the articles together. It helped reinforce the readings and their concepts.

    2. very good response! I have agree with your last analysis. Neoliberalism seems to be an excuse for further progress. of those who are already better off. I also do understand how Neoliberalism had take away the concept of a community and rides on the concept of an individual.

    3. I really liked how you tied each article to each other in a well-written and clear manner. I liked your analysis on neoliberalism as well and how the articles depicted an essential problem to neoliberalism. I enjoyed reading your response!

    4. Your take on creative destruction was very interesting and well-explained. I came to a slightly different conclusion but the way you put it makes me see the creative destruction from a social standpoint as neoliberalism works to dismantle public programs by privatization. It’s inherently making the lower class worse-off and that is why this idea of “winners and losers” of globalization gets thrown around all too easily.

    5. I agree with how the Thai trans are treated differently. It’s as if they have higher expectations from other countries people than their own. Also with Crockett’s piece we still see how some of that happens today. Companies unaffiliated with a trend, time or place, try to capitalize on something they weren’t a part of.

    6. Very well written post! It is sad to see how neoliberalism has only led to the prosperity of the already wealthy and the struggle for people that are poor. The Thai and D.C. examples that we read in class are also eye-opening about how we, as a society, assume less of others instead of being more open-minded.

    7. Matt,

      What do you think about Crockett article?
      I don’t agree with the gentrification. I wonder if the more affluent people recreate the same culture, in order to feel more “safe”, as if they couldn’t go to the same restaurants before because they were dirty, poor, or unsafe.

  2. David Harvey approaches neoliberalism from a very critical perspective, as such the topic deserves. Before taking his stance, Harvey sets forth an objective description of neoliberalism as a “theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by the maximization of entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, free markets and free trade.” Upon taking his stance, he characterizes neoliberalism as a practice –theory that “has not proven good at revitalizing global capital accumulation but it has succeeded remarkably well in restoring class power.” Harvey criticizes the practices of this theory are not being inclusive of everyone, instead only catering to the revitalization of upper ruling class. He points out that after 1980’s US and Britain lead, through persuasion and coercion, the export of neoliberalization beyond borders. It reanimated the US imperial tradition of heavily influencing imperialist methods without actually having colonies. The wave of privatization that came across many states automatically led to an increase in formation of new elite roles and accompanying billionaire statuses. Creative destruction is used to refer to the obliteration of historic frameworks and institutions that existed before (ex; social welfare rights) along with destroying a way of thinking and living in a democratic society. I think the term also refers to the mere idea of a theory that was sought to resolve many problems before the rise of neoliberalism, but has ultimately been doing the opposite. Neoliberalism is causing destruction in various indirect and undetectable ways for the different social groups. Marks addresses a range of subjects of the 20th century, from World War I to the fall of USSR. He goes on to state that various innovations led to the bloodiest conflicts in the 20th century in large part because industrialization had made war more destructive than ever. Harvey’s analysis clearly resonates with Mark’s statement on post-WWII, and how the US wanted to end colonialism because it could then get access to those markets and raw materials denied it by colonial preference systems. The mass consumption culture created in the US led Americans to equate consumer purchases with “freedom”. According to a critic, in 1950 the US government only required two things from its citizens: consumption and anti-communism. The whole neoliberalist agenda of the US is clear in its actions following the WWII and the Cold War.
    Crockett’s article talks about the gentrification of black people in DC and opening of new businesses that exploit black culture but remain inherently unauthentic. Due to DC’s rich African-American history, the new businesses taking up residence in the nation’s capital are aware of the earlier demographics and therefore seek to capitalize on it. For example, the Brixton along with other restaurants are using black culture to promote their businesses but are inherently unauthentic because they are doing so initially to make profits, in accordance with the neoliberal idea. On the other hand, Aizura’s article on gender reassignment clinics in Thailand is a more complex piece aimed to extend on what former authors analyzed about neoliberalism and globalization. If we place gender reassignment surgery in a global neoliberal perspective, the practice can be seen as a way to extract surplus value transnationally. Having a free market for such surgical practice allows transnational capital to flow to Thailand and therefore accentuates the “benefits” of neoliberalism.

    1. Wow – I am impressed with all of your points – very concise and well-spoken! It really captures the essence and idea of neoliberalism from a critical standpoint. You had some really good points and ideas on creative destruction as well.

    2. You explained Harvey’s arguments very well. The wealth gap between the global north and the global south has increased since the neoliberal revolution in the 1980s. The wealthy nations and the wealthiest people within these nations have been accumulating more wealth and leaving other nations behind.

  3. David Harvey characterizes neoliberalism as a political economic theory that stresses the importance of private rights, individual liberty, free markets, and free trade in states. While the government should do what is necessary to instill these factors into its nation, once it has been successful the government needs to allow the control to go to the public. I think that creative destruction means what must be shut down or “destroyed” in order for something else to be enacted of “created”. For example after the 9/11 attacks the U.S. government wanted to bring freedom, democracy, and neoliberalism to Iraq. But this happened at the expense of many, if not all, of the organizations and programs (i.e. government itself, banks, etc.) that were already in Iraq to be completely dismantled so that the new ones could be instilled. I feel that this relates to our Chapter 6 readings because for one way of rule to take hold the previous one must be essentially eradicated, and oftentimes this comes with great destruction. For example, revolutions happen because people are unhappy with the current rule and want to overthrow the current leaders and elect new ones. However, revolutions are times when there is a lot of destruction and loss of life and of property. It can also bring on a from of rule that is even worse than the one being replaced, as was seen with the October 1917 revolution in Russia (previously the Soviet Union). It is still creative however, because there are successful nations who have transitioned from one system to another and was more successful despite what the cost of getting there initially was.
    The first connection that I see between the articles written by Aizura and Crockett is a form of exploitation seen by minorities as a result of globalization. Both the Thai’s and the African American’s feel slighted because their homes are being taken over by Western whites and they are either being pushed out or not treated as equally. As Aizura discovered, the experience of a Thai trans gendered women is very different from a western/white women, despite that they both are paying the same price for the same service. Also, Crockett points out that areas that were previously mainly populated by blacks are now being taken over, yet are still being promoted to have that esthetic such as of “authentic” food and music even though they are not even owned by black owners. Additionally, many of the previous residents face gentrification, yet they as Crockett puts it get “swagger jacked”. Both articles make a put that people are not getting fair treatment. In Thailand westerners are getting preferential treatment, while their own people are thrown to the wayside. In Crockett’s article black history and culture is getting used by whites while they are getting pushed out of their own neighborhoods. I suppose this shows creative destruction, because money is being put in to the areas, but it comes at the cost of displacement and unfair treatment. It feels wrong and is a negative side of globalization and neoliberalism.

    1. I liked how you reached outside of the readings (post 9/11 goals in Iraq, for example) for other metaphors or examples of creative destruction. I also think you captured the essence of Crockett’s article pretty well. I think it was a good job on all the points.

    2. I find the concept of creative destruction to be interesting. As you explained it, creative destruction removes previous social programs and government operations to create new ones. While it can be beneficial, there are plenty examples of how it was destructive like Pinochet’s dictatorship. The purpose behind it is to strengthen the economy of the dominant power.

    3. You were very clear and concise throughout your entire response and I really liked how you incorporated other events into your response too. I really like how you tied up both articles at the end to creative destruction in a simple and clear way. I agree with you that globalization has resulted in exploitation seen by minorities.

  4. Harvey defines neo-liberalism as a “theory of political economic practices which propose that human well-being can best be advanced by the maximization of entrepreneurial freedom within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, free markets and free trade.” When Harvey refers to the term “creative destruction”, he refers to the fact that this ideology does cannot function in reality because it does not benefit the people or the economy. Those who do benefit from this ideology are the wealthy class and those who have power in developed countries. In other words, this is completely destructive for the working class citizens. Neo-liberalism has been seen more frequently due to privatization, management of crisis, financialization, and state re-distribution. In Chapter 6 of Origins of the Modern World, Marks focuses on the development of the 20th century, the growth of capitalism, and industrialization. In this chapter we learn that some states focus more on the upper class than the working class and how there is an evident gap that creates social and economic tensions. Marks also describes the capitalist system within the United States, which focuses on private property ownership and aims to spread free market and international trade. The US increased consumerism among its people, which led to a higher demand in raw materials from developing countries, which led to the US becoming the largest economy in the world. We also learn about a different situation when Russia adopted communism. Russia relied solely on its own resources with very little contact with the capitalist world and its economy thrived during the Great Depression.
    Aren Aizura discusses gender reconstructive surgery (GRS) in Bangkok, which is sometimes referred to as the “Mecca” of GRS and has become extremely popular by both Thai natives and foreigners from all over the globe seeking to undergo GRS. We learn that many Southeast Asian natives seeking GRS come to the clinics in Thailand are not treated as well as the foreigners are treated. Foreigners are treated like they are in a five star spa while many Thai natives are not and have become fully aware of this inequality. The article written by Stephen Crockett discusses the trend being seen of people making money off of the African American culture that is not their own. Crockett mentions how many restaurants and establishments in DC are based on black history but their owners are white. Meanwhile, black folk are forced to move away as these trendy areas are increasing in price. The author recalls his friend’s father urging the city to put a 4 way stop sign at a busy intersection to prevent someone from getting hit by a car. The city did not listen until it “turned over,” meaning more black folk starting moving out and white folk replaced them. The stop sign then was placed.
    The blacks feel as if they are being robbed of their culture by white people who are gaining profit off of it. Thai natives feel as if they are not being treated as the white people are. This evident gap and global inequality is mentioned by Harvey and Marks.

