Neoliberal policies around the globe have made caring more difficult. Yet, many scholars seem to have accepted neoliberalism as an inescapable reality. This article argues against this view. Instead, it suggests that care stands as a major alternative way to the neoliberal paradigm, both conceptually and historically. Formulating a conceptual account of people as homines curans (caring people) and drawing upon Polanyi’s history of market ideologies, the article argues that a democratic form of care – which makes the reallocation of care responsibilities its central concern – can provide the basis for a theoretical challenge to neoliberalism.