I think I’ve come up with a working definition/differentiation between neoliberalism and neoconservatism.
Neoliberalism refers to the economic policies the United States pursues, specifically: free enterprise–state subsidized private power with no infringement on managerial prerogatives. Neoliberalism is not, contrary to what many people believe, laissez-faire, but rather a state imposed market based economic system. Philip Mirowski has written the definitive description of the power of neoliberal ideas with his book: Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste.
Neoconservatism refers to US foreign policies enacted to enforce neoliberalism, specifically, the use of force to impose this grotesque economic system on the rest of the world. Neoconservatives believe that the United States can invade any country that goes against the diktat of the US, specifically any country that chooses an economic system contrary to neoliberalism. Since 9/11 we have been able to witness this neoconservative foreign policy in real time–Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, etc. Both Republican and Democratic foreign policies are controlled by neoconservatives. This is why the Obama administration has not been appreciably different in its foreign policy than the Bush administration. Neoconservatism is the military-industrial complex. Neoconservatism is the intelligence-industrial complex. Neoconservatism is the homeland security industrial complex--since 9/11.
Those are the differences.
The similarities between neoliberalism and neoconservatism is the consequence free outcome for the proponents of these noxious ideologies. Both neoconservatives and neoliberals have escaped any and all accountability in the aftermath of the disasters of the last decade. The neoconservatives walked away scot free after the criminal invasion of Iraq and the ongoing debacle that the War on Terror has become. The neoliberals wrecked the economy with the Wall Street crash, yet have emerged stronger that ever.
Both of these ideologies have escaped accountability, I believe, because both are immensely useful to the American empire–the deep state, that I’ve talked about before. Also, both neoconservatism and neoliberalism serve very powerful factions within the US and are held aloft by the greedy/ideology that both our political parties fully support.
Going forward, I’ll examine these two ideologies in much more detail, but at the present time it’s clear that these two factions are in complete control over our government policies, with no end in sight.
It’s their world, we just live in it.