    1. I really enjoyed your post. It was very clear and well written. I really liked how you summarized the last two articles into just one sentence each, which summed up the ideas in the article and made reference to Harvey’s article and Marks’ chapter.

    2. Your response is well-written. You have key points about “Creative destruction” and I like the way how you tied to that Neoliberalism. Your response also cover the overall economic development.In the last paragraph, I really like the way you combine the two cultures that had globally has negative effects.

    3. Hi,
      I like how you gave example from GRS. I do not think it is fair that the natives are treated different from the foreigners. I also like how you said that the blacks were getting robbed of their culture. I agree with you that they are not getting treated fairly.

    4. I agree how the black people are being ripped off while the whites make money out of their culture. Moreover, I see a pattern in the last two article where the minorities are being robbed by the upper class by not getting the same treatment for the same money and profits are earned by non-black people.

    5. Your post was very clear and made me understand all the concepts more clearly. I liked how you make connections with the articles to the readings of Marks and Harvey.

    6. I agree with your statements. The blacks feel as if they are being taken off from their culture because white people are coming in and replaced them. Same with Thai natives, it shouldn’t be the way it is. Everyone should be treated equally. It is sad not being treated as the foreigners in your country.

    7. Hi Leticia,

      I loved reading your post. It had lot of examples, which were very detailed. As for the Harvey and Marks article and I agree that by showing discrimination to one race more than the other, the gap between rich and poor as well as global inequality rose.

  5. David Harvey takes a critical stance on Neoliberalism, which is a capitalist-type of framework of how to structure a society – under the idea that maximum market freedom is ideal, and that states should not interfere with free markets – but should only serve to protect private property rights and security and stability of the currency. Harvey notes that neoliberalism ideals dictate that states should interact with markets only minimally, because if they do otherwise – it is usually guided by persons with powerful incentives to do so – and thus “inevitably distort and bias state interventions for their own benefit” (Harvey, p. 01). He notes that the neoliberal ideas appeal naturally to human desires and values – since it enshrines individual freedoms, and freedom of choice as the base. He also notes that neoliberalism has become “hegemonic” in a sense, as its values and ideas are found at the core of many domestic and international institutions (universities, domestic politics, the IMF, the WTO, etc.), and promulgates then, as a “global set of rules” (Harvey, p. 02). My take on his calling it creative destruction comes from, as he points out, that there has been much destruction in the wake of neoliberalism – destruction of prior institutions, ways of thinking, ways of life, and other things, to create something beneficial for global capitalism, and to create a hegemonic, institutionalized, and common conceptualization of how the world works. In Origins of the Modern World, Robert Marks points out that as the world became increasingly more interconnected, and capitalism and the “institutions that protect it” spread over the world, that it “benefited some, but not most, contributing to a continued and deepening gap between the wealthiest and poorest parts of the world” (Marks, 2007, p. 156).
    He also notes that the United States added to the post-WWII anti-colonial movements in colonies to “get access to those markets and raw materials denied it by colonial preference systems” (Marks, 2007, p. 167).
    Thus, even though the capitalist/neoliberal ideas were behind a curtain of wanting to promote independence and personal freedom, and even though it was based on anti-colonial movement, it resounded the same motivations for raw resources that original colonialism had – to support an economy, and to support the increasing demand for consumer goods – the United States had to promote free-market ideas abroad, and worked to do just that in indirect, and direct ways, such as in having a hand in the creation of the IMF and World Bank, which came with neoliberal demands through SAPs to work to restructure other world economies, who needed the loans, to be better suited to support global capitalist demands. Ironically, as Marks points out, the highly integrated nature of global markets places pressure to minimize wages and benefits (and thus standards of living) – since companies can pack up and move to another state with more favorable (profitable) conditions. Ironically, it is due to this reason that the costs of production fall, as Marks points out, not because of the neoliberal/capitalist idea of comparative advantage. (p. 187).
    The articles by Aren Aizura and Stephen Crockett, in a way, extend the ideas of the destruction of things to be replaced with the creation of market-driven things. In Crockett’s article, to me it spoke of the destruction of authentic items/ areas of black culture, to be replaced with a “faux black ethos” and culture, embodied in the “hipster” bars and establishments that moved into the same neighborhoods, as a majority of the black population moved out of them, in DC. He bemoans that all the establishments “ are based on some facet of black history, some memory of blackness that feels artificially done and palatable.” The connection to neoliberalism and globalism is that there is something being extracted and exploited as a resource in this transaction (the resource being authentic-feelings of black culture and place) for capitalistic gain, and the benefit of the extraction is not going to those from whom it was exploited from – it is going to the benefit of the usually non-black owners of the establishments.
    In the same way, when looking at the article by Aren Aizura, one can see the same underlying forces at work. The medical centers that were created to serve the demand for local Thai wishing for gender reassignment surgeries, eventually became a “niche medical-tourism market targeted to well-off citizens of affluent nations” (Aizura, p. 146). With the introduction of this particular market into the global economy, the attraction of mostly white, wealthy patients seeking gender reassignment surgeries drove prices up in these specialty clinics, and with it, they began to cater to the needs of these non-Thai tourist patients, leaving local Thai, or other patients feeling marginalized – even though they received the same quality of surgery – they felt that their needs during after-care, and their overall comfort, was not attended to in the same way that it was for non-Thai patients. The author notes this disparity, asking: “Within the growing globalization of biomedicine along neoliberal lines, which racialized subjects constitute the ideal to whom the labours of care and respect are made available, and which subjects fall outside of that sphere of care and respect? (Aizura, p. 146-147). That said, the author then warns us “to remain alert to the (neo)colonial constructions “floating beneath many tourist discourses” – the construction here is a resource (gender reassignment surgery centers that offer excellent after-care, and with after-care, market feelings respect and comfort as commodities during after-care) that is trending towards only benefiting wealthy patients of predominantly white nations, while marginalizing the needs of the locals, for whom it was originally created for.

    1. Hey Anita,

      I really appreciated the depth of your analysis of Aizura’s piece. I agree with you (and the author) that neocolonialism is incredibly prominent in within the tourist industry and the medical tourism field in particular.

    2. I enjoyed reading your analysis on the readings. You mention a good point that costs of production fall not solely because of the neoliberalist idea but the fact that companies can move to a cheaper labor market in order to enhance profits. If anything, globalization has allowed this mobility for companies as countries such as China and India opened up their markets for global investments over the last 3 decades or so.

    3. Hello once again the quotes on your writing has captured my attention, something I feel that makes a writing very detailed.This time though, your piece is very detailed already but you used the quotes from the article to actually prove your point. I love how deep you went into thinking especially the part on Aizura’s article.And I totally agree with you, but wanted to let you know that you did a good job delivering this paper.

    4. I particularly liked your discussion of neoliberalism becoming “hegemonic” through its values and ideas sliding to the core of many domestic and international institutions (universities, domestic politics, the IMF, the WTO, etc.). For example, we can look at our own university and find that neoliberal values have come to dominate (i.e. GMU’s Economics Department – funded by the Koch brothers who play a huge role in how education is taught).

    5. I think your post was very thorough and touched on all the points. I was interested by your statement that while after care and overall comfort may be different, the quality of procedure was the same. I wonder if this is true; for example, whether or not the same standard of technology is used to perform the surgeries.

