With the rise of neo-liberalism, debates on the social responsibilities of the state changed direction. The ideologies covered so far attempted to varying degrees to defend, and in many cases advance, the notion that the state should be involved in the provision of a range of social services. There is of course a vast difference between Republican presidents like Eisenhower and Nixon and passionate socialists like Aneurin Bevan, but social liberalism, conservatism and social democracy shared the view for much of the postwar period that the state has at least some responsibility for the common welfare and that this welfare can be advanced by using social policies. This view is attacked mercilessly by neo-liberals. The neo-liberals, and the new right regimes they inspired, believed that the apparent consensus on the economy and on welfare had increased the power of the state to such an extent that individuals were being swamped and subjugated in the interests of the common good. For the neo-liberals, it was important to remind ourselves of the wisdom and insight contained in the thoughts of the classical liberals. It was argued that individuals need to be made responsible for their own welfare and that the state should withdraw as far as possible from economic management and social provision. This can be interpreted as a right wing reaction to the centre (and in some cases, centre-left) ideas and policies of social liberals, conservatives and social democrats. Key theorists involved in this reaction included Freidrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman and Robert Nozick. Administrations influenced by and participating in this reaction included the Thatcher governments in Britain and the Reagan governments in the United States.
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