Thursday, May 16, 2019

Breaking the Curse: On Three Recent Attempts to Theorize Neoliberalism

Moose and Lon Chaney Jr. on the set of The Wolfman
I could justify this by the way I have written about werewolves and capital, but the truth is that I just like it

To begin with something of a dialectic. The strength of neoliberalism as a concept is how expansive it is; it offers not just an account of capitalism, of economic relations, but culture, politics, and even subjectivity. The weakness of neoliberalism as a concept is how expansive it is, making it possible to call everything and anything from Uber to yoga neoliberal. It proposes a night when all cows are black, or, more to the point, when all cows are entrepreneurs of their direct farm to market line of organic milk products, as competition and entrepreneurial relations are everywhere. However, to borrow a line from Marx, this excess and limitation does not go from text books into reality, but from reality to textbooks. The instability and expansiveness of the concept might just have something to do the reality of the thing.