A ‘neo’ is someone who pretends to be something, someone who is at the same time inside and outside of something; it is an elusive hybrid, a straw man set up without ever identifying a specific value, idea, regime, or doctrine. To say ‘neoliberal’ is the same as saying ‘semiliberal’, or ‘pseudoliberal’. It is pure nonsense. Either one is an favor of liberty or against it, but one cannot be semi-in-favor or pseudo-in-favor of liberty, just as one cannot be ‘semipregnat’, ‘semiliving’ or ‘semidead’. The term has not been invented to express a conceptual reality, but rather as a corrosive weapon of derision, it has been designed to semantically devalue the doctrine of liberalism.
Mario Vargas Llosa, “Liberalism in the New Millennium,” in I. Vasquez, ed. Global Fortune: The Stumble and Rise of World Capitalism, Cato Institute Washington DC, 2000, p16.