  6. David Harvey characterizes neoliberalism by first stating the main theory, which entails “the maximization of entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, free markets and free trade.” He then goes on to say that this definition differs in reference to the actual practice of neoliberalism. He states that neoliberalism has become a common practice around the world and it has changed the way on how people view things. He considers this process “naturalization” or integration as a commonplace in the modern world. He determines that the actual practice of neoliberalism is essentially the restoration of class power, i.e. wealth to the rich and keeping the poor, poor. What Harvey means on creative destruction is that the failings of neoliberalism in many countries, which usually look like financial crises, create new structural adjustments and favored the rich. This creative destruction encourages that social inequality helps enhance innovation and to create more growth within the different countries. Essentially, Harvey determines that there needs to destruction in order for there to be something created in the aftermath of it. In the current neoliberalism, it only favors the rich and preys on the poor. Harvey concludes that there needs to be destruction of the current system in order for there to be a creation of a better one. Harvey’s analysis is in reference to Marks’ chapter because Marks concentrates on industrialization, consumption of consumer goods, and post-colonization. These all are associated with Harvey’s idea that the current neoliberalism is only increasing the wealth of the rich. One specific example is showed through post-colonization where the richer countries exploit the poorer countries, many of them post-colonialist countries, for raw materials. Harvey’s idea also is exhibited in Marks’ skepticism about the United States, essentially, being in control of the world, making policies that only promote the rich countries and inhibit the growth of poorer countries.
    Both Aizura’s and Crockett’s articles connect to the ideas that were in Marks’ chapter and Harvey’s article. They bring together the ideas of globalization and the modern outlook of neoliberalism in current examples. In Aizura’s article, globalization was presented through the mass influx of outsiders, particularly white people, into Thailand. This popular destination for these nonlocals brought up the prices of the surgery and the entire “care package”. Aizura wrote how some local people couldn’t afford these increased prices thus having to get not as well done surgery or care. Also, even if the locals were able to afford this “care package,” they were discriminated against for being locals. This encompassed the ideas of Harvey and Marks’ were determining, how the wealthy stay rich and the poor get poorer. Crockett’s article gives another example of Harvey and Marks’ ideas, where richer people are opening up stores to capture the essence of an area in the city, but this was after the poorer people had moved out of that area. Both of these articles support and extend the ideas of Harvey and Marks.

    1. I like how you associate what is happening to your examples. It is odd how even if the locals were able to afford the “care package” they were discriminated against for being locals.

  7. David Harvey characterizes neoliberalism as a “theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well- being can best be advanced by maximization of entrepreneurial freedom”. He goes on to say that individual liberty and freedom are the high point of civilization. The only way humans can achieve and advance is if they have rights such as free markets, free trade, property rights and individual liberty. He states that state should not be involved in the economy too much, but it should use its power to secure private property rights, other than that he reiterates that if humans’ beings are given more freedom than they are able to advance a lot more, so “individual initiative can flourish”. I think what he means by creative destruction is that, there will always be ups and downs in economy, no matter how much a country is doing good. However this is how economies evolve. Meaning overtime the economy and the society will operate once again and grow more productive and all good will comes from the turmoil (bad economy). We can analysis Harvey’s neoliberalism to Origins of the modern world because the book discuses about industrialization and capitalism growth in the market, as well as it focus on private property and the spread of free market, which Harvey discusses tremendously in his article.

    Aren Aizura and Stephen Crockett articles both discuss regarding the exploitation of the minorities such as African American groups. This group feels very threatened especially by whites because they feel they are not treated equally as other groups. Both articles by Aren and Stephen emphasizes that minorities cultures are getting pushed away and western whites are bringing their cultures into their communities. In Thailand westerns are given more priorities and better treatment than their own cultures. Example would be the trans-gender living in Thailand are not treated fairly, or Thai patients who are ill are not given the same quality of service as the westerns and tourist (not Thai). I think this article challenges Harvey and Marks because; their view was about growth capitalism and free trade and so on, however this kind of growth and rights are affecting the developing countries or the minorities. People living in the developing countries, who do not have access to the free markets, free trade, property rights and individual liberty are treated unfairly by the people who have them (westerns).

    1. Hi Alisha,
      I think you did a good job of explaining David Harvey’s article in the first half of your reply. And I additionally found it interesting that you said that you felt that the last two articles challenge Harvey’s piece, as well as out textbook readings. I agree they bring to light examples of globalization that are not just.

  8. In the article “Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction,” the author, David Harvey, describes neoliberalism as a hegemonic/exploitative economic system which focuses on entrepreneurial freedoms, no government regulation, individual freedoms like private property, free markets and free trade. While by definition this system sounds fine, in actuality it has caused a great divide between rich and poor in the world, most notably between developed and developing nations. It is a concept that has stuck because it has successfully been conveyed as beneficial and has appealed to people as being “free”. However, Marks states that, “neoliberalism was from the very beginning a project to achieve the restoration of class power to the richest strata in the population.” It has not been successful in stabilizing the world economy. While there has been some success, it has been volatile, with its only real success being in making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
    Creative destruction is used in this article to refer to the destroying of existing structures from within to make room for a new one, in this case neoliberalism. Neoliberalism has destroyed former social relations, ways of life (especially in developing parts of the world), division of labor, and of course previously existing institutions and economic/political frameworks. This creative destruction is shown through colonialism and the U.S. invasion of Iraq where they invaded and attempted to install new leadership and government. While this may seem like goodwill to some people, the driving factor is almost always selfish; an example would be greater access to resources in the area. Marks discusses neoliberalism along similar lines. He talks about how the U.S. wanted to ended colonialism so they could gain access to the resources and how this system has only resulted in a growing gap and free markets leaving little power for most countries to control their economic fate.
    Aren Aizura talks about gender reassignment clinics in Thailand and how the business is affected by capitalist and wealthier nations/customers. This in an industry in the global south that is used mainly by wealthy people from the global north, while there is some mutual benefit, but the problem lies with the inability of most people in Thailand to afford this surgery if they wanted to because of the wealth gap, “Ideally, gender reassignment technologies would be state-subsidized. But this would not solve the problem that some nations can afford state-funded health care and some cannot. This is the context of global neoliberalism, in which every subjectivity or practice provides another way to extract surplus value.” It’s just another industry by the global south, but for the global north.
    Crockett looks at a new restaurant/bar called the Brixton in DC and the preservation of African American culture. Here is an example of neoliberalism and globalization resulting in a loss of culture and an apparent disregard for the people. The author talks about how there was no attention paid to this area before, but now that other races and cultures are moving in, people are starting to care and fix up the place. It is a safer place and there are still the same locations and restaurants as before, but there is a feeling that the black culture has been hijacked and exploited. Similar to the case above, it is something created by the oppressed, but not for the oppressed. The interesting question here concerns whether or not this is a question of direct racism or indirect? Is this change a direct result of racism by people or is it a question of power/affluence? “If you do not have money, get out, because we’re fixing this place up,” are the victims black people, or poor people and the majority of poor people in the area happen to be black? Is this like the case in Brazil where protesters and homeless people were taken off the street, not because of their ethnicity of culture, but because of their socio-economic class and lack of affluence?

    1. I agree with you here. Neoliberalism is selfish at its core and doesn’t lend its hand to bring everyone up in class. Creative destruction but it keeps the rich richer and everyone else just stays put! Good job here.

    2. I like that you questioned whether or not it is direct or indirect racism. It is important to question what the root cause is – whether it be socio-economic, ethnicity, or culture. Either way, a particular group of people were not given the attention they needed or deserved.

  9. David Harvey characterizes neoliberalism as “a theory of political economic practice” that seems to favor the capitalist nations because of their ability to have the “maximization of entrepreneurial free within an institutional framework.” Creative destruction is a term, which essentially means that not every class was profiting from this ideology of neoliberalism. Although, the upper class capitalists seemed to have a different stand point, and they were the only one benefitting from neoliberalism due to their wealthy status. The four factors that causes neoliberalism to be successful for the upper class was due to the privatization, financialization, management and manipulation of crisis, and lastly, state redistribution. These four vital factors caused neoliberalism to accumulate rapidly within and for the upper class. In Chapter 6 of Marks Origins of the Modern World, The world focus is on the development in the 20th century for nations such as the United States, and their boost of industrialization and their economic growth. However, in this chapter we learn that in during the 1900, Britain had maintained their economic and industrialized power, but unfortunately, their imperial empire was destroyed due the “thirty year crisis, of having two world wars and the Great Depression. This polarized the postwar world between the two opposing superpowers, United States and the Soviet Union. Nonetheless, we learn that United States eventually becomes the imperial empire because it focused on privatizations, and was concentrated on obtaining consumer raw goods from other developing countries.
    The article by Aren Aizura states that Thailand is the world most known country to perform the GRS- Gender Reassignment Surgery. Many people from all around the world come to Thailand to get their procedures done, and are treated like kings and queens. However, the locals do not entirely feel the warmth, friendliness and the extravagant treatment that these nurses and doctors provide the foreigners. The article by Stephen Crockett suggests the same point. On 9th and U Street, there are restaurants that are owned by whites, but culturally speaking, the restaurants are of black history, yet a black person owns none of the restaurants. The author informs us about a homeboy’s dad who once used to live there and ask for a four-way stop sign intersection, but the city did not care about its black residents there. After a few years or so, when the blacks had moved out of that neighborhood, the first thing the city did was to prevent their white neighbors from getting into an accident, so they put up the sign.
    This can all be related to neoliberalism and how the wealthy and the upper class have the authority and a say. The foreigners in the eyes of Thai medical staff and other wise are more rich and wealthy, whereas they their own people belong to a low class and should be treated with disgust. The same theory can be applied to Crockett’s article, which implies that blacks have no say, and the whites do.

