There is no alternative

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A German campaign poster with the slogan Es Gibt Keine Alternative (1994)

"There is no alternative" (shortened as TINA) was a slogan often used by the Conservative British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.[1]

The phrase was used to signify Thatcher's claim that the market economy is the only system that works, and that debate about this is over. One critic characterised the meaning of the slogan as "Globalised 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."[2] 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.[1]

Historically, the phrase may be traced to its emphatic use by the nineteenth-century classical liberal thinker Herbert Spencer.[3] 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 globalisation are the best or the only way for modern societies to develop.[citation needed]

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  1. ^ a b Berlinski, Claire (8 November 2011). There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters (Second ed.). Basic Books. ISBN 978-0465031214.
  2. ^ Flanders, Laura (April 12, 2013). "At Thatcher's Funeral, Bury TINA, Too". The Nation. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  3. ^ Social Statics. 1851. pp. 42, 307.

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