2 / 5 / 2012

Neo-Liberalism Crash Course (get your former state enterprises cheap, now! Two for one on prisons!)


Neo-liberalism has become a bit of buzz word, replacing postmodernity (although the two are crucially interlinked). So two books and a film which provide excellent in-roads into the topic.


First: Foulcault’s lectures on the “Birth of Biopolitics”, given in 1978-79, particularly lectures 4,5,9,10,11. He has the remarkable power of being able to condense the gist of neo-liberalism into one sentence: “more state, less government”. He equally traces the emergence of neo-liberalism as the obverse side to the Frankfurt School: a response to Nazism, which was taken to be the solution to the political-economic constellation of pre-WWII Germany.


Two: David Harvey’s A Brief History of Neo-Liberalism. Read alongside The Condition of Postmodernity one can trace the link between the two.


Three: the documentary Catastroika. It’s artfulness under the circumstances merely contributes to the terror of what it reports:


One Response to Neo-Liberalism Crash Course (get your former state enterprises cheap, now! Two for one on prisons!)

  1. Nick Skiadopoulos says:

    I would like to add a third book -if I may. It’s Phil Mirowski’s and Diaeter Plehwe’s “The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective”
    Mostly historiographical in nature, it deals with the neoliberal Mont Pelerin society (with members like Popper, Hayek, Mises, Stigler and Friedman) and traces the dissemination of its ideas in the European and Americal intellectual/academic milieu. Phil Mirowski’s theoretical postface happens to be one of the best articles on neoliberalism I have ever encountered. (Mirowski is a very influential historian of economics and philosopher of science.)

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