    1. Seemaab,

      I agree with you here, that in essence neoliberalism can be pretty much summed up as “money talks”. If you have money people are more likely to pay attention to you. I also feel that the idea of all things ‘European’ are good, leads to the assumption that they all have money, as it is the case in Thailand and the clients who are able to afford the surgery, but are not European and how they are not treated the same way.

  10. In Harvey’s article, he characterizes neoliberalism as an economic theory that believes in open and free markets that have very little state interference, expect to create new markets in places where they don’t exist, and that free markets and free trade will regulate themselves and create a productive and well functioning economy. Harvey’s main point though, is that even though that is in theory what neoliberalism should do and should be how it works, in reality, it mainly only benefits the rich and wealthy, both classes and countries, and destroys the economies and livelihoods of poorer nations and people. As Harvey discusses, neoliberalism was heavily championed by the US and UK, starting with Nixon and Thatcher, and that it was imposed on most of the world by these two countries, and the world organizations they helped create, such as the IMF and World Bank. Harvey then goes into discussing the hypocrisies of neoliberalism when he discusses creative destruction, which he views as one of the main outcomes of imposing neoliberal economic thought. By creative destruction, Harvey believes that the imposition of neoliberalism destroys the economies of those nations where it is implemented, as first all of the preexisting economic structures must be gotten rid of, and the new ones that are put in almost always solely benefit the upper classes, and wealthy nations such as the US. In one example, Harvey discusses how after implementing these ideas in Mexico, the social classes were dramatically shifted, with most of the wealth accumulating in the hands of only a few people, such as Carlos Slim, who became in a sense an overnight billionaire. This can be tied to Mark’s discussion of the 20th century in his Chapter 6, where he discusses how throughout the century, world powers, such as the US, became global hegemons, and used their increased power and influence to dominate the globe in terms of power and economics. Mark’s also criticizes neoliberal theory throughout his book, discussing, like Harvey, how it only benefits a few of the rich nations, such as the US, and leaves much of the rest of the world at the behest of these new global powers.
    The other articles we read, by both Aizura and Crockett, support Harvey and Mark’s idea that neoliberalism is bad for emerging and poor countries and people, and unfairly gives more advantages to the already rich and well off, through their discussions of Thailand and urban areas in American cities, respectively. In Aizura’s article, she discusses how in Thailand, Thai transgender women are treated significantly worse by doctors there than Western transgender women, because globalization has lead many of the Thai doctors to view Westerners as richer and more affluent, and thus more economically attractive than Thai transgender women. Thus we have a clear example of how the opening up of markets through neoliberalism, and the affluence it has brought to Westerners, whether real or perceived, has seeped into the cultural stereotypes of other groups of people, leading them to treat Westerners better than their own because they view them almost as cash cows, while they view their own peoples as poor and less well off, and thus less important in an economic sense. Crockett’s article also supports this view point, as he discusses how in many urban areas in the US, they have seen a rise in rich white people moving in, thus moving out the poorer, and mainly black, former inhabitants. The new inhabitants will then open stores and restaurants that try and capture the “black culture” that used to inhabit these areas, but without any actual black people living there or running these stores. Again we see the cultural influence that neoliberalism can have, as the affluence it has given to the upper classes gives them more power to do as they wish, and can allow them to even start appropriating and taking the cultures of other, poorer, groups of peoples.

  11. David Harvey characterizes neoliberalism that humanity stands to benefit from the entrepreneurs of the world who without question have no restrictions. No limits from the government can stop anything that lends profit. Obviously government subsidies and tax benefits get to slide by! God forbid a multibillion dollar corporation didn’t save a penny around tax time. Harvey believed within an institutional frame work property, liberty, free market and trade have no limits. The only thing really the state is responsible for is the military, quality of money (keeping the value up and protecting it!) and is not to intervene into the free market. Harvey believes neoliberalism is extreme and more people stand to be hurt by it than benefit from it. The destruction as he describes caused by neoliberal systems that’s taken over the world affected divisions of labor, social relations, welfare provisions, technological mixes and ways of life. The world is governing too loosely with the rich having practically no limitations on what they do. Harvey refers to neoliberalism as a creative destruction, he statistically shows how it’s ineffective and poses horrible ramifications. Points out that the only success it really ever posed could have been in fact due to the US and UK engineering technologies in Japan. The thought of potential success seemed to outweigh the trouble that could happen. It’s been volatile at best in measure, why we keep trying to make it work? Perhaps it’s our greed to have money flying around everywhere we might get rich quick! Marks and Harvey both believe we are exhausting the earth. Neither believe Neoliberalism is the path to a better world nor economy. Marks sees an unforeseeable world war 4 in the way he talks and thinks the economy will continue to volatile. Aizura shows how neo-liberalism also creates tension within ones own economy. The discriminatory nature portrayed toward trans gender women who are Thai vs Western is disrespectful and poor. The thought that wealthier nations have more money and can buy better treatment is evident. This also ties with how Crockett explains the black restaurants were owned by white people and how their neighborhoods are valued more than the blacks. Both are wrong and with neo-liberalism it will continue this historic path. Neo-liberalism doesn’t lend its hand to being fair, the rich get rich and the poor don’t budge!

    1. George,
      I really enjoyed reading your reply to our questions last week. I think you make some good points here about how maybe neo-liberalism should be abandoned for a different, more effective system. Also, I thought this was very well written and I liked that you put in your own thoughts on the topic.

  12. Part1: Provide a brief example of how David Harvey Characterize Neoliberalism?
    Neoliberalism is described as a theory proposing that human well-being can best be moving forward through the increasing way of dealing with freedom within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, free markets, and free trade. Neoliberalism has been accompanied by increasing and expanding the volatility within global capitalism. It has been a position of the upper classes. With the media dominated by upper classes interests a myth grew saying that certain sectors failed because they were not competitive enough by that setting the stage for even more neoliberal reforms. The more clearly oppositional movements recognize that their central points must be to confront class power that has been so effectively restored under neoliberalization, the more they will be likely to cohere.
    What do you think by Creative destruction?
    It is important to understand the existence of creative destruction and as well as understand the countries affected by. The wealth transfer and expand global inequalities, put growing pressure on societies and then how were they interact internally and also involve mass reduction of natural resources.
    How can you relate Harvey’s analysis of neoliberalism to chapter 6 of Origin of Modern World?
    Harvey did focus on discussing the fact about Neoliberalism. He mentioned the opening of public goods to the international markets ostensibly enabling significant wealth transfers from local territories to foreign ruling elites and creating class power throughout.
    This neoliberalism passage do relate with “The Great Departure” according to Marks, he explained ‘one of he main reasons twentieth-century wars were so destructive is that the machinery of death was industrialized. He also further explained, in twentieth century how human impacts on the environment so local agents and modern economic theorists begin t to developed models of how the world works that do not account for the use of services to humans of the natural environment.
    Connect the article by Arena Aizura and Stephen Crockett to our description of neoliberalism and globalization in Part I. In other words, how do these articles support, extend or challenge Harvey and Marks.
    Both of these articles paint the connections about the global tourism industry, although Aizura’s is more on focusing on the fault of medical tourism. It all goes back to neoliberalism as global tourism is and creative destruction. Global Tourism has to be with environment, society, government, and economy. Since, Tourism helps the upper class, which is the successful victory of neoliberalization. Tourism might be a sustainable attempt to help, but the global tourism industry does the incorporate corrupt practices. According to Crockett Jr he described how the chocolate city transformed. This article clarify how the exploitation of “black culture” in now viable market for certain industries. The important point here is in this article was how the United States is basically a complex progressive post industrial society. Anyone that doesn’t get adjusted themselves to the society and culture so their forward movements will be left behind. According to Aizura he also mentioned an example “it is necessary to place the micro-politics of gender reassignment surgery in Thailand within the context of ongoing political struggles for trans and gender-variant self-determination” Both of these articles goes back to Harvey and Mark chapter because both of them have global neoliberalism. According to Aizura, he said, this is the context of global neoliberalism in which every subjectivity or practice provides another way to extract surplus values.

