A political economy of the senses : neoliberalism, by Anita Chari

By Anita Chari

Anita Chari revives the idea that of reification from Marx and the Frankfurt college to highlight the resistance to neoliberal capitalism now forming on the point of political financial system and on the extra sensate, experiential point of subjective transformation. interpreting paintings through Oliver Ressler, Zanny Begg, Claire Fontaine, Jason Lazarus, and Mika Rottenberg, in addition to the politics of Occupy Wall highway, 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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Extra info for A political economy of the senses : neoliberalism, reification, critique

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The key consequence of this inversion is that the neoliberal restructuring of the relationship between economics and politics has resignified liberal forms of critique. In other words, liberal forms of critique have very different political effects under neoliberal conditions than they did under liberal ones. Moreover, the resignification of liberal critical concepts has also repositioned other critical discourses, even those that are explicitly critical of liberal political ideas. To comprehend the resignification of critical discourse in neoliberal context, I make use of Nancy Fraser’s and Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello’s analyses of the neoliberal resignification of critique.

The point of emphasizing depoliticization is not to invalidate the importance of current modes of economic politics, such as those that Dean describes, 26 N EO LI B ER AL SY M P TO M S but to locate them as forms of politics that perhaps understand the economic only through the limited perspective of existing interpretations of the political under capitalism. S. government’s austerity measures, which demand that the state curtail its redistribution of wealth to corporations, are crucially important forms of politics.

25 But the question I would raise in response to Dean is, what exactly does one mean by “the economy” in this context? 26 My point in N EO LI B ER AL SY M P TO M S 25 stressing depoliticization, however, is to ask whether we reach certain limits of political possibility when we limit questions of economics to the terms she mentions. It is true that these terms all indicate the prevalence of economic issues in the public sphere in the wake of the 2008 crisis, but it could be argued that the way these terms are deployed within public discourse tend to confine economics to the terms of the neoliberal relationship between state and economy.

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