Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We are all Neoliberals: Dardot and Laval's La Nouvelle Raison du Monde

Neoliberalism has become an increasingly popular word in contemporary critical thought and philosophy. Its popularity has come at a cost, however, as the meaning of the word has been reduced to a few vague inclinations about the truly bad kind of capitalism held together by invocations of competition, markets, and individualism. It has become what Althusser called a descriptive theory at best, and, at worse, a way to speak about capitalism without speaking about capitalism. In the worse case it became the name for a kind of nostalgia for an earlier kinder and gentler capitalism, one that we could get back to as soon as the full impact of the recession was felt and people started really paying attention to Paul Krugman. 

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Untenable Subtexts: Iron Man Three

Having written something about the first two Iron Man films on this blog in the past I felt obligated to write at least something about the third. My thoughts on this film are framed by Hassler Forest's assertion that the superhero film is a post 9/11 cultural form; the genre not only emerges after that historical event but it provides sufficient fantasy difference to confront both historical trauma and to legitimate the emerging national security state. It makes large scale destruction, often of New York, palatable and, more importantly, it makes generalized surveillance and extra-judicial forms of enforcement not only acceptable, but cool.