Fakenomics: The 100 year war for free market economics that ends with Trump and Brexit

| 31st July 2018
Trump and Brexit represent the final battle in a century long war for free market economics - and against the state provision of education, health and welfare services, and regulations designed to protect human health and the natural environment. BRENDAN MONTAGUE investigates

We see how the works of Friedrich von Hayek, the father of modern free market ideas, were co-opted and corrupted.

Antony Fisher dedicated his life to fighting for prosperity - and he believed free markets would be our salvation. The war hero unleashed a powerful political movement that attacked state control and regulation—including measures to stop climate change.

Read the full FAKENOMICS series now!

He founded the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in 1955 based on the economic claims of the economist Friedrick von Hayek and dedicated his life to raising cash from corporations who had the most to gain from any state regulations, including those to protect human health and the most vulnerable in society.

This was the game plan followed by Mark Littlewood, the current director general of the IEA, when he offered access to government ministers and to produce a report on a 'green Brexit' for the environment secretary of state to an undercover reporter posing as an investor in the US hormone beef industry. 

Financial crisis

Littlewood boasted access to the highest levels of government saying he was part of a concerted campaign to force the free market agenda onto the British public through Brexit. This could spell the end of European Union regulation to protect health and well being.

Today, it was confirmed that the IEA continues to accept money from BP, the oil company. This funding was paid when the IEA set up the first climate denial think tank. Indeed, the relationship between the IEA and Big Oil, Big Tobacco and Big Monopoly in all its guises goes back to the very beginning.

And it is at the very beginning that The Ecologist begins its series on Brexit, Trump and the 50 year war for unbridled free market capitalism. 

We see how the works of Friedrich von Hayek, the father of modern free market ideas, were co-opted and corrupted. We witness how all-powerful oil monopolies have gained control of our democracies.

And we watch as the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis have been wilfully ignored - and envision how the same mistakes will lead to the biggest environmental and social cataclysm of our time. Grab the popcorn.

This Author

Brendan Montague is editor of The Ecologist, founder of Request Initiative and co-author of Impact of Market Forces on Addictive Substances and Behaviours: The web of influence of addictive industries (Oxford University Press)He tweets at @EcoMontague. This series first appeared at Desmog.uk.

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