A Political Economy of the Senses: Neoliberalism, by Anita Chari

By Anita Chari

Anita Chari revives the foremost idea of reification from Marx and the Frankfurt institution to highlight the resistance to neoliberal capitalism now forming on the point of political economic climate and the extra sensate, experiential point of subjective transformation. analyzing paintings via Oliver Ressler, Zanny Begg, Claire Fontaine, Jason Lazarus, and Mika Rottenberg, in addition to the politics of Occupy Wall highway, Chari identifies practices in which artists and activists have challenged neoliberalism's social and political logics. through positioning the topic in uncomfortable or very unlikely destinations of hope, functional orientation, and statement, such practices reveal neoliberal capitalism's inherent tensions and contradictions.

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Additional resources for A Political Economy of the Senses: Neoliberalism, Reification, Critique (New Directions in Critical Theory)

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Krippner’s research shows how, in practice, neoliberal politicians and elites pursue policies that obscure the state’s role in regulating markets, allowing them to govern the economy at a remove while avoiding political responsibility for economic policies and outcomes. Krippner’s research indicates that neoliberal economic policies specifically and intentionally obfuscate their status as political. The obfuscation of the political dimensions of supposedly purely economic, technical policies on the part of institutions like the Federal Reserve exemplifies the shifting contents of the category of “the political” in light of neoliberalization.

33 In embedded liberalism, market processes were circumscribed by a variety of social and political constraints and regulatory frameworks, and the state led the way in industrial and economic planning. 34 Neoliberalism, by contrast, disembeds capital and the market from embedded liberalism’s constraints, arguably as a response to the stagnation of growth that took place in the 1960s. 35 More specifically, the first key shift that differentiates the welfare state from the neoliberal state is that from the state as primarily an agent of decommodification to the state as an agent of increased commodification, privatization, and deregulation.

Although, as Foucault demonstrates, neoliberalism entails an inversion in the relationship between the state and economy, whereby the state takes an interventionist role in constructing the conditions for free markets, the classic liberal distinction between a compartmentalized state and economy nevertheless continues to provide an implicit framework for significant strands of contemporary political critique. Unless we understand the ways in which neoliberalism violates its own commitments to liberal or liberalesque principles, and transforms the content of these very principles, the structure of neoliberal depoliticization remains unclear.

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