  13. 1. David Harvey sees Neoliberalism to be hegemonic in the world now because he proposes that he sees its existence in every country, except few. Neoliberalism supports free market, privatization, and liberty. Going further with the description of Neoliberalism, he explains that the governments should also support these principles. Governments’ role should be protecting the above mentioned principles. The principles of Neoliberalism are flexible at times; however, there main concepts, such as free trade stays the same. Harvey extends by explaining that Neoliberalism has brought great destruction to the societies. Many countries have accepted Neoliberalism to earn success for their economies; however, they have ended up in great economic destruction. He calls Neoliberalism a creative destruction because of the elements that leads economies to destruction after adopting Neoliberalism. The first element is Privatization. Privatization takes a country’s resources and give it to corporations. These corporations then, sells these resources back to the country’s population. It gives profit to these corporations and it becomes another burden on the country’s population. Second, Financialization also contributes to this creative destruction. This happens because of the deregulation in the system. Next is Management and Manipulation of Crises, which has led the flow of money from developing countries to the developed countries due to SAP adjustment programs. Fourth is the State Redistributions, this means that whatever social programs and money that is given to the low income populations will be again redistributed by corporations that snatch away these benefits from the public. We can relate Marks’ ideas mentioned in his book to Harvey’s these ideas. In the book Marks explains about the resources that became popular in variety of historical events and these were extracted and then exhausted from the developing countries. We can relate these to the creative destruction elements of extracting resources and leaving the country’s population and economy weak.

    2. The two articles of Aren Aizura and Stephen Crockett can be connected to neoliberalism and globalization. First, Aizura’s article, in which gender reassignment clinics are criticized that they do not care about their Thai patients and give more importance and care to the foreign patients. This can be related to Neoliberalism where resources are being extracted from the developing countries and these developing countries are not able to provide good services to their own population. This is because the clinics have been privatized and they seek to earn profit from patients and they see that foreigner patients give them more profits. In doing so, they ignore the Thai patients. Moreover, Crockett’s article can be related to globalization and neoliberalism. There is a restaurant and bar that has been made representing Black culture due to Globalization – spreading of cultures. However, according to the Black population this does not remind them of Black culture. There are many things that are missing. Moreover, Neoliberalism has privatized this restaurant as well, due to which this restaurant only cares about earning the profit. It does not care about the population Black population that if it is satisfied or not.

    1. I enjoyed reading your post. I would like to share my thoughts on the second question. I think both articles show how the wealthy are ripping off the poor. The clinics receive the same amount of money from the locals and foreigners but they treat them differently. From the perspectives of the foreigners, they would feel that their money has paid its price. However, from the perspectives of the locals, they would feel that their money has been ripped off with unfair treatments. Similarly, new business owners in DC are exploiting the black culture and making money out of it but the black people are not benefiting from it and may feel that they are being ripped off.

  14. In “Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction” David Harvey defines neoliberalism as “a theory of political economic practices which propose that human well-being can best be advanced by the maximization of entrepreneurial freedom.” He emphasizes that within an institutional this can be characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, free markets and free trade, all with little state intervention. Harvey refers to creative destruction as the idea that the ideology defined above has costs that outweigh the benefits. Rather, it benefits the wealthy and developed countries whereas it is damaging to the poor, working class, and undeveloped countries. Neoliberalism gained popularity through privatization, management of crisis, financialization and state redistribution. Harvey’s perspective is similar to that of Marks in chapter 6 of Origins of the Modern World. Marks talks about the US’ support of ending colonialism post WWII because it would enable them to work with those markets to get raw materials that were difficult to attain due to restrictions imposed by colonial preference systems. With an increase in industrialization and capitalism, the focus on private property and the increase in free markets actually led to a greater economic gap between populations in a country.
    In “The Romance of the Amazing Scalpel: ‘Race,’ Labor, and Affect in Thai Gender Reassignment Clinics” Aren Aizura discusses gender reconstructive surgery done in Thailand. Aizura explains that while there is a growing population of Southeast Asian people that are seeking reconstructive surgery, they are not given the utmost treatment that is given to foreigners that come for the same surgery. Foreigners are seen as wealthy and thus are given high class treatment whereas natives are seen as poor and thus are not treated equally. Stephen Crockett discusses establishments in Washington DC that are meant to represent African American historical cultural. However, a significant portion of these restaurants and other places are owned by white people despite displaying the history of African Americans. African Americans are forced to move out of the establishments and the area in general due to the increase of prices in the area. An interesting and key example Crockett provides is how prior to the community being mostly white, black folks urged there to be a 4-way stop sign in a busy intersection. This request was ignored until the community was mostly white at which point it was added in order to provide safety to the community members. The articles by Aizura and Crockett both resonate with Marks and Harvey’s perspective on the gap that is created both economically and globally.

    1. I really enjoyed your use of the example of the four way stop from Crockett’s article. That example just shows on so many levels how race and wealth play a huge part in almost every aspect of our daily lives, even something so seemingly trivial as asking for a four way stop to be put in an intersection.

  15. Karrie Anderson

    David Harvey characterizes neoliberalism as a “theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well- being can best be advanced by maximization of entrepreneurial freedom”. He basically believes that Neoliberalism reconstructs class power and this is reconstructed by the global economic state. And to add to his belief on neoliberalism, neoliberalism destruction what I believe he is trying to imply is that not all of the people in each class are gaining advantage of the whole idea neoliberalism. The rich are the only ones seemingly benefiting whereas the poor people can’t, but this is where the challenge for the betterment of a country’s economy falls in to place. It is safe to assume that what Harvey is trying to point out is that there can’t be construction without destruction. Sure it does not seem fair to the people within a different class but that is just how it is. Bottom line is, I think what Harvey is trying to point out is that no economy is perfect and that is just how the cycle goes and will keep going until there is a change. So in other words the inequalities in countries will most likely be the key to construct a better system. I think Mark’s and Harvey have a very similar view on neoliberalism, Mark’s believes that the economy is volatile. We can say the same with Coates’ argument on how the slaves worked hard and barely got less to none. We can also see a reflection on Mark’s and Harvey’s belief if we go back to Bourgeoisie and Proletarians, these two different level of class division reflects Harvey’s belief on neoliberalism. As I had mentioned in my last assignment, the goods that the Proletarians were sold for more than the amount of money they earn, thus benefiting the Bourgeoisie greatly, making them wealthier and leaving the poor even poorer. This is how I see the relation of Harvey’s belief on neoliberalism and where he is coming from. This is just how the cycle goes (for now). No matter what angle you look at, someone is going to be benefiting from someone. We can see a reflection of neoliberalism in Aizura and Crockett’s article as well. They both talk about how people are not being treated equally. In Thailand they prioritize the westerners over their own people (because of the money, they seem to be under the illusion that all westerners are rich) .In Crockett’s article the whites have taken over certain areas to build stores simply because they think they just can because the people being shoved to the side have no money. Both of these articles extend Harvey and Mark’s view because of the inequality.

    Karrie Anderson
    February 17, 2015

    David Harvey characterizes neoliberalism as a “theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well- being can best be advanced by maximization of entrepreneurial freedom”. He basically believes that Neoliberalism reconstructs class power and this is reconstructed by the global economic state. And to add to his belief on neoliberalism, neoliberalism destruction what I believe he is trying to imply is that not all of the people in each class are gaining advantage of the whole idea neoliberalism. The rich are the only ones seemingly benefiting whereas the poor people can’t, but this is where the challenge for the betterment of a country’s economy falls in to place. It is safe to assume that what Harvey is trying to point out is that there can’t be construction without destruction. Sure it does not seem fair to the people within a different class but that is just how it is. Bottom line is, I think what Harvey is trying to point out is that no economy is perfect and that is just how the cycle goes and will keep going until there is a change. So in other words the inequalities in countries will most likely be the key to construct a better system. I think Mark’s and Harvey have a very similar view on neoliberalism, Mark’s believes that the economy is volatile. We can say the same with Coates’ argument on how the slaves worked hard and barely got less to none. We can also see a reflection on Mark’s and Harvey’s belief if we go back to Bourgeoisie and Proletarians, these two different level of class division reflects Harvey’s belief on neoliberalism. As I had mentioned in my last assignment, the goods that the Proletarians were sold for more than the amount of money they earn, thus benefiting the Bourgeoisie greatly, making them wealthier and leaving the poor even poorer. This is how I see the relation of Harvey’s belief on neoliberalism and where he is coming from. This is just how the cycle goes (for now). No matter what angle you look at, someone is going to be benefiting from someone. We can see a reflection of neoliberalism in Aizura and Crockett’s article as well. They both talk about how people are not being treated equally. In Thailand they prioritize the westerners over their own people (because of the money, they seem to be under the illusion that all westerners are rich) .In Crockett’s article the whites have taken over certain areas to build stores simply because they think they just can because the people being shoved to the side have no money. Both of these articles extend Harvey and Mark’s view because of the inequality.

