There is no alternative
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The phrase was used to signify that the market economy is the only system that works, and that debate about this is over. One commenter characterized the meaning of the slogan as "Globalized capitalism, so called free-markets and free trade were the best ways to build wealth, distribute services and grow a society’s economy. Deregulation’s good, if not God." By contrast, Thatcher described her support of markets as flowing from a more basic moral argument. Specifically she argued that the market-principle of choice flows from the moral principle that for human behavior to be moral requires free-choice by people.
Historically, the phrase may be traced to its emphatic use by the nineteenth-century classical liberal thinker Herbert Spencer. Opponents of the principle used it in a derisory manner. For instance cabinet minister Norman St John-Stevas, one of the leading "wets", nicknamed Thatcher "Tina". In economics, politics, and political economy, others have used it to mean that "there is no alternative" to neoliberalism - that free markets, free trade, and capitalist globalization are the best or the only way for modern societies to develop.
In the early 1990s, Francis Fukuyama wrote a book called The End of History and the Last Man, which in a similar vein argued that liberal democracy had triumphed over communism and that, although there could still be future events, the historic struggle between political systems was over.
- Economic system
- Pensée unique
- Washington Consensus
- There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters - biography of Margaret Thatcher.
- Berlinski, Claire (2011-11-08). There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters (Second ed.). Basic Books.
- Laura, Flanders (April 12, 2013). "At Thatcher's Funeral, Bury TINA, Too". The Nation.
- Social Statics (1851), pp. 42, 307.
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- Margaret Thatcher's key speeches containing the phrase "there is no alternative" or similar