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Neoliberalism emptied the world: On free markets, traditional morality and nothing else.
Neoliberalism needs to be understood not just as a set of economic policies - not just a particular way of deregulating markets or letting loose free enterprise or getting rid of progressive taxes or stripping out the welfare state - all those things are true. But it also needs to be understood as a form of reason that governs us even when there's no tyrant holding over our heads a particular set of threats or a particular set of instruments.
Theorist Wendy Brown examines the anti-democratic logic at the heart of neoliberalism - after a 40-year ruling class project to empty society of all forces but the free market and traditional morality, a libertarian ethno-nationalism regime maintains uses crumbling traditional heirarchies to maintain discipline over a fractured population.
Wend is author of In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West from Columbia University Press.
Wendy Brown is an author and the Class of 1936 First Chair at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches political theory.
Catherine McNicol Stock
Sep 13 2021