    1. I think your idea is interesting about how the inequalities in economies will be the catalyst for the change that they eventually need. I feel like in some countries that can be the case, but in more economically sound countries, like the US, inequalities have existed almost since the founding of the country, but nobody has ever tried to really change them.

  16. Harvey describes neoliberalism as the first political economic practice that proposes that human well-being can be maximized by increasing entrepreneurial freedoms, such free markets and privatization, while limiting state participation in citizens’ affairs. He also states four major elements of neoliberalism: privatization, financialization, management and manipulation of crises, and state redistributions. When the founding figures of neoliberalism wanted to appeal to the masses they used concepts that were valued, such as freedom and individual rights, in these four elements to make it more appealing that it actually was. However, in the end these new ideologies proved to do more harm than good for most of the population, which is why Harvey describes neoliberalism as a creative destruction. The term creative destruction can be explained separately. First, neoliberalism is creative because it was a newly developed practice; its policies were innovative and looked like a good alternative in comparison to the capitalist policies, which were failing in the 1960s. Second, neoliberalism is destructive because as stated before it did more harm than good. It was beneficial, but only to the upper classes, and its four elements stated above only harmed the vulnerable populations. Privatization, which aimed to open up new field for capital accumulation benefited those who already had some well-established capital, which were the upper classes. Financialization, harmed the majority of people because it was a predatory practice and it led to a vicious circle of debt, in which people hardly got out. Management and manipulation of crises, also affected those vulnerable but in a much larger scale, especially by the use of foreign aid, which causes another circle of debt but for territories. And finally, state redistributions were harmful because as the prime agent of redistributive policies, the state favored the wealthy, not the poor. I think that the negative analysis provided by Harvey can be related to Chapter 6 in that it provided an explanation as to why other countries have chosen to adopt different policies in their nations. Marks mentions how bitter experiences with the capitalist west has led to countries to develop different models for development, some which have been influenced by socialist, communist, and other statist ideas. The articles by Crockett and Aizura, mostly support the idea that neoliberalism benefits only those who established it. In Crockett’s article he states his discontent with the new places in D.C. and how the commercialization of business has caused a loss of culture and the feeling of what he considered to be “home” to become artificial and fake. The article about gender reassignment clinics shows how the privatization of health care policy has affected the industry in Thailand. Since, now most surgeons engage in private practice they have been able to raise the prices of surgery, making it harder for those of lower income to get the surgery. Also, this has boosted the tourism industry, and now most patients are foreign and not Thai. Some patients, of Thai descent, have expressed a discontent in the manner in which they are treated. They claimed that foreigners have preferential treatment because the staff assume that they have more money that the natives. I feel that both articles support the idea that neoliberalism has not only benefited the wealthy, but also harms those who are not.

    1. Julia, I liked your summary overall. There are many countries, just like Thailand, in the South East Asia and South Asia, where the industry of tourism or medical, treat the foreigners with an exceptional treatment, whereas, the locals are not given the same treatment, even if they are wealthy in their own country.

  17. According to David Harvey, neoliberalim is “a theory of political economic practices that propose that human well-being can be best be advanced by the maximization of entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, free markets and free trade.” He argues that this theory has become so common over time that people accept it as if it is a common sense. He criticizes that neoliberablism supports the wealthy and help them to restore their class power while it is destructive to the poor who are hurt by it. When he says creative destruction, it means that neoliberalism which seems to represent freedom is actually destructive. It is destructing the divisions of labor, social relation, welfare provisions, and ways of life and thought. Moreover, it is destructive to the working class and only benefits the upper class and creates inequality between the poor and the rich. However, with the institutions like IMF and WTO who supports neobliberalism and education which continuously inserts the ideas of neoliberalism, it dominates our society. Likewise, Marks point out that globalization has contributed to the spread of capitalism and the institutions that protects their interests. He also contends that this creates gap between the rich and the poor and only benefits some, the upper class. He gives U.S. as an example where privatization is common and the idea of free market and free trade are dominant which benefits the upper class and developed countries while it hinders the lower class and developing countries.
    Aizura talks about the Gender Reassignment Surgery program in Thailand and how the patients are treated differently during their after-care according to their race and wealth. The whites from western countries are treated much better with friendly staffs and doctors who promptly respond to their needs and wants. On the other hand, the local Thai patients do not receive the same treatment just because they are not foreigners who are more likely to be rich. Moreover, even if the clinic must have started with the local needs, with globalization, the clinic now focuses more on the treatments of rich foreigners making locals feeling left out. Thus, this article shows how neoliberalism has brought destruction to a developing country where the poor are being marginalized while the rich benefits from it. Similarly, Crockett’s article illustrates how neoliberalism has brought destruction to the poor while the rich ripped off from them creating inequality between the rich and the poor. He talks about the gentrification of black in DC. When DC was populated with black people, the city didn’t care to put a stop sign to protect the pedestrians on the intersection of 5th and L St. NE.. However, as soon as black people were pushed out of the community, four way stop signs were placed. Even if this is a positive change to the community, the author shows bitterness about the fact that it took the black people leaving to make the four way stop signs. Moreover, he explains that new businesses in DC exploit black culture and capitalize them to make money. However, these well established businesses are not authentic. Therefore, he says, “It feels like a rip-off” because the whites are taking advantage of the black culture to make profit off of it when it does not belong to them.

    1. I thought Crockett’s article was interesting because it took place in DC and we live not too far from it. I thought your last sentence was great because I think it embodies the sentiment of the black community, and I agree that certain areas in DC are a “rip off” of the black culture. It also made me upset to know that the four way stop sign was only put in place after the black population moved out, it clearly shows how racism and discrimination is still apparent today.

  18. Part I: According to David Harvey, neoliberalism is a political economic system with a focus on free markets, free trade, and private rights. The ultimate purposes of this economic system are to limit business regulations and privatize government programs which allow a considerable wealth transfer between countries. Neoliberalism started in the United States and the United Kingdom during the Ronald Reagan and Margret Thatcher governing. They created world organizations like the World Bank and IMF and enforced these on the rest of the world (those countries that had desire to participate in the international trade). This system benefits wealthy nations and destroys the poor nation’s economy. Hervey mentions the term creative destruction to address the neoliberalism failure and economical damage in many nations which indeed benefits the wealthy nations. He argues that it should be destruction in the old structures in order for a new system to be created. Robert Marks in Origins of the Modern World explains globalization and post-colonization and how the United States became the dominant nation in the world. Under free markets system with the United States control, only policies are established that benefit wealthy nations rather than the whole world.

    Part II: Articles by Aren Aizura and Stephen Crockett support the Mark and Harvey’s main idea of neoliberalism and problems associated with it. These articles exemplify the different social classes, rich and poor, and the way they are being treated. The rich people receive benefits from neoliberalism and become richer and find authority while the poor people become poorer, receive negative stereotypes, and even misallocated from their homes. Aizura exhibits the gender reassignment clinics in Thailand that provides excellent service for trans people. Although, the foreign clientele experience the best treatment, comfort, and care in these clinics during their entire stay in Thailand, the local trans people receive less attention by the doctors and nurses. The Thai medical staffs treat visitor and foreigner patients differently from the native people because of the financial difference. In their eyes foreigners are wealthier and deserve more attention. Similarly Crockett discusses a restaurant and bar that previously did not receive much of attention and only became more popular when the whites get involved. The article emphasizes how the other races and cultures enforced their cultures to African Americans. In short, these are only a few examples of how wealthier social classes and cultures dominant poorer social classes and cultures which is a by-product of neoliberalism.

    1. Fardad, I like how you included a couple sentences regarding neoliberalism’s history. It’s definitely a heavy reminder about the US’s huge role in neoliberal policy. I also like your concluding sentence, where you state that the domination of wealthier social classes and cultures dominate over poor ones are a by-product of neoliberalism.

  19. Harvey says the neoliberalism is an economical system that leans more towards the wealthy. This could be countries, people, businesses, and etc. “Theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by the maximization of entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, free markets and free trade.” (Harvey).  The rich nations use the world trade organization (WTO), and the international monetary fund IMF to regulate international trade or loans. It depends on competition to regulate the market so corporations do not take advantage of the workers. Harvey’s creative destruction is about the social programs in order to allow neoliberal economic. The wealthy class benefits from creative destruction. Creative destruction could be social welfare (food stamps, WIC, housing). The rich do not want to cut out the social welfare because they do not want to pay for it. Mark says that free trade is essential for international finance and for neoliberal nations and that neoliberals gave most of the power to the United States. He says that the United States will only create polices that will benefit them and not the world as a whole. If we could take a step back and look at other’s needs, we would be able to avoid violence and mass destruction. If society does not learn from their past mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them. I believe that with power and money comes greed and with greed comes poverty. Poverty will lead to a revolt and a revolt leads to their society crumbling. Once society has crumbled, it is up to the people to rise above the rubble and rebuild. Society must learn from their mistakes to fix their fallen society.


