You’re right, I didn’t want a history of liberalism, which I know pretty well. However, it’s got nothing to do with how I want to define anything; I was speaking of the term as it’s been accepted in the US for a century plus. As I said, neoliberal is like national socialism, only less so. At least national socialism was actually nationalistic. Neoliberal isn’t neo, and absolutely isn’t liberal; neoliberalism is actually conservative, as described for example by neurolinguist George Lakoff. (Don’t Think of an Elephant). He differentiated conservative from progressive, the word liberal having been contaminated by the conservatives who call themselves that despite being captured by corporate money and in thrall to the desires of the oligarchy.
Liberalism is what it is, not what you want it to be. It’s a big sweeping complex historical trend with many aspects that can’t be Humpty Dumptied away.* And it has always been the ideology of capital.
When the term neoliberalism was coined, they were not seeking to somehow assert the mantle of mid-20th Century US social movements. They were asserting a restoration of their version of classical liberalism, zeroed down to economic liberalism as they define it. They were not out of line to link their school of though to the historical line of liberal thought.
The powers that be are very happy to have such confusion around terminology. This is why i think left and right is much clearer.
*“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”