By Wendy Brown
Neoliberal rationality — ubiquitous at the present time in statecraft and the office, in jurisprudence, schooling, and tradition — remakes every little thing and everybody within the photo of homo oeconomicus. What occurs while this rationality transposes the constituent parts of democracy into an monetary sign in? In brilliant aspect, Wendy Brown explains how democracy itself is imperiled. The demos disintegrates into bits of human capital; matters with justice cede to the mandates of progress premiums, credits scores, and funding climates; liberty submits to the vital of human capital appreciation; equality dissolves into marketplace pageant; and renowned sovereignty grows incoherent. Liberal democratic practices won't live to tell the tale those differences. Radical democratic desires would possibly not either.
In an unique and compelling theoretical argument, Brown explains how and why neoliberal cause undoes the political shape and political imaginary it falsely provides to safe and reinvigorate. via meticulous analyses of neoliberalized legislation, political practices, governance, and schooling, she charts the hot logic. Undoing the Demos makes transparent that, faraway from being the lodestar of the twenty-first century, a destiny for democracy depends on it changing into an item of fight and rethinking.
“Wendy Brown’s new booklet, Undoing the Demos, is a clarion name to democratic motion. In shut dialog with Michel Foucault’s 1979 lectures at the beginning of Biopolitics, Brown brilliantly explores how the rationality of neoliberalism is hollowing out the fashionable topic and, with it, our modern liberal democracies. Delving deep into the common sense of neoliberalism and extensively around the spectrum of neoliberal practices, from benchmarking to better schooling coverage, Brown deals a compelling new size to the serious paintings on neoliberalism. it is vital analyzing today — powerful and haunting.” — Bernard E. Harcourt, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of legislations, Columbia college and Directeur d’études, École des hautes études en sciences sociales
“With this passionately incisive critique of neoliberal (ir)rationality, Wendy Brown delineates the political stakes of the current. Tracing its antipolitical and antidemocratic impulses, she demanding situations us to guard and expand the chances of a well-liked politics that makes the guarantees of democracy come true.” — John Clarke, Professor Emeritus of Social coverage, The Open University
“This is a ebook for the age of resistance, for the occupiers of the squares, for the iteration of Occupy Wall highway. The most desirable radical political thinker of our time deals a devastating critique of ways neoliberalism has hollowed out democracy. however the victory of homo oeconomicus over homo politicus isn't irreversible. Wendy Brown has little time for ‘left melancholy.’ Hers is a choice to hands for the protection of the enlightenment ideas of freedom, equality, and unity and for reimagining and deepening democracy. After interpreting Brown, basically undesirable religion can justify the toleration of neoliberalism.” — Costas Douzinas, Director of the Birkbeck institute for the arts and writer of Philosophy and Resistance within the Crisis
“Wendy Brown vividly lays naked neoliberalism’s perverse rationality, the ‘economization of everything,’ documenting its corrosive outcomes for public associations, for solidaristic values, and for democracy itself. crucial yet unsettling interpreting, Undoing the Demos is analytically acute and deeply disturbing.” — Jamie Peck, writer of buildings of Neoliberal Reason
“Brown deepens the conceptual research and feedback of neoliberal ideology, now near to changing into the dominant method humans take into consideration themselves, their lives and their social international. In illuminating aspect, she additionally discusses the genuine and frightening social alterations occurring partially a result of method during which this ideology is being carried out. a big contribution, providing its arguments with energy and readability, this e-book is helping us comprehend the area we've more and more been compelled to reside in, and to start the method of puzzling over what may be performed to revitalize our political mind's eye and practices.” — Raymond Geuss, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, college of Cambridge
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Additional info for Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution (Near Futures)
This, too, makes it more difficult to 47 apprehend and articulate, offering perhaps one reason why neoliberalism has met with greater resistance in, say, Latin America over the past several decades than in the United States or Britain. What, precisely, is neoliberalism as a worldview — what does it want, aspire to, dream? What are its transformations of state, economy, citizen, and value? What is its theory of the state and governance? What is its utopia? What relationship do its lived practices have to its founding theoreticians and contemporary exponents?
Thirty years ago, at the dawn of the neoliberal era, homo oeconomicus was still oriented by interest and profit seeking, but now entrepreneurialized itself at every turn and was formulated as human capital. As Foucault puts it, the subject was now submitted to diffusion and multiplication of the enterprise form within the social body. 36 The contemporary “economization” of subjects by neoliberal rationality is thus distinctive in at least three ways. First, in contrast with classical economic liberalism, we are everywhere homo oeconomicus and only homo oeconomicus.
As liberty is relocated from political to economic life, it becomes subject to the inherent inequality of the latter and is part of what secures that inequality. The guarantee of equality through the rule of law and participation in popular sovereignty is replaced with a market formulation of winners and losers. Liberty itself is narrowed to market conduct, divested of association with mastering the conditions of life, existential freedom, or securing the rule of the demos. Freedom conceived minimally as self-rule and more robustly as participation in rule by the demos gives way to comportment with a market instrumental rationality that radically constrains both choices and ambitions.