    Aizura and Crocketts both relate to globalization and neoliberalism because they both state they have issues with globalization and neoliberalism. Crocketts is about the poor countries. The rich families that are white move into where the blacks are living and push them out. The rich are benefiting from neoliberalism and the poor are still poor and nothing has changed while they continue struggle. Crocketts articles is about the black people in DC and how the white are opening restaurants using black culture. The white are using black culture and are making money off of it while they have pushed the blacks out of their homes and are making money off of them. Aizutas is about the clinics in Thailand. The clinics are about gender reconstructive surgery and the natives of Thailand that go there are not treated well at all. If a foreigner goes there to the clinic they are treated great like a celebrity. The nonnatives get the full care package as they are picked up at the airport, taken to the clinic, and then taken back to the hotel. Finally after everything is done they take them back to the airport. The natives of Thailand that use the clinic are not given the same treatment. Both articles are talking about minorities and the rich and poor. In both articles the native people are getting segregated. Social identity is very important but it is also misunderstood. This is imbedded into every human experience we do. Social identity is being able to feel like you belong to a specific social group. Given this condition, social systems must be responsive to individual needs.

    1. It is sad that the local Thai were being discriminated and treated unfairly by their own people, but the reality is that money changes people and will have control and power over integrity. I think this is common in developing and third world countries where money is scarce. In my other class my teacher explained to me that if she travels in a poverty stricken country the locals tend to be very nice to her because people assume she is “rich” because she is white.

  20. Part 1:
    David Harvey characterizes neoliberalism as the process of creating and reforming free markets to be as “free” as possible. He points to the removal of state interference and towards the privatization of previously state owned enterprises like health care and education. Harvey also discusses the shift from the import substitution policies of the 60s and 70s (particularly in Latin America) towards the export driven economies of the 80s and 90s.
    I think Harvey uses the phrase “creative destruction” to name the phenomenon of “accumulation by dispossession.” More clearly, creative destruction is the creation of more wealth and power for some (the elites) at the expense of ruined economies, livelihoods and economic stability. For example, despite the fact that sub-prime mortgages led to a global recession from which the world has still not recovered, the sale of these mortgages was incredibly profitable and hugely beneficial to some groups of people (particularly when the government provides a bail-out so that no one actually loses money except the taxpayers and homeowners).
    Although Marks doesn’t reflect on neoliberalism directly in Chapter Six, I think his points about resource exhaustion and overpopulation are within a similar vein. During the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain received great benefits from having “ghost acres” within the colonies to produce things that were essential to their economy that they did not have the physical space to produce efficiently in England (cotton being the obvious example). To me, Harvey’s description of neoliberalism seemed to take this principle and apply it on a global scale. By focusing on exports rather than on a self-contained and self-sufficient national economy (import substitution), every country seems to benefit from “ghost acres.” Although this is supposed to be the benefit of free trade (using comparative advantage to produce goods more efficiently), it also leads to greater market volatility and greater environmental degradation.
    Part 2:
    I believe that Crockett’s commentary on the physical gentrification and cultural appropriation of D.C. are not totally in line with Harvey and Marks. Neoliberalism discourages government interference in markets like real estate, and thus the market is left to determine who or what exists in area. However in the case of DC, there was a concerted government effort to demolish unsafe buildings and raise taxes on abandoned properties that helped contribute to the boom of gentrification*. So although the problems D.C. is experiencing are reprehensible and something that needs to be helped, I don’t think (amazingly) that neoliberalism deserves the brunt of the blame. I think Marks would categorize what happened in D.C. as a conjuncture.
    Aizura’s article is another story. I think both Harvey and Marks would agree that medical tourism is a unique result of neoliberalism and global interconnectedness. What I did find interesting within the context of Aizura’s article was actually how it related to Crockett’s discussion of cultural authenticity. Harvey and Marks provide us with the mechanisms to understand how the sexual reassignment industry booms in Thailand but don’t instruct how to understand the psychological transformation of becoming a woman through sef-orientalizing feminism. Both Aizura and Crockett talk about trying to maintain and become something that never existed as we now understand it (the Thai innate feminineness and the cool African-American heritage).

    * If anyone is curious, I read a response to Crockett’s piece that was pretty interesting. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/the-politics-of-the-urban-comeback-gentrification-and-culture-in-dc/260741/

    1. I like how you bring up the economic differences between neoliberalism and the case of gentrification in D.C. where there was government intervention. On a specific level this is not a case that is a result of neoliberalism in itself, however neoliberalism and this gentrification share a deeper root cause.

  21. From the reading, it would seem that David Harvey’s definition of neoliberalism means forced policies and imperialism. I think what he refers to is US policies in places such as Iraq or Chile. It seems like The US would only support powers that have US interests. I think what he means by creative destruction is that all these policies sound great, free market economy, privatisation of public organisations, etc but it actually only benefits the ruling elites and ruins the lives of the people on the lower end of the financial spectrum. Neoliberalism looks like it works but actually destroys the country it’s applied in. creation and implementation of the Volcker technique is destruction. Countries like Mexico had to declare bankruptcy through force from debt-interest payments, which then in turn give way for The US to come and exploit Mexico. I think neoliberalism can be applied to chapter 6 in a few ways. In the section about third world development, third world countries were created as a way to stay out of Cold War alliances. These countries had problems of dependency to their former colonial powers. I think that’s neoliberal because even if they are no longer under colonial power, the countries needed to depend on The US and what not because they were rural. The colonial powers kept them rural and agricultural. With growing populations it’s difficult for developing nations to break even. These countries can’t grow their economy in proportion to its population.

    In the case of Aren Aizura’s article, the differences between Thai and Non-Thai transsexual patients can be seen as neoliberal. The American and European patients are treated better than the Thai patients. The hospitals cater to them. The cost of GRS has sky rocketed since its beginnings. The doctors that had offered GRS began to advertise on the Internet and thus grew their business by increasing their white clientele. Its almost like neocolonialism in the sense that, Thailand’s medical service industry is being taken over by foreign powers (foreign money). I wonder if the currency exchange rate plays any part in this. One US dollar is equivalent to 33 Thai Baht. Maybe the doctors prefer being paid in Euros or Dollars (just throwing some ideas out there, not sure if they are correct or not). I think this piece supported Harvey’s reading. With Stephen Crockett’s article, I’m not sure if I can relate that to my understanding of neoliberalism. I don’t see it as globalisation or neoliberalism as much as just pure gentrification.

    1. The Crockett article can be seen as a microcosm of some of the affects and drives behind globalization, just minus the global part, so it is not so much a conflict between nations and the idea of the global, but a conflict between local and the idea of the national. So just like how states in the Global North take advantage of states in the Global South, richer people took advantage of this poor area without any care for the culture or the actual people.

  22. David Harney describes neoliberalism as it is in the first instance of political economic practice that proposes that human well-being can be advanced by the increase of entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, free markets and free trade. He also says it is “theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well- being can best be advanced by maximization of entrepreneurial freedom.” Neoliberalism became hegemonic as a mode of discourse and it has pervasive effects on ways of thought and political-economic practices to the point where it has become incorporated into our common sense way we interpret, live in and understand the world. Creative destruction refers that there needs to be destruction in the system in order to make a better one, which is neoliberalism, based on the article. He argues that in order for the current system to change, there needs to be destruction for creating a new one. Discussion of neoliberalism is related to the Marks’ ideas. Harvey also discusses social class of hierarchy, which the rich is over the poor. This is related to the Marks’ idea because he talks about how industrialization is increasing the wealth of the rich. Rich is getting richer and poor is getting poorer.

    Aren Aizura and Stephen Crockett articles both discuss about the exploitation of the minorities. These groups of minorities are feeling set apart by whites because they are not being treated equally as others. In Aren Aizura’s article, it is talked about in Thailand, clinics do not really care about their local Thai patients; instead, they give more importance to the foreign patients. They probably feel like foreign patients can bring in more profits to them. Crockett’s article describes an impact on poor communities and how rich families move into their communities, removing the poor African Americans from their restaurants and creating new community. Aren Aizura and Stephen Crockett’s articles relate to Harvey and Mark’s idea of neoliberalism. To them, neoliberalism is bad for emerging and poor countries and people, and it gives more advantages to the ones who are rich while poor is being set apart. Both of the articles support and extend the ideas of both Harvey and Marks.

