By Anita Chari
Anita Chari revives the concept that of reification from Marx and the Frankfurt university to focus on the resistance to neoliberal capitalism now forming on the point of political financial system and on the extra sensate, experiential point of subjective transformation. analyzing artwork through Oliver Ressler, Zanny Begg, Claire Fontaine, Jason Lazarus, and Mika Rottenberg, in addition to the politics of Occupy Wall road, Chari identifies practices by which artists and activists have challenged neoliberalism's social and political logics, exposing its inherent tensions and contradictions.
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Additional info for A political economy of the senses : neoliberalism, reification, critique
Foucault’s lectures on neoliberalism, delivered from 1978–79, are extremely prescient in their analysis of the political rationality of neoliberalism decades before discussions about neoliberalism became widespread in scholarship. However, I would suggest that focusing on intellectual discourses of neoliberalism alone, as Foucault does, has limitations. While I take from Foucault the key observation that neoliberalism must be distinguished from classical liberalism in how it ﬁgures the relationship between economics and politics, the problem with Foucault’s discussion of the relationship of neoliberal ideas with the principle of laissez-faire is that the relationship between neoliberal theory and practice becomes unclear in his analysis.
The eﬀect, according to Fraser, was to resignify feminist ideals and to render feminist critique a source of legitimation for neoliberalism. ”63 In the context of neoliberalism, key aspects of the second-wave feminist critique no longer retained their critical force under new historical conditions. ”64 They trace the development of a new ethos of capitalism in the 1980s and 1990s, based on an ethic of the neoliberal worker as a creative, cooperative, and ﬂexible subject, in contrast to the hierarchical and obedient worker-subject of Taylorist and Fordist capitalism.
N EO LI B ER AL SY M P TO M S 43 If these conditions held true, then each individual would indeed have the chance to become a property owner. However, these conditions, Habermas notes, were not fulﬁlled, and so the question becomes how did the liberal public sphere sustain its legitimating norm as a space in which domination could be rationalized through critical public debate that was in principle open to all? Habermas’s answer illuminates the historical speciﬁcity of liberalism as an emancipatory discourse, and he argues that in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the liberal model of citizenship, which made property a requirement of citizenship, depended on the economic conditions stipulated by classical economics regarding free markets, perfect competition, and commodity exchange.
A political economy of the senses : neoliberalism, reification, critique by Anita Chari