The term neoliberalism was coined at a meeting in Paris in 1938. Two men who came to define the ideology, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek attended the meeting.
In The Road to Serfdom, published in 1944, Hayek argued that government planning, by crushing individualism, would lead inexorably to totalitarian control. The Road to Serfdom was widely read. It came to the attention of some very wealthy people, who saw in the philosophy an opportunity to free themselves from regulation and tax. In 1947, Hayek founded an organisation to spread the doctrine of neoliberalism, the Mont Pelerin Society. It was generously supported by millionaires and their foundations.
Hayek created a transatlantic network of academics, businessmen, journalists and activists. A series of thinktanks came up to refine and promote the ideology. Among them were the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Centre for Policy Studies and the Adam Smith Institute. The supporters of neoliberalism financed number of academic positions and departments, particularly at the universities of Chicago and Virginia.