    1. Hello Elif,

      Good post.
      That’s true that the minority groups feel inferior because of the rich. People want to and deserve to be treated as equals. They want to protect their culture as well; however, in this case it seems like the rich people and people with authority do not care about it.

  23. David Harvey characterizes neoliberalism to only benefit the rich and hurt the poor, it is an economic theory that no place can claim total immunity from. He states that neoliberalism is a “theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by the maximization of entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework characterized by private property right, individual liberty, free markets and free trade” (Harvey, 1). The term creative destruction refers to the elimination of a previous framework for a new one to be put in place. Harvey’s analysis of neoliberalism relates to Chapter 6 of Origins of the Modern World because Marks explains how the the increase of consumerism in the US led to high demands of natural resources in developing countries. He further explains that the world has become interconnected through ideas, capital, and labor. He says, “this globalization, largely under U.S. auspices and with the specific goal of spreading capitalism and the institutions that protect it around the world, has benefited some, but not most, contributing to a continued and depending gap between the wealthiest and poorest parts of the world” (Marks, 156). This further supports the argument that neoliberalism served the rich and not the poor, further creating a gap between the two classes.

    Aren Aizura and Stephen Crockett further support Harvey and Marks view on globalization and neoliberalism. Crockett is disappointed that the authentic black culture that was once in D.C. has now been replaced with a “faux black ethos” by white people. The area that once was a home to the black population was now taken over by the white community, and the place now seemed to be “safer” with a four way stop sign that was built once after the black community was gone. This idea of creative destruction is exemplified in Crockett’s article, where in place of these new establishment the black culture is exploited. Aren Aizura’s article depicts how that medical center that was created for gender reassignment surgeries for the local Thai people became a medical center for affluent white people. The local Thai people weren’t given the same medical attention as the foreigners who came, and the prices went up as a result of this. Both of these articles support the idea of how the wealthy are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, with the poor being exploited and discriminated as a result.

    1. Hey Sharon,

      I really like that you tied your whole response together around the argument that neoliberalism causes increased wealth inequality. My only question was with your thoughts on Aizura’s piece. Was the price for surgery increased because there were more Westerners coming to Thailand for this procedure?

    2. Sharon,

      You make a good point about US consumerism and the growing gap between wealthy and poor. The world is becoming more interconnected. Hopefully that means that more people can fight against neoliberalism. Globalisation can be a good thing by sharing knowledge quickly, not just used for the advancement of wealthier classes. Thanks for explaining neoliberalism within the Crockett article. I had a hard time understanding that one.

    3. Hi Sharon,

      Nice post!
      You did a really good job on analysing the connection between those theories and the related articles, especially idea of creative destruction applying into Crockett’s article. Furthermore, I strongly agree that economic and social gap could never be ignored when we talk about the neoliberalism.

  24. David Harvey critiques neoliberalism for its contrast in theory and actual practice, then goes on to highlight its myriad of pervasive effects on the world, state, and individual. As a theory, neoliberalism refers to political and economic practices that maximize entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework. Emphasis is placed on private property rights, individual liberty, free markets, and free trade. In reality, however, the neoliberal system has caused nothing but destruction to previous institutional frameworks, divisions of labor, social relations, and ways of both life and thought. Entrepreneurial freedoms were a disguise for the exploitation of other individuals and entire states. In Origins of the Modern World, Marks points out that “the growth of the global market has rendered most governments quite powerless to control their own economic fate…which thus far continues to be dominated by the rich” (Marks 186).
    Hence, Harvey coins neoliberalism as “creative destruction” – orchestrating crises, then manipulatively ‘solving’ them through dispossession, and subsequently accumulating wealth. Examples of this phenomena include the debt crises in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as structural adjustments policies, all of which were administered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/Wall Street/Treasury complex. Another recent example includes the U.S. invasion of Iraq which was essentially the U.S. imposing a “full-fledged neoliberal state apparatus whose fundamental mission was and is to facilitate conditions for profitable capital accumulation” (Harvey 4). Thus, we see repeatedly that neoliberal policies and systems are implemented by means of theoretical justification and rationalization: using the magic words, “freedom and liberty.”
    In Aren Aizura’s article, we learn about gender reconstruction surgery in Thailand, and how treatment varies depending on whether one is Thai or foreign. Globalization is very apparent through the slogan “first world medical treatment at third world prices,” which is used to describe Thailand’s medical tourism industry and its commodities of non-North currencies, services, and human labor (Aizura 151). The global free market (stemming from neoliberal policies) is what enables Thailand’s medical tourism industry to operate and flourish, and is also the cause of growing inequalities.
    Stephen Crockett’s article discusses how an African American historical “swagger-jacking” is occurring in D.C. – in what was once proclaimed the Chocolate City. While neighborhoods have been gentrified – with local, long-time residents moving out – a “faux black ethos” remains through restaurants and bars that attempt to re-enact black culture, yet are inauthentic in that the owners are white. Crockett depicts this as a grave problem, citing numerous examples of how this memory of blackness “feels artificially done and palatable.”
    In both articles, it is apparent that those who are benefiting from this superior treatment – the foreign transgender individuals in Thailand who explain their Thai surgery as a “magical experience,” and the whites living in a gentrified D.C. who believe they are supporting black culture by eating at Ben’s Chili Bowl – are oblivious to the bigger picture: exploitation of culture and locals for the sake of capitalistic gains.

    1. Tabatha,
      I appreciate the detailed information you provided to support your description of neoliberalism; especially the examples of the creative destruction concept.

    2. Hey!! good job, I think having examples in a writing is very important because it serves as supporting details to make a reader understand more clearly . I love how you included a quote to point out what Marks is trying to say because it highlights the heart of the topic.

    3. Hi Tabatha,

      You did a really good job on providing the recent example, making the concept more understandable. In regards to the Crockett article, I believe that the selfishness of big corporations that take precedent over the individual. I like how you related that bit to your description of neoliberalism.

  25. Part I:

    David Harvey regards neoliberalism as a theory of political economic practice that proposes that human well-being can take advantage of entrepreneurial freedom within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, free markets and free trade. In contrast, the interventions of government in markets should be kept to a bare minimum because the state cannot provide enough information to second-guess market prices. In addition, the government always has powerful interests that will unavoidably distort state intervention for their own benefit. According to David, he believes that the creation of the neoliberal system has entailed much destruction, not only of prior institutional framework and powers but also of divisions of labor, social relations, welfare provisions and so on. From my perspective, I believe that because the neoliberal revolution has both positives and negatives; therefore, we should consider it from the more comprehensive perspective instead of always favoring the rich. It is apparent that there are some countries that fail to implement neoliberal revolution, creating more financial crises. Therefore, increased social inequality within a territory was necessary to encourage the entrepreneurial risk and innovation that conferred competitive power and stimulated growth. Furthermore, David argues that the actual practice of neoliberalism is the restoration of class power. So if conditions among lower classes deteriorated, this was because they preferred for personal and cultural reasons, to enhance their own human capital.

    This has a strong connection with Harvey’s analysis of neoliberalism from Chapter 6, because when neoliberalism pays attention to the development model which is increasing the wealth of the rich, the unique background of different countries should never be denied. For instance, Post-World War II decolonization and revolution brought to power regimes committed to explicit policies of “development.” Moreover, since most of those former colonies had bitter experiences with the capitalist West, the models they chose for the most part were strongly influenced by socialist, communist, or other statist ideas (p.170).

    Part II
    I have noticed that both articles written by Aizura and Crockett have strong connections with the article of Harvey and the chapter of Marks. It seems that achieving neoliberalism and globalization always requires an endless struggle. Aizura provides a vivid example of globalization in Thailand, and she mentions that engaging with “the power structures” is making gender reassignment surgery into a commodity globally. The “power structures” remind me of restoration of class power during the actual practice of neoliberalism. In addition, I believe that Crockett’s argument on the exploitation of black culture demonstrates the negative sides of neoliberalism and globalization. Although it is possible for a once-black city to experience gentrification while opening businesses, the illegal status and free space are still needed urgently. When it comes to creative destruction, the unfair treatments still exist when money is invested into those countries, dividing the wealth gap in the society. Furthermore, the problem of different backgrounds and cultures emerging constantly support Marks’ concerns as well. Overall, I believe that these articles highlight and extend the ideas of Harvey and Marks.

    1. Yang,
      You presented a good connection between the articles explaining the neoliberalism concept. I indeed believe neoliberalism creates financial crises and social class gaps.

    2. Hello Yang,

      I agree with you that some countries that have adopted neoliberalism have faced even more financial crises. Also, in the countries where it has been successful, they include other systems too, not just neoliberalism. Nice post!

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