EDIT: Originally, the post was getting very mixed feedback and I was worried that the neoliberal movement =/= neoliberalism distinction was too confusing. Thus, I thought it might be best to move the post back to drafts to not waste the reader's time. Then I got some messages from people who want to read it. So I made it public again. Deal with this information as you please.
There are already some ties between the neoliberal movement (not to be confused with neoliberalism the ideology) and EA. For example, Jeremiah Johnson (host of the neoliberal podcast & director/founder of the neoliberal project), has given an AMA on the EA forum and has promoted GiveWell on the podcast. I think the overlap between the movements is already substantial. Both movements want to make the world better by using science and rational thinking even if their methodologies are slightly different. Both movements have substantial overlap in their beliefs (I would, for example, expect that most EAs agree with most of “What neoliberals believe in”).
However, I think the level of cooperation should be higher than it currently is. I think the movements should stay two separate movements and not merge but they could use their comparative advantages in lots of positive-sum cooperations. To state it in more intuitive terms, I think most EAs should know what the Neoliberal movement stands for and vice versa.
There are also more practical reasons for cooperation. The neoliberal movement is probably larger than EA but EAs might have more influence on politics and philanthropy. The Neoliberal movement has figured out promotion on Twitter & Reddit much better than EA but EAs have better talent-to-job pipelines.
(All of the things I'm saying are also true for progress studies btw, they are just less organized than EA and the Neoliberal movement AFAIK.)
Here are some ideas for cooperation. Feel free to add more.
- Podcasts: Rob Wiblin has already featured on the Neoliberal podcast but I think inviting Jeremiah Johnson on the 80K podcast would make for a fun episode. Also, both movements have grown a lot in the last 2 years, so I’d be up for an updated version of the 2019 podcast as well.
- Local chapters: If a city has both an EA chapter and a neoliberal chapter they could cooperate. The neoliberals invite the EAs for an intro talk and vice versa. This might sound like a zero-sum game since people have limited time but I think it’s mostly positive-sum. In Tübingen, we have cooperated in a similar way with the debate club, and afterward, multiple people came to the debating and EA meetings.
- Movement building: Obviously, both movements have been doing quite well and are growing fast. However, there are likely things we could learn from each other. If you haven’t done so already, some CEA folks (or other movement builders) might want to meet with the people running the neoliberal project and talk about their experiences. Even a 60-minute meeting could already have high value.
- Conferences: Inviting some neoliberals, especially those who work in politics, to EAG could give some interesting perspectives. If neoliberals have conferences like EAG, they could invite some EAs to talk about politics, movement building, etc. as well.
- Social media: I think there are some EAs who are really good at the Twitter game but we still have a lot to learn from the Neoliberal movement.
I'd be interested in further ideas and whether you like the idea overall.
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